I'm writing about my first silent meditation retreat as a Zen Buddhist. I've been having doubts as to whether I should talk about religion, but I learned a lot about myself during it and think its a unique topic, so I'm going to go for it. What about you?
Is anyone using vocabulary words? I heard that using elevated language can sometimes make a person seem less smart than using regular language. But does Yale expect SAT vocab words in the essays? Should you try to work at least one in if it seems like it wouldn't fit?
greyslover11...as a general rule, using big words correctly makes one sound intelligent. Misusing them makes one sound, for lack of an appropriate big word, really stupid (try pretentious as well). I'd say that if it's something that you refer to as a "vocabulary word", you probably haven't mastered its connotations well enough you to use it in an essay. So don't.
to add to Clueless' advice: if you have to ask, then the answer is NO.
Some of us have broad vocabularies because it's become 2nd nature. If using less than common words is uncommon for you, inserting them into a written essay for purposes other than illumination WILL make you look like a poser, rather quickly. Any effort "to fit at least one in" will be fairly obvious.
I've re-read my essays a few years ago. No "big" words whatsoever.
"When you write your essays and “short takes” for the Common Application and Yale’s supplement, write about something that matters to you. Use your own voice. Do not worry about making a special effort to include impressive vocabulary words or overly complex sentences. If you sound like yourself and discuss something you care about, your essay will be more effective."
Another note about "vocabulary" words: I have read many draft essays here on CC in which many words were misused--often, the misuse was not technically a mistake, but rather was use of a word in a way that a good writer or speaker of English would not use it. So beware of this--especially if English is not your first language. It's a good idea to have your essay reviewed by someone who speaks English well also.
I wrote about losing a friend because we had differing political views. In a poem. Which was partly because I write poetry, but mostly because not following normal grammatical and punctuational rules made it possible for me to fit the story into 500 words, instead of 700.