mbaMission

Blog

Monday Morning Essay Tips: Avoid Platitudes

Many business school candidates unwittingly start their essays with platitudes—obvious or trite remarks that are written as though they were original. To give an example, when responding to the Harvard Business School essay question “Tell us about a time when you made a difficult decision,” a candidate might mistakenly write the following:

“Managers constantly face difficult decisions. Still, everyone hates indecision.”

The writer does not “own” this idea and cannot lay claim to this statement. A simple alternative would be to insert his or her personal experience and viewpoint into the sentence:

“Yet again, I was in the boardroom with Steve, anticipating that he would change his mind on the mbaMission file.”

By discussing your personal and unique experiences, you take ownership of your story and engage your reader. Avoiding platitudes and generalities—and ensuring that you are sharing your experience, rather than one that could belong to anyone else—is a simple but often overlooked step in creating a compelling message.


October 15, 2012

Monday Morning Essay Tips


Leave a Reply

* indicates required fields

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Upcoming Events


Upcoming Deadlines

  • Sep 7, 2016 HBS (Round 1)
  • Sep 13, 2016 Duke Fuqua (Early Decision)
  • Sep 14, 2016 Yale SOM (Round 1)
  • Sep 15, 2016 MIT Sloan (Round 1)
  • Sep 21, 2016 Stanford (Round 1)
  • Sep 21, 2016 Kellogg (Round 1)
  • Sep 21, 2016 INSEAD (Round 1)

Click here to see the complete deadlines


2016–2017 MBA Essay Analysis

Click here for the 2015–2016 MBA Essay Analysis


Admissions Officer Interviews


MBA Career News


Blog Topics


MBA Program Updates


Subscribe to Our RSS Feed