How long is an Essay? A Guide to Appropriate Essay Length


Indeed, if the word count exceeds a lot, the student might have used wordy constructions or added useless information to the essay without proper analysis. You should focus on the argumentation provided in each paragraph and the basic structure of the paper. If you miss at least one part of the essay, it will result in a bad mark.

  • “I consider 500 the ‘sweet spot,’ but don’t stress if you write an essay closer to 430 or 620 that you’re honestly proud of.”
  • You should use this space to tell your story and reveal different facets of your personality.
  • Therefore, we tried to help ourselves through diet, sport, natural remedies and little gestures made out of love.More ….
  • You will make the strongest impact with your most powerful statement from the beginning of your essay.

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

How Long Is a Paragraph in College Essays?

Academic level Usually, the more advanced the students are, the more complex their papers get. For example, high school essays differ from ones for college and university in terms of length and presentation. Type of essay Students may be asked to write various types of essays—such as short, extended, narrative, or persuasive—throughout their careers. If you are writing the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, ensure you have 4-5 sentences.

The introduction is usually the same length as the conclusion and is shorter than the body. It should be just one paragraph and should match the length of the essay. For example, an essay with a length of 500 words would have an introduction of about 100 words. Most important in writing an essay is to prioritize quality over quantity. The focus should be on making a solid argument about the subject rather than hitting the specified word count. However, writing an essay according to the specified length is possible without compromising quality.

How Many Body Paragraphs Should Be in an Essay?

In most cases, a 500-word paragraph is too long, but paragraph size differs based on essay type and required length. The subsequent sentences should support the opening statement or give sentence starters for quotes further explanation for your argument. This part of the paragraph can also be used to describe study results, explain key theories, or integrate source material from your research.

how many words should an essay have

Once again, there will be an intro along with conclusion, and the rest should go to a body. Every year, millions of U.S. students decide which university they want to attend. Around 20% of students rely on college rankings to make their final decision. Over the last two decades, such rankings have significantly grown in popularity. Dorms become like a second home to many students during their university experience. And while dorm life can mean making new friends and having exciting adventures, adjusting to new routines is not always easy. Since most students who come to the dorms have no prior experience living outside their parents’…

Recommendations for the University Level Undergraduate

They count all the time it took to research the book as well. The more in-depth your report is meant to be, the longer you should spend on it. I can usually research and write a fairly technical magazine article of 1,000 words in three hours, but do remember that I’m a professional writer. If you really can’t find any length guidelines anywhere on the admissions website and you’re at a loss, I advise calling the admissions office. They may not be able to give you an exact number (in fact, they probably won’t), but they will probably at least be able to tell you how long most of the essays they see are. (And keep you from writing a panicked, 20-page dissertation about your relationship with your dog). Graduate school essays are usually more detailed and comprehensive, which means they tend to be longer.

how many words should an essay have

An ideal college entry essay is 500 words long for short essays and 1000 words essays for moderately long essays. However, the requirements on the word limits differ and depend on the institution. Different essay length requirements depend on the subject.

Expand your text with intros and conclusions

This practice helps ensure that essays are the same length regardless of font or formatting. As a rule of thumb, students should strive to get as close as possible to the upper limit of the word range without exceeding it. Keep reading to learn more about college essay length best practices. High school essays tend to require a page limit, but college essays tend to require a word count. When it comes to college application essays, many colleges and universities specify a word count. Some expect one longer essay, while others expect responses to multiple prompts using a shorter word count for each answer. Topic Some themes may require more explanations and supporting ideas to prove a point or convey a message to the reader.

how many words should an essay have

If the length is not specified, the specifications in this article should help you determine the length. The length of undergraduate essays varies depending on the institution, course of study, and course levels. For an introductory paper, a five-paragraph structure is typical. Ask INK to write anything and start creating more engaging content. Teacher’s PowerPoint, which should include everything you’d need to successfully introduce this topic.

How to Write Essay Titles and Headers

Sometimes colleges will not indicate a length limit for their essay prompts. But, don’t worry just yet because there are several ways to deal with this situation. The tips below relate to academic essays that are given as a writing assignment. Everything that concerns how many words should an essay have admissions essays will be discussed in the following section. Generally, scholarship papers have a limit of 500 words, which is 1 page in length. Most scholarship programs provide additional requirements that indicate the minimum number of words or pages.

  • Read your essay aloud to yourself, since this will help you pick up any careless errors you wouldn’t otherwise spot.
  • To complete such a big assignment, you might need to consult a research paper writing service.
  • For the high school level, the quality means much more than the quantity.
  • “Students I work with run the gamut from having a good idea to having absolutely no idea what to write about,” Benedict said.

I think the five paragraphs for an essay is more of a rule-of-thumb number that is easy to teach students when they are first learning to write. Your teacher was just trying to make sure you understood how to write, not give you a rule you had to always obey.

Essay Structure

Although it is usually difficult to determine the length of an essay by words, working within the specified range is generally good. The following guidelines will help you determine how long your essay should be.

There is no firm rule that says an essay needs to have a set number of paragraphs, but an essay must be a minimum of three paragraphs. I’ve found these estimates incredibly accurate in my years in college. I’m about to graduate next week and have one more 3500 word paper to write. However, the estimates don’t include the time it takes to edit so I usually add a little time depending on how long the essay/paper has to be. I think an important thing to point out here is that there’s a huge difference between writing a 1000 word essay and writing a good 1000 word essay.

How long should a college essay be?

According to Benedict, this often happens at small liberal arts colleges, which tend to take a more holistic admissions approach. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. What you choose to add to your writing needs to be high quality and necessary. This next hint will help you add words that will enhance your writing instead of hurting it. And every night I had to remember to charge my batteries, so I could hear the next day.

Of course, the number of paragraphs for your essay will depend on many different factors. You can use the following information for a general reference, but don’t take these numbers as literal.. In its simplest form, an essay can consist of three paragraphs with one paragraph being devoted to each section. Proponents of the five paragraph essay say that the body text should consist of three paragraphs, but in reality, it’s fine to write more or fewer paragraphs in this section. It’s like asking the question, “how long does it take to write a book? ” For some, it will only take a couple of months while for others it will take a lifetime.

What to Do if There Are No Length Guidelines

It’s useful to notice that rather than following the standard dictum “show, don’t tell,” she does a nice job showing, then telling. We’d recommend that latter approach, as it plays into craft , but also ensures your readers on the admission committee don’t miss your point. Last year, I had another opportunity to use music to pay homage to an issue I care deeply about. In my South Asian community, mental health is an issue that is often papered over. When a member of my school community committed suicide, I was asked to sing “Amazing Grace” for the school to both unify and honor the student.


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