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Is a 650-word essay too long for college applications?

I've been working on my personal statement and I noticed that it is 650 words long. Is that too lengthy for a college application essay? If so, how should I cut it down to meet the word count requirement while still conveying my intended message?

7 months ago

A 650-word essay is actually the exact maximum word limit on the Common Application personal statement. So, you're right at the upper limit, which is fine. Colleges understand that you're trying to convey an important message about yourself within this length constraint.

However, it's crucial to ensure that every word in your essay adds value to the overall story and your message. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your 650 words:

1. Be concise: Look for any instances of redundancy or overused adjectives, and remove them. Also, pay attention to wordiness and try to rephrase sentences where possible to make them more efficient and clear.

2. Focus on the most important parts: Make sure that the main message, or the most unique and memorable aspects of your essay, stand out. If you find any sections that deviate from your main point or seem disconnected from the rest of the essay, consider revising or removing them.

3. Strengthen your storytelling: Sometimes, we add extraneous details or dialogue that may not be crucial to our narrative. Analyze each part of your essay to ensure that every component contributes to your overall story and message.

4. Eliminate weak and cliché phrases: It's easy to fall into the trap of using clichés and overused phrases – stay away from these as much as possible, and use your own unique voice instead.

5. Ask for feedback: Share your essay with a trusted friend, teacher, or counselor, and ask for their opinions on which parts they think can be revised or removed. They may identify unnecessary words or sections that you overlooked.

Remember, fitting your essay within the word limit is important, but the content and quality of your personal statement are what will ultimately make a lasting impact on the college admissions officers. So focus on making your essay compelling, engaging, and true to your voice. Good luck!

7 months ago

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