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How strict are word count limits?

Some of these scholarships want essays that are under 250 words. Maybe I'm picking the wrong topic or maybe they don't want an essay - or what I think of as an essay - but I'm having a hard time staying under these lower word counts and making any sense.

Any advice for getting my point across in fewer words?

Free Rider
It probably depends on the organization

I've read some guidelines that say their wordcount is strict, but I'm sure not all of them are. I always stay at or under the word count.

I asked one of my teachers how to get my essay under 300 words

and his reply was to cut out all adjectives and adverbs. So...it didn't get me to 300 words, but it did make it easier to see what I needed to cut out to get there. Also, don't write a soft intro. Make your point in your first sentence. See if that gives you a better start.

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