The essay is a task that is regularly assigned in school. It requires students to demonstrate their use of words, grammar, and their ability to explain thoughts in their heads. Such skills are quite important for higher education and even work, as managers often need to express their thoughts on new business plans, marketing strategies, or other corporate-related work.
Because essay writing is such an important skill, most colleges require an essay as part of the admission process. Not only does it give their selection panel a means to know the student’s personality, but it also presents their written skills, which may be what causes them to choose you over the thousand other applicants.
So take a look at these pointers for the essay length that you need.
- View their website for the number of words
Most admission officers have realized that if left to themselves, students may submit a wide range of essays, from two-sentence descriptions to a novella. So most schools mention what they need.
Depending on the school, this length may be between 250 and 600 words. Very short essays will hurt your chances. Though they don’t know you, an essay that is under length may be considered as something from a student who is lazy, who doesn’t write well, who cannot pay attention to instructions, or who does not truly value their institution.
Anything longer than 600 words wastes their time as they evaluate so many essays every year. It also says you cannot follow simple instructions such as the word count.
- Check other forums for the length
In case the website does not present the essay length, you can instead search online forums about other students’ experiences applying for the said college. You may even find review centers that post such information to drive potential clients to their webpage.
- Call the admissions office
Some prefer to be “sure” by contacting the admissions office. This is also a good choice provided that you can get through, they answer the question, and it’s not too expensive for you since long-distance calls can cost you a fortune.
- Make a rough estimate based on given guidelines
If the first three options don’t work, you may estimate the length based on what is asked. Some college websites simply ask for two paragraphs about yourself.
Should that be the case, you could submit anywhere from 250 to 400 words. If it asks for three paragraphs, then stretch it to 550 or 600 words.
- Go for the standard 500
But if the guidelines (#4) do not provide any clue to the length, just the prompt, then aim for the standard 500 words. It should be a safe enough number to discuss who you are without overtaxing whoever will read it.
Because it is an essential part of the college admission process, do your best to discover what the college requires from you, including the length of the essay. Remember the pointers mentioned earlier so that your essay will not be rejected outright.