Writing academically: Paragraph structure

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“An appropriate use of paragraphs is an essential part of writing coherent and well-structured essays.” Don Shiach,   How to write essays

PEEL acronym - Point, evidence, explanation, link

  • A topic sentence – what is the overall point that the paragraph is making?
  • Evidence that supports your point – this is usually your cited material.
  • Explanation of why the point is important and how it helps with your overall argument.
  • A link (if necessary) to the next paragraph (or to the previous one if coming at the beginning of the paragraph) or back to the essay question.

This is a good order to use when you are new to writing academic essays - but as you get more accomplished you can adapt it as necessary. The important thing is to make sure all of these elements are present within the paragraph.

The sections below explain more about each of these elements.

paragraph essay length

The topic sentence (Point)

This should appear early in the paragraph and is often, but not always, the first sentence.  It should clearly state the main point that you are making in the paragraph. When you are planning essays, writing down a list of your topic sentences is an excellent way to check that your argument flows well from one point to the next.

paragraph essay length

This is the evidence that backs up your topic sentence. Why do you believe what you have written in your topic sentence? The evidence is usually paraphrased or quoted material from your reading . Depending on the nature of the assignment, it could also include:

  • Your own data (in a research project for example).
  • Personal experiences from practice (especially for Social Care, Health Sciences and Education).
  • Personal experiences from learning (in a reflective essay for example).

Any evidence from external sources should, of course, be referenced.

paragraph essay length

Explanation (analysis)

This is the part of your paragraph where you explain to your reader why the evidence supports the point and why that point is relevant to your overall argument. It is where you answer the question 'So what?'. Tell the reader how the information in the paragraph helps you answer the question and how it leads to your conclusion. Your analysis should attempt to persuade the reader that your conclusion is the correct one.

These are the parts of your paragraphs that will get you the higher marks in any marking scheme.

paragraph essay length

Links are optional but it will help your argument flow if you include them. They are sentences that help the reader understand how the parts of your argument are connected . Most commonly they come at the end of the paragraph but they can be equally effective at the beginning of the next one. Sometimes a link is split between the end of one paragraph and the beginning of the next (see the example paragraph below).

Paragraph structure video

Length of a paragraph

Academic paragraphs are usually between 200 and 300 words long (they vary more than this but it is a useful guide). The important thing is that they should be long enough to contain all the above material. Only move onto a new paragraph if you are making a new point. 

Many students make their paragraphs too short (because they are not including enough or any analysis) or too long (they are made up of several different points).

Example of an academic paragraph

Using storytelling in educational settings can enable educators to connect with their students because of inborn tendencies for humans to listen to stories.   Written languages have only existed for between 6,000 and 7,000 years (Daniels & Bright, 1995) before then, and continually ever since in many cultures, important lessons for life were passed on using the oral tradition of storytelling. These varied from simple informative tales, to help us learn how to find food or avoid danger, to more magical and miraculous stories designed to help us see how we can resolve conflict and find our place in society (Zipes, 2012). Oral storytelling traditions are still fundamental to native American culture and Rebecca Bishop, a native American public relations officer (quoted in Sorensen, 2012) believes that the physical act of storytelling is a special thing; children will automatically stop what they are doing and listen when a story is told. Professional communicators report that this continues to adulthood (Simmons, 2006; Stevenson, 2008).   This means that storytelling can be a powerful tool for connecting with students of all ages in a way that a list of bullet points in a PowerPoint presentation cannot. The emotional connection and innate, almost hardwired, need to listen when someone tells a story means that educators can teach memorable lessons in a uniquely engaging manner that is   common to all cultures. 

This cross-cultural element of storytelling can be seen when reading or listening to wisdom tales from around the world...

Key:   Topic sentence    Evidence (includes some analysis)    Analysis   Link (crosses into next paragraph)

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you understand how paragraphs are formed, how to develop stronger paragraphs, and how to completely and clearly express your ideas.

What is a paragraph?

Paragraphs are the building blocks of papers. Many students define paragraphs in terms of length: a paragraph is a group of at least five sentences, a paragraph is half a page long, etc. In reality, though, the unity and coherence of ideas among sentences is what constitutes a paragraph. A paragraph is defined as “a group of sentences or a single sentence that forms a unit” (Lunsford and Connors 116). Length and appearance do not determine whether a section in a paper is a paragraph. For instance, in some styles of writing, particularly journalistic styles, a paragraph can be just one sentence long. Ultimately, a paragraph is a sentence or group of sentences that support one main idea. In this handout, we will refer to this as the “controlling idea,” because it controls what happens in the rest of the paragraph.

How do I decide what to put in a paragraph?

Before you can begin to determine what the composition of a particular paragraph will be, you must first decide on an argument and a working thesis statement for your paper. What is the most important idea that you are trying to convey to your reader? The information in each paragraph must be related to that idea. In other words, your paragraphs should remind your reader that there is a recurrent relationship between your thesis and the information in each paragraph. A working thesis functions like a seed from which your paper, and your ideas, will grow. The whole process is an organic one—a natural progression from a seed to a full-blown paper where there are direct, familial relationships between all of the ideas in the paper.

