‘Twas the Night Before Deadlines: A Cautionary Tale of Cliches
‘Twas the night before deadlines, and all through the world,
The clichés! Oh, forsake! Terrible, were they –
So we cleaned and we scrubbed and we checked all the words;
And oh, the good cheer and ah, the delight,
Moral of the story: phrases and idioms come and go in waves. While it’s okay to use some popular phrasing, you want to make sure that your essay is original and not chock full of clichés. The first time someone used “take it to the next level” in their essay, the reader probably stopped and thought – wow, that’s a great way to put it. They probably thought the same thing the second and third and even tenth time they heard it. But the hundredth time? The thousandth? It’s just not as impressive. In fact, after original phrases get used to death, they become boring, even silly, and lose their meaning.
We recently polled Accepted’s consultants and asked “What are the most abused and misused clichés used by applicants?” When we dug out from under the flood of responses, we found the following to be the ultimate winners/losers:
• Take it to the next level
• Lend a helping hand
• Been there for me
• Want to give back
• Outside my comfort zone
• Making a difference
• Thinking outside the box
• Touch base
• Circle back
When writing your essays, try to move outside your comfort zone and take your writing to the next level. You want to really make a difference and get on board with this global thinking and diverse wordification.
Yeah, we thought that would help make our point.
Does your application essay need a good, solid edit? Take advantage of Accepted’s expert admissions consulting and editing services, whether you’re just getting started with your essays or are ready for that final cliché-abolishing polish. Our advisors are ready to help you take your essays to the next level create the most impressive essays possible!
• From Example to Exemplary, a free guide to writing outstanding essays
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