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Additional Essay Length

khitteekhittee Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
edited November 2011 in Harvard University
How long can the additional essay be?

I want to write everything about me, rather than merely including an anecdote. It really is difficult to unclude my whole story.

So can it be 2000/3000 words?

p.s. it is not that boring to read, even for adcoms.
Post edited by khittee on

Replies to: Additional Essay Length

  • power4goodpower4good Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    No. You're trying to gain an advantage over others.
  • 314159265314159265 Registered User Posts: 4,276 Senior Member
    How long can the additional essay be?

    As long as you want it to be.
  • exultationsyexultationsy Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    3000? Are you serious? I am on this forum taking a break from writing my 3000 word final essay due Tuesday, and, um...I would go crazy if I had to read or write that much of a personal statement. Instead: 850 is your absolute, complete, cut-words-I-don't-care-how-just-get-down-to-this-number max. 650 is a much better reasonable maximum. The adcoms don't want to read everything about you; that's not what they're judging you on. They will be judging you on what you can show them in the same approximate length and format as the other applicants.
  • exultationsyexultationsy Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    How long can the additional essay be?
    As long as you want it to be.

    While this is technically true, I believe the implication to the question was "without getting me near-automatically rejected," at which point your answer becomes not true.
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Registered User Posts: 1,761 Senior Member
    Brevity, restraint, cogency are all virtues. You may think you need 3000 words, but chances are, it can be substantially trimmed.
  • mistergmisterg Registered User Posts: 318 Member
    The admissions officers read absolutely every last word at Harvard, according to a few I've spoken to, but they might kind of hate you if you write something that long.
  • davidlabozadavidlaboza Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    Someone on this forum last year wrote a 2,500 word long personal essay for their Common App and got into Yale. So, I guess you could write one that long, BUT this is an "Additional Essay." I don't think an additional essay should be so long. Only the personal essay has rights to that, but then again, who am I to say you can't go for 3,000 words.
  • bananafreak2ubananafreak2u Registered User Posts: 271 Junior Member
    errr...peers and teachers have told me that they don't want to hear your whole life story even if there is something truly unique about it. it's best to do an unique anecdote. i believe mine ended up being 850 because it was a lengthy topic that needed a lot of explanation
  • pyladespylades Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Mine was ~770 words long.
  • getheniangethenian Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    I think 3000 words is overkill...

    But I'm worried that my essay may be too short because it's a little less than 300 words, but I think it's really good the way it is, and there's no way adding more words can make it better. Is this a problem? Or should I try to lengthen it up some more?
  • Apoc314Apoc314 Registered User Posts: 1,310 Senior Member
    If it works well then 300 words is fine.
  • bananafreak2ubananafreak2u Registered User Posts: 271 Junior Member
    i'm pretty sure academic papers do not count with that word limit
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Registered User Posts: 1,761 Senior Member
    @VirginianRobin:

    The more likely scenario is that the admissions office staff won't read scholarly work in its entirety, but rather make a quick decision on the quality of the work based on the abstract and/or concluding thoughts and decide whether to send it to professors/preceptors in the relevant department(s), much like how they would deal with arts supplements.
This discussion has been closed.