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# Too short essay ?

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Intern
Joined: 06 Jul 2011
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GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
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22 Sep 2012, 06:23
I need to write an application essay of max 600 words. After writing it, several persons told me to remove a passage that was playing against my best interests. Now, the essay is about 450 words long. I am wondering how the adcom will interpret the fact that I submit an essay with 25% less words than the maximum limit.
I am happy with the current form of the essay and have no problem with submitting it with 450 words but I don't want the adcom to feel like I am not interested by the school (it's actually my top choice and the only school to which I apply) and do not use all the means available to defend my case.
Can I leave it with 450 words or do I have to add something to get closer to 600 words ?
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Re: Too short essay ? [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2012, 11:26
deschoup wrote:
I need to write an application essay of max 600 words. After writing it, several persons told me to remove a passage that was playing against my best interests. Now, the essay is about 450 words long. I am wondering how the adcom will interpret the fact that I submit an essay with 25% less words than the maximum limit.
I am happy with the current form of the essay and have no problem with submitting it with 450 words but I don't want the adcom to feel like I am not interested by the school (it's actually my top choice and the only school to which I apply) and do not use all the means available to defend my case.
Can I leave it with 450 words or do I have to add something to get closer to 600 words ?

It's hard to say without reading the essay. One thing that I can say is that the school will definitely notice. Visually, they know that 600 words is about a page to a page and a half.

If your essay in its current form is visual, impactful and drives its point home, then you'll probably be rewarded for getting to the point. Adcom committee members read 1000s of essays each year. But if you could add more details (and not empty statements) that make the reader feel like he/she is there with you in your story, then I would go for it. 150 words is a fair amount--about 2 paragraphs.

Last edited by Ward2012 on 05 Oct 2012, 19:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Too short essay ? [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2012, 17:30
If it's the "why our program" essay, you MUST make it longer. They will see it as a sign that you don't care about their program. Now if it's describe a horrible failure that ruined the world, they might feel like you didn't learn enough from it.

There's a difference beteween being concise and being shallow in your writing. Make sure it's the first. They want clear, articulate, and reflective writing, not banal and surface-level.
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Re: Too short essay ? [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2012, 17:37
There is no rule that says that says you have to use every word allowed. In fact, the essays that I remember best while on admissions at Wharton were those that were direct and to the point and did not use every single word. I was always amazed with the talent of those who could answer the question effectively with say 250 words when almost everybody else needed 500 words. The worst essays are those that totally disobey the word limit and go on (seemingly) forever.

if you think that your essay is complete and that you answered the question effectively, then have confidence that your essay will sell well.

Kimberly Plaga
Manhattan Review
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Re: Too short essay ?   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2012, 17:37
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# Too short essay ?

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