Current Students

  • Student Survival Guide
  • Career Success Initiatives

Undocumented Students

  • The LGBTQI+ Community
  • Students With Conviction Records
  • Students With Disabilities
  • Transfer Explorer

Faculty & Staff

  • Employee Directory
  • Human Resources
  • Faculty Resources
  • Academic Commons
  • University Benefits Office

Future Students

  • CUNY’s Value for Students
  • How to Apply
  • Our Academic Programs
  • Check Application Status
  • Guide for Future Students
  • International Students
  • Campus Tours

Degree Search

  • Find a Course
  • Find a Class
  • Find a Program

People Search

  • Find People (phone/emails)
  • College Registrars
  • Campus IT Help Desks
  • Academic Calendars

Application Review

  • Undergraduate Admissions

How Will My Application Be Reviewed? During application evaluation, our colleges review your academic achievements to determine your likelihood of being successful on their campus.

Please note that your application will be reviewed based on a number of components, which can vary by college.

Use this page to understand how your application will be considered and determine which of our colleges is a strong academic fit.

Applicants Profile

College specific information, frequently asked questions.

student with laptop computer

Freshman Applicants

Each of our colleges has a unique selection process, and there is a great fit college for all first-year students. For most programs, a comprehensive review of your academic record is sufficient to make an admission decision.  However, some of our colleges will review additional supporting materials to determine your eligibility.

Admission Profile

Use this profile to review the average GPA of students accepted to the university for Fall 2023. The table below displays information for both general and SEEK/CD admission .  Remember that there is a great fit college for all first-year students, and you can apply to up to 6 colleges using the  CUNY Application .

CUNY College Admission Profile: Fall 2023

1 Excludes applicants admitted through the Opportunity for Student Success (OSS) program and applicants admitted conditionally. 2 Consists of admitted applicants meeting the SEEK/CD income criteria who are in the SCD1 or SCD2 student groups, or who are in the SEEK or CD student groups. Admits in one of the above groups and in the ASAP student group have been excluded. 3 Includes applicants admitted to both associate and baccalaureate degree programs.

Application Review & Support Materials

Once you’ve reviewed the admission profile, take a look at the components that each college can consider during application review.  For specific information on how each college will review your application, view the College Specific Information section.

Academic Review:

  • Overall academic average or GPA
  • Foreign Language
  • Strong performance in one or more specific subject areas
  • Level of coursework completed in each subject area (for instance, the completion of Trigonometry or Calculus in mathematics)
  • Participation in college level courses while in HS
  • AP or IB participation
  • Course selection during senior year
  • Proficiency  in Math and English
  • NYS Regents examination results, if available
  • High School Equivalency exam results
  • Financial Aid information for students wishing to be considered for SEEK/CD. To learn more about SEEK/CD, click  here .
  • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or Duolingo for temporary visa holders who were educated in a non-English environment.
  • Please note that SAT/ACT exams are not required, nor will they be considered through the Spring 2025 admission cycle. For more information, click here .

Supporting Materials:

  • Extracurricular achievements
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statements

word count for cuny essay

Transfer Applicants

As a transfer applicant, the review of your application will be based on a comprehensive review of your academic record.  Each of our colleges has a unique selection process, and certain majors may have additional requirements. Once you’re admitted, you’ll be able to engage with your future college to determine credit transfer. Already a CUNY student?  Use  this tool  to see how your credits will transfer across the university.

Use this profile to review the average GPA of transfer students accepted to the university for Fall 2023.  Remember that as a transfer applicant, you can select up to 4 college choices on the  CUNY Application .

1 The GPA reflects a combination of all prior colleges attended. GPAs reported as “0” in CUNYfirst are only included if the total number of credits attempted is greater than 0. GPAs reported as greater than 4.0 have been excluded. 2 Total credits earned for each applicant reflects a combination of all prior colleges attended but does not necessarily reflect the number of credits that CUNY will accept towards the degree. Credits reported as “0” in CUNYfirst are only included if the total number of credits attempted is greater than 0. 3 Means are based on applicants admitted to both associate and baccalaureate degree programs. 4 Only includes applicants admitted as transfer applicants. 5 Data is not available at this time but Guttman accepts Transfer Students.

Most of our colleges will review your application based on your overall GPA and demonstrated  proficiency  in math and English. However, certain majors have additional requirements.  Below is a listing of items that our colleges may consider during review. For specific information on how each college will review your application, view the college specific information section.

  • Overall academic average or GPA in college courses
  • Completion of pre-requisite coursework
  • Completion of an associate degree
  • Demonstration of  proficiency  in math and English
  • Academic average or GPA in high school
  • Proof of high school graduation
  • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or Duolingo for temporary visa holders who were educated in a non-English environment
  • Proof of licensure for certain majors

Which colleges require a personal statement for general freshman applicants?

Hunter College and Queens College ask that all freshman applicants submit a personal statement. It is recommended for Baruch College.

What are the essay topics for Baruch College, Hunter College and Queens College?

You may submit one of three essay topics as part of your freshman application to Baruch (essay is recommended), Hunter or Queens:

  • Tell us something meaningful about yourself that is not reflected in your application.  You may choose to speak about your interests, aspirations and/or background.
  • It is often said that the road to success is paved with setbacks.  Tell us about a time you faced a challenge or obstacle.  What did you learn from it, and how did it contribute to your success?
  • Share an essay on any topic.  You may use an essay that you have previously written or one that discusses a topic of your choice.

Do any colleges require a letter of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation are optional for general admission programs. Be sure to check if your intended major requires supplemental materials to be submitted.

How will community colleges review my freshman application?

Our community colleges will primarily look for proof that you are graduating with a high school diploma. Many students who are looking for a supportive environment choose to apply to a community college.

My school does not offer Regents exams, but I’m a strong student. Will my application be impacted by missing Regents exam scores?

No.  Each college will review your application comprehensively.  We understand that not all students take Regents exams, and our colleges will look at other components of your application to determine eligibility.

My grade point average falls slightly below what is listed on the admission profile. Can I still apply?

Yes. The admission profile displays averages of admitted students and does not represent minimum requirements for admission.

More Admissions Resources

Majors & Programs

Support Programs

Foster Care Students

Adult Learners

Advanced Placement Credit

High School/College Counselors

Transfer Credit Guide

Downloads and Print Materials

Macaulay Honors College

  • Macaulay Honors College Essay Questions

June 7, 2019

As part of the Macaulay application to the class of 2028, we require that you submit two pieces of writing: Each should be around 500 words long. Your word counts may be slightly over or under, within reason.

ESSAY 1: ABOUT YOU Select one of the options below.

Tell us about an area or activity, outside of academics, in which you have invested a lot of time and effort. Tell us why. What did you learn? How was it meaningful?

Tell us either about a time in which someone/or a situation challenged your perspective on an important matter or a time in which you challenged someone else’s perspective. Please describe the situation and impact.

ESSAY 2: ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR COLLEGE. PLEASE DISCUSS ALL POINTS BELOW

Why do you want to be a part of the Macaulay Honors College community at your first-choice campus? Specifically, what do you expect to contribute to this specific college community and what do you expect to gain from it? Please address this prompt specifically regarding your first-choice campus.

  • Applying to Macaulay

word count for cuny essay

Logo

  • Portal Home
  • Document Hub
  • Return to Talos

CUNY Application Prompts 2021 are Out!

The CUNY Macaulay Honors College Essay prompts are now available.  If you will apply next fall, you may want to get drafts going over the summer; this fall the Macaulay deadline will be earlier than in the past (November 16).

You can read about the full application process here.

OUR ESSAY PROMPTS HAVE BEEN POSTED!

The application for the Macaulay Class of 2026 won't open until September 1, but the prompts are available now for rising seniors.

As part of the Macaulay application to the class of 2026, we require that studemts submit  two pieces of writing: an ESSAY and a second WRITING SAMPLE . Each should be around 500 words long. Word counts may be slightly over or under, within reason.

ESSAY PROMPT:  Describe an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

WRITING SAMPLE PROMPT: Write on a topic of your choice. It may be something you have already written, something that addressed a different prompt (such as another college essay or academic assignment), or may be an essay of your own design.

