How to Write a Personal Essay for Your College Application

This includes phrases such as “happily ever after,” “beggars can’t be choosers,” and “crack of dawn.” Benedict advises getting someone to “cliche-proof” your essay. “Overuse of a topic doesn’t make it a bad topic,” Whitney Soule told U.S. Soule currently serves as Bowdoin College’s dean of admissions and student aid. According to Benedict, this often happens at small liberal arts colleges, which tend to take a more holistic admissions approach. A college requires an essay because they want to learn more about you. Need to ask a teacher or friend for help with your essay? See our do’s and dont’s to getting college essay advice.

  1. An effective introduction for a college essay should beengaging, interesting, and brief.
  2. We’ve all heard about the dreaded “college essay,” the bane of every high school senior’s existence.
  3. Each of those can take a slightly different approach to word count.
  4. Most students that I’ve worked with write more than 650 on their early drafts, then cut down toward the end of the writing process .
  5. For example, Georgetown requires 4 supplemental essays, ranging from 250 to 700 words, and Stanford requires a whopping 11, ranging anywhere from 10 to 250 words.
  6. Not only will you stick to the word count on your college essays, but you’ll also write a clear, concise, and memorable essay for the admissions officers.

Unlike high school assignments, which typically have a strict page requirement, most colleges provide a word limit or word range for their application essays. This practice helps ensure that essays are the same length regardless of font or formatting. As a rule of thumb, students should strive to get as close as possible to the upper limit of the word range without exceeding it. Keep reading to learn more about college essay length best practices. So, for now, how do you create a college application essay, personal essay, common app essay, or whatever you need to write to get in? These tips will get you most of the way there—you’ll just have to come up with the exact words.

How to Write Essay Titles and Headers

Finally, some words and adverbs like “very” or “actually” can be easily deleted because they have no specific meaning in the sentence. However, this situation can be avoided through careful planning so that you can keep your college personal statement the right length.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re writing. If you don’t follow the application essay guidelines, the admissions officer may assume that you won’t be able to follow the directions of the university’s program. Page and word limits Get Proposal Help on the collegeessayhelps site are mentioned for a reason and you must be able to organize your submission by following the rules. Everything depends on your background and experience. Also, it’s important to follow the recommendations of the admission committee.

Outline First, Then Write

Making sure you have the right punctuation in the right place and using active voice over passive is vital. That said, make sure your good grammar doesn’t keep the essay from sounding like you. Remember, this is more of a written job interview than a first date in paragraph form. how many words should a college application essay be Be concise by avoiding repetition, excessive adverbs, and unnecessary words. Also, take a look at phrases, quotes, and aphorisms you use. You don’t want to use phrases and quotes that other authors have written. You can also steer clear of using too many adverbs, and repetition.

how many words should a college application essay be

Your personal reflections are the key to keeping the reader invested, but don’t let them carry you away. After three years of high school, you would probably be glad to never write an essay again. If you plan on going to college, however, you should know that essay writing is one of the more important things you need to get out of your high school experience. Simply put, you can’t get through college without it. This is usually where students go over the Common App essay word limit. In the rare case there is no established word limit, most experts recommend not exceeding 900 words for a college essay.

Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

For example, “The reason for _____________ is because…” is repetitive. You don’t need to say “reason” and “because” in the same sentence, because one implies the other.

How long should it take to write a 500 word essay?

Writing 500 words will take about 12.5 minutes for the average writer typing on a keyboard and 25 minutes for handwriting. However, if the content needs to include in-depth research, links, citations, or graphics such as for a blog article or high school essay, the length can grow to 1.7 hours.

Brevity is not necessarily a bad thing in writing just so long as you are clear, cogent, and communicate what you want to. In the first sentence, I could shorten “In some circumstances” to “Sometimes.” It means the same thing and saves me two words. That means your introduction doesn’t need to be extremely long. Save your words for the “meat” of the essay, where you’ll really dig into your narrative.

Treat it like a story

Essays can be anywhere from 250 to 650 words total.” Manuela is passionate about education and evolution and wishes to collect enough information in order to help students from all corners of the world take the big step towards their incredible future. Sometimes, getting an extra pair of eyes on your essay makes a huge difference. Maybe there’s a specific aspect of your family you want to highlight, like the way your family has taught you to speak your mind and stand for your beliefs. If the question asks what your ambitions for the future are, instead answer with what you don’t aspire to, and what that says about you. You know next to nothing about who will read it, let alone their senses of humor.

If you feel you have a story you must tell connected to the pandemic, this is the place to share it. As you finish your final body paragraphs ask yourself “So what? Keep the focus narrow.Your essay does not have to cover a massive, earth-shattering event. Some people in their teens haven’t experienced a major life event. Editing is just as important as writing, and it is the only proven way to get the best product. Along with reading your essay out loud, try reading it backwards, starting with the last section first. It should go without saying, but too many people make the mistake.