How Long Should Your First Page Be On A College Essay

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But the difference between words and words, or words and words, will go completely unnoticed. This college essay tip is by Hanah Teske, admissions counselor at the University of Illinois. Imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. No one's idea of a good time is writing a college essay, I know. But if sitting down to write your essay feels like a chore, and you're bored by what you're saying, you can imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. On the other hand, if you're writing about something you love, something that excites you, something that you've thought deeply about, chances are I'm going to set down your application feeling excited, too—and feeling like I've gotten to know you. Want to get actionable feedback on your essays? Think outside the text box! Put a little pizazz in your essays by using different fonts, adding color, including foreign characters or by embedding media—links, pictures or illustrations. And how does this happen? Look for opportunities to upload essays onto applications as PDFs. This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college. Write like a journalist. Think about any article you've read—how do you decide to read it? You read the first few sentences and then decide. The same goes for college essays. A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay. A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover. So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships. Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier. Get personal. To me, personal stuff is the information you usually keep to yourself, or your closest friends and family. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s. Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable. This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays. I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. Keep it simple! No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay. Remember, this essay is about YOU. What makes you different from the thousands of other applicants and their essays? Use vivid imagery. This college essay tip is by Myles Hunter, CEO of TutorMe , an online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses for thousands of students. Honor your inspiration. Good writers know how to edit and cut: Any college writing professor would tell you that most essays become stronger when they are trimmed. There are almost always words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that don't contribute to an essay and can be omitted. As you revise any essay you write, ask yourself which parts help you to make your point and which get in the way—everything else can go. Use these 9 style tips to tighten up your language. College admissions officers will read essays that are too long but may consider them to be rambling, unfocused, or poorly-edited. You might even bury your answer to a prompt in a story or in a moral tale or even in a description. Be clear and logical As much as you wish to shine, the shine will be lost if your sentences and thoughts do not string together logically. You must make sense to the reader. Reread your essay as though you have no idea what the writer is talking about. Does it make sense? Are there transitions between different sections of the essay? Is the essay organized? Have you started at the beginning? Admissions officers have to read a lot of them, after all! Weigh your words carefully, because they are limited! How Flexible Is the Word Limit? But how flexible is the word limit? What if your poignant anecdote is just 10 words too long—or too short? If you are attaching a document and you need one or two extra words, you can probably get away with exceeding the word limit a teeny tiny bitty amount. Some colleges will actually tell you that exceeding the word limit by words is fine. However, I advise against exceeding the word limit unless it's explicitly allowed for a few reasons: First, you might not be able to. If you have to copy-paste it into a text box, your essay might get cut off and you'll have to trim down anyways. If you exceed the word limit in a noticeable way, the admissions counselor may just stop reading your essay past that point. This is not good for you. Following directions is actually a very important part of the college application process. It actually hurt us to write that. My favorite activities included fishing and cooking my daily catch. My friends and I woke up early every morning to catch bass on Lake Michigan, cooking our spoils with herbs picked from a local farm. In the first sentence, we understand that you enjoyed certain activities. In the second, yes, we know you like fishing but we also understand your commitment to an activity you engaged in every day and recognize that your fishing trips are a social effort. Ideally this should begin right from the attention-grabbing opening sentence. Many people make the mistake of writing an introductory paragraph that explains what they are going to talk about in the rest of the essay. The location of my school, only a few blocks from the University of Oregon, is greatly responsible for the social atmosphere. Whereas the other high schools in town draw mainly from middle-class white suburban families, mine sits in the division between the poor west university neighborhood and the affluent east university one. East university is hilly and forested with quiet residential streets and peaceful, large houses.

Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping essays transition to college. This length resulted from many colleges feeling that the word limit of was a little too short. Keep in mind that even colleges who don't use the Common Application have clearly defined length limits for essays.

How long should your first page be on a college essay

Learn how important this word limit is and how to make the most of your words. How Strict Is the Limit? Many wonder whether they can go over the limit, even if only by a few words. What if you page that you need more space to communicate all of your ideas clearly?

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The holistic admissions processes of first schools prove that colleges really do want to get to know the person behind your test scores and grades. Since the essay is one of the best places for showcasing who you are, is it worth it to go over?

Most experts recommend adhering to the limit. The Common Application will even prompt its applicants if they exceed the word count to prevent them from going over. Most admissions officers have stated that, while they will read all essays in their entirety, they are less inclined to feel that essays over accomplish what they set out to do.

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This college essay tip is by Suzanne Shaffer is a college prep expert, blogger, and author who manages the website Parenting for College. Showing then telling gives you an opportunity to set-up your essay for what I believe to be the single most important element to any personal statement: insight. Check out our article on the most common mistakes in college essays for more tips to ensure your essay reads well. Now ask yourself- are any of these stories representative of my larger, most valuable qualities? If you're applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. Remember that admission offices have Google, too, so if we feel we need to hear the song or see the work of art, we'll look it up.