In selecting your writing sample, students should consider that:

  • Readers will not be specialists in any specific field, submissions of a technical nature are discouraged
  • Submissions can be an excerpt from a larger text, but it should be self-contained, with a reasonably clear beginning, middle, and end
  • Students are encouraged to be ambitious in their writing, but also aware of word count limitations

SEE ALL APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

word count for cuny essay

College Office

Return to blog

Word Counter Logo

  • Help Us Out

Login with your site account:

Create a site account:

0 words 0 characters

  • Sentence case
  • Text as .pdf
  • Text as .txt
  • Text as .doc

Grammarly installed

What is WordCounter?

Apart from counting words and characters, our online editor can help you to improve word choice and writing style, and, optionally, help you to detect grammar mistakes and plagiarism. To check word count, simply place your cursor into the text box above and start typing. You'll see the number of characters and words increase or decrease as you type, delete, and edit them. You can also copy and paste text from another program over into the online editor above. The Auto-Save feature will make sure you won't lose any changes while editing, even if you leave the site and come back later. Tip: Bookmark this page now.

Knowing the word count of a text can be important. For example, if an author has to write a minimum or maximum amount of words for an article, essay, report, story, book, paper, you name it. WordCounter will help to make sure its word count reaches a specific requirement or stays within a certain limit.

In addition, WordCounter shows you the top 10 keywords and keyword density of the article you're writing. This allows you to know which keywords you use how often and at what percentages. This can prevent you from over-using certain words or word combinations and check for best distribution of keywords in your writing.

In the Details overview you can see the average speaking and reading time for your text, while Reading Level is an indicator of the education level a person would need in order to understand the words you’re using.

Disclaimer: We strive to make our tools as accurate as possible but we cannot guarantee it will always be so.

word count for cuny essay

  • 0 Unique Words
  • 0 Characters
  • 0 Characters (no spaces)
  • 0 Sentences
  • 0 Longest Sentence (words)
  • 0 Shortest Sentence (words)
  • 0 Avg. Sentence (words)
  • 0 Avg. Sentence (chars)
  • 0 Avg. Word Length
  • 0 Paragraphs
  • 0 Syllables
  • 0 Words (Publisher)
  • N/A Reading Level  
  • N/A Reading Time  
  • N/A Speaking Time  
  • N/A Hand Writing Time  
  • More ( 0 ) Share

Keyword Density x1   x2   x3

Keep track of the number of words you write each day using the activity button.   ACTIVITY

This button helps you clean up your document by removing funky characters, unneeded new lines, etc.

  • Email Fix (Remove word wrapping)
  • Microsoft Word Document Fix (Remove invalid characters)
  • Remove multiple new lines

My Writing Details

  • N/A Reading Level
  • N/A Reading Time
  • N/A Speaking Time
  • N/A Hand Writing Time

Step 1. What do you want to share?

  • Unique Words
  • Characters (no spaces)
  • Longest Sentence (words)
  • Shortest Sentence (words)
  • Avg. Sentence (words)
  • Avg. Sentence (chars)
  • Avg. Word Length
  • Words (Publisher)
  • Reading Level
  • Reading Time
  • Speaking Time
  • Hand Writing Time

Step 2. What do you want to say?

Step 3. Where do you want to share it?

  • Keyword Density

Step 1. What do you want to say?

Step 2. Where do you want to share it?

Upload File

Click the upload button below to select a text document. Supported formats are PDF, TXT, DOC, DOCX, ODT.

Save To Drive

Use this button to save your current writing to Google Drive

You can turn on or off different counting options here.

  • Hand Writing Time Letters Per Minute Slow Normal Fast
  • Reading Time Words Per Minute Slow Normal Fast
  • Speaking Time Words Per Minute Slow Normal Fast

You can turn on or off different buttons provided for different functionalities.

  • ACTIVITY Keeps track of your word and character count.
  • AUTO-SAVE When turned on, WordCounter will automatically save your document every 30 seconds. You can then switch back to previous versions of your document at any time.
  • CASE Gives different case options. Applies to your entire document or only the text you select.
  • CLEAN TEXT After pasting a document into WordCounter, this will clean it up by removing invalid characters, word wrapping issues and unneeded new lines.
  • CLEAR Delete all of the text in your document.
  • DOWNLOAD Download your written text (PDF, TXT, DOC) to your device.
  • FIND AND REPLACE Find and replace any words or sentences you want.
  • GOAL Set writing goals (such as 500 words) and WordCounter will let you know when you've reached them. You can also share and embed your goals.
  • PRINT Print your document quickly and easily.
  • PROOF READ   WordCounter reads your document back to you. Make sure to turn up your volume! Rate Valid values are 0.1 to 10 Pitch Valid values are 0 to 2 Voices
  • REDO Redo your last changes. Click multiple times to redo multiple changes.
  • SAVE Saves your text for later retrieval. Be sure and click the SAVE button each time you want to save.
  • SAVE TO DRIVE Saves your document to Google Drive. Great for backup purposes.
  • SPEED Use a timer to see how fast you're typing.
  • SPELL A powerful spelling and grammar checker for your document.
  • TALK TO TYPE   Speak into your microphone and WordCounter will type for you. Language Country
  • THESAURUS Select (with your mouse) a word in your document and click the thesaurus button to get a list of synonyms.
  • UNDO Undo your last changes. Click multiple times to undo multiple changes.
  • UPLOAD Upload your existing document (PDF, TXT, DOC, DOCX, ODT) into WordCounter.

Enter the number of characters, words, sentences or paragraphs you want to set for a goal.

Existing Goals

You can set, delete and edit your goals.

Embed Your Goal into your Web Page

Record your count of words and characters.

New Activity

Previous activities.

You can edit and delete your records.

New Document

Previous documents.

You can load, edit and delete your documents.

Find and Replace

  • Help WordCounter
  • Embed WordCounter
  • Report a Bug
  • Privacy Policy

Found a Bug

Supplementary essays for CUNY (City University of New York) Schools?

<p>Hi, I have a question about the supplementary essay for Baruch College. I looked everywhere in their website about the supplementary essay, and I don’t see any indications on word limits. So, is it safe to assume that I can go over 650 words? I know there is a word limit for Hunter College’s supplementary essay, but there doesn’t seem to be any for Baruch. I’d like to check to make sure before I submit an essay that might have went over the word limit. Thank you in advance!</p>

<p>bump</p>

Since no one answered, I’m guessing no one here knew the answer, so I’ll just put this here for reference (in case any other student has this question in the future) I e-mailed the Undergraduate Admissions and they said “It is best not to exceed 500-600 words.” In my case, I had ~640 words (I used my Common App essay) and he replied with “It’s fine.”

POPULAR STATES

Search sat scores, search act scores, search gpa’s, subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay informed with the latest from the CC community, delivered to you, for free.

CONNECT WITH US

© 2023 College Confidential, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

word count for cuny essay

The College

  • Mission, Vision & History
  • Offices and Services
  • Administration
  • City College and CUNY Policies
  • Campus Map & Directions
  • Land Acknowledgement
  • CCNY in the News
  • Shuttle Bus Service
  • Schedule a Tour

Schools & Divisions

  • The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture
  • CUNY School of Medicine
  • Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership
  • School of Education
  • The Grove School of Engineering
  • Division of Humanities and the Arts
  • Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at Center for Worker Education (CWE)
  • Division of Science

Lifetime & Experiential Learning

  • Graduate Studies Overview
  • Continuing & Professional Studies
  • International Studies & Study Abroad

Academic Planning

  • Areas of Study
  • General Education Curriculum
  • Academic Calendar
  • Courses / Bulletins
  • Academic Affairs

Information For

  • Admissions Overview
  • Freshman Students
  • Transfer/Second Degree Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Returning to College
  • Visiting Students/Non-Degree
  • Continuing Education
  • Explore CCNY
  • ACE Program
  • MyCity VIP Portal

Visit Our Campus

  • Campus Tours
  • Information Sessions

Related Links

  • Financial Aid
  • Tuition and Fees
  • Campus Housing
  • International Students
  • Honors Programs
  • Research Overview
  • The Office of Research
  • Research Compliance & Ethics
  • College Research Council

