Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoid Repetition

Recently, a prospective business school candidate emailed mbaMission with the following question: “What is the most basic stylistic error that candidates make when writing their MBA application essays?” Our answer: unnecessary repetition. Although repeating a word within a single sentence or in consecutive sentences does not constitute a grammatical mistake, it can still be grating to a reader’s “ear.”

Consider this example:

During my time at XYZ Sales, I increased productivity by 31% and increased revenue by 21%. Meanwhile, I increased my client base by an industry-leading 81%, bringing increased prestige to my firm.”

Although this example—which uses the word “increased” four times in just two sentences—may seem like an exaggerated case, it is actually not as rare as you might think. However, the repetition can be easily eliminated and the sentences made increasingly reader friendly with just a few simple changes:

During my time at XYZ Sales, I increased productivity by 31% and revenue by 21%. Meanwhile, I grew my client base by an industry-leading 81%, enhancing my firm’s prestige.”

The key to eliminating repetition is to first become aware of the potential problem and then gain distance from your work. By stepping away from your essay drafts for a day or two and then going back to reread them, you will gain the objectivity necessary to catch—and correct—this easily avoidable mistake.

onTrack by mbaMission

A first-of-its-kind, on-demand MBA application experience that delivers a personalized curriculum for you and leverages interactive tools to guide you through the entire MBA application process.

Get Started!

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Cambridge Judge (Round 1)
  • HBS (Round 1)
  • INSEAD (August Intake)
  • Yale SOM (Round 1)
  • Berkeley Haas (Round 1)

Click here to see the complete deadlines

2024–2025 MBA Essay Tips

Click here for the 2023–2024 MBA Essay Tips

MBA Program Updates

Explore onTrack — mbaMission’s newest offering allowing you to learn at your own pace through video. Learn more