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Long SOP/Personal Statement, what to do??


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My personal statement is 1,200 words! AH. I have cut out a ton, but still feel like it should be at 1,000. Has anyone applied with a SOP this long? Opinions?

If it's too long will that hurt me a lot? They read hundreds of essays!

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@sadie508 This will not be the last time you are asked to meet (and not exceed) a specific word count. It sucks, but you have to "kill your darlings" and make sure you are turning in something within the word limit. Read through each sentence. Ask yourself if that sentence is necessary. If it is, is there a way to say what you mean in fewer words? If so, do it. Be harsh on yourself and your writing. Give it to someone else to tear apart if you have to, but get it to the right size. 

Yes, they read hundreds of essays, but another way to look at it is they have to read hundreds of essays. Do you really want to be the one potentially pissing off adcoms because you wrote a longer paper than they asked for? 

I know it's probably not what you want to hear, but I hope the above advice helps! <3 

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Be sensitive to the limits the school gives you! There's a reason why the school gives a particular limit, and those who give really small word counts (like 500 words) are looking to see how effectively you can sell yourself in a really short essay. Ignoring the word count gives the committee an easy reason to throw out your app. As you are editing, condense, condense, condense! Cut out the "fluff" and keep the meat of what you want to communicate to the committee. 

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Definitely cut that not just down but WAY down.  Mine was 762 for most schools give or take a couple words.   Have someone that is more objective read the statement and go through with some heavy editing on everything that just is not relevant.  Cut all the fluff, I myself as well as many slp's start as fluffy writers because we are language people.  Show that you can condense information without dropping what is most relevant.  They want to be shown you can get your point across eloquently without extra stuff.  I can't tell you how many papers start out with really long winded "it wasn't until I was driving down the road that I discovered I would be a speech pathologist, all due to that 5 minute interaction with X."  They see that from everyone so if you make it relevant in less words they will be impressed!

 

Good luck, I know it's a pain but you'll be better off and have the chance they'll read your entire essay instead of just skimming the much too long version!

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Mine is 2 1/4 pages  with a word count of 745. I wanted to keep the page limit at two. However, this program doesn't have a page limit. From speaking with other programs I know that committees want a  SOP that is concise-- 2 pages. One of the programs I applied to only wants two pages max, so that is what I gave them. Keep in mind, my essays are double spaced. I was just thinking about if my 2 1/4 page essay for the program without a page limit was too long, but now that I think about it, I should be okay.  

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I feel your pain! I want to be an SLP so badly that at first, I just sort of word vomited every reason why. All the reasons felt equally important! Once I thought I was done, I had a friend with a lot of academic writing experience give me some feedback. Since the words hadn't poured out of her soul, she was able to let me know what objectively didn't support my narrative. The more I trimmed, the more obvious it was when a sentence was extraneous or I could word something more simply.

So yeah, definitely have someone read it over, as long as it's someone who knows what they're doing (otherwise too many random opinions might just make you crazy)! Also, it's sort of arbitrary, but I tried to make mine fit on 2 pages so it didn't look visually overwhelming. (I never wanted someone to open my document and groan, you know?) Best of luck! 

Edited by SopranoSLP
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