Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
GentlemanJim
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Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:08 am

What are your thoughts? Is this an automatic fail? I wrote a personal statement that is about 1000 words/3 pages, which was fine for the three schools I most wanted to apply to, but for a lot of schools that is just way too long. Here's the problem: this is the best thing I've ever written. No matter what I do, I just can't trim it down significantly. I'm an excellent writer, so it's not that I don't know how to edit. It's just the thing is so damn good. I honestly can't imagine an admissions staffer not being impressed, provided they took the time to read it.

So, that being said, my question: will they read it?? Is sending in a personal statement that is too long something that will screw you over outright? Anyone have any experience here?

Thanks.

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LawandOrder
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby LawandOrder » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:09 am

Your hubris is astonishing.

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skynet
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby skynet » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:09 am

If they give you a limit, adhere to it. If chopping a page out of this statement is too painful, write a new one.

Neelio
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby Neelio » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:10 am

I was about 30 words over on a certain schools limit. I just emailed admissions and asked if it was permissable... they gave me the green light. my advice: don't submit until you ask them directly.

GentlemanJim
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:11 am

For argument's sake, pretend my hubris is justified.

dakatz
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby dakatz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:11 am

Sending in a statement over the page limit simply shows that you either cannot follow, or simply disregard the rules, which is not good at all. For a word limit, that is a bit more ambiguous. If they say a 500 word limit and its 1000 words, then it is very bad. But if it asks for 500 and you send 560, no one will care. But if they specifically ask you to get it to 2 pages, do it. Don't take this the wrong way, but no piece of writing is so good that it is above editing. I'm sure your statement seems great, as did mine, at 3 pages, but that doesn't mean that an impartial 3rd party can't help you cut out the filler.

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fl0w
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby fl0w » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:13 am

They will read it. (conjecture on my part)
They will see that you cannot follow directions and adhere to a page limit. Or that you cannot read.
If they didn't read it before, they won't now.

Also, give your essay to someone and let them know that you need to trim a page out. I bet they could do it for you. There's probably a good amount in there that is not necessary to advance the story or enhance points.

Heck, I'll volunteer. I don't have anything to do at work this week.

sk_mcbride
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby sk_mcbride » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:16 am

I love Jim Reeves.

Slimpee
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby Slimpee » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:16 am

My PS turned out to be 1080 words or something...it's a PITA to trim 'em out for schools that cap it at 1,000 but i figure i look like a jacka$$ if I can't follow simple directions.

That said, I did send it in entirety to one of my safeties...

hds2388
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby hds2388 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:20 am

GentlemanJim wrote:What are your thoughts? Is this an automatic fail? I wrote a personal statement that is about 1000 words/3 pages, which was fine for the three schools I most wanted to apply to, but for a lot of schools that is just way too long. Here's the problem: this is the best thing I've ever written. No matter what I do, I just can't trim it down significantly. I'm an excellent writer, so it's not that I don't know how to edit. It's just the thing is so damn good. I honestly can't imagine an admissions staffer not being impressed, provided they took the time to read it.

So, that being said, my question: will they read it?? Is sending in a personal statement that is too long something that will screw you over outright? Anyone have any experience here?

Thanks.


Post it on here. I guarantee people will find plenty to trim out. Its much harder to trim your own writing. I'm sure they told you this when they gave you your pulitzer.

DukeHopeful
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby DukeHopeful » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:21 am

Not sure where OP is applying, but I was just looking at Emory's app to try and get in for that Woodruff, and they specifically say the PS should be no more than two pages but (interestingly enough) it can be single or double spaced which seems to me that you could actually write a four page statement and just make it single spaced. It does say that those who fail to adhere will absolutely be affected adversely. FWIW

GentlemanJim
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:24 am

hds2388 wrote:
GentlemanJim wrote:What are your thoughts? Is this an automatic fail? I wrote a personal statement that is about 1000 words/3 pages, which was fine for the three schools I most wanted to apply to, but for a lot of schools that is just way too long. Here's the problem: this is the best thing I've ever written. No matter what I do, I just can't trim it down significantly. I'm an excellent writer, so it's not that I don't know how to edit. It's just the thing is so damn good. I honestly can't imagine an admissions staffer not being impressed, provided they took the time to read it.

So, that being said, my question: will they read it?? Is sending in a personal statement that is too long something that will screw you over outright? Anyone have any experience here?

Thanks.


Post it on here. I guarantee people will find plenty to trim out. Its much harder to trim your own writing. I'm sure they told you this when they gave you your pulitzer.


I can't post it on here. Contains (non-sensitive, but still nfpc) info about my job.

I've had people look at it, and at one point someone (a professional writer) was able to trim it a bit (200 words), but it lost some punch.

