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College Essay Abstractions

In all kinds of writing, it's usually better to be specific and concrete than to use abstractions. Here's a list of some abstractions commonly found in admissions essays. If you find one of these words in yours, think about how you can express your message in less general terms.

challenges
discipline
positive (or negative) outlook
freedom
talents
skills
maturity
development
personality
struggle
patience
happy
self-esteem
performance
spirit
truth
persistence
valuable lesson
accomplishment
tenacity
motivation
knowledge
community
education
a difference
my place
the world
life
obstacles
opportunity
determination
success
my goals
passion
people
dreams
reality
hard work
responsibility
diversity
perseverance
experience
identity

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