WriteOnFightOn Tips for Editing the College Essay
Tips for Editing the College Essay
- Evaluate the strength of your first sentence. Is it clear? Does it create interest? Does it encourage the reader to read the second sentence?
- Underline the first 3 words in each sentence. Look for patterns. Do you start multiple sentences in a similar fashion? If so, use sentence starters. Try to diversify your presentation.
- Mark your verbs. Evaluate your verbs. Are your verbs active or passive? Are your verbs visual? Do they push the action of your sentence?
- Circle all your 2 letter words. Do you need all those 2 letter words? Look for places where you can compress your language.
- Do you vary your sentence structure? Do you have dynamic syntactical structure? Pick at least 5 sentences in consecutive order and count your words. Label each sentence with a word count. If your numbers are too close (within 5 words) spend time varying your sentence structure.
- Highlight an excerpt from your writing where you clearly address the demands of the prompt.
- Highlight/count your personal pronouns (I, me, my). Use personal pronouns in moderation.
- Mark your use of sensory imagery. Do you appeal to the reader’s 5 senses? Do you make the reader a part of your experience?
- Observe your paragraph structure. Are your paragraphs varied and dynamic? Or are your paragraphs similar in length and presentation?
- Would a line or two of dialogue enliven your essay?
- Mark where you reflect on your experience(s). Does your essay show personal growth or an “a -ha!” moment?