Essay word overrun - a problem?

<p>If an essay prompt says "Please limit your response to 750 words," does that mean it can't be a word longer? I wrote a great essay of 802 words that I really want to use. I've cut it and cut it, but it just won't be the same if I remove any more. Should I risk losing some if its effect by cutting it more, or is 52 words over okay?</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>Please, anyone? I need to turn this in to my counselor in 2 hours!!</p>

<p>It is a rare essay that can't be improved by cutting it to the word count. Easy ways to prune include shortening one's beginning so as to get to the point quicker, and cutting out extra adjectives. </p>

<p>Colleges will take essays with extra words, but usually editing to the bone makes essays much better.</p>

<p>That's small enough that you'll likely be ok, but I agree with above post.</p>

<p>I've heard that if it says X amount of words, you can go 10 percent in either direction. Which would allow you're essay to go up to 825 words.</p>

<p>i heard only 6.8%, which allows only 801 words. </p>

<p>dont fret little one</p>

<p>Why chance it ..find a few words and get rid of em..then you will be safe.</p>

<p>What Northstarmom said... It's very unlikely that they would hold a small overrun against you, but if you haven't done a major tightening up already the essay probably needs it. Trimming words until it hurts almost always improves the end product.</p>

<p>The Gettsburg Address was 286 words. In 802 words, do you say more of real substance than it did? If not, edit and get it down to closer to the word limit. There is no hard and fast rule for how much you can go over. Some Adcoms are particular about limits, most don't mind a little over. What you don't want to happen is the Adcom to say to himself after reading it that you could have conveyed all information of importance in half the number of words.</p>

<p>If you can't follow directions on your admissions essay, why should anyone believe you will be able to follow directions when you are in college? Limit means "limit" - like in "The Price is Right" - it didn't say "about", "around", "approximately". It is a perfectly understandable English word.</p>

<p>If I had 100 candidates and could only accept 20, and 85 were perfectly well-qualified, I think this would be an easy and painless way to get rid of an extra application.</p>

<p>Do they really have time to go through each application and see if the word limit is over or not? I don't think they do, other than just eyeballing it and seeing if it's way over (like several pages too big) or about right.</p>

<p>But I could be wrong.</p>

<p>I don't agree with mini. Schools would never blatantly cut candidates who run 50 words over their "word-limit". That's nit-picky and, frankly, juvenile, and they'd probably miss out on a lot of future nobel-prize winners who happen to be a little more long-winded. The only people for whom that kind of policy would even make sense are those students who DO have essays under the word limit and want to gain an advantage for their "obedience to the directions". </p>

<p>First of all, no admissions director will waste their time COUNTING how many words you have written. Most likely, they won't even notice the length unless it 1) takes up less than half a page, or 2) runs over a page (always keep your essays to one page). Other words, if you have an essay APPROXIMATELY the same length as the limit, you're fine. Especially if it's a great essay, the admissions directors would be so enraptured by it they won't even notice that it's a bit long.</p>

<p>They read many applications, but I highly doubt that they have their eyes trained well enough that they can tell the difference between 750 words and 802 words....</p>

<p>If it says "approximately" I follow the 10% rule. If it says "limit" I try to keep it within 10-15 words.</p>

<p>That's just me, though.</p>

<p>Taken from Commonapp.org</p>

<p>"The 250-500 word limit is a guideline, and colleges do not count words. They do not mind if it is slightly longer/shorter, and value quality over quantity.
College admissions officers are far more concerned that the essay is well written, proofread (not just spell-checked), well thought-out, etc. Do not get caught up in the “micro” (words, spacing, font size, color of ink). They are looking for the “macro”: does the student write well and what can they learn about this person from his/her essay?"</p>

<p>Thank you "guitarshredder05", I was looking for that, but coulkdn't remember where I read it from.</p>

<p>there's a huge difference between limit and approxiamtely. Limit means they don't want any longer than x amount. Approxiamately means around that amount. I agree don't go over by more than 5-10% for approxiamately and you need to be no more than 10-20 words over for a limit</p>

<p>A LIMIT of 750 means UNDER 750 is just fine. Since so many applicants will be UNDER 750 (say by 10%), an 800-word essay will stick out. And they read so many of them, their eyes are very well-trained to know if an essay is signfiicantly longer.</p>

<p>There is no reason why it can't have quality, be proofread, and well thought-out, and also reflect an applicant who knows how to follow directions.</p>

<p>At Williams, the Admissions Director says he can throw all applications down a flight of stairs, pick those which land on the top 3 stairs, and end up with a class just as qualified as the one that actually enrolls. Might even have more Nobel Prize winners among them.</p>

<p>that's scary</p>

<p>"At Williams, the Admissions Director says he can throw all applications down a flight of stairs, pick those which land on the top 3 stairs, and end up with a class just as qualified as the one that actually enrolls. Might even have more Nobel Prize winners among them."</p>

<p>Just as qualified. Which is precisely what I was saying: the length of your essay, within reason, does not make a big difference. Which, of course, means that a 500 word essay can be just as good as an 800 word essay, not taking away from the quality of the 800 word essay. You don't infer "more qualified" when someone says "just as qualified".</p>

<p>Though, of course, any college admissions director would rather read a shorter essay over a long one, they just as much would rather read a great essay over a mediocre one. You should NEVER sacrifice quality of your essay just to fit a word limit (esp. when you're only 50 words over). If you're more than 100 words over an already very generous word limit of 750, then you have problems.</p>