Using Quotes In College Essays
Along a similar vein as clichés, the over use of quotations is a sure way to make an essay sound parrot-like. This is probably a departure from what your English teacher said when you started work on your term paper, but that's because writing is all about the audience. In analytical compositions (such as your senior term paper on Napoleon), quotations were a valuable component because you were supposed to support your topic by research. However, in the limited space of the college essay, you don't want quotations to distract from your voice. The purpose of the college essay is to help the committee get to know you, not to convince someone that you know how to research a topic such as Napoleon's War Tactics. Since quotations are not your own words, never use them in a critical point or in place of your own analysis. Maintain your originality. Using a well-known quotation is especially dangerous since 90 percent of the other applicants (who have not spent the time to prepare by reading this guide) will almost certainly use similar quotations in their essays. If you want your essay to be memorable, it must be your own presentation.
using quotes in college essays
The problem with most admission essays is a lack of creativity. However, some applicants go too far in trying to fashion a one-of-a-kind composition. Rather than sounding original and insightful, such an essay can appear trite and silly. A general rule is that you want your work to be as unique as possible but not so "out of the box" that the admissions officers won't take it seriously.If you have a question about whether your work crosses the line in the creativity department, get a second or third opinion. If one of your readers feels that the essay may be a little too off-the-wall, then tone it down or even abandon it. The college application is not the place to experiment and take radical chances. While you should write creatively, beware of the easy crossover into silliness.
Varying your sentences and word choice is always good in an essay. However, writing your composition in the words of a thesaurus is one of the worst mistakes you can make. First, some of the alternate words you find in a thesaurus will probably be unfamiliar. This means that if you use these alternate words, you run a high likelihood of using them awkwardly or incorrectly. Second, admissions officers possess a keen radar that helps them pick out those essays coauthored by a thesaurus. Call them psychic if you want, but admissions officers and members of essay committees do seem to have the ability to pick out thesaurus-aided writing. If you think about it, essays peppered with words from a thesaurus are not that hard to spot because the writing in those passages is often inconsistent with the author's general style. Adding words out your comfort zone is likely to sound forced. You want your essay to flow and seem natural.
There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay. College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count.
Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:
You should start thinking about your college applications the summer before your junior year to give you sufficient time for college visits, taking standardized tests, applying for financial aid, writing essays, and collecting application material.
Admissions officers use college admissions essays to evaluate your character, writing skills, and ability to self-reflect. The essay is your chance to show what you will add to the academic community.
When I read college application essays as a faculty advisor to the admissions committee at Douglass College, Rutgers, the great essays were few and far between, but I remember them to this day. They were authentic, well-crafted and told me an interesting story.
When it comes to applying to college, perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the whole process is writing those darn essays. No one likes to talk about themselves, and people like talking about themselves even less when what they say could possibly cost them acceptance into their dream school.
This is a tricky one! When should a word be capitalized and when should it just be treated like any other word in a sentence? Students have a lot of trouble with capitalization in their college essays because the rules for capitalizing certain academic disciplines, programs, majors, and degrees are not consistent. To help clear up the rules, remember these two simple tips:
Just as there are noteworthy examples of excellent college essays that admissions offices like to publish, so are there cringe-worthy examples of terrible college essays that end up being described by anonymous admissions officers on Reddit discussion boards.
Unlike the essays you've been writing in school where the idea is to analyze something outside of yourself, the main subject of your college essay should be you, your background, your makeup, and your future. Writing about someone or something else might well make a great essay, but not for this context.
Want to read some excellent college essays now that you've seen some examples of flawed one? Take a look through our roundup of college essay examples published by colleges and then get help with brainstorming your perfect college essay topic.
The importance of quotes from the books cannot be underestimated as we are dealing with college essays, blog posts, or even postcards that provide something meaningful. The quotes can be inspiring, helpful, fun, controversial, or educational as they help to shape an opinion. The quotes from the books inspire people to read and form special role models. We also learn more about literary devices as we look through quotations that fit our objectives. Even if we do something for fun or quote Shakespeare as we talk about love, we go beyond the basic phrases and add something special to our speech or writing.
The quotes also help to implement various literary devices like metaphors and useful allegories since you can explain something complex with relevant sayings. Some college students tend to use Latin as a way to deliver an important message, while others will happily quote motivational sayings from autobiography books of their favorite celebrities. As long as you provide references and keep things accurate, these will help to make your writing more meaningful and to the point.
There is no firm rule on when to use an indented block quote. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends using block quotes for 100 words (six to eight lines) or more of text. However, a common rule-of-thumb for short undergraduate papers is to use a block quote for more than four lines of text.
LESSONYou will likely be asked to write numerous essaysA short piece of writing that focuses on at least one main idea. Some essays are also focused on the author's unique point of view, making them personal or autobiographical, while others are focused on a particular literary, scientific, or political subject. over the course of your academic career. While the contentThe text in a writing that includes facts, thoughts, and ideas. The information that forms the body of the work. of your work is significant, it is also essential that you develop strong and accurate formattingThe way in which content is arranged, usually following a set of rules. In writing, outlines and essays often follow a format specified by their purpose or where they are published. skills. Formatting an essay correctly is not only good authorship but is also important to instructors who often have to read hundreds of essays over the course of a semester. Your instructors will likely provide you with essay guidelines indicating whether you should use MLAA grammar and reference guide used mainly by students and scholars writing about the humanities (languages and literature). or APAA set of guidelines for citing sources used in literary and academic writing. APA style is most commonly used in the social sciences. style to format your paper. If you are uncertain as to your instructor's expectations, be sure to ask. Instructors appreciate students taking extra measures needed to correctly format essays. In this lesson, you will learn how to correctly format a college essay using APA style. Note: This foundation lesson is not meant to include or cover all of the rules and guidelines for properly formatting an essay. Be sure to refer to the APA style guide to ensure that you follow all of the formatting rules.
Although there are often no strict word limits for college essays, most essays are shorter rather than longer. Common App, which students can use to submit to multiple colleges, suggests that essays stay at about 650 words.
What is the point of your story; what one thing do you want to make sure the reader gets from the piece? So, how long is a college essay? Most college admission or college application essays are required to be pretty short, anywhere from 200 to 900 words. You want to make the best use of that limited number of words, so you should map out what you want your essay to look like in some form. That may be a traditional outline, or it may be just a matter of breaking the essay into pieces and working on it one section at a time.
You may include quotes in your essay, though you should use them minimally. Using quotes introduces a different voice when the applicant should be highlighting their own voice. Most applications have a maximum word count that students may find restrictive, and using quotations limits your voice even further.
Just as a good movie, novel or advertisement with a catchy start makes you want to continue watching or reading, good essays grab the audience's attention at the beginning. The best essays often open with a hook, an idea that draws the reader in and generates interest about the topic. An appropriate quotation, properly connected to your topic and cited, makes a strong hook for a college essay.