300…Words

September 14, 2011 by Jen

Part of my job this summer has been to write very concise pieces of text about major world events, such as the Cold War, the Renaissance, and the 14th century plague.

The average word limit for the job? 300 words. Let’s try that again.

Part of my My job this summer has been to write very concise pieces of text about major world events, such as the Renaissance and the 14th century plague. (Revised for wordiness.)

Imagine my surprise and “delight” to discover that one of the PhD programs to which I’m applying has the exact same word limit for the personal statement. No good skill goes un-recycled, as the saying goes [awry].

One would think that summarizing my [history, educational background, relevant life experiences, aspirations, applicable skill sets, research plan, and compatibility with the given program, or for lack of a better word, life] into 300 words would be much simpler than doing the same thing with the Enlightenment.

Funny. It’s not.

So…

Dear Strunk and White, despite your periodic absences from the zeitgeist of writing centers and rhetorical studies programs, I could really use some advice. Or a new red pen. Or the ability to write in Chinese characters.

I mean really–is that too much to ask?

I didn’t think so.

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