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How formal should the tone of your college essay be?

Video transcript
we're here with Sara McGinty researcher and author of the college application essay so what are some of the things they need to be thinking about in terms of style when I'm writing my college application essay well I think the most important thing to think about is pace so start fast the reader is very knowledgeable they're reading 25 or 30 of these things a day you can jump right into your story maybe that means you eliminate your introduction maybe that means you shrink your conclusion but it's a sandwich so the beginning and end is just a print to hold it together it's the meet in the middle that matters great so I start fast I focus primarily on the story itself not so of any fluff in the intro or conclusion what else should I be thinking about in terms of the style and tone that I'm using it's a personal essay not an academic research paper try to match your vocabulary to the kind of person you are and to the factor a young seventeen eighteen year old person make sure it sounds like you and that means not so many $10 words and a lot of just conversational and relaxed language so can you give me I think I know what you mean but could you give me some sort of example well I did have a student once who wrote I encountered this terrestrial sphere on a vernal evening in 1997 and after a little conversation we decided it would be okay to say I was born in April 1997 gotcha so in other words keep it simple this should sound like when I'm talking to a friend exactly great and anything else I should be thinking about in terms of style tone well my last words would ask you to be as specific as possible in the story that you've told them in the writing that you supply so that it is vivid and detailed maybe one way to do that is to convey some of your story through dialogue what the policeman who pulled you over said and what you said back that would certainly help us be in the scene but be as specific as possible it's very common at the beginning to write sentence like I had many new and surprising experiences then and that's a great first thought but ii thought needs to be okay what was new and surprising about them and maybe that sentence can be made i slept in the tent wash my face and hands in a saucepan and survived on bread and candy bars gotcha so we're really really kind of getting into the nitty gritty details of the story as opposed to kind of surface level broad brush sentences and that's what's going to make it memorable so if you're specific that will lead admissions to say what about the kid that lived on bread and candy bars they're not going to say maybe we'll take that kid that had a surprising experience gotcha so just to recap start fast sound like yourself and be specific that's it great thanks so much