Using contractions

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
HopefulFish
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:27 pm

Using contractions

Postby HopefulFish » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:00 pm

Recommended? I'm as opposed to I am - Don't as opposed to Do Not.

It will save valuable real estate, but would it be unwise to use contractions in a personal statement?

Steppinchoi
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:09 am

Re: Using contractions

Postby Steppinchoi » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:01 pm

Nope, don't do it unless you're quoting someone

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StillHerexxx
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:58 pm

Re: Using contractions

Postby StillHerexxx » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:17 pm

Is that a law school preference not to use them? Because in contemporary grammar, they are acceptable. The only thing I guess that could be worrisome is that a 90 year old that still believes they are not acceptable would look down upon them. Even in traditional grammar they are used.

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bk1
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Using contractions

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:19 pm

HopefulFish wrote:Recommended? I'm as opposed to I am - Don't as opposed to Do Not.

It will save valuable real estate, but would it be unwise to use contractions in a personal statement?


It's not going to be saving you that much space.

And the only time I would ever do it in a PS is in the rare instances it helps flow. It is entirely unnecessary to use contractions so I don't see a reason to risk the possibility an adcomm sees it as sloppy/immature writing.

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philosoraptor
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:49 am

Re: Using contractions

Postby philosoraptor » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:35 pm

If you have to ask this question, you lack the writing skill and self-confidence to pull it off. Best stick to what you learned in grade school.

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overyourhead
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Using contractions

Postby overyourhead » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing myself.

I was taught to refrain from ever using contractions in research papers, essays, etc. After I wrote my PS, I started examining word by word, eliminating each contraction until I encountered a few instances where writing out the two words seemed too formal or stuffy-- as if it took away from the "personality" of my narrative.

I think it's best to err on the side of caution and remove them. If there happens to be one instance where breaking down the contraction makes your wording awkward (which happens to be the case for my PS), then fine, keep it, assuming you can't rephrase the sentence. Adcoms aren't going to nitpick and hold a single contraction against you. Even still, I wouldn't push it.

As someone else mentioned, you're really not saving much space by using contractions. After all, doesn't the apostrophe represent the omission of a single character? I can't imagine saving more than 1-1.5 lines.

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capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: Using contractions

Postby capitalacq » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:28 pm

I doubt it matters, but I wouldn't take the risk of having anything they'd see as a negative, so don't do it

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Cupidity
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Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: Using contractions

Postby Cupidity » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:31 pm

Echoing above. Generally avoid them, if you are using them in the context of a quotation, or a paragraph with deliberately informal tone, use them.




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