The decision about what to put into your paragraphs begins with the germination of a seed of ideas; this “germination process” is better known as brainstorming . There are many techniques for brainstorming; whichever one you choose, this stage of paragraph development cannot be skipped. Building paragraphs can be like building a skyscraper: there must be a well-planned foundation that supports what you are building. Any cracks, inconsistencies, or other corruptions of the foundation can cause your whole paper to crumble.

So, let’s suppose that you have done some brainstorming to develop your thesis. What else should you keep in mind as you begin to create paragraphs? Every paragraph in a paper should be :

  • Unified : All of the sentences in a single paragraph should be related to a single controlling idea (often expressed in the topic sentence of the paragraph).
  • Clearly related to the thesis : The sentences should all refer to the central idea, or thesis, of the paper (Rosen and Behrens 119).
  • Coherent : The sentences should be arranged in a logical manner and should follow a definite plan for development (Rosen and Behrens 119).
  • Well-developed : Every idea discussed in the paragraph should be adequately explained and supported through evidence and details that work together to explain the paragraph’s controlling idea (Rosen and Behrens 119).

How do I organize a paragraph?

There are many different ways to organize a paragraph. The organization you choose will depend on the controlling idea of the paragraph. Below are a few possibilities for organization, with links to brief examples:

  • Narration : Tell a story. Go chronologically, from start to finish. ( See an example. )
  • Description : Provide specific details about what something looks, smells, tastes, sounds, or feels like. Organize spatially, in order of appearance, or by topic. ( See an example. )
  • Process : Explain how something works, step by step. Perhaps follow a sequence—first, second, third. ( See an example. )
  • Classification : Separate into groups or explain the various parts of a topic. ( See an example. )
  • Illustration : Give examples and explain how those examples support your point. (See an example in the 5-step process below.)

Illustration paragraph: a 5-step example

From the list above, let’s choose “illustration” as our rhetorical purpose. We’ll walk through a 5-step process for building a paragraph that illustrates a point in an argument. For each step there is an explanation and example. Our example paragraph will be about human misconceptions of piranhas.

Step 1. Decide on a controlling idea and create a topic sentence

Paragraph development begins with the formulation of the controlling idea. This idea directs the paragraph’s development. Often, the controlling idea of a paragraph will appear in the form of a topic sentence. In some cases, you may need more than one sentence to express a paragraph’s controlling idea.

Controlling idea and topic sentence — Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans.

Step 2. Elaborate on the controlling idea

Paragraph development continues with an elaboration on the controlling idea, perhaps with an explanation, implication, or statement about significance. Our example offers a possible explanation for the pervasiveness of the myth.

Elaboration — This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media.

Step 3. Give an example (or multiple examples)

Paragraph development progresses with an example (or more) that illustrates the claims made in the previous sentences.

Example — For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman.

Step 4. Explain the example(s)

The next movement in paragraph development is an explanation of each example and its relevance to the topic sentence. The explanation should demonstrate the value of the example as evidence to support the major claim, or focus, in your paragraph.

Continue the pattern of giving examples and explaining them until all points/examples that the writer deems necessary have been made and explained. NONE of your examples should be left unexplained. You might be able to explain the relationship between the example and the topic sentence in the same sentence which introduced the example. More often, however, you will need to explain that relationship in a separate sentence.

Explanation for example — Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear.

Notice that the example and explanation steps of this 5-step process (steps 3 and 4) can be repeated as needed. The idea is that you continue to use this pattern until you have completely developed the main idea of the paragraph.

Step 5. Complete the paragraph’s idea or transition into the next paragraph

The final movement in paragraph development involves tying up the loose ends of the paragraph. At this point, you can remind your reader about the relevance of the information to the larger paper, or you can make a concluding point for this example. You might, however, simply transition to the next paragraph.

Sentences for completing a paragraph — While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief.

Finished paragraph

Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans. This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media. For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman. Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear. While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief.

Troubleshooting paragraphs

Problem: the paragraph has no topic sentence.

Imagine each paragraph as a sandwich. The real content of the sandwich—the meat or other filling—is in the middle. It includes all the evidence you need to make the point. But it gets kind of messy to eat a sandwich without any bread. Your readers don’t know what to do with all the evidence you’ve given them. So, the top slice of bread (the first sentence of the paragraph) explains the topic (or controlling idea) of the paragraph. And, the bottom slice (the last sentence of the paragraph) tells the reader how the paragraph relates to the broader argument. In the original and revised paragraphs below, notice how a topic sentence expressing the controlling idea tells the reader the point of all the evidence.

