Word Limit Tip: Slim Down Your Obese Essay

Here is an essay tip that is applicable to everyone – med school applicants dealing with rigid AMCAS application character limits, b-school applicants with word count limits, law school applicants with more flexible page guidelines, and college and grad school applicants trying to write concise, tight essays. And in fact, that is the key to shortening your too-long essays to within the required limit – you must learn to construct a succinct essay by trimming away the unnecessary filler words. The result? A trim, tight essay that gets right to the point and stays within its boundaries.

So how do you achieve this word-count weight-loss?

Follow these "diet tips" and you'll start to see words disappear before your eyes:

  • Eliminate the use of unnecessary helping verbs.
       For example:
       Obese: He is going to be applying to eight law schools.
       Trim: He will apply to eight law schools.

  • Use simple, expressive verbs instead of adverbs that only assist prosaic verbs.
       For example:
       Obese: She reacted enthusiastically.
       Trim: She enthused.
       Trimmer: She gushed.

  • Don't ever "take advantage of the opportunity" to do something; rather, just do it.
       For example:
       Obese: I took advantage of the opportunity to go exploring in the Himalayas.
       Trim: I explored the Himalayas.

  • Learn how to turn nouns into verbs to eliminate filler words.
       For example:
       Obese: I came to the realization that…
       Trim: I realized…

As always, a successful diet requires will power – you can do it!

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