How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 8

mba essay
(This is Part 8 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 admissions essay tips!)

Step 8: Scrub Out Your Indexing
Indexing is when an author uses substitute words to stand in for a thought previously expressed. Rather than restate the concept or, better yet, elaborate on the premise, the author swaps in an index word as a placeholder. Consider the following sentence:

The candidate applied to Harvard Business School. He hoped to learn a great deal about management by doing this.


“This” is an index word that stands in for the previously stated action of applying to Harvard Business School. Index words do not read well and can indicate either lazy writing or a last minute attempt to shave words to fit under the word limit. A better way of framing the second example sentence would be something along the lines of:

He hoped to learn a great deal about management at one of America’s finest institutions.

Index words are often indicated by this, that and these, and come at the beginning or end of a sentence.

Stay tuned for Step 9, in which we’ll give you some strategies for managing word limits in your essays! 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!

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