That is, besides the one that’s all panic-inducing, about You don’t have much time! You need to start now!!!
That’s the exhortation you hear most often here on the blahg.
When it comes down to the actual nitty gritty of what you’re writing in your essays, it’s a different refrain. There’s a few things that we say over and over in our Essay Decimator essay reviews. We say them so often because they’re identifying the really common issues that lots of BSers’ essays suffer from, and also because they’re so darned important.
At least, to us they are. Because they affect the reader’s experience. If you get this feedback from us, you may feel that it’s a little inconsequential. “I paid good money for some snark to tell me THAT?!??”
But these things matter. They factor into how your pitch will be perceived.
If you have an unhappy reader, you will have an unhappy outcome.
One of these very common points of feedback is:
Make your essays self-contained and complete.
What this means is, you don’t want your reader to have to know anything about you in order to understand what they’re reading in an essay.
You shouldn’t assume that they’ve memorized your background already, or that they’ve retained even the most basic facts of your profile.
When it comes to writing a strong essay, the essay should be autonomous.
It should not require that the reader consult with any other application materials to make sense.
It’s kinda what we’ve discussed previously on the blahg between the resume and the essays, or the resume and the MIT cover letter. Reading an essay is a specific experience; if the essay does not have all the info needed to understand what you’re saying, then the reader is lost.
Saying it that way sounds so flipping basic that you are probably wondering why we’re dedicating a post to it. But it’s a REALLY common issue.
People write stuff in the essay as if the reader has their background memorized. As if they’re picking up a conversation that they’d previously begun with the reader last week. Like they’re talking to their mom, who Knows All. They leave out some really basic bits. It makes the essay inscrutable.
An inscrutable essay is not user-friendly.
It’s not one that is easy to read.
It’s an essay that requires work. Mental effort. Study and concentration, and shuffling around between things.
If your essay forces the reader to pick up the resume in order to understand it, it’s not an essay. It’s a piece of a patchwork. By definition, it’s incomplete.
Don’t make your reader work to figure out what you’re talking about.
It’s exactly the same as reading a book, where the author has done you the disservice of using footnotes. Footnotes!! Gah! Don’t you just hate them? Or endnotes — even worse!!
Footnotes and endnotes are disruptive. The abort the flow. You have to interrupt your reading and go check something. It breaks you out of your happiness. It’s jarring. It’s not fun. If it happens too many times, you start to dislike the author, and eventually you put the book down.
Essays should be self-contained and complete.
Don’t force your reader to reference anything else in order to comprehend what you’re saying.
If it is worth including in the essay, include it.
Explain what you mean.
Help your reader to understand.
Don’t make your reader dislike you in the space of 500 words.