Discoveries in Actions

  • Centers and Institutes
  • QC-ALERT Programs
  • Undergraduate Research

Faculty & Staff Experts

  • By Area of Expertise
  • View All Faculty & Staff

Campus Life

  • Student Life
  • Student Housing

Student Services

  • Student Affairs
  • Health & Wellness
  • The AccessAbility Center/Student Disability Services
  • Safety Services
  • LGBTQ+ Student Center
  • CCNY Navigate
  • Immigrant Student Resource and Research Center

Support CCNY

  • How to Make a Gift
  • CCNY Giving: Make-A-Will
  • Types of Gifts
  • 2023-2024 NYS Charitable Tax Contributions Credit

CUNY Related Links

  • CUNY Portal
  • Loaner Devices
  • Discrimination and Retaliation Reporting Portal

Faculty & Staff

  • Faculty / Staff E-Mail (Legacy - Webmail)
  • Faculty / Staff E-Mail (New Outlook 365)
  • Password Reset
  • Content Editor
  • Grants Management System
  • Visual Course Roster
  • Work Orders
  • Employee Timesheets
  • Student E-Mail
  • Degreeworks / FACTS
  • City Central

National Scholarships and Fellowships

Advice for writing personal statements.

Personal statements are focused narratives that map out important experiences that shape you, what you value most, and how you plan to apply these toward your future. Personal statements provide a balanced explanation about the significance of your experiences, current objectives, and future goals. There is no set formula to follow. Personal statement prompts vary. Read and analyze them carefully, so that you can understand what they look for specifically. Some encourage personal reflection; others are more academically or professionally focused. Essays should: 1. engage readers and clearly demonstrate what makes you a unique candidate; 2. be clear and concise; 3. express a vibrant and confident tone; and 4. provide a balanced discussion of your past experience with an explanation of your goals, plans, and aspirations. Consider some of the following to begin writing the personal statement  

  • What makes you unique? What's the most important thing the committee should know about you?
  • How and when did you become interested in your field? How did you become committed to working in your field (what solidified your decision?) What do you expect to do and what do you hope to get out of it?
  • What intellectual influences--writers, artists, books, professors, concepts-- have shaped how you think and what you want to do?
  • How has your undergraduate academic experience—courses, research, internships, study abroad, etc.—prepared you for graduate/professional school or for a fellowship or scholarship? What research have you conducted, and internships or leadership roles have you had? What did you learn?
  • What non-academic experiences contributed to your choice of field of study or career?

A few guidelines

Start writing early and get feedback from faculty, advisors, and peers . Applications and essays require research, planning, writing, rewriting, and revision. Make a schedule for yourself with self-imposed deadlines for drafts, getting letters of recommendation, transcripts, sending applications. Work closely with faculty and mentors on essay drafts. They can provide valuable insight and feedback on your writing. Focus essays on you and make an impression on the reader . While you might discuss someone who has been an important influence on you, the main components of the narrative should draw on your own observations, ideas, and values. Aim for a balanced portrait of your knowledge and skills, commitment and passion, and real-life goals.

Show purposefulness and responsibility . Demonstrate in your essays that you make decisions based on informed choices, and that you are capable and self-directed.

Write clearly. While the essay should be lively, it is not a creative writing exercise. Avoid using jargon. The writing does not have to be complex. Aim for clarity.

Describe major challenges in balanced way.  If problems beyond your control—poverty, discrimination, serious illness, family difficulties—have played an important role in your experience and relate to how you approach your goals, write about them. However, the purpose should not be to elicit sympathy, but rather show how you have worked to overcome or address problems.

Last Updated: 06/27/2023 12:27

  • Make a Gift
  • Request More Info
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Current Students
  • Coronavirus Info

CUNY Logo

Search form

You are here, undergraduate admission.

  • Test Flight
  • Transfer Credit
  • Articulation Agreements
  • After You Are Admitted
  • Returning to CUNY SPS
  • ePermit Students
  • CUNY Reconnect
  • Graduate Admission
  • Certificate Admission
  • Non-Degree Programs
  • Applicants Educated Outside the U.S.

Woman on laptop

Welcome to undergraduate admissions at the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS). We're glad you are choosing CUNY SPS to complete your undergraduate degree and further your academic goals. 

Our undergraduate programs are designed to meet the needs of adult students who are returning to college, some after many years, to finish or transition into a bachelor’s degree program.

Before applying

Admissions requirements*.

  • Applicants should have a minimum of 24 earned credits from a regionally accredited institution. Official transcripts from all previous colleges, universities, or proprietary schools you have attended since high school must be submitted, whether or not you intend to request transfer credit.
  • For students who feel their prior college GPA is not reflective of their academic potential and may not meet our standard GPA requirement, CUNY SPS has an alternate performance-based application program called Jump Start .
  • Jump Start Application Deadlines
  • We accept a maximum of 105 Transfer Credits .
  • To gain admission to CUNY SPS, students must satisfy the reading, writing, and mathematics basic skills requirements. CUNY College Readiness Requirements
  • A personal essay of at least 250 words is part of the application process.
  • Unless a currently enrolled CUNY student, to submit your application, you must pay a $70 non-refundable processing fee. Without payment, your application will not be sent to CUNY SPS. Veterans of the United States Military, active duty service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserves are eligible for an  application fee waiver .

*Following an initial admissions review, applicants may be asked to submit additional documentation.

How to Submit Official Transcripts

Keep in mind that your application must include an official transcript from each individual college or university you attended since graduating high school. As a courtesy we will attempt to pull your CUNY transcripts and you will be notified via email if we are unable to.

Your official transcript(s) should be sent to:  CUNY School of Professional Studies  Attn: Office of Admissions  119 West 31st Street  New York, NY 10001  We will also accept electronic transcripts submitted directly from the institution or by a company contracted by the institution through a secured system. Electronic transcripts will not be accepted as official if they are emailed from the student. Please request that your official transcript be sent electronically to  [email protected] .

For information regarding submitting transcripts from non-domestic colleges/universities, please visit Undergraduate Applicants Educated Outside the U.S.

Financial Aid 

Applicants who have not yet filed for  TAP or the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and plan on receiving financial aid should do so right away!

Undergraduate Degree Program Deadlines

Fall 2024 Priority Deadline: Monday, April 1, 2024

Priority Decision Deadline: Monday, April 6, 2020

Completing the application by the priority deadline will guarantee notification of an admission status weeks before the Regular Decision.

Students admitted through the Priority Decision will have an early advantage to:

  • Start classes with the Summer 2020 session
  • Receive a transfer credit evaluation
  • Meet with an academic advisor to select classes
  • Have more time to sign up for a tuition payment plan
  • Learn of their financial aid award (for those who submit a FAFSA and are deemed eligible for grants)

The regular deadline for Spring 2020 has passed. The CUNY SPS Office of Admissions is offering interested students the opportunity to apply online with  Direct Admission  for the Spring 2020 semester. The Direct Admission application is designed only for transfers who are seeking admission to one of our fully online bachelor’s programs or one in-person bachelor’s program (excluding our BS in Nursing program).  

Can Anyone Apply Through Direct Admission?

For the Spring 2020 semester, only prospective undergraduate transfer students who were educated within the United States can apply through this process.

If you were educated at any point outside of the U.S., your international transcripts must be evaluated by the University Application Processing Center (UAPC), and you must apply for the Fall 2020 semester through the regular  admissions application . Students interested in our RN to BS in Nursing program for Spring 2020 will also have to apply through the regular admissions application .

Important Information for all Applicants

Please be advised that while you are invited to apply for the Spring 2020 semester with the Direct Admission application, your application will only be reviewed if it is complete and pending the availability of space in the program. Applicants will be required to upload an admissions essay and submit all official transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions . Please note letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, and SAT/ACT scores are NOT required for admission to CUNY SPS.  

While we cannot guarantee that your application will be reviewed for Spring 2020, note that as a courtesy your application will automatically be forwarded for the Fall 2020 semester.

(Accelerated) Nursing programs

The decision deadline for admission to the (Accelerated) Nursing programs is Tuesday, December 3, 2019 .

