From Gerald R. Lucas
📝 English Composition Writing FAQ 11011102📖

Don’t Exaggerate too Much

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to emphasize a point or create a vivid or dramatic effect. It is a rhetorical device in which statements are exaggerated to emphasize the significance or importance of something. Hyperbole is often used in literature, poetry, and everyday speech to add emphasis or create humor.

Here are a few examples of how hyperbole could be used in college essays:

  • To emphasize the severity of an issue: “Climate change is the biggest threat facing our planet, with rising sea levels poised to swallow whole cities and extreme weather events that will make Hurricane Katrina look like a light drizzle.”
  • To make a point about a person or group: “The wealthy elite are living in a bubble, driving around in their fancy cars while the rest of us struggle to put food on the table.”
  • To create a sense of drama or urgency: “The fate of the world hangs in the balance, and we have just a few short years to take action before it's too late.”

Use hyperbole judiciously, as too much of it can come across as insincere or over-the-top. But when used effectively, it can add a powerful punch to an essay and help make a point more memorable.

While hyperbole can be effective in some forms of writing, such as creative writing or persuasive speeches, it should generally be avoided in college essays, which are typically expected to be more factual and objective. The use of hyperbole can undermine the credibility of the writer and make it difficult for readers to take the essay seriously. Instead, it is better to use concrete evidence and logical arguments to support one’s claims in a college essay.


Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 11-1-2023; Version: Beta 0.7 💬