Can You Use Contractions in College Essays? How to Use?

Can You Use Contractions in College Essays? How to Use?

You can write a powerful, persuading essay by using appropriate word choice, grammar, and punctuation. Find out whether you can use contractions in college essays.

Students who are serious about attending college take their time when writing and narrating their personal essays. However, just as important as a well-planned essay is one that is well-written, as a few spelling, grammar, or writing-style errors can detract from an otherwise excellent personal statement.

Should you write each word in its entirety or use contractions in a college essay? As long as it makes sense, contractions are acceptable in college application essays. In this kind of essay, contractions work best because they help you make your writing sound more personal.

It is a good idea to speak with your professor about the requirements for writing an essay before you begin. If you read this blog, you can find out more about how to use contractions in college essays.

Can You Use Contractions in College Essays?

Contraction is not a part of the official academic language, so academics advise against using it at all costs. Even though that’s a rule that applies to academic writing most of the time, there are some circumstances where you might be able to use contractions.

To be clear, many types of essays, such as argumentative writing and the Theory of Knowledge Essay, require in-depth research, formulation of research questions, and formal writing. Contraction usage doesn’t apply in this situation and may still negatively impact your final grade.

Can You Use Contractions in College Essays? How to Use?

It’s a difference when it comes to creative writing, which is an aspect that we tend to see in person as well as in college application essays. It would be completely acceptable to use contractions in your college application essay because they frequently exhibit a high level of personalization.

How to Use Contractions in College Essays?

When students were young, their teachers instilled in them the habit of writing as they speak. As a result, it implies that writers use contractions to encourage verbal shorthand, which is audible in how people speak.

College essays are an exciting challenge that students must overcome. Because academic writing is formal, as we all know, there are restrictions on when you can use contractions or even whether certain colleges will allow them. The best way to boost confidence is to brush up on your skills and learn how to use contractions.

Ask your instructor about the writing requirements before you start writing your college essay.

As was mentioned earlier, no matter the assignment’s requirements, some professors will strictly adhere to the rules of formal English. As a result, you must adhere to the rule if you want to get good grades.

A contraction is a form of informal writing that you should avoid using in academic writing unless absolutely necessary. Such situations could be:

When Quoting

When you are directly quoting someone, contractions are acceptable. As an alternative, you can use them in the essays as you rephrase their words. When capturing a writer’s or speaker’s style of speaking, you use quotations.

Can You Use Contractions in College Essays? How to Use?

If you don’t use contractions, think about what will be lost. When removing the contractions, you must ensure that the meaning is retained. For example, you can quote a direct speech as follows, “Such work is not what we want to do.”

When Using the First Person

Utilizing contractions while writing in the first person is appropriate. Writing frank and open essays makes it come true.

They are narrative and descriptive essays that may also use comparison and contrast. In personal essays, contraction use is a reflection of one’s speaking style.

A person’s unique voice can be expressed in this way. It is inappropriate to use such words because of this. Therefore, unless you are writing a personal narrative or an individualized story, you might want to replace first-person language in academic writing.


When writing footnotes in a formal piece of writing, contractions are acceptable. It gives your writing a fashionable format.

Effects of Contractions on Essay Writing

Pace and Voice

Contraction is a literary device used to enhance voice and character. To help readers recognize the regional accents, you can use a contraction form. Additionally, when you convey your message in the essay, it enhances the personality traits and social status of the reader.

Narration Style

Contractions are essential for the author to be able to tell a story. It will allow the author to address the reader directly. Knowing that the writer was speaking to them creates a sense of belonging in the reader.

Conclusion: Use Contractions in College Essays

Contractions are informal language, so it’s best to avoid using them when writing essays for school or other formal writing. It’s strongly advised not to use them. If you are quoting directly from another author or other source, you may use contractions in college essays.

You shouldn’t overlook a crucial proviso when using contractions in a college essay. Keep in mind that while you have the option to use shorter words in the college essay, you shouldn’t overdo it.


Are Contractions Bad in Essays?

In formal writing, contractions are acceptable. They become crucial when conveying a message with ease in both style and tone. The audience will believe that you are speaking to them directly. Thus, the contraction lends the essay a friendly and personal appearance.

Should You Use Contractions in a Personal Essay?

Using contractions in personal essays is much more acceptable. Since you’ll be outlining a key takeaway from your life experience, you must use contractions. Such a report would give a first-person account of a significant event.

Can You Use Incomplete Sentences in a College Essay?

Writing a snippet is acceptable. Fragments can occasionally even have significant power. It’s okay to start a sentence with “but.” We know your English teacher likely told you in fifth grade that you should never start a sentence with “but.” But, on college essays, you sure can!

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