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List of Good/Big Essay Words

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ch0sen1, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. ch0sen1

    ch0sen1 2+ Year Member

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    I have always been mediocre in essay writing - never excellent.

    Some students would brag that they would write some bullshi* essay but get fantastic scores (MCAT,SAT,etc..) just by using long and complicated wording to make it look smart/professional.

    I am just interested in knowing what these words are, and if there is a list anywhere? I need to increase my vocabulary to use such words in essays rather than stick to plain wording...maybe they are right.
     
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  3. nick_carraway

    nick_carraway 10+ Year Member

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    A thesaurus can jog your memory on less common, but more effective words.
     
  4. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy 7+ Year Member

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    Dagobah System
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    Be careful, in this instance it is actually true that bigger doesn't allways equal better.
     
  5. thegetupkid

    thegetupkid 2+ Year Member

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    The correct word will make your essay "look smart/professional."
     
  6. chemnerd89

    chemnerd89 In it for the lulz 5+ Year Member

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    concomitant, quixotic
     
  7. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet 10+ Year Member

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    beneficence, malfeasance, verisimilitude
     
  8. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    This. You can do reasonably well on the MCAT writing with an extremely pedestrian vocabulary as long as you actually do everything they ask you to do- and you only really need an average score like a Q or even a little worse, since adcoms really don't care very much about the writing sample.

    For your personal statement and secondary essays, you REALLY want to be concise- you don't have nearly enough space to right everything you want to, so saying what you want to in the most direct manner is a must. Furthermore, you don't want to put an adcom to have to struggle to figure out what you're saying- using simple but effective words will get your point across a lot more clearly than clouding your words in flowery garbage. You might be able to BS your way to getting a decent score on the SAT, but not with an adcom.
     
  9. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers! 7+ Year Member

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  10. suizyme09

    suizyme09 I haz a flavor 2+ Year Member

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    my go-to fancy word is ameliorate....be sure to send me a check for royalties related to this advice :p
     
  11. majahops

    majahops YOU are great. 10+ Year Member

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    The best writers use as few and as small of words as possible.
     
  12. airplanes

    airplanes Negative, Ghostrider, the pattern is full. 7+ Year Member

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    The Danger Zone
    It's not about using fancy pants vocabulary, it's about making your writing crisp, clear and concise. No one will be impressed with you forcing eight syllable words into an essay.
     
  13. unsung

    unsung 7+ Year Member

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    Here's a few gems:

    schadenfreude, Mesnicked, zaftig, phat, pwned, jejune, ethos, diaspora, callow, subtext...

    You can also troll urbandictionary.com for more gems. ;)
     
  14. fizzle

    fizzle New Member 10+ Year Member

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    The best writers I've met are around 10 years old. Their grammar is atrocious, but they certainly do get their point across succintly. I despise wordiness.

    I just realized I used several of those "big" words, but I swear, it was completely unintentional! :D
     
  15. majahops

    majahops YOU are great. 10+ Year Member

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    I despise wordiness too! My approach has always been to write the way I speak... This always works, unless you are an oral babbler...

     
  16. Myuu

    Myuu 例えば、貴方の名前を忘れてしまうとか。 。。 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    $10 to the person who turns in and successfully matriculates with a stream of consciousness personal statement!
     
  17. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet 10+ Year Member

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    You should also figure out how to incorporate je ne sais quoi into your essay.
     
  18. majahops

    majahops YOU are great. 10+ Year Member

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    Haha you're awesome!
     
  19. Myuu

    Myuu 例えば、貴方の名前を忘れてしまうとか。 。。 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    I would, but it's just lacking that je ne sais quoi. And as to what I might write, je ne sais pas!
     
  20. futIDdoc

    futIDdoc Fighter of the Nightman 2+ Year Member

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    http://www.george-orwell.org/Politics_and_the_English_Language/0.html

    a must read for any essay writer. The master orwell on the english language

    his hard and fast rules for anyone not willing to read the whole essay "i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are
    used to seeing in print.

    (ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

    (iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

    (iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

    (v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you
    can think of an everyday English equivalent.

    (vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.
    "
     
  21. Myuu

    Myuu 例えば、貴方の名前を忘れてしまうとか。 。。 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    I'm not joking, either!:laugh:

    Of course I would demand proof by way of the AMCAS application, which would show me the applicant's name, current address, email address, and social security number (heavens, no!), but that would be merely a show of faith!:laugh:
     
  22. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet 10+ Year Member

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    "I thought my life was zaftig, but after some perspicacious contemplation, I felt it was lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. It had no verisimilitude and all I had was schadenfraude. This was of course, before I thought about going into medicine."

    pure win.
     
  23. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Physician
  24. starfishprime

    starfishprime 5+ Year Member

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    Keep It Pithy Stupid.
     
  25. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers! 7+ Year Member

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    Lol, I was waiting for someone to get the joke :p
     
  26. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet 10+ Year Member

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    I think it's possible, maybe if the writer was describing being at rock bottom and wanting to defenestrate his/herself?
     
  27. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member 7+ Year Member

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    South
    Strategery
     
  28. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Physician
    Misunderestimate
     
  29. ch0sen1

    ch0sen1 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah, I knew I would get a lot of "be clear and concise - despite wording" from a lot of you.

    However, many novels and articles contain words that almost every single one of us need to look up to understand what it means. Having good vocabulary is a definite plus, that is why I am asking for good essay words that are frequently used - if any of you know of some.
     