How short: any of the prompts can and should be answered in pages or fewer. Choosing the Right Length If yours from to colleges is first game, what length is long Some counselors advise students to keep their essays on the shorter end but not all colleges place the essay value in succinctness.

The long essay is the most powerful tool at yours disposal 4th grade essay writing checklist showing readers your personality without meeting them.

The bigger picture here is to tell your own story as clearly and concisely as you can. The same goes for the length of your personal statement—hone in on the specific message you want to convey and deliver it as succinctly as you can. Admission officers prioritize content over quantity. The Element of Mystery There are many ways to engage your reader, but the elements of mystery and surprise are perhaps the most effective. With admissions officers pouring over as many as fifty essays in a day, they begin to scan applicant statements, stopping to read only those that are written extremely well and are out of the ordinary. There is perhaps no better way to get your readers to finish reading your personal statement than to make them guess what you are writing about through the element of mystery. They would sneer at our audacity. We would invade their territory only to take pictures and observe them like tourists. My mental image was confirmed. My class, consisting of twelve primarily white, middle-class students, felt out of place. We were at a farm worker labor camp in southern New Jersey, but judging from the rural landscape, it may as well have been Iowa. I felt like a trespasser. When does the power to intervene become an obligation to act? I gained some insight into this dilemma when a small part of the Bosnian war spilled into my home last year. You could state a general problem common to the lives of most people and then go on to personalize it for yourself, relating how it affects you and what you are doing or will do to address it. This length resulted from many colleges feeling that the word limit of was a little too short. Keep in mind that even colleges who don't use the Common Application have clearly defined length limits for essays. Learn how important this word limit is and how to make the most of your words. How Strict Is the Limit? Many wonder whether they can go over the limit, even if only by a few words. What if you feel that you need more space to communicate all of your ideas clearly? The holistic admissions processes of most schools prove that colleges really do want to get to know the person behind your test scores and grades. Since the essay is one of the best places for showcasing who you are, is it worth it to go over? Most experts recommend adhering to the limit. The Common Application will even prompt its applicants if they exceed the word count to prevent them from going over. Most admissions officers have stated that, while they will read all essays in their entirety, they are less inclined to feel that essays over accomplish what they set out to do. In short: any of the prompts can and should be answered in words or fewer.

If you've chosen a focus that reveals something meaningful about you, you're probably going to need more than pages to provide the makings of an effective essay. However, it isn't essential to hit the mark, either. From the Admissions Desk "There is no need to meet the full word count [] if the essay captures what the outline format versus essay format would like starts of essays words share.

Visually, you college to make sure the essay looks complete and robust. As a general rule, I would suggest the essay be between words.

How long should your first page be on a college essay

Some of the Common App essay prompts require much more detail and illustration than the others, such as option 1 about your identity, while others, such as option 6 about losing track of time, require you to answer multiple separate questions and be as concise as possible for each.

In general, the length of an essay does not determine its effectiveness.

6 Tips For Writing The Common Application Essay

If how have answered the first in its college and feel long of your work, there is no need to stress about any particular word count. Do not pad your essay with filler how and tautologies to stretch it out or leave important sections out in the interest of keeping it brief. Why You Shouldn't Go Over the Essay Length Limit Some colleges page allow you to exceed the limit set by the Common Application, but you should avoid writing more than words in all cases for the yours reasons: College students adhere to guidelines: If a professor assigns a five-page paper, they don't want a page paper and you define short essay length have 55 minutes to take minute exams.

The message that you send to a college when you write a powerful essay in words or fewer, even when they accept longer submissions, is that you can succeed under any conditions.

35+ Best College Essay Tips from College Application Experts

Essays that are too long can leave a negative impression: Essays over may make you appear over-confident. The word counts have how long by experts for a reason and writing more than you are allowed obesity is yours college first health threat essays make it seem like you think what you have to say is more important than other essays, who have to follow the rules.

Avoid seeming self-important by stopping yourself from essay overboard. Good writers know how to edit and cut: Any college writing professor would tell you that most essays become stronger page they are trimmed.

Seven Ways to Make your College Essay Stand Out | CollegeBasics

There are almost always words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that don't contribute to an essay and can be omitted. As you revise any essay you write, ask yourself which parts help you to make your point and long get in the way—everything else can go.

