How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 6

mba essay
(This is part of series on the Veritas Prep Blog, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

Step 6: Get Passive-Aggressive
This step is relatively short, but it may be the most important one of all. Scour your writing for any passive voice and immediately change it to the active voice. Writing in a passive voice is not effective in persuasive writing, so you should take the opportunity to rid yourself of the habit now.

How can you ensure that you have stripped out your passivity? For starters, look for the following verbs: is, where, was, could have, and would have. This will clue you into instances in which the object of the sentence is “doing” the verb, which creates the passive voice. Once you’ve identified these sentences, alter the verbiage such that that the subject of the sentence is the one “doing” the verb in question.

Note the following:

Passive: The personal statement was drafted by the applicant.

Active: The applicant drafted the personal statement.

Note the subject and object of the sentence. Again, the subject must be the one performing the verb in question (“draft,” in the example sentence). It is more difficult in English than in other languages to dissect subjects and objects because the words remain the same whether they are subjective or objective (exceptions include who/whom and I/me), but this is the occasion to spend more time getting assistance and getting it right.

Stay tuned for Step 7, in which we’ll teach you the importance of linking everything together! In the meantime, if you need help with your MBA admissions essays or personal statements immediately, give us a call at 800-925-7737 and talk to one of our admissions experts. And, as always, be sure to follow us on Twitter!