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What's the deal with using contractions in college essays?

Hi peeps, just wondering if anyone knows whether contractions are frowned upon in college essays? I want my essay to sound conversational, but don't want to come off as unprofessional. Thoughts?

8 months ago

Hi there! It's great that you want your essay to sound conversational and approachable. The use of contractions in college essays has been a topic of debate, but the truth is, it’s perfectly fine to use them! The key here is to maintain a balance. If your essay is conversational and reflects your authentic voice, contractions can help it flow more naturally and make it more relatable to the reader. Colleges appreciate an essay that sounds like a real student wrote it, not like it’s been overly formalized or edited by an adult. Think about how you naturally express yourself and let that guide your use of contractions.

For example, if you're describing a personal experience and you say, "I can't imagine a scenario where I would've made a different decision," the contractions make the sentence sound genuine. However, if the narrative is in a more serious or reflective part, you might choose not to use contractions to emphasize the tone. Just remember, the most important aspect is that the essay should sound like you. So, if you'd normally use contractions in conversation, it's okay to use them in your essay. Best of luck with your application!

8 months ago

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