Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Humor with Discretion

Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Humor with Discretion - mbaMissionAlthough we often offer a “how to” and a “how not to” example as part of our Monday Morning Essay Tips, we cannot present a simple illustration of our advice this week. This is because our focus this time is on humor, which is nuanced and can be deemed appropriate only with a full understanding of the context in which it is presented. Therefore, we offer merely a strong suggestion: be very careful when using humor in your essays. The line between being funny and coming across as immature, inappropriate, or even careless is a very fine one.

In our view, the writers who use humor best are those who possess the skill to appear clever or witty and are not striving to portray themselves as stand-up comics. Your essays are not the proper venue in which to showcase your latest routine, though a mildly self-deprecating anecdote with humorous undertones could help reveal your personality if well executed. Keep in mind that humor itself is not the goal of your essay but part of your broader story and message. If you have a strong voice and can use humor with subtlety, then proceed—but even then, do so with caution and ensure that you get an honest, solid critique before you submit your final draft.

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