Expanding margins?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
username99
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Expanding margins?

Postby username99 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:42 pm

Does it really matter if I extend them a bit?

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bk1
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:43 pm

They will notice.

username99
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby username99 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:45 pm

Yeah but will they care?

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paratactical
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby paratactical » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:46 pm

username99 wrote:Yeah but will they care?


That a potential student can't follow directions? Gosh, I fail to see how that could reflect badly on you. Go for it!

username99
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby username99 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:49 pm

Haha no I definitely get that. But for most of these schools, the instructions say literally nothing about margins. 2 pgs, double spaced? No problem. But if I put the font at 11.5 or expand the margins a bit, it's not like I'm not following directions. Perhaps they will like my logic? Or, more accurately, perhaps they won't care...?

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bk1
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:51 pm

Or perhaps they will be annoyed that you are deviating from commonly accepted norms regarding formatting. Edit your content to fit the length you desire, not the formatting. Your statement will likely be better off for it anyways.

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paratactical
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby paratactical » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:53 pm

This is one of those questions that no one can answer for you. If the school doesn't specify margin size, it's your call if you mess with it or go with a smaller font.

However, I sincerely doubt that anyone has a statement that can't be trimmed to fit within standard page set up and the given page limit. Most things only get better with substantial trimming and it's an important skill to have.

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bk1
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:54 pm

In all honesty, if they have no requirements they probably won't care about small deviations. That being said I would still stick to the norms if possible. As para said, editing it will probably make it better.

BlueDiamond
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby BlueDiamond » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:55 pm

why risk it? do you really need the extra 2 lines to talk yourself up more? its about numbers.. if you are borderline and it comes down to your personal statement and admissions notices that you are jerking them around and not adhering to what would usually constitute a 2 page double spaced paper it doesn't help your chances

username99
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby username99 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:03 pm

Thanks all. I still think it's probably not a huge deal, but you're right that it's better to just find two sentences to trim. A number of the schools say "minimum of 11-pt font", which I think is generous. For the ones that don't specify at all, is it okay to use 11.5? Or will they be mad for it not being 12 (even if they don't ask for 12)?

dakatz
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby dakatz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:08 pm

If you are so close to meeting your page/word requirement that tweaking the margins just a bit makes it all fit, then you are better off just scouring for a few words you can cut out and small edits you can make. Trust me, where is ALWAYS something you can cut out. My final PS was about 2 and a half pages, but one school required a 500 word statement. Yet I was able to take my 2 and a half page statement and cut it down to 500 words without killing the flow or the story. So it can most certainly be done for just a few words/lines.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:35 pm

username99 wrote:Perhaps they will like my logic?


I suspect that disappointment regarding your inability to write a clear, concise personal statement essay will overcome any favorable impression your creative document formating might generate.

username99
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby username99 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:29 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:
username99 wrote:Perhaps they will like my logic?


I suspect that disappointment regarding your inability to write a clear, concise personal statement essay will overcome any favorable impression your creative document formating might generate.


That's harsh, sir. But you're honest. And I DIG that about you baby!

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AreJay711
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:22 pm

I cut off the space between paragraphs and the orphan control in MS Word and it saved me a few lines. Changing margins is painfully obvious though. I printed one out that I expanded the margins on and It was clear as day compared to my others with 1 inch margins.

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Emma.
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby Emma. » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:33 pm

AreJay711 wrote:I cut off the space between paragraphs and the orphan control in MS Word and it saved me a few lines. Changing margins is painfully obvious though. I printed one out that I expanded the margins on and It was clear as day compared to my others with 1 inch margins.


I submitted in 11pt TNR for all my essays except where the school explicitly required 12pt. It didn't seem to hurt my applications at all. I think that a slightly smaller font is preferable to messing too much with your margins. Anything smaller than 1" all round is pretty obvious.

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AreJay711
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:09 pm

Emma. wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I cut off the space between paragraphs and the orphan control in MS Word and it saved me a few lines. Changing margins is painfully obvious though. I printed one out that I expanded the margins on and It was clear as day compared to my others with 1 inch margins.


I submitted in 11pt TNR for all my essays except where the school explicitly required 12pt. It didn't seem to hurt my applications at all. I think that a slightly smaller font is preferable to messing too much with your margins. Anything smaller than 1" all round is pretty obvious.


That sounds good too. Removing the space between paragraphs doesn't affect margins though and orphan control just stops Word from knocking down an extra line onto the next page so you don't have an "orphan" line on the next page. I think that this is acceptable since I doubt they are standard setting if you aren't using Word.

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Emma.
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby Emma. » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Best case scenario: your get to submit your underedited essay without punishment.

Worst case scenario: someone hates you for making them squint, or questions your ability to read and understand directions.

I have absolutely no idea how you can imagine this is a good idea.


:oops:

If my essay was underedited I blame you, goddammit!

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lalalawya
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby lalalawya » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:30 pm

I def. wouldn't. Every single admissions person I have met with has said that one of their biggest "small" critiques is when people bend the rules when it comes to PS...whether that is writing a 2 and 1/10 page essay when the limit is 2 pages, or extending margins by .15...he said they really do notice and they really do not like it.

antonin
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Re: Expanding margins?

Postby antonin » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:13 pm

I think it is a brilliant idea if the school does not specify it.
It shows you can think like a lawyer... find loopholes and turning the tables around on them.




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