Be Clear

At the moment I am neck-deep in grad school applications.

The applications are relatively straightforward until the dreaded personal statement comes up.

The personal statement is more like my personal nightmare. How do I explain my life passion in 500 words? How do I not sound like a novel… or a resume? How do I do this and keep my sanity? These are some of the questions I have been hemming and hawing.

One thing I have figured out about my personal statement is that it has to be clear.

Clarity in writing is key!

Since we all should strive for clarity in our work, here are some tips I found on Grammar Girl for writing clear, concise sentences.

Avoid “One-Word Wastes of Space”

Get rid of modifiers such as, “very”, “totally”, “quite.” Grammar Girl says that these words are redundant and unnecessary.

Don’t use “If” Clauses

Being concise means losing the fluff. Sentences beginning with “If…” are fluff-filled. Instead, be direct and get to the point. Grammar Girl suggests starting sentences with a subject and a verb to keep your writing strong and clear.

Make Your Verbs Work

Replace boring, inactive verbs with “infinitives, imperatives, and other sturdy verbs.” For example replace “You can visit…” with “To visit…”

Sentences should pack a punch – do yours?

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