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Can a college essay be too long

November 17, 2009 by jie Here at EssayEdge, one of the most common requests we receive from customers is to help them shorten an essay so that it meets a set word, character, or page limit.

  • Hard work and effort, teamwork and cooperation, dreams and aspirations, personal growth and development, determination and diligence, challenges and difficulties, objectives and goals, worries and concerns, love and caring, excited and eager Focus;
  • In other words, shorter essays generally require shorter paragraphs, while longer essays often require longer paragraphs that contain more information about a particular main point;
  • Remember that the essay does not need to capture everything about you;
  • Advanced vocabulary is fine if it comes naturally to the writer, but not when used incorrectly or in an inappropriate context;
  • Thus, stay focused on the prompt at hand.

This highlights one of the many challenges posed by admissions essays. Such pieces not only ask you to provide compelling personal information that advances your candidacy, but also often require you do so within 500 words, 5,300 characters, or one single-spaced page.

Despite these limits, students frequently submit essays in excess of the length specified by a particular prompt. They do this for many reasons: Even a compelling, original essay has failed that challenge if it takes 800 words when responding to a prompt that asks for no more than 500. Moreover, when reviewing two well written essays, an admissions officer will likely be more impressed by the one that adhered to the length limit than the one that exceeded it.

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Bear in mind that an application essay is not a regular writing assignment. It is a test designed to assess many different things, including your ability to follow directions and respect guidelines. Either way, your chances will not be improved by this initial impression, even if your essay is beautifully written.

Because personal essays are almost always limited to a certain number of words, it is vital that you use the allotted space wisely.

  • Thus, stay focused on the prompt at hand;
  • Though it may seem to you like everything in your essay is vital to its overall success, a third party will be able to provide a more objective opinion as to what is important and what is less so;
  • They do this for many reasons;
  • Online Writing Lab Paragraph Length When it comes to length, there is no definitive rule to follow when writing a paragraph for an essay.

To do so, make your points in the most concise fashion possible. You may be surprised at how many words you can trim simply by reading your essay with an eye toward avoiding wordiness.

HOW LONG IS TOO LONG?

Take a look at this convoluted example: Bound to a sacred covenant of marriage, Ethan understands what will happen to him if he is disloyal to his wife. Any violation of this code of ethics means disaster, as witnessed in the finale of Ethan Frome. Though both excerpts say essentially the same thing, the second does so in substantially fewer words.

Remember, when space is at a premium, make your points as clear and concise as possible. Students often fall into the trap of thinking that big words make good essays. Advanced vocabulary is fine if it comes naturally to the writer, but not when used incorrectly or in an inappropriate context. Focus on telling a clear, vivid story rather than using big words and complex constructions.

Some words commonly used in application essays contribute nothing to the narrative. These extra words rob prose of energy by making language convoluted and just plain fluffy.

Paragraph Length

The following words and phrases can almost always be cut from an essay. A few examples are provided below. In each pair, the two words mean nearly the same thing — so why write both?

  • Advanced vocabulary is fine if it comes naturally to the writer, but not when used incorrectly or in an inappropriate context;
  • Any violation of this code of ethics means disaster, as witnessed in the finale of Ethan Frome;
  • If your message was well-said in 250 words but the maximum was 300, so you added 50 words of fluff, those 50 words are diluting the strength of your message;
  • More on topic sentences When should a new paragraph be created?
  • Bear in mind that an application essay is not a regular writing assignment;
  • Remember, when space is at a premium, make your points as clear and concise as possible.

Such redundancies reveal a lack of thought on the part of the writer. Hard work and effort, teamwork and cooperation, dreams and aspirations, personal growth and development, determination and diligence, challenges and difficulties, objectives and goals, worries and concerns, love and caring, excited and eager Focus. Remember that the essay does not need to capture everything about you. The essay is meant to be a snapshot of one aspect your life, not a documentary film that covers everything.

Thus, stay focused on the prompt at hand.

Admissions 101: What an Essay Word Limit Really Means

Take time to determine what specifically the essay is asking for and then craft a response that clearly responds to that main question. If your essay is still too long even after trying these, see if a friend, professor, or EssayEdge editor can help you pinpoint areas that can be condensed or even removed. Though it may seem to you like everything in your essay is vital to its overall success, a third party will be able to provide a more objective opinion as to what is important and what is less so.