Do college essays have to be 500 words

Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier. Usually used at the start of a sentence. Improve Your Writing Today!

Do college essays have to be 500 words

Brian Wasko There are questions that drive teachers crazy: The President was traveling by train with Stephen A. Douglas and Owen Lovejoy. These two men were notably dissimilar in body shape. Douglas had a long upper body and short legs, while Lovejoy had proportionately long legs.

They were teasing each other regarding their physiques and asked Honest Abe to settle the dispute: This idea is so familiar to us that it has become part of our educational instincts: Write a word essay on the French Revolution. The reason classroom teachers assign papers of a required — though arbitrary — length is pragmatic.


Teachers must grade fairly, so it is necessary to establish a baseline for how much work is expected of them. Otherwise, Susie Studious would turn in a page paper while Abby Apathy would turn in a page and a half.

So, teachers have to be clear about how much work is expected. The problem with this is that it reinforces bad writing habits. It literally encourages wordiness. You remember how it went: You write the paper and count the words: What do you do?

Seek an additional illustration to support your argument? You go back and add as many words as possible to your existing sentences.

Instead of saying, The French Revolution failed to bring about a classless, egalitarian society, you say, In the opinion of this writer, the Revolution that took place in France in the 18th Century completely and utterly failed in its primary objective, which was to bring about a society where there are no social classes and all people are treated with total equality.

You just turned a simple eleven-word sentence into a sprawling forty-six worder. Conscientious and observant teachers call this padding and penalize it, but what they often fail to realize is that the very nature of the assignment encourages this kind of blather. By basing the grade, even in part, on the number of words a paper contains, teachers communicate that excess verbiage is a good thing.

WriteAtHome assignments come with suggested length in terms of pages.

Do college essays have to be 500 words

For example, we may suggest a report be two to three pages long. It was easier to give a guideline than tell the Abraham Lincoln story. Some stories just take longer to tell than others. Some topics require more explanation. Some arguments demand more detail to be convincing.

Since we are working with individual writers in a tutorial program rather than a competitive, graded, classroom contextwe are under no pressure to level the playing field arbitrarily. This allows us to encourage concise, economical writing rather than excessively verbose writing.

Just long enough and no more.The possibility of getting a much needed advice from someone willing to write my college essay for me is appealing. Some of you might feel insecure due to different accompanying issues: quality, ethics. The Perfect College Admissions Essay.

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Is your essay complete at words? ?

Are 2, words too long? Colleges generally do not specify word limits for college essays, but is there a perfect number? How can you tell if you’ve written enough?

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Why You Should Never Assign a Word Essay. Posted on: by: Brian Wasko. words, words, 1, words. For example: college and scholarship application essays, submitting to an op-ed or story contest.

As a professional writer, I frequently have to trim my essays or stories because they are over the word limit stated.

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