  • RN to BS-MS in Nursing Education (Accelerated)
  • RN to BS-MS in Nursing Informatics (Accelerated)
  • RN to BS-MS in Nursing Organizational Leadership (Accelerated)

The Office of Admissions can help you with any questions you have about the application process.

Next Steps to Apply

Upcoming Events

Online information session: seek.

March 19, 2024

Online Information Session: Jump Back Application (18-25 year olds)

March 20, 2024

Test Flight: Online Learning Simulation

March 20, 2024 to March 26, 2024

Online Information Session: Jump Start Application

March 28, 2024

Online Information Session: Bachelor's Degree Programs

Office of admissions.

Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Remote Hours)

119 West 31 st Street, Suite 217 New York, NY 10001

Phone: (646) 664-8544 Texting: (646) 517-7876 Fax: (646) 664-8724

Contact Admissions

Helpful Links

  • Academic Calendar
  • Tuition and Fees

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • How long is an essay? Guidelines for different types of essay

How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay

Published on January 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The length of an academic essay varies depending on your level and subject of study, departmental guidelines, and specific course requirements. In general, an essay is a shorter piece of writing than a research paper  or thesis .

In most cases, your assignment will include clear guidelines on the number of words or pages you are expected to write. Often this will be a range rather than an exact number (for example, 2500–3000 words, or 10–12 pages). If you’re not sure, always check with your instructor.

In this article you’ll find some general guidelines for the length of different types of essay. But keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity – focus on making a strong argument or analysis, not on hitting a specific word count.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Essay length guidelines, how long is each part of an essay, using length as a guide to topic and complexity, can i go under the suggested length, can i go over the suggested length, other interesting articles, receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting.

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

word count for cuny essay

In an academic essay, the main body should always take up the most space. This is where you make your arguments, give your evidence, and develop your ideas.

The introduction should be proportional to the essay’s length. In an essay under 3000 words, the introduction is usually just one paragraph. In longer and more complex essays, you might need to lay out the background and introduce your argument over two or three paragraphs.

The conclusion of an essay is often a single paragraph, even in longer essays. It doesn’t have to summarize every step of your essay, but should tie together your main points in a concise, convincing way.

The suggested word count doesn’t only tell you how long your essay should be – it also helps you work out how much information and complexity you can fit into the given space. This should guide the development of your thesis statement , which identifies the main topic of your essay and sets the boundaries of your overall argument.

A short essay will need a focused, specific topic and a clear, straightforward line of argument. A longer essay should still be focused, but it might call for a broader approach to the topic or a more complex, ambitious argument.

As you make an outline of your essay , make sure you have a clear idea of how much evidence, detail and argumentation will be needed to support your thesis. If you find that you don’t have enough ideas to fill out the word count, or that you need more space to make a convincing case, then consider revising your thesis to be more general or more specific.

The length of the essay also influences how much time you will need to spend on editing and proofreading .

You should always aim to meet the minimum length given in your assignment. If you are struggling to reach the word count:

  • Add more evidence and examples to each paragraph to clarify or strengthen your points.
  • Make sure you have fully explained or analyzed each example, and try to develop your points in more detail.
  • Address a different aspect of your topic in a new paragraph. This might involve revising your thesis statement to make a more ambitious argument.
  • Don’t use filler. Adding unnecessary words or complicated sentences will make your essay weaker and your argument less clear.
  • Don’t fixate on an exact number. Your marker probably won’t care about 50 or 100 words – it’s more important that your argument is convincing and adequately developed for an essay of the suggested length.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

In some cases, you are allowed to exceed the upper word limit by 10% – so for an assignment of 2500–3000 words, you could write an absolute maximum of 3300 words. However, the rules depend on your course and institution, so always check with your instructor if you’re unsure.

Only exceed the word count if it’s really necessary to complete your argument. Longer essays take longer to grade, so avoid annoying your marker with extra work! If you are struggling to edit down:

  • Check that every paragraph is relevant to your argument, and cut out irrelevant or out-of-place information.
  • Make sure each paragraph focuses on one point and doesn’t meander.
  • Cut out filler words and make sure each sentence is clear, concise, and related to the paragraph’s point.
  • Don’t cut anything that is necessary to the logic of your argument. If you remove a paragraph, make sure to revise your transitions and fit all your points together.
  • Don’t sacrifice the introduction or conclusion . These paragraphs are crucial to an effective essay –make sure you leave enough space to thoroughly introduce your topic and decisively wrap up your argument.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, July 23). How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay. Scribbr. Retrieved March 16, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/length/

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, how to conclude an essay | interactive example, how to write a statement of purpose | example, what is your plagiarism score.

Essay Word Counter

Start typing to get a list of keywords that are most used

What Is Essay Word Counter?

An essay word counter is a simple yet powerful tool that has the ability to quickly count the number of characters and words within an essay. While the primary goal of an essay word counter is to measure characters and words, this tool allows you to determine the number of sentences and paragraphs that your essay consists of.

If you're tasked with reading your essay aloud in front of a classroom, this online word counter can help you prepare by providing you with an estimated speaking time and reading time. If you're asking yourself "How do I count the words in my essay?", plugging your essay into an online word counter will allow you to receive nearly instantaneous results.

Benefits of Using This Tool Compared to Alternatives

Online word counter tools offer the functionality you need to determine what your current essay word count is. There are several additional tools that can provide you with similar functionality, which include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and PDF documents. Even though all of these alternatives allow users to measure the word count and character count for their essay, they lack many of the extra features that set the online tool apart from the competition.

Wordcounter vs Microsoft Word

When comparing this online word counter to Microsoft Word, the online word counter allows users to paste any kind of text into the box. Even if the text comes from a PDF file, it can be easily copied into the word counter. Among all of the alternatives for an essay word counter, Microsoft Word may be the most comprehensive of the three. Along with measuring the number of words, it can also count characters, pages, lines, and paragraphs. The main issue with Word, however, is that it's less intuitive than using an online tool.

When you click on word count in Microsoft Word, you'll be provided with data on the lines, paragraphs, words, and other aspects of your essay. However, the word count extends to every page of the Word document. To identify the number of words and characters in a specific section, you'll need to highlight the section and select the word count option again.

Wordcounter vs Google Docs

As for Google Docs, this tool doesn't display a status bar that tells you how many words are present in the document. To receive an updated word count, you must select the "Tools" tab that's found in the "Menu" section. From here, you'll be able to select "Word Count". When compared to the online word checker tool, Google Docs doesn't include information about how many sentences are in your essay or the frequency of a specific word.

Wordcounter vs PDF Tool

When it comes to a PDF document, you'll find that these documents are similar to Google Docs in that they don't include a status bar. You're also unable to access any kind of menu that allows you to view the word count of the essay you're writing. There are two distinct options for identifying the word count in your essay. First, you can convert the PDF file into what's known as the Rich Text Format, which makes it easier for you to count the words. You could also upload the file directly into this online word counter, which will give you an accurate word total.

The primary benefit of using the online word counter tool is that there are a number of exclusive features like speaking time and reading time that can't be found in other tools like Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Essay Length Best Practices

Whether you're writing an essay for a high school class or for graduate school, there are some best practices that can guide you through the process and help you write the best essay. The most important element of writing an essay is getting the length right. If the essay is too long, there's a good chance it isn't as succinct and direct as it should be. The essay length guidelines you should adhere to include:

High school essay

The average essay word count for a high school essay is 300-1,000 words. Most high school essays are five paragraphs long with an introductory paragraph, three total body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.

College admission essay

This essay should be around 200-650 words long. Along with having a set word limit, these essays should include a look at your motivations and interests.

Undergraduate essay

This essay can be around 1,500-5,000 words long. The content and length depend on the college and program you're entering.

Graduate admission essay

An admission essay should be 500-1,000 words in length. Make sure you include a lengthy personal statement that details your motivations and academic achievements.

Graduate school essay

This extended essay word count is usually around 2,500-6,000 words. The assignment you receive depends on the course you're in. Most graduate-level essays are lengthy and can involve research papers.

