Being Too Formal in Your College Essay
Our modern society tends to be very casual: we address each other by first name; we dress in comfortable clothes; and we try to make the people around us feel relaxed and welcomed. These are all great things. However, when it comes time to do something formal, like writing a college essay, we can feel set adrift. Because we’re generally unfamiliar with formality, it can be easy to end up being too formal in your college essay.
This is just as bad as being too casual. Why? Because being too formal in your college essay will take the ‘personal’ aspect out of it. You’ll have gone too far into a set way of behaving that will necessarily prohibit you from expressing your individuality. In short, your college essay will make you seem stiff and pretentious. Take formality way too far, and the application essay can even become comical to the reader.
“But how can my college essay help but be formal? It’s a formal process!” you say. Yes, that’s true. You still need to do a set number of things in a set order to complete the admissions process. However, if your college essay is too formal, it will become as standardized as the other aspects of your application such as your test scores and transcripts.
Let Your College Essay Help You Introduce Yourself to the Admissions Committee
Even at the grandest and most formal of gatherings, with heads of state, CEOs and royalty, people still chit-chat, laugh, and try to make each other feel at ease and have a good time. While you don’t need to regale the admissions committee with entertaining stories or jokes, your college essay is your opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are as an individual. You can introduce yourself as someone who is well-mannered and socially adept, but also a unique human being who can make their school a more exciting and interesting place to be.
If you’re unsure, get college essay help. A professional college essay editor can be your guide in navigating your way through this process, helping you strike the right balance between professionalism and personalization. Your editor can show you where you need to be less conversational, and where you need to show more insight into your character and skill set. Obtaining college essay help will ensure that your admissions essays are formal enough to not distract the reader while also conveying your sincerity and personality.
See how EssayEdge experts from schools including Harvard, Yale and Princeton can help you get into college! Review our services.
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A body paragraph is a group of related sentences about a particular topic or idea directly relating to the thesis. Because essays are composed of multiple body paragraphs, writing and organizing good paragraphs is one of the most important aspects of creating a well-organized and developed essay.
The term body paragraph refers to any paragraph that follows the introduction and comes before the conclusion. The majority of any essay consists of multiple body paragraphs, and it is in these paragraphs where the main information is presented. The longer an essay is, the more body paragraphs there will be. Because the body paragraphs present the important facts and information from an essay, having well-written body paragraphs is essential in writing a successful essay.
The following are important aspects of all body paragraphs:
- A clear topic sentence
- Specific evidence or supporting detail
- Unity and cohesion
- Transitions between sentences and paragraphs
- A concluding sentence that ties the evidence or details back to the main point and brings the paragraph to a close
A topic sentence generally appears early in a body paragraph (often the 1st or 2nd sentence) and controls the paragraph. A topic sentence is like a mini thesis sentence for each paragraph and serves to unify the contents of the paragraph. Everything that follows in the paragraph needs to relate to the topic sentence. Not all essays call for explicit topic sentences, but most beginning writers should learn how to write effective topic sentences early on in order to achieve paragraph unity. More on topic sentences
No matter what type of essay is being written, all body paragraphs need to be fully developed and provide supporting detail. This detail can come in the form of personal examples, statistics, and/or quotes from an expert. When writing an essay that requires the use of research and outside sources, this information should be used to support the topic sentence.
All body paragraphs should also provide transitions. These transitions need to occur within the individual sentences of a paragraph and from one paragraph to the next. More on transitions
For more information on writing an effective body paragraph, please see the body paragraph exercise page on this site.