Now, now. Don’t get angry. Deal.
First and foremost, focus. And use writing techniques that convey your message and stay within the word limits. What writing techniques are those? Glad you asked!
1. Minimize use of the passive voice.
• Passive: Experience A has been complemented by experience B. (8 words)
• Active: Experience B complements experience A. (5 words)
2. Use active, descriptive verbs.
• Blah: I was the one who made the decision… (8 words)
• Strong: I decided… (2 words)
3. Minimize use of the verb “to be” (Please note that I did not say “eliminate.”)
• Overuse of “to-be”: She is a skillful negotiator. (5 words)
• Strong Active Verb: She negotiates skillfully. (3 words)
4. Check whether you need the verb preceding an infinitive.
• Surplus words: She was able to fix… (5 words)
• More direct phrasing: She fixed… (2 words)
These few techniques will strengthen your writing, help you stay within those limits, and give you one less reason to curse your applications.
By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, has helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She’s also an expert on grad school funding and scholarships.Want Rebecca to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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