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Improving Essay writing skills

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Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 15:12
Hey everyone,

I need advice on ways to improve my essay writing skills.
I've been thinking for a while now about the essays that I put in for my solitary app last year, and one thing I've identified is that I was unable to present the information in a 'punchy way' (borrowing the phrase from a Boothie who read my apps). Even though I used to write a lot back in high-school, my college education and my jobs didn't really entail a lot of formal writing and I think I've slowly but steadily lost those skills.

Did anyone else here take some steps to upgrade their writing skills before immersing in the Bschool application regimen? Can you please share your experiences and ideas?

thanks,
Indigo
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 15:47
I started blogging. It helped me get in the habit of writing regularly. However, it did not help me learn to be concise. That came with multiple revisions on my application essays.

It is said that the best way to become a better writer is to write more. While I don't think you need to practice essay writing per se, I do recommend starting on your application essay drafts very early so you have time for multiple rewrites. This process should take you from ok 1st drafts to great final copies.
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 16:04
cheetarah1980 wrote:
I started blogging. It helped me get in the habit of writing regularly. However, it did not help me learn to be concise. That came with multiple revisions on my application essays.

It is said that the best way to become a better writer is to write more. While I don't think you need to practice essay writing per se, I do recommend starting on your application essay drafts very early so you have time for multiple rewrites. This process should take you from ok 1st drafts to great final copies.


Thanks for sharing, cheets. Just before the app season last year, I tried to write daily on 750words.com, but some 2-3 weeks down the line, I didn't see the quality of my writing being anything different, so I stopped.

One thing that worked for me in high-school was that I used to read a lot. Maybe that could help now as well.
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 19:48
Ya, this can be very hard. You want your essays to jump off the page, and sing to the Adcoms. The best thing you have done is recognize that you are missing something in your essays, and now you have the opportunity to improve. My recommendation would be to start the essays early, make them enganging by telling interesting stories, and if all else fails... consider getting an admissions consultant to review your essays. We have a some great partners at GMAT Club that offer all different levels of services, and some will solely work with you on your essays or hourly to give you ideas. Good luck!
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 22:01
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Indeed,poorly-written essays can adversely impact your chances of admission. Through essays, the schools want to know who you are and how you think and act in certain situations. So you need to invest your time in brain storming, writing , revising, and editing your essays.

It is interesting to note that it is not the English skills but lack of relevant stories that most applicants struggle with. So you need to reflect on the qualities that define you and then identify real life examples that illustrate those qualities.

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Last edited by GMATLA on 21 May 2012, 07:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 21:29
GMATLA wrote:
Ya, this can be very hard. You want your essays to jump off the page, and sing to the Adcoms. The best thing you have done is recognize that you are missing something in your essays, and now you have the opportunity to improve. My recommendation would be to start the essays early, make them enganging by telling interesting stories, and if all else fails... consider getting an admissions consultant to review your essays. We have a some great partners at GMAT Club that offer all different levels of services, and some will solely work with you on your essays or hourly to give you ideas. Good luck!


Thanks GMATLA.

Can you guys share any reading or any other ways to self-improve? I understand that I need to start early but I don't see the essays getting that extra 'zing'. I think I am doing okay with the stories, I just need to improve my way of telling them.
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 23:13
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Hello IndigoIntentions,

Essay writing is basically a journey and involves a process with steps. For a starter, below mentioned pointers may help.

Choose a topic

1) First Step - Do not worry about what you are writing. You can include all possible thoughts/perspectives/ideas etc. Do not complete this exercise in one setting, complete the exercise in two to three setting (this will help you with flow of fresh idea every time)

2) Second Step - Take out a print of what you have written, read the same at least three to four times. When you read the print out, start identifying the main points ( do not worry about sequence/structure at this point of time). Group the related concepts under a point and prepare 3/4 points for the topic.

3) Third Step - Now, this is the time to structure the given points in sequence (depending upon the topic) and get rid of unnecessary words/phrases/sentences (this process might take a few edits, but do not loose patience).

4) Fourth Step - Again take a print ( take a print, not on computer screen ) and re-read (ensure you have a flow of sequence). Next, get the same outcome reviewed/read by two to three other people (friend/colleague/family etc).

Above mentioned process is a very generalized process, but by following this process for a few times, you will start getting a feel of what is good writing and what is bad (most of the bad writing lack structure and is full of unnecessary information).

For MBA essay writing, I would suggest you to work on some generalized topics (every topic MUST have a STORY, the golden rule is " No one should be able to copy paste sentences from your essay to any other applicant's essay, the content must be very personal to you", for example " I am hard working and sincere in my work, and I always take my work seriously" - now this sentence takes away 6% to 7% of the total essay and does not help to communicate individual's story.

1) Why MBA ?

2) Goals - Short Term and Long term

3) Why now ?

We started a free essay review services for a few, I would be more than happy to review your essay and help you with the feedback. I would also like to submit that the service is ABSOLUTELY free, and there is no intention to commercialize it, so do not worry :).

You can refer to my signature thread (the thread has feedback from those who availed this facility).
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2012, 04:02
read different genres to have some idea about them ....
practice writing
have some guidance from people who are good at it
before writing do some research on the topic to have broader aspect...
last but not the least have strong will power....Still writing problem? the best essay writing review help you to find best essay writing services online.
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Re: Improving Essay writing skills [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2012, 03:05
Many students find that writing the essay's introduction after the main points are developed is much easier because it enables you to focus your writing.
Re: Improving Essay writing skills   [#permalink] 10 Dec 2012, 03:05
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