IB extended essay

The IB extended essay word count is 4,000 words. This essay is mandatory for every student of the International Baccalaureate program and is based on independent research.

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, what's a good word count for a college essay.

Hi everyone, I'm working on my college essay and I'm not sure how long it should be. What's a good word count for a college essay? Is there a minimum or maximum length that colleges prefer? Thanks in advance!

Hey there! It's great that you're working on your college essay. Generally, most colleges require a main personal statement, which is typically around 250-650 words. This range is set by the Common Application and the Coalition Application, which are platforms used by many colleges for their application process.

It's important to keep your essay within this word count, as going too far over or under the limit might be seen as not following instructions. However, the actual length of your essay should be determined by how well you're able to convey your message and showcase your personality. Sometimes, a shorter essay can be more powerful and engaging if it's written effectively.

In addition to the main essay, some colleges may also require supplemental essays with their own specific word counts, which can range from 100-400 words. Make sure to check each college's requirements carefully and adjust your essays accordingly. Good luck with your college essay, and I hope this helps!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

The Magoosh logo is the word Magoosh spelled with each letter o replaced with a check mark in a circle.

How to Stick to the Word Count on College Essays

Hand holding pen writing in journal to represent sticking to word count on college essays - image by Magoosh

You have a lot to think about when writing your college essay: brainstorming a topic , writing it well, and proofreading and editing it until it represents your best work. And of course, you can’t forget about sticking to the word count.

Keeping your essay short can be challenging. It’s supposed to showcase your best self, set you apart from other candidates, and give some extra insight into your individuality and personality. And you have to accomplish all of this in a limited amount of space?

Don’t worry—sticking to the word count while writing an excellent college essay is certainly possible. We’ll show you how!

What is the word count for college essays?

First, you might be wondering: What is the word count for college essays? The answer varies, but let’s take a look at some general guidelines.

Most college applicants will end up writing the Common App essay. Currently, the Common App asks you to write an essay ranging from 250-650 words . 650 words is just over one page of single-spaced type. When you fill out the application online, it won’t allow you to submit an essay with less than 250 or more than 650 words. So, sticking to the word count is not optional.

If you don’t write the Common App essay, or if you write additional essays, note that most college essays set word limits around 500-750 words. In the rare case that no word limit is specified, most experts recommend staying under 800 words.

Remember that the person reading your essay has read a lot of other essays, so be kind. Say what you need to say as concisely as possible. Here’s how:

Tips to Stick to the Word Count on College Essays

1. “zoom in” on your topic.

The best college essays focus on a specific topic . For instance, you might write about a single moment or event that profoundly impacted you, or a small but meaningful aspect of your life.

When you get specific, you’re able to provide details that are unique to you and your experiences, crafting an essay that no one else could write. Plus, you narrow the scope of your essay, which helps you stay within the word count.

Think about it like “zooming in” with a camera. Maybe you have a broad idea to start with, like family. But you can’t pack all of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences about family into 650 words. If you tried to, your essay would probably feel scattered and unorganized. It wouldn’t give a close, personal look at you or your life.

That means you need to zoom in some more. Let’s take a closer look. Maybe there’s a specific aspect of your family you want to highlight, like the way your family has taught you to speak your mind and stand for your beliefs. This is good, but it’s still pretty broad.

Let’s zoom in again. Get more specific. How has your family taught you to speak your mind? Is there a particular memory that stands out? Now, you decide to write about the spirited debates your family loves to have around the dinner table—and how those debates have shaped you as a person.

Now, that’s a topic you might be able to thoroughly cover in 650 words. And it’s going to be a lot more reflective, meaningful, and personal than a generic essay about “family.”

2. Outline First, Then Write

Once you’ve narrowed the scope of your essay, you’re almost ready to write. One of the most powerful strategies to help you stick to the word count is to create a plan or outline. Map out your essay before you start writing. If you have a plan, you’re less likely to ramble, go off on tangents, and ultimately waste words.

Think about the main purpose of your essay. What do you want the reader (college admissions officers) to know about you when they’re finished? What’s the point you’re trying to make?

As you plan or outline your essay, create a narrative:

  • What is the beginning, middle, and end of the story you’re telling ?
  • What is your character arc?
  • Who were you at the beginning? How were you challenged, influenced, or inspired? What did you learn or how did you grow as a result? Who are you now?

Focus on including information that accomplishes your main purposes and moves your narrative along. If it’s unrelated to any of your key points, you can probably cut it. And if it’s information that’s found somewhere else in your application, you don’t need to include it in your plan.

Having a clear, concise, and focused plan for your essay will help you convey your message without exceeding the word limit.

3. Keep the Introduction Short

The most important part of your essay is the body. That means your introduction doesn’t need to be extremely long. Save your words for the “meat” of the essay, where you’ll really dig into your narrative.

An effective introduction is engaging, interesting, and brief. It provides a glimpse or a preview into what you’ll discuss, but not too much. You want to leave the admissions officer wanting to read more.

In general, an introduction only needs three key parts:

  • Hook/grabber (an interesting sentence that immediately engages the reader)
  • Necessary background information (keyword: necessary)
  • Thesis statement or thematic statement (a clear statement summarizing your overall point)

Because college essays are more creative, you don’t have to follow this pattern exactly. But it gives you an idea of why a solid introduction can be short and sweet. Many students make the mistake of including too much unnecessary background in their introduction. Try to limit your intro to 4-6 sentences, unless there’s other essential information you must include.

If your intro is longer than six sentences, go back and underline or highlight sentences that are essential to the meaning of your essay. Then, review the sentences you didn’t highlight. Can you cut them entirely, or at least shorten them? Can this piece of info wait until the body of your essay?

4. Focus on the Important Stuff

We already mentioned that you want to focus on information that advances your narrative and relates to your main point. You also want to devote most of your word count to reflection and introspection.

When an admissions officer reads your essay, they’re most interested in reading your analysis of your life experiences. Think about questions like:

  • What did this event mean to you?
  • Why is it significant?
  • How has it shaped your life?
  • How did you learn or grow from this experience?
  • What does the information in this essay convey about you as a person, the way you think, or what you believe in and value?

If you write an essay about a challenge in your life, for example, you want to describe the challenge itself only briefly. The majority of your essay should focus on how you overcame the challenge and what you learned from the experience. It should demonstrate positive qualities that the experience revealed or helped you develop, like resilience, determination, and courage.

So, if it looks like you’re going to exceed the word count, reread. How many of these sentences are telling your story? How many are reflecting on your story? If you have to cut something, cut nonessential storytelling pieces. Include specific details that bring your story to life and tell it clearly without taking up too much space.

5. Eliminate Repetition

Have you included any repetitive words or phrases? Do any of your sentences basically mean the same thing? Reread your essay for repetition, and cut it.

Here’s an example:

It was the hardest decision I had ever made in my life. I wanted to avoid embarrassment, but I also wanted to do what was right. Making matters worse, I was torn between my two best friends. I never expected to face such a tough decision.

The first and last sentences of the paragraph above basically say, “It was a hard decision.” The writer doesn’t need both of them. If you can find sentences in your essay that don’t add any new information, then it’s safe to delete them.

6. Avoid Using Unnecessary Words

Similarly, sticking to a tight word limit requires you to write concisely. Concise writing is succinct and to the point. It avoids unnecessary words and sentences. To write concisely, think of each word as a $100 bill. You want to spend them wisely.

Of course, you don’t want to sound like a robot. Writing concisely doesn’t mean that you need to cut interesting details or doses of personality. Choose your words deliberately, and avoid words that don’t add meaning, like:

In some circumstances, some of these words might add meaning. But if you’re struggling to stay within the word limit, these words should be some of the first to go. Does the sentence make sense without it? If yes, cut it. In using the $100 bill analogy above, where can you save money? What unnecessary expenses could your essay live without?

Avoid Using Unnecessary Words: Let’s Practice!