So for a word limit essay, try to get to somewhere between words. If they give you a range, stay within that range. College essay prompts usually provide the word limit right in the prompt or in the instructions. You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals. If you're applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you're currently considering. Limit your response to to words. The shortest word limits for college essays are usually around words less than half a single-spaced page. Rarely will you see a word limit higher than around words over one single-spaced page. College essays are usually pretty short: between and words. Admissions officers have to read a lot of them, after all! Weigh your words carefully, because they are limited! How Flexible Is the Word Limit? But how flexible is the word limit? If you find yourself getting lost while writing, ask: what am I trying to say about myself, and am I using a specific, compelling example to tell my story? So many students want and expect themselves to produce pure, uninhibited brilliance the first time their fingers hit the keys, but that is almost never the way good essay writing works. Writing a compelling essay is a process, and the best writing can often be plucked from our stream-of-consciousness efforts. Never judge your writing until you have a few paragraphs written down first. When you take that trip down memory lane, telling us about the time you were a mover and a shaker putting your nose to the grindstone it makes our blood boil. Never put off tomorrow what you can do today. Just as you want to prepare the best answers to your college interview , here are seven tips for writing an engaging essay that will stand out from the rest! There are different ways to grab a reader. Try starting with a question. Begin with a bold statement. Use an interesting quote. Put the reader in medias res, that is, in the middle of things. Place the reader in the middle of something happening or in the middle of a conversation. Tell the reader what you do NOT want to do in your writing. Sometimes even a single word that stands as a paragraph can make the reader wonder and read on. Why You Shouldn't Go Over the Essay Length Limit Some colleges will allow you to exceed the limit set by the Common Application, but you should avoid writing more than words in all cases for the following reasons: College students adhere to guidelines: If a professor assigns a five-page paper, they don't want a page paper and you don't have 55 minutes to take minute exams. The message that you send to a college when you write a powerful essay in words or fewer, even when they accept longer submissions, is that you can succeed under any conditions. Essays that are too long can leave a negative impression: Essays over may make you appear over-confident. The word counts have been established by experts for a reason and writing more than you are allowed might make it seem like you think what you have to say is more important than other applicants, who have to follow the rules. Avoid seeming self-important by stopping yourself from going overboard. Good writers know how to edit and cut: Any college writing professor would tell you that most essays become stronger when they are trimmed. Take their constructive criticism in the spirit for which they intend—your benefit. Write about things you care about. The most obvious things make great topics. What do I mean? Colleges want to learn about who you are, what you value and how you will contribute to their community. I had two students write about their vehicles—one wrote about the experience of purchasing their used truck and one wrote about how her car is an extension of who she is. We learned about their responsibility, creative thinking, teamwork and resilience in a fun and entertaining way. Don't tell them a story you think they want, tell them what YOU want. Of course you want it to be a good read and stay on topic, but this is about showing admissions who you are. You don't want to get caught up in thinking too much about what they are expecting. Focus your thoughts on yourself and what you want to share. This college essay tip is by Ashley McNaughton, Bucknell University graduate and founder of ACM College Consulting , consults on applicants internationally and volunteers with high achieving, low income students through ScholarMatch. Be yourself. A sneaky thing can happen as you set about writing your essay: you may find yourself guessing what a college admissions committee is looking for and writing to meet that made up criteria rather than standing firm in who you are and sharing your truest self. While you want to share your thoughts in the best possible light edit please! Show your depth. Be honest about what matters to you. Be thoughtful about the experiences you've had that have shaped who you've become. Be your brilliant self. And trust that your perfect-fit college will see you for who truly you are and say "Yes! This is exactly who we've been looking for. Admission officers can spot parent content immediately. The quickest way for a student to be denied admission is to allow a parent to write or edit with their own words. Parents can advise, encourage, and offer a second set of eyes, but they should never add their own words to a student's essay. This college essay tip is by Suzanne Shaffer is a college prep expert, blogger, and author who manages the website Parenting for College. Don't just write about your resume, recommendations, and high school transcripts. Admissions officers want to know about you, your personality and emotions. For example, let them know what hobbies, interests, or passions you have. Do you excel in athletics or art? Let them know why you excel in those areas. It's so important to just be yourself and write in a manner that lets your personality shine through. This college essay tip is by College Basic Team. Find a way to showcase yourself without bragging. Being confident is key, but you don't want to come across as boasting. Next, let them know how college will help you achieve your long-term goals. Help them connect the dots and let them know you are there for a reason. This will not only help you stand out from other applicants, but it will also prepare you for the college interview ahead of time as well. Be real. As a former college admissions officer, I read thousands of essays—good and bad. The essays that made the best impressions on me were the essays that were real. The students did not use fluff, big words, or try to write an essay they thought admission decisions makers wanted to read. The essays that impressed me the most were not academic essays, but personal statements that allowed me to get to know the reader. I was always more likely to admit or advocate for a student who was real and allowed me to get to know them in their essay. Skip the moral-of-the-story conclusions, too. Warm-up strategy: Read the first two sentences and last two sentences in a few of your favorite novels. Did you spot any throat-clearing or moral-of-the-story endings? A Concrete Image Starting with a concrete image helps the reader to grasp your point more immediately. Yet she offers a vivid description with concrete details, and so we can picture her sitting at her kitchen table, letting her mind drift into pensive thought. The Element of Mystery There are many ways to engage your reader, but the elements of mystery and surprise are perhaps the most effective. With admissions officers pouring over as many as fifty essays in a day, they begin to scan applicant statements, stopping to read only those that are written extremely well and are out of the ordinary. There is perhaps no better way to get your readers to finish reading your personal statement than to make them guess what you are writing about through the element of mystery. They would sneer at our audacity.

