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Word limit is making me cut into important details.

EPICBOYXPEPICBOYXP 28 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I struggled a lot with my transfer essay because of the word limit. I'm trying to start with a personal narrative to explain my high school situation but I just can't seem to get my point across in the word limit. An editor told me that I need to include more details and be more specific but I can't seem to fit it all in. Any tips?
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Replies to: Word limit is making me cut into important details.

  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This reminds me of the famous line by Blaise Pascal: "I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter."
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  • jym626jym626 55564 replies2896 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited January 20
    Find a new editor. Unfortunately you have to stay in the word limit— like everyone else. How far over the word limit are you?
    edited January 20
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  • EPICBOYXPEPICBOYXP 28 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    If i had about 80 more words i think i could fit it all in
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3451 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited January 20
    @EPICBOYXP Print it out and edit with a pen or pencil. It can be more efficient to edit the old fashioned way than on screen. You could also try reading it out loud to figure out what could be cut.

    Also if you are applying to transfer, you probably want to emphasize how you've succeeded at the college level more than try to explain what happened in HS.
    edited January 20
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8940 replies334 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your list of transfer choices seems pretty selective. I don't know how difficult it is for international students to transfer, but I think transferring to an Ivy as a 1st semester freshman will be a challenge. What is it about your high school situation that you're trying to explain? Maybe you don't need all the details.
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  • PublisherPublisher 8078 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you PM your essay to me, I will make some suggestions.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39277 replies7019 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    An editor told me that I need to include more details and be more specific
    Then you need a new editor.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9243 replies497 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You’re transferring from one college to another, right? Personally, they are probabalynot terribly interested in your high school situation. You’re in college now. Choose a different topic. And your editor is wrong.
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  • jym626jym626 55564 replies2896 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited January 21
    @skieurope- see post # 2 (first sentence).
    edited January 21
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  • jym626jym626 55564 replies2896 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @EPICBOYXP - So you need to eliminate 80 or so words. Make every word count. Start by getting rid of fluff words— adjective and adverbs that add nothing to your story. An I agree with those who say focus on what you have done since HS, not in HS, unless something was so incredible it will wow the reader. Even then, mention it as it relates to how you made a difference since that time.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34195 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited January 21
    Your essay needs to be relevant. You aren't writing a bio. I doubt this "editor" knows what the colleges want to see.

    And, if you think you're Ivy transfer quality, you shouldn't need a forum stranger to tell you what's needed or help you rewrite.
    edited January 21
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5526 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You should think of this from the point of view of the admissions officer. They are seeing a huge number of applications, and they need to quickly understand what is relevant in each. Re-read your essays asking yourself the question: Do they really need all of this detail? For every sentence, for every phrase, for every adjective, do they really need to know this?
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1402 replies7 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited January 21
    Agree that writing about/making excuses about high school is unlikely going to result in a successful essay. I will be kinder on your current editor in agreeing that in a word limit situation that you should be more specific in the topics you cover (in facts, whys and hows, not in fluff words), but you need to be more limited in the topics you cover. Don't write about 6 things when 3 are clearly more important.
    edited January 21
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  • PublisherPublisher 8078 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In one of OP's earlier threads, the editing service is mentioned. Any professional editing service should be able to help refine one's essay. OP: Are you still using the same editor/editing service ?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34195 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Lol, so much for editing services, eh?
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  • RayMantaRayManta 179 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Often, changing word order can reduce word count.
    As others have recommended, focus on unnecessary words. They may be words you don't often consider unnecessary; at times, for instance, the words "the" and "that" are superfluous.
    My favorite writing coach is Roy Peter Clark, formerly of the Poynter Institute. He has authored a number of fantastic guides, one of which is titled "How to Write Short." It's not terribly long, and is split into short "lessons." I highly recommend it, and will predict that one read-through will give you the tools to get your word count below the required threshold. Good luck!
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  • readthetealeavesreadthetealeaves 759 replies14 threadsRegistered User Member
    Chop, chop, chop. Make every single word count. If you do you will further explain your topic without filler words. You must stay within the word requirements as sometimes they truncate it , sometimes you get away with it and sometimes they out and out reject the essay. You will not know, so if the school is important stay within the limitations. Get someone to edit it with the intent to cut. It will sound even better the more you do it
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  • jym626jym626 55564 replies2896 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If your “editing service” isn’t very familiar with college essays, drop them like a hot potato. They are doing you a disservice.
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