What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Are contractions okay in a college essay?

Hello, I'm a bit stressed over my essay. I've been told not to use contractions, but they seem more natural to me. Is it better to use contractions or should I stick to formal writing? Please help!

9 months ago

Hi there! I can understand your concerns regarding contractions in your essay. The college essay is a place to demonstrate your unique voice and personality, so writing naturally is essential to that goal. If contractions make your writing more authentic to your voice, don't hesitate to use them.

However, don't overuse them to the point where your essay becomes too casual or informal. Balancing your personal voice with an appropriate level of formality is crucial to a successful essay. My own child faced a similar dilemma and eventually decided to use a few contractions to maintain the authenticity of their voice while keeping a relatively formal tone.

9 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.