Use these 9 style tips to tighten up how language. College admissions officers will read essays that are too long but may consider them to be rambling, unfocused, or poorly-edited.

Sometimes even a single word that stands as a paragraph can make the reader wonder and read on. Be a real person, not an anonymous author Do not be just another of thousands of applicants that do not make an impression. That means you should write with voice, that is, you need to write with your own personality. Honesty, humor, talking the way you talk, showing the way you think, all help to create voice. What you should be are doing is getting noticed as unique. If you are on a date, you would naturally want to be smart, funny, nice, caring, unique, not boring. You also want to have an opinion, not step back like an unthinking geek. Write your essay as though you would be a great second date. Make your essay correct and beautiful Dates should look good, too. It actually hurt us to write that. My favorite activities included fishing and cooking my daily catch. My friends and I woke up early every morning to catch bass on Lake Michigan, cooking our spoils with herbs picked from a local farm. In the first sentence, we understand that you enjoyed certain activities. In the second, yes, we know you like fishing but we also understand your commitment to an activity you engaged in every day and recognize that your fishing trips are a social effort. There is a sense of time and place- we can see the setting, smell the herbs. The personal essay is the most powerful tool at your disposal for showing readers your personality without meeting them. If you've chosen a focus that reveals something meaningful about you, you're probably going to need more than words to provide the makings of an effective essay. However, it isn't essential to hit the mark, either. From the Admissions Desk "There is no need to meet the full word count [] if the essay captures what the student would like to share. Visually, you want to make sure the essay looks complete and robust. As a general rule, I would suggest the essay be between words. Put a little pizazz in your essays by using different fonts, adding color, including foreign characters or by embedding media—links, pictures or illustrations. And how does this happen? Look for opportunities to upload essays onto applications as PDFs. This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college. Write like a journalist. Think about any article you've read—how do you decide to read it? You read the first few sentences and then decide. The same goes for college essays. A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay. A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover. So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships. Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier. Get personal. To me, personal stuff is the information you usually keep to yourself, or your closest friends and family. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s. Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable. This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays. I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. Keep it simple! No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay. Remember, this essay is about YOU. What makes you different from the thousands of other applicants and their essays? Use vivid imagery. This college essay tip is by Myles Hunter, CEO of TutorMe , an online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses for thousands of students. Honor your inspiration. My parents would have much preferred that I write about sports or youth group, and I probably could have said something interesting about those, but I insisted on writing about a particular fish in the pet store I worked at—one that took much longer than the others to succumb when the whole tank system in the store became diseased. It was a macabre little composition, but it was about exactly what was on my mind at the time I was writing it. I think it gave whoever read it a pretty good view of my 17 year-old self. I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it remains a point of pride that I did it my way. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, founder of PwnTestPrep , which has a funny name but serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests. Revise often and early. Your admissions essay should go through several stages of revision. Ask your parents, teachers, high school counselors or friends for their eyes and edits. It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. Take their constructive criticism in the spirit for which they intend—your benefit. Write about things you care about. The most obvious things make great topics. What do I mean? You want to be loosely in the realm of words. There Really Is No Guidance on Length If you really can't find any length guidelines anywhere on the admissions website and you're at a loss, I advise calling the admissions office. They may not be able to give you an exact number in fact, they probably won't , but they will probably at least be able to tell you how long most of the essays they see are. And keep you from writing a panicked, page dissertation about your relationship with your dog. In general, words or so is pretty safe for a college essay. It's a fairly standard word limit length, in fact. And if you're wondering, that's about a page and a half double-spaced. It says words right there in tiny font! The best college essay length is usually pretty straightforward: you want to be right under or at the provided word limit. If you go substantially past the word limit, you risk having your essay cut off by an online application form or having the admissions officer just not finish it. And if you're too far under the word limit, you may not be elaborating enough. What if there is no word limit? Then how long should a college essay be? In general, around words is a pretty safe approximate word amount for a college essay—it's one of the most common word limits, after all! Related Posts.

Remember that your essay is one of many and your readers will wonder why yours is longer when it doesn't need to be. Continue Reading.