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Thread: Appropriate personal statement length

  1. #1
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    Appropriate personal statement length

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm so close to being ready to apply for graduate school (yay!) but I'm starting to get very nervous about my personal statement. Mine currently is 1300 words (a little over 2 pages) and I have heard everything from 400 words to 1500 words. Opinions?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    I'm facing the same issue. The way I dealt with it: if they specify a word count then abide by it. If they don't, then you have some leeway but should generally be within +/- 800-1,200 words (based on requirements from various programs, that seems to be the appropriate range). My assumption is that if they don't specify a word count, then they're not likely to count words (though they'll stop reading after a certain number of pages I'm sure).

    Same thing for double vs. single spacing - if they don't specify, you get to choose (I went with double spacing because that was required back when I went to school... ten years ago...).
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    It's been a while since grad school, but I think that instead of shooting for a certain number of words, you should try to keep it to one page.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    One page is too short, even if single-spaced. In my opinion.
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mpawlow4 View post
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm so close to being ready to apply for graduate school (yay!) but I'm starting to get very nervous about my personal statement. Mine currently is 1300 words (a little over 2 pages) and I have heard everything from 400 words to 1500 words. Opinions?
    The appropriate length is according to instructions. Absent clear instructions (a warning sign, surely), then brevity is the soul of wit.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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