Law School Discussion

word counts?

word counts?
« on: July 09, 2004, 10:33:25 AM »
hello all-- i'm a "long time listener, first time caller"

But, i was wondering if anyone out there has some advice about word counts on a Personal Statement.  I've been working on a draft, and it's coming out at about 1140, while most of the "sample statements" i've seen online run between 700-900.  Does it even matter?

lexylit

Re: word counts?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2004, 10:39:50 AM »
yes.
if you have an outside limit from a school, keep below it or within 100 words of it.
it'll help you be concise anyway.

dta

Re: word counts?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2004, 12:08:49 PM »
Most schools i've seen don't give precise word count limits. Rather, they give page limits, 2-3 pages. For such schools without precise word count limits i've set a maximum limit of 1000 words. That's significantly less than the number of words you'll have if you open up Microsoft Word and fill up 2 pages using the default settings. So, I think 1000 words is completely reasonable for a personal statement.

I've trimmed my PS down to 1,066 words. It was longer and diffuse. It is now tight and well aimed. I can't see trimming much more out of it and its length when displayed in MS Word under default settings is 1.75 pages. I'm content with that and it is the PS I plan to use.

EnglishToLaw

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Re: word counts?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2004, 10:06:50 AM »
I agree that you should limit your word count. Some of the most effective personal statements I've read are certainly on the short side. If each paragraph is well crafted and compelling, however, I wouldn't get too caught up in agonizing about the precise number of words. Just make sure you're not boring the reader and not repeating too much from your resume and application. And don't whine.

Try reading the statement out loud to a friend or family member who is notorious for having a short attention span. If he or she begins yawning, looking away, playing with his or her clothes, looking for snacks in the kitchen, or otherwise signaling a need for the Vaudville cane to come pull you away, consider trimming the thing.

lexie0502

Re: word counts?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2004, 11:02:11 AM »
I've heard that you should keep it between 500-600 words. but i have the same problem, mine is around 950 right now.  :-\

Re: word counts?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2004, 02:15:27 PM »
Does anyone have any info on how the formatting is altered if you copy and paste your PS into the LSDAS on the web applications?  I was wondering if it would be better to send in hard copy applications (with hard copy personal statements) to keep the paper formatting (margins, spacing, line breaks, etc.) just the way i intended.  What do you all think?

lexie0502

Re: word counts?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2004, 03:31:29 PM »
Dont you just upload the word file of ur PS? so what's the difference.  I didnt think you'd do a copy-and-paste deal.

lexylit

Re: word counts?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2004, 10:44:08 PM »
nah, copying and pasting screws you sometimes-- with paragraph breaks especially, but also if anything is italicized, quoted, etc. if you do it that way i would read it over supercarefully post-paste.

lexylit

Re: word counts?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2004, 04:29:43 PM »
bump. mine's at 677 words-- am i too shorty?  :-\

Cheeks

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Re: word counts?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2004, 04:34:46 PM »
if it's good then it doesn't matter how long it is...and i'm sure it is.