Anatomy of a Really Bad MBA Essay- Part II

In “Anatomy of a Really Bad M.B.A. Essay (Part One),” we discussed “Rambling” as a common characteristic of really bad M.B.A. essays. Now, we’ll discuss the following…

2. Big Words-erization – Imagine if we told you to “terminate the utilization of intemperate confabulations,” rather than just telling you to: “stop using unnecessary words!”

You’d be slightly agitated, rather than impressed, right? Well, too often, we see applicants litter their essays with all sorts of GMAT words that actually distract, rather than enhance, their essays. Folks, this is not the way to go.

How to Fix – Once you’ve fleshed out a decent, linear narrative, give your essay a once-over and just, please: trim the fat. Then, trim some more! In journalism, there’s a saying that goes, “kill your babies.” It sounds pretty awful, but it just means that all the “impressive gems” you think you have in your essay that do not fit with the smooth, clear, simple procession of your answer need to be deleted—immediately. Those gems may sound great on their own, but if they do not flow well with your narrative, save them for a different essay.

In Part III, we’ll discuss more really bad M.B.A. essays—and save you from them!

By Penn & Paper, the premier editing and admissions counseling service. MBA Podcaster listeners receive up to $100 off Penn & Paper MBA services (code: winning).

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