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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Can using 'you' in college essays make them more engaging, or is it too casual?

Ok, so I'm working on my drafts and I'm experimenting with writing styles. I'm wondering if using 'you' in my college essay might break the fourth wall and engage the reader, or if it's just too informal? Is it better to stick to a more traditional style? Don’t want to come off as unprofessional but aiming for an authentic voice.

8 months ago

Hey there! I totally understand where you're coming from, trying to strike that perfect balance in your essay. Using 'you' can indeed make your essay feel more conversational and potentially more engaging, but it's crucial to consider the context and the message you're trying to convey. Generally, using 'you' as if you're speaking to the reader or admissions committee can feel informal and out of place, especially with essays that are strongly narrative-driven. Other instances of 'you', such as using it as part of a quote or line of speech from an anecdote, can work if the anecdote adds to the overall essay.

Always read your drafts out loud and consider if the use of 'you' adds to your story or distracts from it. Remember, authentic voice is key, but clarity and appropriate style are just as vital!

8 months ago

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