In this short video, grasp the style tips that shall help you in using the same content in your essays for creating greater impact! This short video, with the guidelines it offers, can make a significant difference to your MBA Applications and lift up the overall quality of the same.
Seven Tips on Style for MBA Application Essays
Your MBA application will most likely require you to write several essays - from a general Statement Of Purpose to specific essays on personal challenges, ethical quandaries, leadership experience etc. While content will always be king for these essays, style or how you write is not inconsequential. By keeping some style tips in mind you can make the same content have a greater impact.
Firstly, remember that MBA Application essays are completely different in comparison to the more factual and straightforward documents like your resume. These essays provide you with a chance to connect with the admissions committee on a more emotional and personal level and are not about presenting dry information but are about telling a story - your story. What you need to do with these essays is to present a narrative, a story that supports you as a candidate for admission. It has to be personal and emotive; this is where you go from being just a set of numbers to a real person in the committee’s eyes. In order to be seen as a serious candidate, you have to present yourself well here.
That having been said, just because you are telling a story does not mean you should turn into Dostoyevsky; do not exceed the word limits given for the essays for this will make you either seem like you are not taking the process seriously enough or simply make you look like a bad writer who cannot marshal thoughts properly. It is important that you do not spend too much time on context and even while setting the stage with background information try to make it sound like you are answering the question asked.
A number of basic points should be adhered to while writing MBA Application essays. A great deal of information goes into each essay and you should logically separate paragraphs accordingly. This means that when you move to a new topic it should have a new paragraph.
Another essential point to remember is to avoid weak language and sentences. Instead of simpler words do not feel afraid to demonstrate your creative skills by selecting more forceful words, for example instead of the word “also” you could use “moreover”- the latter leaves a stronger impact on the reader and, in general, makes you seem more knowledgeable. It also helps you avoid repetition, which can be good for a poet but is bad for an essay. In order to make your language seem strong, use more impactful sentences as well - a good example of a weak sentence vs. a strong sentence is “when I was a child my parents taught me to be honest” vs. “in childhood my parents imparted to me the great value of honesty”. Both the sentences say the same thing, and while the second is essentially a more verbose way to say things, it sounds a lot more impressive than the first sentence and will stick in the mind of the reader in a better manner. A good way to produce stronger sentences is to combine shorter and weaker sentences using commas, colons, and semi-colons.
Aside from the writing, your essay can also be made better if you play close attention to formatting. Unless the school specifies a certain font, it is recommended that you use a clear and consistent font that will be easily legible. Further, you must start each essay on a new page and it is a good idea to put the question before the essay. Moreover, ensure healthy and consistent spacing on each page with a font size and font type that is both consistent. Feel free to similarly adjust with line spacing, text spacing, and margin options to your liking; they are largely a matter of style. The basic idea is that the document should appear clear. Of course, you could always use the “Header” option to include your name above the text for some committee members like to print the essays out and read them. This will help them remember whose essay it is. However, always remember to put the name in a smaller font than the essay.
Now, many of these options are just optional and can be customized according to what you feel is your personal style. The guiding principle behind any formatting choice you make, however, should always be to make your document look neat.