Contractions or no contractions in college essays?

<p>So, my essay has contractions in it, but I know the general rule of thumb is to not use contractions. Will it matter? Not using contractions feels awkward.</p>

<p>It depends on the tone of your essay really. I’m using a more informal, talkative tone (and I suspect you are too) so I feel that using contractions is warranted in this situation. </p>

<p>^ I agree, and I’ll also add that I agree that not using contractions AT ALL sounds very dry and pretentious (and awkward). I think the question should be “how MUCH to use contractions” versus whether to use them or not. Read your essay out loud an annunciate, as though you were reading it to a group of people, like a class. If you find that there are some places where you wrote, for example, “it is” rather than “it’s”, but you keep saying “it’s” when you read it, then you should probably change it.</p>

<p>Ultimately, there are no rules for writing college essays, and personal, creative non-fiction is quite different from what most of use learn to write in school (analytical/research papers or creative fiction). Do what you think sounds best, but make sure that it matches the tone of your essay.</p>