Example A: The length of your essay.

We’ll start with the length of your essay because it’s commonly abused. While I’ve never met a scholarship judge who actually sat down and counted every word to ensure that an applicant didn’t go over the limit, you still must stick to that limit. If an essay calls for 750 words or less and you send in five single-spaced pages, you either didn’t read or simply didn’t care about the instructions. When you do that, you’re sending us one or more of the following messages, none of which makes us happy.

What you’re saying: I feel my essay is perfect, and any alteration of it would soil its perfect form. It simply cannot be edited further.

What the judges say: Even the world’s most accomplished writers — Pulitzer Prize winners, best-selling authors, etc. — have editors. One task these editors must perform is to cut out words, paragraphs and pages that aren’t necessary. It’s hard sometimes, but it has to be done. If you can’t cut down the length of your essay, get a friend, parent, teacher, English major, or someone else to do it. But it can and must be done, because otherwise, your application gets thrown in the trash. And we don’t mean it gets thrown in the trash like your 3rd grade teacher would threaten to do if you forgot to write your name on your paper — we really, honestly throw it in the trash. Actually it’s the shredder, since it’s got your personal information on it. But you get the message.

What you’re saying: Yes, my essay is too long, but that’s too bad, because I have some REALLY important things you need to hear.

What the judges say: Most of the people who apply for this scholarship have some really important things to say, and they say those really important things within the allotted word limit. That’s what you have to do, too, if you want a chance to win. Think of the rules like a basketball game: regardless of how badly you want to win, you can only have five people on the court at one time. You can’t throw two or three extra people out there, because then you’d have an advantage that no one else has. That’s cheating and it’s not allowed.

What you’re saying: I didn’t realize I submitted an essay that was too long; I didn’t read the instructions.

What the judges say: If you’re not going to read the instructions, then we’re not going to read your essay. Sorry.

7 thoughts on “Example A: The length of your essay.”

  1. People who apply for this scholarship are really people that find it difficult for their studies. I therefore request that further consideration beyond their easies is needed and even helpful to them. Because them failing to satisfy the judge does not mean that they don’t have difficulties in paying school fees or even failing.

    Many thanks for reading my comment.

    Kind regards,
    Thompson Kiiza

  2. What is import and can be regarded should be the content of the easy not how length it is. However, very long easies are not desirable therefore students be encouraged to be specific i order to limit the unnecessary words.

    Many thanks for reading my comment.

    Kind regards,
    Thompson Kiiza

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Example A. Many people aren’t thinking about the judges when they submit an essay. I tend to try to keep my essays right around the limit (over achiever here – and a total perfectionist). I will admit that I never thought about what an essay could say without a judge even reading it. I will definitely keep this in mind in the future.

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. I agree with Example A, but I also have a question: Is it any better to write an essay that is significantly shorter than the alotted characters, if the essay is well written and fully answers the question asked?

  5. To add to Teena’s question, if for example there is a 7800 character limit on 8 required essays, is it okay to write only about 2000?


    Thank you very much for taking your time to give us these tips. In most cases people and especially myself tend to pay more attention on very major details ,the ones that are seen by everybody and we forget about the smaller and yet very important details.Many a time we don’t take time to put ourselves in the shoes of the judges or any other examiners or interviewers in general.This in most cases ends up costing us dearly .As it is said some opportunities come once in a life time.I have never applied for a scholarship before. Despite my age I still think there is a lot of potential within which is unexploited .Again Thanks for the tips and I will consider them while applying for the scholarship

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