Use The Active Voice While Writing Your Admission Essay

An admission essay is the essay you write in order to convince a review board for a particular academic institution that you are an ideal candidate for acceptance. Your job with the admission essay is to showcase your skills while also demonstrating to the board that you are well worth the investment.

Every academic institution is run much like a company. The students that they accept into their institution are considered investments. They invest time (on behalf of the administration and teachers who give you lectures) as well as money in some cases (in the form of scholarships or grants from donors or the school board). These institutions want to know that their investment is a sound one. They want to know that you have the skills it takes to succeed and that you will learn from the time and money they invest in you.

So how can you do this with your admission essay?

Use the active voice.

When writing there is the active voice and the passive voice. In almost every case students are told to use the active voice and for good reason.

Active voice is typically used for non-scientific writing and your essay in this case would fall under that category. When you write in the active voice you are making the meaning of every sentence clearer to the reader. Your sentences are less complicated and shorter.

An example of a passive voice is:

Sentence 1: "The policy test was failed by over one half of the new employees"

The action in this sentence is performed upon the subject which makes it passive and indirect.

Sentence 2: "Over one half of the new employees failed the policy test"

The sentence subject in this sentence performs the action, which makes it active.

Another example is:

Sentence 1: "The emergency brake was slammed on by her as traffic picked up"

This is another example of the passive voice.

Sentence 2: "She slammed on the emergency break as traffic picked up"

This is another example of an active sentence because the subject performs the action rather than having the action performed upon the subject.

Active voice is more concise than passive voice because it you can write fewer words to express your action. When it takes fewer words to communicate your idea the reader can comprehend a great deal more. This is particularly useful for an essay of this variety because it can help you keep your word count down which is good when you have a limit.


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