"Why X School" Length/Formatting

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theycallmefoes
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"Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby theycallmefoes » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:50 pm

Should this addendum be limited to one page? What about font size, line-spacing, and margins?

I'm currently working on one that is 1-page (double-spaced) with 11 pt. Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins -- but I really need another paragraph in which to mention the school's dual JD/PhD programs. I could fit it all on one page if I were to use 1.5 line spacing instead.

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Gooner91
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby Gooner91 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:21 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:Should this addendum be limited to one page? What about font size, line-spacing, and margins?

I'm currently working on one that is 1-page (double-spaced) with 11 pt. Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins -- but I really need another paragraph in which to mention the school's dual JD/PhD programs. I could fit it all on one page if I were to use 1.5 line spacing instead.


Does the school give specific instructions on formatting? What about length?
If they give instructions about formatting but not length, or vice-versa, I would follow the directions. For what its worth my Why X was more than a page for a few schools.

theycallmefoes
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby theycallmefoes » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:21 pm

Gooner91 wrote:
theycallmefoes wrote:Should this addendum be limited to one page? What about font size, line-spacing, and margins?

I'm currently working on one that is 1-page (double-spaced) with 11 pt. Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins -- but I really need another paragraph in which to mention the school's dual JD/PhD programs. I could fit it all on one page if I were to use 1.5 line spacing instead.
Does the school give specific instructions on formatting? What about length?
If they give instructions about formatting but not length, or vice-versa, I would follow the directions.
Most of the schools to which I'm applying are not soliciting the "Why X" essay, so they don't specify. What I'm wondering about is more of a rule-of-thumb for these addenda.
Gooner91 wrote:For what its worth my Why X was more than a page for a few schools.
Good to know. Thanks.

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lawschool22
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:12 am

According to KB the rule of thumb is around one page and never more than two. Keep in mind that these people read thousands of applications in a cycle, so being economical and efficient with your words and addenda is greatly appreciated by them.

She has also said that generally it makes sense to pick one good reason for wanting to go there and really flesh that out and make it a well-rounded essay, as opposed to creating a laundry list of reasons without much detail behind them. If you do this I think you will find that one page works out fairly nicely.

One final tip, try not to simply regurgitate information you found on their website. You can find a reason for attending from there, sure, but don't tell them things they already know about their unique program, unique professor, etc. Make sure they know why you specifically want to go there for whatever reason you choose.

theycallmefoes
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby theycallmefoes » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:01 am

lawschool22 wrote:She has also said that generally it makes sense to pick one good reason for wanting to go there and really flesh that out and make it a well-rounded essay, as opposed to creating a laundry list of reasons without much detail behind them. If you do this I think you will find that one page works out fairly nicely.

One final tip, try not to simply regurgitate information you found on their website. You can find a reason for attending from there, sure, but don't tell them things they already know about their unique program, unique professor, etc. Make sure they know why you specifically want to go there for whatever reason you choose.
This has never been clear to me. If you pick one reason, how much could you possibly say about it? Also, it seems like most people wouldn't have genuine reasons to apply to a school outside of an interest in some program, etc. For example, my goal is public interest law, so I wrote about how the school offers a lot of opportunities for social justice work. It doesn't seem like I can do too much other than regurgitate information from the website, though, especially if I'm trying to avoid reiterating things stated in other parts of my application.

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lawschool22
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby lawschool22 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:04 am

theycallmefoes wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:She has also said that generally it makes sense to pick one good reason for wanting to go there and really flesh that out and make it a well-rounded essay, as opposed to creating a laundry list of reasons without much detail behind them. If you do this I think you will find that one page works out fairly nicely.

One final tip, try not to simply regurgitate information you found on their website. You can find a reason for attending from there, sure, but don't tell them things they already know about their unique program, unique professor, etc. Make sure they know why you specifically want to go there for whatever reason you choose.
This has never been clear to me. If you pick one reason, how much could you possibly say about it? Also, it seems like most people wouldn't have genuine reasons to apply to a school outside of an interest in some program, etc. For example, my goal is public interest law, so I wrote about how the school offers a lot of opportunities for social justice work. It doesn't seem like I can do too much other than regurgitate information from the website, though, especially if I'm trying to avoid reiterating things stated in other parts of my application.


