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"Why Penn?" essay length

laodiceanlaodicean 511 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
Hey guys.
My Why Penn essay is 740 words, but I managed to squeeze it all onto one page.
Do you think this is okay?
edited April 2013
35 replies
Post edited by laodicean on
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Replies to: "Why Penn?" essay length

  • loldanielolloldanielol 459 replies75 threadsRegistered User Member
    Umm...that's way too long I believe.
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  • hardworking21hardworking21 833 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    No. The requirement is 500 words, approx 1 page. That means, it should be around 500 words AND fit on one page (some kids want to double space, which doesn't work either). You need to cut back...I'd say be between 500-520, MAX, and all on one page.
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  • konradpawlakkonradpawlak 53 replies17 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    So should it be single spaced, then?

    My essay is a solid 485 words so it's 2 pages double spaced. Single-spaced it's a page, but I'm afraid that it'll be rough on the eyes if it's single spaced.

    What do you think I should do- singe or double space it?
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  • pennformepennforme 72 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    PENN does not care if you single or double space the essays. You should stick to 550 words at a max no matter how many spaces or lines it takes.
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  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 5346 replies104 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can also 1.5 space it, if that helps.
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  • hoiboyhoiboy 56 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    550 words is a good limit. Anything more than that and the essay gets boring.
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  • hardworking21hardworking21 833 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    @konradpawlak: I think I did 1.15 spacing with 12 pts. space in-between paragraphs. It fit comfortable on one page (I had roughly 516 words) with nice spacing in between. I'd recommend keeping it to 1 page as it says "approximately 500 words, 1 page"
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  • gsong94gsong94 24 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Don't worry about word limits. Mine was 720-ish and my friend's was even longer but we both got in. Just give them a good essay.
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  • fini52fini52 6 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    agreed. if people read this..
    mine was probably around 700 and it was fine :)
    plus if you write a really great essay i'm sure they'll enjoy reading it instead of counting words :p
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  • sarahchusarahchu 32 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yeah, don't worry too much about the word count. Just try not to have unnecessary words/phrases/sentences and try and be as concise as possible. If you go over the limit, but each sentence really adds to the essay and gives the adcom a really good idea of what type of person you are, then it really doesn't matter. :)
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  • cohobucaswcohobucasw 27 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Just another question about essays...
    Does Penn appreciate creative responses to the "Why Penn" prompt? I have a relatively straightforward essay but I formatted it differently to spice it up. Am I better off just leaving it plain? What about the optional personal essay?
    I guess I'm just kinda worried that my essay won't stand out enough... I feel like it comes off as genuine but not mind-blowing...
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  • laodiceanlaodicean 511 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
    My best advice is to make everything on your application best represent who you are. If you are someone who writes plainly and candidly, I would write your essays that way (but not boring). If you are extremely creative, then write all your essays that way. Don't mold yourself to suit the admissions game. Be yourself because that's the person your best at being.
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  • cohobucaswcohobucasw 27 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I tend to be a bit too creative sometimes. I look at things in an artistic way while other people just see it as disorganized. I guess I'd rather be safe. I'll try to make my personal essay more creative in writing style to bring that part out then. Thank you for the advice!
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  • DRose2012DRose2012 174 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My Why Penn was "creative" just because I felt like I touched on things most people don't (I'm applying to Wharton, yet business wasn't the focus per se). If you do achieve something from a creative organization, go ahead. A college essay I wrote was pretty straightforward -- the failures I had in my business. Instead of going chronologically though, I was chaotic. However, I think, by doing so, I wrote an essay that wasn't the typical "failure and what I learned from it" deal, but rather something more unique. If it helps and is genuine, do it.
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  • koolkat12koolkat12 33 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My why penn essay pretty much only discusses two things, the art history department and performing art clubs (like dance/music). I am applying as an art history major and all my ec's are art related, so it does make sense. is it bad that that's all i talk about? i don't want to seem one sided - but i guess my transcript can show that right?
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  • DRose2012DRose2012 174 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^ As long as the essay is unique and about you, it's fine.

    Just saying something along the lines of "I like art, and Penn has x, y, z" is not going to make it a strong essay though, no matter how flowery you make it. You want a focused essay, and you don't want to be talking about ten different things. In that sense, it is good that you only talk about one major topic. However, I'm sure adcoms have read that topic ad nauseum. Give it a different twist so it's not just a overdone, cliche essay. You won't come across as one-sided, but your essay might not be memorable or personal.
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  • neorobieneorobie 514 replies47 threadsRegistered User Member
    ugh mine is only 367 words... but mine is a creative format.. all my writing tends to be that way.. xD
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  • bananafreak2ubananafreak2u 269 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    mine is insanely short. like 300 words...is this bad?
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  • DRose2012DRose2012 174 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^ Is it good? Did you say all you needed to say? I wouldn't want you to force it, but "around 500 words" probably means you want to be around 500 words because that just shows you can follow directions. From someone who had to choose very carefully what to mention to stay under 500, I feel like you might come across as unenthusiastic.

    I really can't say since I didn't read the essay though.
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  • bananafreak2ubananafreak2u 269 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    i needed to save a lot for what I thought about penn for the supplemental essay for a dual degree I wanted, so I feel that if I make it any longer, it becomes kind of repetitive...
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