Do you consistently get good grades on your essays? If yes, then drop me a line – I’d like to congratulate you. If, on the other hand, you’re struggling, or your essay grades are not where you want them to be, then keep reading.
Would you like to achieve the following quickly and easily?
- Improve your grade instantly
- Come across as very literate to your professor
- Make an impression of a good writer
- Stop coming across as a complete beginner
- Come across as a mature and intelligent writer of expository essays
If you answered yes to one or more, then here is one little word that can either make these possible, or create an opposite effect, depending on how you use it. And the word is…
That’s right – “you.” Student essays are so infested with this word used inappropriately, that it is no wonder professors hate it. Here is an example:
The Internet is wonderful because you can find anything you want on it nowadays.
The word you is used twice here, and you may not see anything wrong with that. Professors do – they pay attention right away. You see, the problem with using the word you like this in order to make a general statement is that the writer addresses the reader directly.
And this is a bit impolite, if you will. As you read these blog posts, you may say, “But, Phil, you use ‘you’ all the time!”
That’s true. You know why? Because these articles are meant as an instruction manual, not as expository essays. A college level essay is a totally different animal.
Here’s the bottom line: professors will give you higher grades for sentences that don’t use the word you. Also, if you get rid of it when writing your sentences, they will become better and more elegant.
So, can we rewrite the above sentence without using the word you? Let’s try:
The Internet is wonderful because anything can be found on it nowadays.
The Internet is wonderful because it provides access to any information instantly.
You see, there is always more than one way of saying something. Let’s do one more:
You should always stick to the decisions you make.
Let’s try it without you:
Decisions should be followed through.
This is shorter and more elegant, if only I say so. I hope you agree.
Questions? Comments? Post ‘em here.