Friday, March 4, 2011

Strunk & White R Us

It's a dirty little secret that my former roommates are all too familiar with: I have a bit of a book hoarding tendency. Even in the age of the Kindle, the Nook, and a hundred other e-readers, there's something specifically appealing to me about the experience of pulling a fresh book off the shelf, cracking open the spine and smelling the pages. So, it should come as no surprise that I have amassed quite the collection of GMAT and MBA-related reading materials in the past year or so. Unfortunately, buying is much easier than actually reading, so it's about time that I finally put all these books to good use.

With that in mind, I finally took Paul Bodine's Great Applications for Business School (2nd edition) off my bookshelf last week and started to read my way through. I'm still on the second chapter, but I have some early impressions. Although the majority of the first two chapters provide the sort of standard advice that I've encountered before, there is one area where the book deviates quite significantly: Instead of advocating that applicants work on creating a "brand ME" message and pull together a cohesive story representing the components of that brand, Bodine emphasizes the need for authenticity above all else in the admissions process.

My other big impression from the first two chapters is the large number of grammatical errors. Although being a stickler for grammar isn't my favorite role, in this case I'll play it. It strikes me as highly ironic that a book dedicated to teaching applicants how to write good essays would itself be so riddled with writing errors, especially given that this is a second edition and therefore the writer and his editors had multiple chances to get it right.

I'll hold off on final judgment until I've finished the remaining chapters, but I have to say that the grammar issue has at least slightly deflated Bodine's credibility for me.

1 comment:

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