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How Real is TOO Real in Essays?

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Joined: 04 Jun 2011
Posts: 36
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 30 [0], given: 61

How Real is TOO Real in Essays? [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 12:54
I see an constant theme in essay advice from all our consultants is "be real". Well, how real is too real? I like to joke around a bit and use humor even is serious matters - but I don't want to come across as "cutesy" in the essays.

For example:

Over the last 12 months I have been doing a lot of self reflection on my career path and where I want to end up. So said to myself, "Todd, (that's what they call me back home) what is going to be the best way to get there"....


I worked for a highly demanding manager whose moods ranged from irrationally exuberant to suicidal, but at least he was consistent....

I'd like any and all feedback on just how unorthodox you can be in these essays....I don't like to communicate in a technical and boring manner.
Senior Manager
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Joined: 15 Jan 2010
Posts: 258
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V44
GPA: 3.54
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 65 [0], given: 1

Re: How Real is TOO Real in Essays? [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 15:32
The first sentence sounds inauthentic. Did you really talk to yourself? Did you even think that quote to yourself? Probably not. More than likely, you pondered at your desk staring at the ceiling rubbing your chin while thinking about your goals. Saying you talked to yourself is just strange. In short, it's not real, it's theatrical. And there's a huge difference between the two.

You can be informal and "real" without being cutesy. Your second sentence is off-putting because it sounds exaggerated (few bosses are caricatures, even if you think they are). Also, what's consistent about being exuberant at times and suicidal at others? Unless you're being sarcastic, in which case, it's not "real", it's just "mean". Moreover, the "at least" part in your sentence smacks of sarcasm and immaturity. It sounds more like something I'd say to a bunch of guys at a bar after a tough day at work, than an inspired story about leadership.

Sorry to be so blunt but that's what I get from this. Striving to be yourself doesn't mean "try at all costs to be a wild-card and not sound like a robot". It means talking in a voice that you feel comfortable with.

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Re: How Real is TOO Real in Essays? [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2011, 01:25
Expert's post
I'll echo what was written above and say, yes be original, but at the same time as one of my teachers always told me in grade school "don't be stupid". Calling your boss an ass (even if he might be) is just gonna make you look bad, cause we have all had to deal with terrible bosses. It's a part of the deal. But, yes, keep it real, with a caveat - try not to put others down. It almost never makes you look good. Quite the contrary. But be real about when it comes to yourself.

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Re: How Real is TOO Real in Essays?   [#permalink] 17 Sep 2011, 01:25
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