Let’s look at my first paragraph above:

I’m not trying to stick to a 650-word limit, but what if I was? What could I cut? Here are some ideas:

  • The word “Similarly” doesn’t add any information. I could just say, “Sticking to a tight word limit requires you to write concisely.”
  • In the third sentence, I could delete “To write concisely.” You already know that the topic of this paragraph is concise writing. It would still make sense to say, “Think of each word as a $100 bill.”
  • In the final sentence, I could say, “Spend them wisely” instead of, “You want to spend them wisely.” Deleting those two words doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence. In fact, it makes the sentence clearer and more direct.

Now, let’s look at my third paragraph:

If I had to cut something, what could I cut? Here are some suggestions:

  • In the first sentence, I could shorten “In some circumstances” to “Sometimes.” It means the same thing and saves me two words.
  • In the second sentence, I could delete “some of,” making the sentence, “But if you’re struggling to stay within the word limit, these words should be the first to go.” “Some of” doesn’t add meaning, and deleting it makes the sentence stronger. Plus, I said “some of” in the previous sentence too, so it sounds repetitive.
  • I could delete “above” from the question, “In using the $100 bill analogy above, where can you save money?” You probably know the analogy is above. And even if you don’t know, it’s not essential information.
  • The final sentence asks, “What unnecessary expenses could your essay live without?” I could delete “unnecessary” because it has the same meaning as “could live without.”

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of how to cut unnecessary words from your essay! As a writer, it’s easy to get attached to the words you’ve chosen. But when it comes to word counts, you must be prepared to trim the fat and delete any words that don’t add meaning.

You should also shorten sentences and phrases whenever possible. For instance, instead of saying, “I wondered if I had made the right decision,” write, “Had I made the right decision?” With the question mark, “I wondered” is implied. Shorter sentences save you words, and they’re often clearer, stronger, and more direct.

7. Ask for Help

If you’ve tried all of these ideas and exercises, but your essay is still too long, ask for help! Ask a friend, parent, teacher, or other trusted adult to read the essay.

Do they see any sentences, phrases, or words that you can cut?

Sometimes, getting an extra pair of eyes on your essay makes a huge difference. An outside perspective is always clearer.

Final Thoughts: How to Stick to the Word Count on College Essays

You might have a lot to say in your college essay, but you have to say it within the required word count. Use strategies like:

  • Narrowing down your topic
  • Mapping out your essay beforehand
  • Focusing on information that supports your main point and advances your narrative
  • Cutting repetition
  • Cutting unnecessary words and phrases
  • Shortening sentences whenever possible
  • Asking for a fresh perspective

Believe it or not, using these strategies will also make your essay more engaging and powerful. Not only will you stick to the word count on your college essays, but you’ll also write a clear, concise, and memorable essay for the admissions officers.

Transizion logo

Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion , a college counseling and career services company that provides mentorship and consulting on college applications, college essays, resumes, cover letters, interviews, and finding jobs and internships. Jason’s work has been cited in The Washington Post, BBC, NBC News, Forbes, Fast Company, Bustle, Inc., Fox Business, and other great outlets. Transizion donates a portion of profits to underserved students and veterans in of college prep and career development assistance. Jason is a Brazilian Jiujitsu martial artist, outdoorsman, and avid reader. You can find more content on his blog and YouTube channel.

View all posts

More from Magoosh

7 College Essay Topics to Avoid Writing About

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to Increase or Decrease Your Paper’s Word Count

Anthony O'Reilly

How many times have you worked hard on a research paper or essay , felt confident in your argument, and decided you were ready to turn it in, only to notice that you’re still behind on the word count? Or perhaps you wrote too much, and now you’re struggling to find parts to cut.

How do you increase the word count without being redundant or reduce the word count without sacrificing your key arguments?

You take a deep breath and continue reading our suggestions on the best ways to increase or reduce word count without compromising the quality of your paper.

Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

What is word count?

Word count is the number of words in a writing sample or document. Word counts exist for many reasons—print publications, for example, have them to ensure stories can fit in a defined space in a newspaper, magazine, or book.

But when it comes to research papers and essays , word counts are used to level the playing field: Each student has the same number of words to get their point across. A strong writer can do this without using unnecessary words to reach the minimum word count, while also avoiding rambling and exceeding the maximum word count.

One of the biggest reasons some students run into problems with word count requirements is that they may be too focused on it. The writer can become more focused on the number of words than on getting their point across clearly and concisely.

7 ways to reduce word count

When trying to reduce word count it’s important to use a scalpel and not an axe—meaning you don’t want to delete large portions of your paper to ensure you’re below the maximum word count. Instead, you want to find small but significant ways to bring down your word count.

1 Look for redundancies in your argument

Look to see if you’ve repeated any information in your paper, and delete any redundant points.

If your paper has to do with climate change and you mention the rate at which the polar ice caps are melting twice, delete the second mention (unless it’s related to a separate point you’re trying to make). If you find yourself reiterating the same point in slightly different language, choose the one that is written more clearly and eliminate the other.

2 Eliminate unnecessary or ancillary information

Find any details that don’t serve your argument and delete them. For example, if you’re writing a paper about George Washington’s policy positions, you don’t need to mention his personal life unless it directly impacted his political career.

3 Get to the point

The best arguments are clear and direct, and your paper should strive to be the same.

We could’ve built up that last sentence by talking about the different styles of communication or the pros and cons of being direct, but instead, we got to the point.

Trying to build up your argument not only adds more words but may also weaken it, especially if you’re using unnecessary words.

4 Delete the and that

We often use the while speaking, but in writing, there are times when the can be removed without changing your sentence’s meaning.

That is another common word we use, which may be unnecessary in some sentences. An example is in the sentence you just read—the writer instinctively put that before we and then realized it was unnecessary.

  • Original: We knew that he was active in the 1960s and the 1970s.
  • Edited: We knew he was active in the 1960s and 1970s.

5 Eliminate unnecessary prepositional phrases

This is yet another example of separating how we speak from how we should write. Too many prepositional phrases can be a sign of excessive wording.

  • Original: For many people, the reality of an entry into a new area of employment is cause for a host of anxieties.
  • Edited: Changing careers makes many people anxious.

Getting rid of the prepositional phrases forces you to tighten up the sentence. The result is shorter, more direct, and easier to understand.

6 Use an active voice

Writing that utilizes an active voice tends to use fewer words than writing that uses a passive voice. Let’s show you what we mean:

  • Active voice: Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440.
  • Passive voice: The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440.

Writing with an active voice not only helps reduce your word count but can also help you communicate your argument in a more effective and clear way than using a passive voice.

7 Avoid unnecessary adverbs and adjectives

Adverbs and adjectives add extra words to your paper, and depending on their usage they may weaken or not add any value to your argument.

  • Original: Thomas Jefferson’s entire presidency was undoubtedly controversial.
  • Edited: Thomas Jefferson’s presidency was controversial.

6 ways to increase word count

The word count may make up a significant part of your paper’s grade, but your final mark will likely rest on how well you write and the clarity of your argument.

For that reason, you don’t want to use more words merely to reach your word count even though using more words is an easy way to reach the word count.

That last sentence is a perfect example of what not to do. Here are some ways to extend your word count without resorting to adding unnecessary words.

1 Investigate the paper’s topic more thoroughly

Read through your paper and see if there are ways in which you can further discuss your topic without adding redundant or unnecessary information. Two ways you can accomplish this are:

  • Providing statistics: If applicable, use data from a reliable source to back up your argument. This could be a poll or a scientific study.
  • Discussing your topic’s history: Whether you’re writing about politics or philosophy, it might be a good idea to write about your topic’s origins and how that subject has evolved over time.

2 Explore all angles of your paper’s thesis

Check to see if you’ve explored all angles of your thesis statement , which will not only increase your word count but will likely strengthen your argument as well. For example, if you wrote a paper on why people should exercise but only discussed physical health reasons, you could also discuss its psychological and economic impacts.

3 Include alternative points of view

Introducing alternative points of view can help increase your word count and show that you’ve thoroughly researched the topic.

For example, if you’re writing about capitalism, you could also discuss Karl Marx’s critiques of the economic system.

4 Flesh out thin body paragraphs

It’s important to note that you can flesh out thin body paragraphs without introducing redundant or unnecessary information. Instead, you’ll want to write detailed sentences to support your topic sentence , which can be accomplished by introducing facts, quotes, examples, or anecdotes backing up your point.