You should have no problem talking about one topic for a single double spaced page.

The way you don't spend the whole time regurgitating is this: spend more time setting up why you want PI law, then move into what you're looking for in a school to help further that goal, then you move into describing how X school fills that exact need, then close with saying for these reasons X would be the perfect school for me. That can be about a paragraph each topic. You should get to a page in no time.

theycallmefoes
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby theycallmefoes » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:24 am

lawschool22 wrote:
theycallmefoes wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:She has also said that generally it makes sense to pick one good reason for wanting to go there and really flesh that out and make it a well-rounded essay, as opposed to creating a laundry list of reasons without much detail behind them. If you do this I think you will find that one page works out fairly nicely.

One final tip, try not to simply regurgitate information you found on their website. You can find a reason for attending from there, sure, but don't tell them things they already know about their unique program, unique professor, etc. Make sure they know why you specifically want to go there for whatever reason you choose.
This has never been clear to me. If you pick one reason, how much could you possibly say about it? Also, it seems like most people wouldn't have genuine reasons to apply to a school outside of an interest in some program, etc. For example, my goal is public interest law, so I wrote about how the school offers a lot of opportunities for social justice work. It doesn't seem like I can do too much other than regurgitate information from the website, though, especially if I'm trying to avoid reiterating things stated in other parts of my application.
You should have no problem talking about one topic for a single double spaced page.

The way you don't spend the whole time regurgitating is this: spend more time setting up why you want PI law, then move into what you're looking for in a school to help further that goal, then you move into describing how X school fills that exact need, then close with saying for these reasons X would be the perfect school for me. That can be about a paragraph each topic. You should get to a page in no time.
Oh, I have no trouble writing a page. I just that I feel like the part where I'm "describing how X school fills that exact need" will still be the type of information that I just found on the website - I haven't had the opportunity to visit the vast majority of the schools to which I'm applying, so talking about that experience, as some people do, isn't an option for me. Also, I've already discussed the interest in PI law in my PS and, more indirectly, in my DS. I feel like explaining my interest here as well would make my application somewhat redundant.

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lawschool22
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Re: "Why X School" Length/Formatting

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:31 am

theycallmefoes wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
theycallmefoes wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:She has also said that generally it makes sense to pick one good reason for wanting to go there and really flesh that out and make it a well-rounded essay, as opposed to creating a laundry list of reasons without much detail behind them. If you do this I think you will find that one page works out fairly nicely.

One final tip, try not to simply regurgitate information you found on their website. You can find a reason for attending from there, sure, but don't tell them things they already know about their unique program, unique professor, etc. Make sure they know why you specifically want to go there for whatever reason you choose.
This has never been clear to me. If you pick one reason, how much could you possibly say about it? Also, it seems like most people wouldn't have genuine reasons to apply to a school outside of an interest in some program, etc. For example, my goal is public interest law, so I wrote about how the school offers a lot of opportunities for social justice work. It doesn't seem like I can do too much other than regurgitate information from the website, though, especially if I'm trying to avoid reiterating things stated in other parts of my application.
You should have no problem talking about one topic for a single double spaced page.

The way you don't spend the whole time regurgitating is this: spend more time setting up why you want PI law, then move into what you're looking for in a school to help further that goal, then you move into describing how X school fills that exact need, then close with saying for these reasons X would be the perfect school for me. That can be about a paragraph each topic. You should get to a page in no time.
Oh, I have no trouble writing a page. I just that I feel like the part where I'm "describing how X school fills that exact need" will still be the type of information that I just found on the website - I haven't had the opportunity to visit the vast majority of the schools to which I'm applying, so talking about that experience, as some people do, isn't an option for me. Also, I've already discussed the interest in PI law in my PS and, more indirectly, in my DS. I feel like explaining my interest here as well would make my application somewhat redundant.


I'm not saying you can't use any info from the website. I just didn't want you to write a whole page that just listed a bunch of things from the website. If you structure it somewhat closely to what I described, and maybe only 1/4 of the essay is facts from the site, you'll be fine.




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