Essay Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AllenEagle, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. AllenEagle

    AllenEagle Candidate

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    On my application essay it says 250 to 300 words, 3000 characters max. Now does this mean I must stay between 250 and 300 and stay under 3000 characters, or that my essay can be more than 300 words if it is under 3000 characters?
     
  2. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Must stay between 250 and 300 words. It isn't that hard. Mine was very close to 300 words and only near 1500 characters, including spaces. I think they are just trying to keep people from throwing in every big word they can find.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Yea, as knight said, between 250-300 words / 3000 characters MAX. Something that every applicant, cadet, and military member needs to realize is that the military revolves around the concept of "ATTENTION TO DETAIL". In other words, do EXACTLY what they say. Rarely will you have to analyze to figure out what they meant. The word MAX and the word AND mean "250-300 words MAX" and "3000 characters MAX".

    To expand into other areas: Remember, the military is all about giving orders and following orders. Half of the application process is "Perception" on the part of the board members. In other words, "Did you FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS"? If it says to EMAIL: then you email. Don't hand carry or snail mail it. If it says evaluations from your math and english teacher; don't ask if you can substitute with a different teacher. Don't get me wrong; the military / air force academy isn't looking for "ROBOTS". They want you to be able to think for yourself. Unfortunately, this is a "DIFFERENT" way of thinking, and some people have a difficult time with it. Follow the directions, and you'll be fine. Best of luck. Mike.....
     
  4. AllenEagle

    AllenEagle Candidate

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, thanks a lot for the help!
     
  5. Farleigh85

    Farleigh85 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    1
    Your question is a good one. I'm going to weigh in here and give a lawyer's view. In my opinion, the instructions are ambiguous. They define four different limits that can be read to interrelate in different ways: "at least 250 words," "(3000 characters max)," "but should not exceed the space provided," and "250 to 300 words." Construing the limits together, one could adopt a conservative interpretation, i.e., that the essay MUST comprise at least 250 words but not more than 300 words, and in no event more than 3000 characters. Alternatively, one could adopt a liberal interpretation, i.e., at least 250 words (and typically not more than 300 words) but in no event more than 3000 characters.

    A compelling argument can be made that the spirit behind the limits is intended to encourage applicants to write concisely, simply, and directly--not to reward them for using exactly 250-300 words. Why should one applicant be penalized for writing an essay of, say, 380 short, muscular words totaling only1600 characters that falls far short of exceeding the space provided, and another applicant be rewarded for writing an essay of EXACTLY 300 words of purple prose and 3000 characters that completely fills up the space provided?

    I'm not trying to pick a fight or stir up trouble. I'm just pointing out that the instructions are subject to more than one reasonable interpretation. That said, the wisest and safest thing to do would be to adopt and follow the more conservative interpretation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    This is the military. You're not allowed to have "A Compelling Argument". LOL!!! :Benny_monkeysmilies
     
  7. lrv61

    lrv61 Parent

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    7
    In my opinion, I think the 3000 max requirement is driven by the allowable number of characters in the text field of the online app. Anything over 3000 is truncated. I also think that USAFA is expecting an essay in the range of 250-300 words (...not 500 if under 3000 characters)...So be careful if your essay is 300 words at 12 characters/word...your concluding thought may get dropped :smile:
     
  8. cakeeto

    cakeeto New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    The personal writing sample states: In the first section you have the option of answering EITHER question 1 or question 2. Responses to questions 1 or 2 must be at least 250 words (3000 characters max), but should not exceed the space provided.

    I am not sure which one of my essays for section 1 is the best. Will it be a problem to subit a writing sample for all 3 sections?
     
  9. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Follow the directions. :thumb:
     

Share This Page