  • Original: Fight Club deals with the theme of consumerism, such as when the main character criticizes people’s desire to buy new things.
  • Edited: Fight Club deals with the theme of consumerism, such as when the main character criticizes people’s desire to buy new things. “Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need,” he says.

5 Find another primary or secondary source to include in your writing

Including additional primary and secondary sources is yet another tactic that can increase your word count and give your argument more legitimacy.

As a reminder, primary sources are anything that provides a firsthand account of an event (autobiographies or diaries, photos, artifacts, or videos). Secondary sources are descriptions, interpretations, or analyses of such events (textbooks, research papers, or documentaries).

6 Expand quotes

Writers will often paraphrase quotes in an effort to keep their argument concise, but there are times when you can expand on them to increase your word count and further illustrate a point.

Let’s revisit the Fight Club quote we used just a bit ago. If we wanted to expand the quote, we could’ve included the main character’s next sentence, which is, “Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need.”

When expanding quotes, it’s important that they add value to your argument. If the next part of that quote dealt with soap making instead of consumerism, it would not have been a good idea to include it.

Word count FAQs

Word count is the number of words in a writing sample. Word counts are used for many reasons, but in research papers and essays they’re used to level the playing field: Each student has the same number of words to get their point across.

How do you decrease word count?

  • Delete unnecessary words, such as “that” and “the”
  • Erase unneeded adverbs and adjectives
  • Eliminate redundancies
  • Use an active voice
  • Remove unnecessary information

How do you increase word count?

  • Investigate all angles of your topic
  • Explore your topic in more depth
  • Include alternative points of view
  • Flesh out thin body paragraphs
  • Find additional primary and secondary sources
  • Expand quotes

word count for cuny essay

Word Count Tool

  • Word Counter
  • Character Counter
  • Scrabble Word Finder
  • Pomodoro Timer

writing college essay

Unveiling the Mystery: Navigating College Essay Word Counts

Many students find it hard to figure out how to meet the complicated standards for college essays. In this in-depth guide, we’ll talk about the important topic of word counts and show you how to handle this important part of your college application.

Understanding the Significance of Word Counts

The word limit isn’t just a number when you’re writing your college essay, it’s also a tool for planning. Sticking to the word limit shows that you can tell an interesting story in a short amount of space. You can visit https://papersowl.com/ writing service website to look around perfect college essays. Professional essay writers will craft your college paper in time. Admissions officers like things that are clear and precise, which can often be seen in a well-managed word count.

The Art of Brevity: Why Less is More

In a world full of data, being brief is a good thing. When you have a limited number of words to use in an essay, you have to get to the heart of your ideas quickly. Admissions panels like it when applicants are brief; it shows that you value their time and shows how well you can communicate.

Striking the Balance: Expressive vs Concise Writing

It takes skill to find the balance between sharing a story in a way that feels natural and sticking to word counts. Every word you use should add to the story and paint a clear picture of your experiences and goals. Find the right mix so that your essay is both interesting and doesn’t go over the allotted time.

Tips for Managing Word Counts Effectively

1. write and re-write.

Don’t worry about how many words you have in the first draft; just let your ideas run. During the revision process, carefully cut out any words that aren’t needed while keeping the main idea. You can improve your story without making it too long by redrafting.

2. Use Vivid Language

Use vivid and powerful words to get your point across quickly. Strong verbs and exact adjectives not only make your essay better as a whole, but they also help you say more with fewer words.

3. Focus on Key Themes

Find the main ideas that make up your story. Focusing your essay on these themes will help you stay on track and avoid going off on tangents that aren’t necessary. Not only is a focused article easier to read, it’s also more likely to stay under the word limit.

What Precision Means

When it comes to getting into college, accuracy is key. Following word counts isn’t just about following the rules; it’s also about giving your story a finished look. Each line should have a purpose and add something important to the story as a whole. Admissions officers like it when you can send a strong message without adding extraneous details. By being precise, you raise the quality of your writing and show a level of skill that sets you apart from other students.

How to Write a Memorable Ending

When you finish your essay, make sure the ending stands out. Summarize the most important points so that the reader remembers them. A well-written ending builds on the story’s main ideas, giving the reader a sense of closure and leaving a lasting impression. Remember that the last few words of your essay are very important. Use them to make an impression on admissions officers that will last.

The Art of Revision

Revising is the hidden hero of good writing. After writing the first draft of your essay, look it over again with fresh eyes. Look for ways to make things clearer, get rid of unnecessary words, and make sure that every word has a purpose. Revision is more than just fixing things; it’s also about making them better. During this step, your essay goes from being good to being amazing, which makes people who read it admire and respect it.

The Role of Admissions Officers: What They Look For

Admissions officers are very good at telling the difference between content and volume. They want writings that are honest and show who the applicant is and what they want to achieve. By sticking to word counts, you show that you can follow directions, which is a very useful skill in school.

Learning How Many Words You Need for a Good College Essay

When it comes to getting into college, being clear and precise are very important. To get around word numbers, you need to really understand what the story is about and be able to communicate it clearly. Remember that every word you write is a chance to make an impact. If you can master this skill, your college essay will reach new heights. Best of luck with your work!

For a good application, you need to know how many words are allowed in a college essay. It’s not just a number limit; it’s a blank slate for an interesting story. It’s important to keep things short, and each word adds to the depth of your story. The ability to write a short essay shows good speaking skills that admissions officers look for. Do a lot of rewriting, use lively language, and keep your attention on the main ideas. This not only follows the rules, but it also shows how unique you are. When it comes to getting into college, a well-written essay is what makes you stand out. Good luck writing an essay that makes a mark on admissions committees and sticks with them.

Previous Post

October 05, 2019

September 16, 2019

September 11, 2019

September 10, 2019

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Masterlinks

  • About Hunter
  • One Stop for Students
  • Make a Gift
  • The Program
  • Why be a Public Service Scholar?
  • How to Apply
  • Agency Overview
  • Public Safety
  • Website Feedback
  • Privacy Policy
  • CUNY Tobacco Policy

The Ivy Coach Daily

  • College Admissions
  • College Essays
  • Early Decision / Early Action
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Standardized Testing
  • The Rankings

July 8, 2023

College Essay Length: Go to the Maximum Word Count

This is McNutt Hall, Dartmouth's admissions office.

Previously Published on September 24, 2017:

College applicants should use the real estate offered in college essays to make their case — all of it! If the maximum word count for a college admissions essay is 650 words, applicants should not write 500 words. They should write 650 words — or pretty close to it.

When you’re a real estate developer in Manhattan, and you’re allowed to build twenty-five stories, you don’t construct ten stories and dedicate the rest of the space for the native pigeons of Manhattan. You build up —twenty-five levels. The pigeons have the skies.

And yet even though it seems only logical that college applicants should use all of the allotted real estate to make their case in essays, to tell their stories, to distinguish themselves in super competitive applicant pools, it never ceases to amaze us how many students write essays that don’t come anywhere near the maximum word count. Instead, they leave the space on the table to the disservice of their candidacies.

Students Should Go to the Word Limit in Every College Essay

It’s not as though students only make the mistake of leaving words on the table in their Common Application Personal Statement . They also often do so in their equally as critical supplemental essays.

If Brown University asks applicants to write a 200-250-word essay on how students would take advantage of the Open Curriculum, as the Ivy League school does on its 2022-2023 application, students should not offer them 200 words. College applicants are not interior designers — blank space does not look lovely. They should submit 250-word essays. 

When Brown admissions officers come across an essay that doesn’t come close to the school’s maximum word count, they’re likely to think, “This student doesn’t love our school enough to put in the work to write an essay just for us. She probably wants to go elsewhere.”

And if that thought crosses the mind of an admissions officer, the odds are strong that the same admissions officer is unlikely to offer that student a spot in the incoming class. And, of course, this doesn’t just apply to Brown — it applies to every highly selective institution in America.

Students Should Use the Maximum Word or Character Count in Short Answers Too

We can’t stress enough the importance of taking advantage of the real estate an applicant is afforded in essays to make their case. But don’t be fooled that an essay only means boxes on The Common Application that allow students to include 100 words or more.

