In general, your level of detail should make the decision of length for you. 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 decide its effectiveness.
Ideal College Application Essay Length
If you have answered the prompt in its entirety and feel proud of your work, there is no need to stress about any particular word count. Do not pad your essay with filler content and tautologies to stretch it out or leave important sections out in the interest of keeping it brief. Share Flipboard Email. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college.
Updated October 14, Learn how important this word limit is and how to make the most of your words. 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. 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.
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The longtime chair of the department, Nathaniel Norment, retired in July. The faculty voted in the spring for Kariamu Welsh to succeed him, beginning this fall.
This choice was rejected by the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, a rejection we all know rarely happens in academe. Hearing about this distressed me.
Based on what happened next, my mild distress quickly transformed into extreme uneasiness. You would think, the dean would appoint a faculty member in the department to serve as interim chair for the academic year, and then conduct a national search for a chair. That is the usual procedure in other departments.
But not African American Studies.
The department was placed in receivership, and a White vice dean was appointed as acting chair. The vice dean having been a long-time administrator was not the central problem. The fact that the new interim chair had no major scholarly connection to or background in African American Studies was the kicker. With serious reservations, I could understand appointing this unqualified interim chair with concrete plans to quickly hire a permanent qualified chair.
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Many interim chairs are unqualified, which is why they have the interim title. However, it is inconceivable to me that Temple University, or any other university for that matter, would appoint an administrator with a scholarly background in English as interim chair of its history department with no plans to hire a permanent chair.
- Temple University Requirements for Admission.
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That only happens in Black Studies, or other marginalized disciplines. If the inconceivable happened in a history department or sociology department, those historians or sociologists would go on the rampage. They would demand a chair with a background in history or sociology, which is exactly what the faculty and students at Temple are doing. I think these are reasonable demands, desires that are expected in other departments.
At the vibrant, golden age of 25 years, a department should not be uncertain about its future.
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