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Is the Northwestern essay really supposed to be that long?

runallday4runallday4 597 replies116 threads Member
edited November 2012 in Northwestern University
All my other schools gave a word limit for the "Why this college" essay. Tufts was 50-100 words and most were around 250-500 words. When I googled how long is should be though I got a lot of answers with people saying they wrote 600-800 words... what??? Does it really need to be that long?
edited November 2012
5 replies
Post edited by runallday4 on
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Replies to: Is the Northwestern essay really supposed to be that long?

  • momof3sonsmomof3sons 4968 replies148 threads Senior Member
    If they haven't set a limit on the number of words, it needs to be as long as you need it to be to get your point across. If it really comes out 600-800 words, you probably need to do a lot of editing.
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  • lagunallagunal 577 replies23 threads Member
    It has more to do with how well written the essay is and how well you convey WHY NU is a perfect fit for you based on your academic and non-academic interests, and choice of environment, culture, size and location. I personally think 450 words more or less is the target. That size essay is long enough to show that you put time and effort in the decision.
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  • BurdenedBurdened 258 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I leveled mine very concisely at 500 words. You don't want to BORE the reviewers either with too many walls of text.
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  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 1282 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I believe mine was right around 350-400 and I think it said everything that needed to be said. It really just depends on what you want to say, but you're not writing concisely enough if it's 600-800, and below 300 is too little, so somewhere between 350-500 is probably optimal
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  • cowboycliche022cowboycliche022 203 replies21 threads Junior Member
    There is no strict word limit; keep in mind, though, that the admission officer doesn't have hours to pour over everything you write. As long as it's clear, concise, and speaks volumes about your love of NU, you shouldn't worry.

    Also, it's important to recognize the difference between "concise" and "short." A short essay of 200 words will fail to be concise if contains extraneous and unnecessary information. Likewise, a long, well-written essay of 1,000 words can be extremely concise if it succinctly addresses a variety of issues, and nothing more.
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