After all, many top schools pose short answer questions too. Maybe they’re called short-takes. On the 2022-2023 application, the University of Southern California , for instance, asks applicants to name their favorite movie of all time, their dream job, favorite trip, and favorite snack, among others.

Students should go up to the maximum character count in these opportunities too — and  opportunities  is the apropos word because they’re opportunities to wow admissions officers, present a window into a student’s world and distinguish themselves from other talented applicants. In short, students should not just name their favorite movie — they should say why concisely.

You are permitted to use www.ivycoach.com (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of Ivy Coach, Inc.

Related Articles

word count for cuny essay

Using A.I. to Write College Admission Essays

October 13, 2023

word count for cuny essay

Word and Character Limits in College Essays

September 27, 2023

word count for cuny essay

What English Teachers Get Wrong About Writing College Essays

word count for cuny essay

Bragging in College Essays: Is It Ever Okay?

September 26, 2023

word count for cuny essay

What Not to Write: 3 College Essay Topics to Avoid

September 24, 2023

word count for cuny essay

2023-2024 Caltech Supplemental Essay Prompts

September 14, 2023

TOWARD THE CONQUEST OF ADMISSION

If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s college counseling,
fill out our free consultation form and we’ll be in touch.

Fill out our short form for a 20-minute consultation to learn about Ivy Coach’s services.

VIDEO

  1. MS Word Tutorial in Advanced class

  2. Revise Complete Indian Polity in 40 Days

  3. EPA Word Count Guide

  4. PTE ESSAY IDEAL WORD COUNT NEW UPDATE #pte

  5. Word Count for Both Books for February 4th 2024

COMMENTS

  1. Application Review

    Use this profile to review the average GPA of students accepted to the university for Fall 2023. The table below displays information for both general and SEEK/CD admission.. Remember that there is a great fit college for all first-year students, and you can apply to up to 6 colleges using the CUNY Application. CUNY College Admission Profile: Fall 2023

  2. Macaulay Honors College Essay Questions

    Macaulay Honors College Essay Questions. As part of the Macaulay application to the class of 2028, we require that you submit two pieces of writing: Each should be around 500 words long. Your word counts may be slightly over or under, within reason. Select one of the options below. Tell us about an area or activity, outside of academics, in ...

  3. Freshman Admission

    The College Essay. An essay of 500 words or less is required along with your CUNY Admission Application to Hunter College. Review the essay topics below. ... Students submitting documents directly to CUNY should expect to see an update on their CUNY Application about 10-12 weeks after submission.

  4. Talos

    June 24, 2021. By based on College Office emails. The CUNY Macaulay Honors College Essay prompts are now available. If you will apply next fall, you may want to get drafts going over the summer; this fall the Macaulay deadline will be earlier than in the past (November 16). You can read about the full application process here.

  5. PDF Guide to the CUNY Assessment Tests

    The learning skills taught in first year college courses are reflected in the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing. In the test you are required to read, understand and respond to a passage of 250-300 words by: identifying key ideas within the reading passage. writing a brief summary of the key ideas in the reading.

  6. Writing Resources

    CUNY Related Links. CUNYfirst ... Essay Structure. Essay Structure: Basics. Outlines. Reverse Outline. Introductions. Thesis Statement. Transitional Words and Phrases. ... Noncount and Count Nouns. Introduction to the Parts of Speech. Irregular Verbs. Verb Tenses. Your Friends, The Articles.

  7. WordCounter

    To check word count, simply place your cursor into the text box above and start typing. You'll see the number of characters and words increase or decrease as you type, delete, and edit them. You can also copy and paste text from another program over into the online editor above. The Auto-Save feature will make sure you won't lose any changes ...

  8. Essay Writing Tips

    Register. We understand that writing essays sometimes makes students uncomfortable. To help, this webinar will cover a selection of key tips for success. Our focus will be informed by the concerns of your orientation cohort but may include some of the following topics: understanding the assignment instructions, useful pre-writing activities ...

  9. Supplementary essays for CUNY (City University of New York) Schools?

    Are you applying to CUNY (City University of New York) Schools and wondering about the supplementary essays? Join the discussion on College Confidential, the leading online community for college applicants. Learn from the experiences of other students, get tips on writing and editing your essays, and find out how to avoid common pitfalls.

  10. Hunter College

    500 Words. An essay of 500 words or less is required along with your CUNY Admission Application to Hunter College. Review the essay topics below. Option 1. Tell us something meaningful about yourself that is not reflected in your application. You may choose to speak about your interests, aspirations and/or background. Option 2.

  11. Advice for Writing Personal Statements

    Essays should: 1. engage readers and clearly demonstrate what makes you a unique candidate; 2. be clear and concise; 3. express a vibrant and confident tone; and 4. provide a balanced discussion of your past experience with an explanation of your goals, plans, and aspirations. Consider some of the following to begin writing the personal statement.

  12. Undergraduate Admission

    To gain admission to CUNY SPS, students must satisfy the reading, writing, and mathematics basic skills requirements. CUNY College Readiness Requirements. A personal essay of at least 250 words is part of the application process. Unless a currently enrolled CUNY student, to submit your application, you must pay a $70 non-refundable processing fee.

  13. How Long Should a College Essay Be?

    Revised on June 1, 2023. Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words. You should aim to stay under the specified limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely.

  14. How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay

    Essay length guidelines. Type of essay. Average word count range. Essay content. High school essay. 300-1000 words. In high school you are often asked to write a 5-paragraph essay, composed of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. College admission essay. 200-650 words.

  15. The Perfect College Essay Length: Tips and Recommendations

    The Ideal Length for Your Paper. The number of words required for a college application essay may vary anywhere from 250 to 650, with some schools mandating a certain minimum or maximum number of words for their applicants' essays. Nonetheless, while the word count is significant, the substance of the paper is what counts in this context.

  16. Essay word counter

    An essay word counter is a simple yet powerful tool that has the ability to quickly count the number of characters and words within an essay. While the primary goal of an essay word counter is to measure characters and words, this tool allows you to determine the number of sentences and paragraphs that your essay consists of.

  17. What is a good word count for a college essay?

    Hi there! It's great that you've started writing your college essay. Generally, most colleges have a word limit for their essays. For instance, the Common Application has a maximum word count of 650 words. Staying within this limit is essential, as the platform will cut off anything that goes beyond the set limit. If your essay is looking lengthy, consider revisiting your content to see if ...

  18. What's a good word count for a college essay?

    Generally, most colleges require a main personal statement, which is typically around 250-650 words. This range is set by the Common Application and the Coalition Application, which are platforms used by many colleges for their application process. It's important to keep your essay within this word count, as going too far over or under the ...

  19. How to Stick to the Word Count on College Essays

    Tips to Stick to the Word Count on College Essays. 1. "Zoom In" On Your Topic. The best college essays focus on a specific topic. For instance, you might write about a single moment or event that profoundly impacted you, or a small but meaningful aspect of your life.

  20. How to Increase or Decrease Your Paper's Word Count

    Word count is the number of words in a writing sample or document. Word counts exist for many reasons—print publications, for example, have them to ensure stories can fit in a defined space in a newspaper, magazine, or book. But when it comes to research papers and essays, word counts are used to level the playing field: Each student has the ...

  21. Unveiling the Mystery: Navigating College Essay Word Counts

    Tips for Managing Word Counts Effectively. 1. Write and Re-write. Don't worry about how many words you have in the first draft; just let your ideas run. During the revision process, carefully cut out any words that aren't needed while keeping the main idea. You can improve your story without making it too long by redrafting.

  22. How to Apply

    The essay portion should not exceed 650 words. (Essay prompts are listed in the application and below: the essay should address ALL 3 prompts within 650 words.) ... If you would like more information about the program or application process, please email Bianca at [email protected] or schedule an appointment here to meet via Zoom.

  23. How Long Should a College Essay Be?

    College Essay Length: Go to the Maximum Word Count. College applicants should use the real estate offered in college essays to make their case — all of it! If the maximum word count for a college admissions essay is 650 words, applicants should not write 500 words. They should write 650 words — or pretty close to it.