College essays 250 words

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  • How to Write the Common App Essays —With Examples.
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If you picked a different Common App prompt, feel free to refer to our prompt 3 guide for more inspiration! If you already have a major in mind, chances are your application is bursting with supporting evidence.

College essay word count

So you want to be an English major? Perhaps the field of astronomy has piqued your imagination as much as your academic interest. Maybe a recent debate you got into with a friend sparked an interest in philosophy. Render it specific to your life and personality.

University of Southern California Supplemental Essay Guide

With a question this broad, you can write about pretty much anything as long as it tells a story about you and your life. Sorry, that treatise on wide-legged pants will have to wait. Our three primary pieces of advice are the same as always: 1 Pick a story rather than a fun fact. Give yourself the opportunity to really write in your own voice. If not, hit up our Common App guide for more brainstorming tips! In asking how you plan to pursue your interests, admissions is really trying to suss out your core reasons for choosing USC.

While college will offer you a wealth of social and professional opportunities, its primary function is academic — and your primary role is as a student. So, what kind of student do you hope to be? Where do you hope your studies will take you?

What resources and opportunities does USC offer that will meet your needs and guide you towards your goals? Beyond the basic departmental listings, look up information about news and research coming out of your department, the kinds of courses available, the opportunities that other undergrads have had studying in your area of choice. Even if you have a wide array of interests, consider explaining how two to three departments might complement each other or foster your interest in a larger idea or theme. Your ultimate goal is to show that your interest in USC just like your intellectual curiosity runs deep!

When the challenge is pith, the opportunity is humor. Think about how different people in your life would describe you, and then think about order. Can you make it read like a very short story?

Did you know your essay makes up 25% of your college application?

Can you make it rhyme? Though this assignment is short, you may need to spend some time wordsmithing different combinations. When the prescribed format is a list, order matters just as much as content, so use every element of the assignment to your advantage! The more specific your words are, the more memorable your answers will be.

How to Write the Common Application Essays 12222-2020 (With Examples)

Favorite snack? We thought so. Sign up for free instructional videos, guides, worksheets and more! Score our Exclusive Video Brainstorming Guide and more! The Requirements: 2 essays of up to words; 2 short-answer lists. USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. 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. 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 admissions officers will read essays that are too long but may consider them to be rambling, unfocused, or poorly-edited. Remember that your essay is one of many and your readers will wonder why yours is longer when it doesn't need to be.

Interview Highlights

If everything from to words is fair game, what length is best? Some counselors advise students to keep their essays on the shorter end but not all colleges place the most value in succinctness. 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.

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. 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.