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nickgeebanickgeeba Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
edited December 2009 in College Essays
What's the rule of thumb for using contractions in college essays? Too informal, or ok? I don't want to come off as informal, but on the other hand some spots seem to sound robotic if I "do not" use contractions.
Post edited by nickgeeba on

Replies to: Contractions?

  • PandoraHeartsPandoraHearts Registered User Posts: 435 Member
    Definitely dont use them when appropriate. Separating the words sounds horribly forced and unnatural
  • nickgeebanickgeeba Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    ^ Do you mean definitely DO use them when appropriate?
  • antoniorayantonioray User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 849 Member
    IT'S almost impossible to fit "it is" naturally into a context where it's will do

    same thing with contractions like i've

    that being said
    some other ones are best to be avoided

    like i'll never use "can't" unless I absolutely have to
    same thing with "won't"

    lol wont just sounds soooo bad

    " i simply would not use wont
    " i simply wont use wont

    see the difference?
  • SimpleLifeSimpleLife Registered User Posts: 2,370 Senior Member
    I believe admissions wants to hear the real you. They don't want stuffy, formal writing. My kids and I have seen several essays posted by different colleges -- either in their admissions offices in notebooks, or discussed in admissions info sessions, or even on websites. It seems that they like a little creativity. We've seen funny short stories, short and choppy sentences, essays written in the form of a letter, etc. One of my sons, who was accepted to every college to which he applied, wrote about a more serious topic (he's a pretty serious kid), but used normal, spoken-type English in it. It sounded just like the way he talks. This is what he (and I) gleaned was appropriate and expected when writing college essays.

    The number one thing we heard during various info sessions ... make your essay interesting to read! They sit around reading one after the next. Your topic should, hopefully, be fresh. And your approach and writing style should reflect who you are. They should know more about who YOU are when they're done reading it.

    Good luck!
  • justaverage010justaverage010 Registered User Posts: 442 Member
    Interesting, I edited out all my contractions because I thought I wasn't supposed to have any...

    I mean, I dunno, I like contractions but every english teacher ever says that they're bad writing...
  • sphaleritesphalerite Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    they're bad writing for formal essays.

    But I've always been under the impression that these personal statements aren't incredibly formal. College essays are more story like, like a memoir.
  • nickgeebanickgeeba Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Thanks all. Everyone seems to be saying something similar, so I'm gunna go with "use when it fits, don't when it doesn't"
  • benellisbenellis Registered User Posts: 462 Member
    Use them sparingly, but don't force it. For example, if I used "do not" in that previous sentence, it would sound weird.
  • antoniorayantonioray User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 849 Member
    and never use aint!!!!!!!!!!!
This discussion has been closed.