More MBA Essay Writing Tips: Clear, Focused Detail

December 17, 2012


Students and applicants are always looking for MBA essay writing tips, and we’ve talked about it here on this blog before, too. It is so easy to get anxious about writing your essay. It is hard to know exactly what to write, and how to write. The most common issue is the one of overwriting.

A recent post over at the GMAT Club presents’s Fatal Flaw #3: Clichéd Writing. They offer some priceless MBA essay writing tips when they discuss the tendency for otherwise very intelligent and able applicants to hide their “lucid answers to essay questions behind meaningless verbiage and abused clichés.”

Here is one real-life example they provide:

“As a new company in a new space, we need to exceed client expectations, so first and foremost I drive client projects in the health-care and telecom verticals. But my job requires an internal focus as well, and I spend a ton of time both building and updating scalable systems, from knowledge management to invoicing and payroll.”

Then they go on to provide a much more clear and understandable possible translation:

“As a new company entering a new market, we need to impress our clients with outstanding performance. I personally manage projects for clients in the health-care and telecom industries. But in addition to serving our clients, I am striving to build our business by ensuring that all our systems from personnel to invoicing support our growth.”


Clean up “Zombie Copy”

Another post by Erin Kissane at A List Apart, “Attack of the Zombie Copy,” provides so much great writing advice that can be taken as MBA essay writing tips. The article is about general writing problems and is a great resource for anyone who would like to find a way to clean up his or her writing.

Read the whole post for full details, but read on here for Kissane’s three main pieces of advice that has served many of us as invaluable MBA essay writing tips:

1. “Kill the modifiers.” Getting rid of excessive adjectives is going to help clean up and clear up your writing.

2. “Determine what manner of monster you’re dealing with.” After those modifiers are gone, “you’ll be able to get a better idea of the real shape of what’s underneath. If you can paraphrase the revealed sentence in a simpler way, the paraphrase can guide you to a new, clearer version.”

3. “Hit ‘em in the head, right between the eyes.” – This is when the real writing and rewriting takes place. The first two steps have helped you find the “underlying form” of the sentence, and now you’ll be able to see just how “alive” it is and determine if it can be saved.

The rest of the article gives more details on how to trim down your writing to its main idea, and gives many other great MBA essay writing tips.


It is not an easy task, the business of writing, but the best MBA essay writing tips always point to the same thing: clearly and directly state your point. In your applications to business schools in Washington DC, don’t hide your smart ideas behind convoluted writing that doesn’t really say anything.


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