  30. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    You're not writing a novel or an article, you're writing an essay on an application. Furthermore, you're writing an essay that has a character limit. Therefore, he who is concise get's to tell more story to the adcom.
     
  31. AtheGre

    AtheGre YES 5+ Year Member

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    :thumbup: This book is your answer. AtG-recommended.


    AtG
     
  32. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Obscure words are extremely overrated and completely unnecessary. The MCAT is not testing your vocabulary. Of course, it is good to demonstrate varied word usage, but you can easily meet that criteria with more common, simpler, and easier to understand words. The MCAT is testing how well you can explain your point so that it is clear, concise and well-developed. Mastering those tasks has infinitely more to do with correct and varied syntactical usage rather than employing big, obscure words.

    You absolutely do not need big words for the MCAT. What you do need is clear writing.

    Realistically, anything that shows up in MS Word's "Shift+F7" function would be okay, but I would not use uncommon or obscure words just because they are large. It will make your essay seem forced and disjointed.
     
  33. Upgrayedd

    Upgrayedd It's Dutch 7+ Year Member

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    Translational
     
  34. vin5cent0

    vin5cent0 7+ Year Member

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    Worst advice I've ever seen. I know very few "fancy", relatively unknown words and I've always been an A writer. It's about getting your point across as efficiently as possible.

    I have a friend of mine who isn't as academic as he'd like to be, so what does he do? He memorizes all the words from his word of the day and uses them in everyday speech. If you don't know a word like "acquiescent", he will berate you for it. The thing is, you can clearly see his writing isn't up to par and that he's just throwing in big words to make it look better. Personally, it looks ridiculous to me and I'm sure anyone else reading it would agree.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  35. funkymunkytoes

    funkymunkytoes 2+ Year Member

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    "Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college."
    -Kurt Vonnegut
     
  36. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Awww :( But I loves me some semicolons...

    But yeah, I agree it makes my writing look awful sometimes.
     
  37. airplanes

    airplanes Negative, Ghostrider, the pattern is full. 7+ Year Member

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    Meh, semicolons are okay every once in awhile when I'm feeling lazy and not up to snuff with sentence fluency. Sometimes the opportunity just presents itself and I take it.
     
  38. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy 2+ Year Member

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    gonnaherpasyphillitis use as

    "Yo, that girl was banging hot, but she has the gonnaherpasyphilitis so I decided to send her to the doctor and then make sweet love to her, and that is why I want to be a doctor..to cure people of there nastiness."
     
  39. ICmyFuture

    ICmyFuture 7+ Year Member

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    Supercalafragilisticispaidocious! take that mary poppins!
    *attempts to do the weasel*
     
  40. umean2tellme

    umean2tellme 7+ Year Member

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    Umean2tellme?
     
  41. nick_carraway

    nick_carraway 10+ Year Member

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    I'm surprised that all the critical comments that are bringing up authors have failed to mention Hemingway, who is recognized as having the most concise writing. If you're going to copy someone, copy the best.
     
  42. student1799

    student1799 "Señora” to you, hombre 5+ Year Member

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    I'm going to disagree with all of the above--slightly. I agree wholeheartedly that for your PS and secondary essays, you should strive to write clearly and concisely, avoiding superflous verbiage and pompous flourishes. But for the MCAT essay section, it's the exact opposite: pile on the BS and you'll get a higher score. I kid you not.

    I know whereof I speak, because I ended up taking the MCAT three times (had trouble with the PS section). On two of the MCATs, I used a trick I had developed while practicing: I pretended to be an excitable and somewhat pompous op-ed writer in the newspaper. This removed my inhibitions about taking a strong stand on the essay prompt (which is good for finding a rebuttal in the second paragraph), and throwing around rhetorical flourishes like "heretofore," "notwithstanding," "inasmuch," etc. I got grades of S both times. The third time, however, I was tired from so much PS studying, and I used much simpler, straightforward language in the essays. I got an R.
     
  43. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Meh. While that may be true, I honestly feel that any effort put into getting a score above Q on the writing sample is wasted; I have never heard anything to refute the belief that med schools don't care about the writing score.
     
  44. ZeusonRoids

    ZeusonRoids Banned 2+ Year Member

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    Umm...this is EXACTLY why pre-meds have the reputation they do. Whatever gets you in right?
     
  45. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

    wtf, wth, stfu, gtfo,
     
  46. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

    Using the word defenestrate..

    ....I defenestrated a pencil today. It stuck on a kid's head. It bleed. Oh my god ! I want to become a doctor to save the kid....

    Admission essay from Harvard University, Class of 2903.
     
  47. mrdrdrjp

    mrdrdrjp Ph.D in Bastardology 2+ Year Member

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    I feel like when writing your MCAT essay you should make it sound as intelligent as possible, while still meeting all criteria and not missusing a word trying to sound smart lol. For a personal statement I would think one would need to write close to the way you speak because they will compare how you speak to your PS during your interview. May be a good or bad thing lol.
     
  48. airplanes

    airplanes Negative, Ghostrider, the pattern is full. 7+ Year Member

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    The Danger Zone
    was that an attempt at humor? :confused:
     
  49. thegetupkid

    thegetupkid 2+ Year Member

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    Irregardless
     
  50. radxbandit

    radxbandit 2+ Year Member

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    sorry to go ff topic. but did you hear about the reunion show? and i heard they're planning a tour...
     
  51. jaydar

    jaydar MS2 7+ Year Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011

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