Monday Morning Essay Tip: Reducing Word Count Through Pluralization

One way to save words in your application essays and short-answer responses is to pluralize nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an” or “the.” These words add unnecessarily to your word count, and they can clutter your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

“A manager with an MBA will be able to ascend the corporate ladder faster than a manager who lacks an MBA.” (21 words)


“Managers with MBAs will be able to ascend the corporate ladder faster than managers who lack MBAs.” (17 words)

As you can see, the same idea is presented in both sentences, but one sentence has four words fewer than the other. Given that essays include dozens or even hundreds of sentences, pluralizing wherever possible is helpful in meeting word count requirements.

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