Long Essay

<p>I wrote about 400 words for the Why Chicago essay (I can cut down if really needed though) and around 1100 for the Extended Essay to my own question. </p>

<p>It fits in two-pages and all but it's quite long. I don't feel like I've wasted too many words though, like I actually use them, I'm just worried it'll be too long for them to care.</p>

<p>The extended essay in particular is just plain too long. Take out half of the words.</p>

<p>I might be able to make it 750 if I try but I don't think there's any way I could take out more without answering a completely different essay altogether.</p>

<p>There is definitely a way to write a 500-word essay; it's been done many times before. Even 750 words is a bit on the high side and the last thing you want to do is frustrate the adcoms when they're going to have far more applications than they've ever had before.</p>

<p>Omit everything that isn't absolutely 100% crucial to the understanding of your essay. You can PM it to me and I can have a look at it if you like.</p>

<p>I won't be able to PM it there's an image but i can email it to you after I do some work on it.</p>

<p>I can write a 500 word essay, no doubt, but not for this given prompt, I don't think.</p>

<p>Hit me up -- <a href="mailto:rbstewart@uchicago.edu">rbstewart@uchicago.edu</a>.</p>

<p>My long essay was 866 words and I was accepted EA, by the way...my Why essay was more like 400 words.</p>

<p>I was accepted with a 1350 word extended essay.<br>
The length of your essay really isn't that important IF IT'S A GOOD ESSAY. Don't try to squeeze it into 750 words if it'd detract from the essay. Just don't. </p>

<p>I don't subscribe to the notion of "anything not 100% crucial should be cut." It just doesn't make sense. You're trying to show them your voice, and some people are wordier than others.</p>

<p>Actually, cutting things that aren't crucial is something you should be doing in writing anyway. You'll figure it out when you're in college; you'll write a thesis, and everything that isn't working to support your thesis is detracting from your essay's quality. As a general rule, if your paper would be just as strong without it, you shouldn't be including it.</p>

<p>EDIT: At this point I've already seen the essay and have offered my personalized advice, which suggested the OP write on another topic (since the topic he suggested was too vast to be handled in the way he chose to handle it without going very far over the word limit). And of course it's possible to write too many words and be accepted; it's just that when we're talking about college admissions it is far, far better to be safe than sorry.</p>

<p>Yes, that makes sense, but there's a line between crucial and helpful, yeah?
I suppose I have a bit of difficulty differentiating between what qualifies as "crucial" and what doesn't. Like, in the case of adding a personal anecdote or something, maybe it's not CRUCIAL to getting the point across, but it's helpful to the essay as a whole. So does it count as crucial information?</p>

<p>Well, Challenged's essay in particular was extremely formal and could thus have benefited greatly from my advice, as all formal writing would.</p>

<p>With different kinds of essays, the rules are a bit different. When the goal of your piece is not "to prove X" but rather "to get the reader to consider/think about X" or "to get the reader to feel X", you can't really come up with a formal thesis and thus can't determine exactly what is crucial for your piece, but there's still a point where too much extraneous information will make your essay have less impact. That's to be evaluated more on a case-by-case basis. Obviously this type of writing won't be covered at Chicago (unless you take a creative writing course), so this is neither here nor there.</p>

<p>Gotcha. I tend to approach things (including my UChicago essays) from a very creative-writing-y perspective, so your insight is quite helpful.</p>

<p>Perhaps the conversation has shifted from the original topic a bit, but just in case anybody is looking for further reference on essay lengths...</p>

<p>I was accepted EA with a
424 word why chicago
796 word between living and dreaming (extended essay)
345 word favorite artist, movie, show, etc.</p>

<p>I suspect my extended essay was what pushed me over the edge. I went into lots of description and didn't state my thesis until halfway through. I used a hypothetical to open, filled with detail about spatial perception and imposed realities. If I cut everything that was not needed, I would have a 3 sentence paper. Chicago loves the thought.</p>

<p>My extended essay has 1764 words. Perhaps that is why I got deferred? D=</p>

<p>^^^Whoa, that's like 5 pages double-spaced!!</p>

<p>^There you have it. The fact of the matter is that the University prefers essays that attempt to follow the instructions given; that's why they're giving instructions in the first place. If it were just truly a matter of writing as many words as it takes to make your essay good, then they wouldn't impose the 500-word limit, plain and simple.</p>

<p>From the "Ask an admissions counselor" thread: </p>

<p>"2000206, we prefer essays to be around 500 words, or one to two pages (single or double spaced). It's fine to go a little bit over-- we won't stop reading at 501 words, to be sure-- but we do appreciate students who have edited thoroughly and made an effort to be somewhere near that suggested limit."</p>

<p>In short, try to get as close to 500 as possible. It won't necessarily be your demise if you've written a 1000+ word essay, but the administration would greatly prefer that you wrote half as much, if only because it's hard enough to budget their time with the increase in applications. And you could have written a perfectly good essay, but a) the adcom might be frustrated by all the extra reading they're doing, giving them an unfair impression of your app, or b) the adcom might just decide that you are unable to follow directions, which is probably even worse. Again, it's better to be safe than sorry.</p>