Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writing Tip #2: Tell a story

Hello friends! I am back with another writing tip that I frequently give when reviewing essays.

Writing Top #2: Tell a story

So, we all know that word limits for applications are pretty low. Sometimes they even feel impossibly low. Unfortunately, what that world limit restriction often leads to is that essays become a disparate collection of sentences, without proper connections, transitions, or places to "stop and breathe". Thus, I think that as each of you write your essays you should be very careful to not try to cram too much into a small number of words. A story that is well told and has slightly less "information" in it is much more impactful than one with tons of facts but no flow.

A trick I used to see how much flow my essays had was this: after I was done writing an essay I would put it away for a day or two. Then, I would take it out and immediately try to read the essay out loud either to myself or to others (no reading it silently first, that is cheating!). There would inevitably be spots where it was awkward and "out of rhythm". I would mark these spots, recognizing that those were the places that either had bad or non-existent transitions, and then focus my efforts for the next revision on building those transitions. Then it was onto the next draft, and lather, rinse, repeat!

Hope this helps!

Disclaimer: the thoughts and ideas represented in this blog are my own and do not represent that of any specific business school or Admissions Committee or office.