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An academic…aka YOU, who uses 2nd person, has not only written too informally, but he or she has also missed the target audience. So, here is my tip of the day: Every writing program, like Microsoft Word, has a search function.YOU indicates that you’re writing for the teacher only, but in an analysis or even just a book report, the student is writing for a broad audience. Do a simple word search for each of the ones listed here [show visual of word list]. Thanks for listening, and good luck with your writing! Brought to you by Write Check, plagiarism checker software.
Educator Summer Dittmer has put together a series of videos, based on her experiences in helping students and adults learn how to improve their writing skills.
These videos provide quick yet valuable lessons on what NOT to do when writing an academic paper. Watch the video (): Or read along: The #1 Writing No-No is to never use 1st or 2nd person. In academic writing, it’s important to avoid personal bias.
Or, they capture a several-line conclusion in one pithy, well-worded phrase or sentence.
Or, maybe they end with a simple, clean truth written from the heart. If you are having trouble getting started on your essay, you might want to check out where they provide sample essays and free writing guides, or check out The Essay Guy for more great essay writing tips.
Students often ask, “How can I use a hypothetical question as a hook to begin my essay if I can’t even use YOU?
” My answer is simple: you never want to use a hypothetical question in an essay either. Let’s apply this rule to a few examples: Students are so used to using I, my, we, you and your, that they have a hard time weeding them out of their papers.If you are reading a newspaper article, the writer fades behind the facts and you know nothing about the writer except that s/he can collect, organize, and present the facts that you need to now.You want the admissions reader to say, “Ah, this is a real person writing to me.That means you should write with voice, that is, you need to write with your own personality.Honesty, humor, talking the way you talk, showing the way you think, all help to create voice.People remember last things first or, at least, best.As Alan Alda said in a commencement address he delivered to his daughter’s graduating college class, the most important things are said on the way out the door.It’s like you are on a date with the admissions reader and you want to be asked out again.If you are on a date, you would naturally want to be smart, funny, nice, caring, unique, not boring.Don’t crowd your essay near the top of the page, but balance it on the page and attend to soothing margins. Separate paragraphs in a consistent way, either by indenting each paragraph or by using block style, keeping all the words to the left margin but spacing extra between paragraphs. Did you separate dialogue correctly from the rest of your text? Check out our article on the most common mistakes in college essays for more tips to ensure your essay reads well. Ask them not to judge but simply read to see if they know what you are saying.If there are a lot of mistakes in your essay, it can not be pretty. As much as you wish to shine, the shine will be lost if your sentences and thoughts do not string together logically. Reread your essay as though you have no idea what the writer is talking about. Are there transitions between different sections of the essay? “Tell me,” say to them, “exactly what you got from this.” If there is confusion, fix it.