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Essay Word Limit

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Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 15:29
How flexible are admissions departments with the word count limits?

I'm not proposing submitting papers for each essay, but would they completely ignore you if you wrote say 500 words on a 400 word limit essay if the 100 extra words were necessary to fully illustrate your point?
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Re: Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 15:56
stupandaus wrote:
How flexible are admissions departments with the word count limits?

I'm not proposing submitting papers for each essay, but would they completely ignore you if you wrote say 500 words on a 400 word limit essay if the 100 extra words were necessary to fully illustrate your point?


They won't ignore you but it lets them know that following directions isn't that high on your priority list. I've heard a rule of thumb is no more than roughly 10%
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Re: Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 16:05
yeah, don't go overboard. i know we're all hemmingways in training, but the directions are there for a reason. just trim up the fat and try and get the essay under the word limit.
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Re: Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 16:30
Thanks for your input. Are all the essays read by the same people? Is it feasible to refer to other essays?
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Re: Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2010, 20:44
Well, every essay have word limit. Keeping an essay under a word limit can sometimes be just as difficult as making a word limit. Many people have trouble writing enough, but others use more words than they need, especially when they write quickly, focusing on putting their ideas into words

Last edited by devonsan21 on 30 Jul 2010, 21:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2010, 21:44
essays will be read by a couple, if not three or four people, mainly consist of the admission committee. Word limit is always a hot topic - some school "suggest" a certain number of words (such as Columbia) and some says "x00 words maximum" (such as Ross, I believe). Obviously, the one that says "maximum", it'll probably be better off for you to not mess with that. But the suggested word is just a rule of thumb. You probably don't want to go overboard by 100 words; even 10% is kind of pushing it. I don't think anyone's going to deter you from writing more (or less), but once you pass the recommended number, you'll be playing with fire.
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Re: Essay Word Limit [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2010, 22:03
1. For an example of who and how many people read essays, you can check out the "Info" section of the Booth 2011 roll call for details on who reads the apps at Booth.

2. Regarding going over word limits.. think about it. They provide the word limits for a reason. There's a reason why School X gives you 300 words to discuss your goals and School Y gives you 500 words. I would try not to stray more than 10-20 words beyond limit. Last thing you want is to get a ding coz you come off as not being able to follow simple rules.

For best results, I suggest asking this question directly to ad coms during an admissions event, and let us know the response! We can all speculate and guess but in the end what they think is all that matters.
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Re: Essay Word Limit   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2010, 22:03
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