Word Limits: Use 'em up or keep it short and sweet?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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jbill
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 6:40 pm

Word Limits: Use 'em up or keep it short and sweet?

Postby jbill » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:17 pm

Wondering what people's thoughts were on word limits for personal statements. For example, UBC has a word limit of 750, which from reading some personal statements here is rather long. Is it best to fill up the word limit with as much detail as possible, getting all of one's accomplishments in, or is it best to keep it concise, focusing on what is most important and salient to the law school of which you are applying?

If the latter, how short is too short?

I have just begun drafting my personal statements, and it really is a tricky business. Thanks for your suggestions.

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billyez
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Re: Word Limits: Use 'em up or keep it short and sweet?

Postby billyez » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:28 pm

Honestly, at the point of first drafts I woudln't worry about word limits. You can always cut it down afterwards. Right now you're just experimenting - not writing the final product. When you're certain that you have an excellent strucutre and a competent PS, then I'd worry about imposing the word limit on your work and cutting it down.

But in terms of how far you should push the word limit...as long as you need it to. Not as long as you want it to. Once you've told your story, end it. It's better to be concise than to drown the reader in details.

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romothesavior
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Re: Word Limits: Use 'em up or keep it short and sweet?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:31 pm

jbill wrote:getting all of one's accomplishments in


Absolutely do not do this. They already have your resume.

If you can find something compelling to write 750 words about, great. If your PS sound best at 600 words, stop there. Don't go TOO short, but don't feel like you have to squeeze out every last word.




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