GentlemanJim
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:24 am

DukeHopeful wrote:Not sure where OP is applying, but I was just looking at Emory's app to try and get in for that Woodruff, and they specifically say the PS should be no more than two pages but (interestingly enough) it can be single or double spaced which seems to me that you could actually write a four page statement and just make it single spaced. It does say that those who fail to adhere will absolutely be affected adversely. FWIW


Hmm, this is worth double-checking. Thanks.

dakatz
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby dakatz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 am

Then you have to just accept the "loss of punch" that comes along with it. We could all write real killer statements if we had as many pages as we wanted to write it. Its the person who can convey the most "punch" in as little space as possible that gets the prize. So cut out whatever you need to minimize the amount of important content you must take away, but something must be taken out. Again, the key thing here is that no statement absolutely cannot be cut down, and your perception of your work is COMPLETELY different from how other people will perceive it. One professor's edits is most certainly not enough. Perhaps you can post it and just blank out the sensitive information?

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MC Southstar
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby MC Southstar » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:29 am

It's not that good.

nycparalegal
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:32 am

They will read it, but if it is not the best damn thing they ever read, it will affect you very badly.

How long should the statement be?

Some schools will explicitly state their word or page limit. Adhere to their wishes. You will not impress admissions committees with an overly long statement and your inability to follow directions. If no word count or page limit is stated, aim to write a statement that's about two pages long, double-spaced.
- Berkeley Career Center

DukeHopeful
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby DukeHopeful » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:33 am

Also, just see if you can't go through and eliminate some extra flowery wording. While "The swift black cat bounded gracefully across the lawn before scampering up the tree." sounds great, you could just as easily make the same point in much less words.

jackster2
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby jackster2 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:34 am

Why so slavishly follow the rules? Ignore them, write what you want, let them deal with it. Why is everyone so eager to please the authorities? Perhaps a little independence would impress them? And if they're that rigid, screw em.

DukeHopeful
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby DukeHopeful » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:34 am

jayzon wrote:
DukeHopeful wrote:Also, just see if you can't go through and eliminate some extra flowery wording. While "The swift black cat bounded gracefully across the lawn before scampering up the tree." sounds great, you could just as easily make the same point in much less words.


fewer :lol:



Touche :D

nycparalegal
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:35 am

jackster2 wrote:Why so slavishly follow the rules? Ignore them, write what you want, let them deal with it. Why is everyone so eager to please the authorities? Perhaps a little independence would impress them? And if they're that rigid, screw em.


Great advice for not getting into law school.

hds2388
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby hds2388 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:35 am

GentlemanJim wrote:
hds2388 wrote:
GentlemanJim wrote:What are your thoughts? Is this an automatic fail? I wrote a personal statement that is about 1000 words/3 pages, which was fine for the three schools I most wanted to apply to, but for a lot of schools that is just way too long. Here's the problem: this is the best thing I've ever written. No matter what I do, I just can't trim it down significantly. I'm an excellent writer, so it's not that I don't know how to edit. It's just the thing is so damn good. I honestly can't imagine an admissions staffer not being impressed, provided they took the time to read it.

So, that being said, my question: will they read it?? Is sending in a personal statement that is too long something that will screw you over outright? Anyone have any experience here?

Thanks.


Post it on here. I guarantee people will find plenty to trim out. Its much harder to trim your own writing. I'm sure they told you this when they gave you your pulitzer.


I can't post it on here. Contains (non-sensitive, but still nfpc) info about my job.

I've had people look at it, and at one point someone (a professional writer) was able to trim it a bit (200 words), but it lost some punch.


So a professional writer suggested you cut out things after reading it, but you disagree. I mean, that's all well and good, but it matters how your essay is perceived not how you intend it to be perceived. If it can lose two hundred words, then do it.

I would love to submit the honors thesis I wrote...It is really good. It is also 60 pages. Instead of doing that, I just submitted a regular old 2 page personal statement that I would've loved an extra page of room to make better, but on which I instead chose to adhere to directions.

This sounds meaner than I intend it to...please don't be offended. If you are offended, channel that rage into slicing sections from your PS.

GentlemanJim
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:35 am

jackster2 wrote:Why so slavishly follow the rules? Ignore them, write what you want, let them deal with it. Why is everyone so eager to please the authorities? Perhaps a little independence would impress them? And if they're that rigid, screw em.


I like this line of thought.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:37 am

jackster2 wrote:Why so slavishly follow the rules? Ignore them, write what you want, let them deal with it. Why is everyone so eager to please the authorities? Perhaps a little independence would impress them? And if they're that rigid, screw em.


Perhaps the motivation felt by many to please the authorities has something to do with the role that those authorities play in one's admission to law school.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby MC Southstar » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:38 am

jackster2 wrote:Why so slavishly follow the rules? Ignore them, write what you want, let them deal with it. Why is everyone so eager to please the authorities? Perhaps a little independence would impress them? And if they're that rigid, screw em.


You'll make a fabulous lawyer.

hds2388
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Re: Sending in a Personal Statement that is over word/page limit

Postby hds2388 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:39 am

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
jackster2 wrote:Why so slavishly follow the rules? Ignore them, write what you want, let them deal with it. Why is everyone so eager to please the authorities? Perhaps a little independence would impress them? And if they're that rigid, screw em.


Perhaps the motivation felt by many to please the authorities has something to do with the role that those authorities play in one's admission to law school.[/quote]

I like this line of thought.
Last edited by hds2388 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.




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