Original paragraph

Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Revised paragraph

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Once you have mastered the use of topic sentences, you may decide that the topic sentence for a particular paragraph really shouldn’t be the first sentence of the paragraph. This is fine—the topic sentence can actually go at the beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph; what’s important is that it is in there somewhere so that readers know what the main idea of the paragraph is and how it relates back to the thesis of your paper. Suppose that we wanted to start the piranha paragraph with a transition sentence—something that reminds the reader of what happened in the previous paragraph—rather than with the topic sentence. Let’s suppose that the previous paragraph was about all kinds of animals that people are afraid of, like sharks, snakes, and spiders. Our paragraph might look like this (the topic sentence is bold):

Like sharks, snakes, and spiders, piranhas are widely feared. Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless . Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Problem: the paragraph has more than one controlling idea

If a paragraph has more than one main idea, consider eliminating sentences that relate to the second idea, or split the paragraph into two or more paragraphs, each with only one main idea. Watch our short video on reverse outlining to learn a quick way to test whether your paragraphs are unified. In the following paragraph, the final two sentences branch off into a different topic; so, the revised paragraph eliminates them and concludes with a sentence that reminds the reader of the paragraph’s main idea.

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. A number of South American groups eat piranhas. They fry or grill the fish and then serve them with coconut milk or tucupi, a sauce made from fermented manioc juices.

Problem: transitions are needed within the paragraph

You are probably familiar with the idea that transitions may be needed between paragraphs or sections in a paper (see our handout on transitions ). Sometimes they are also helpful within the body of a single paragraph. Within a paragraph, transitions are often single words or short phrases that help to establish relationships between ideas and to create a logical progression of those ideas in a paragraph. This is especially likely to be true within paragraphs that discuss multiple examples. Let’s take a look at a version of our piranha paragraph that uses transitions to orient the reader:

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, except in two main situations, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ instinct is to flee, not attack. But there are two situations in which a piranha bite is likely. The first is when a frightened piranha is lifted out of the water—for example, if it has been caught in a fishing net. The second is when the water level in pools where piranhas are living falls too low. A large number of fish may be trapped in a single pool, and if they are hungry, they may attack anything that enters the water.

In this example, you can see how the phrases “the first” and “the second” help the reader follow the organization of the ideas in the paragraph.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Lunsford, Andrea. 2008. The St. Martin’s Handbook: Annotated Instructor’s Edition , 6th ed. New York: St. Martin’s.

Rosen, Leonard J., and Laurence Behrens. 2003. The Allyn & Bacon Handbook , 5th ed. New York: Longman.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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College Essays

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Figuring out your college essay can be one of the most difficult parts of applying to college. Even once you've read the prompt and picked a topic, you might wonder: if you write too much or too little, will you blow your chance of admission? How long should a college essay be?

Whether you're a terse writer or a loquacious one, we can advise you on college essay length. In this guide, we'll cover what the standard college essay length is, how much word limits matter, and what to do if you aren't sure how long a specific essay should be.

How Long Is a College Essay? First, Check the Word Limit

You might be used to turning in your writing assignments on a page-limit basis (for example, a 10-page paper). While some colleges provide page limits for their college essays, most use a word limit instead. This makes sure there's a standard length for all the essays that a college receives, regardless of formatting or font.

In the simplest terms, your college essay should be pretty close to, but not exceeding, the word limit in length. Think within 50 words as the lower bound, with the word limit as the upper bound. So for a 500-word limit essay, try to get somewhere between 450-500 words. If they give you a range, stay within that range.

College essay prompts usually provide the word limit right in the prompt or in the instructions.

For example, the University of Illinois says :

"You'll answer two to three prompts as part of your application. The questions you'll answer will depend on whether you're applying to a major or to our undeclared program , and if you've selected a second choice . Each response should be approximately 150 words."

As exemplified by the University of Illinois, the shortest word limits for college essays are usually around 150 words (less than half a single-spaced page). Rarely will you see a word limit higher than around 650 words (over one single-spaced page). College essays are usually pretty short: between 150 and 650 words. Admissions officers have to read a lot of them, after all!

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Weigh your words carefully, because they are limited!

How Flexible Is the Word Limit?

But how flexible is the word limit? What if your poignant anecdote is just 10 words too long—or 100 too short?

Can I Go Over the Word Limit?

If you are attaching a document and you need one or two extra words, you can probably get away with exceeding the word limit by such a small amount. Some colleges will actually tell you that exceeding the word limit by 1-2 words is fine. However, I advise against exceeding the word limit unless it's explicitly allowed for a few reasons:

First, you might not be able to. If you have to copy-paste it into a text box, your essay might get cut off and you'll have to trim it down anyway.

If you exceed the word limit in a noticeable way, the admissions counselor may just stop reading your essay past that point. This is not good for you.

Following directions is actually a very important part of the college application process. You need to follow directions to get your letters of recommendation, upload your essays, send supplemental materials, get your test scores sent, and so on and so forth. So it's just a good general rule to follow whatever instructions you've been given by the institution. Better safe than sorry!

Can I Go Under the Word Limit?

If you can truly get your point across well beneath the word limit, it's probably fine. Brevity is not necessarily a bad thing in writing just so long as you are clear, cogent, and communicate what you want to.

However, most college essays have pretty tight word limits anyways. So if you're writing 300 words for an essay with a 500-word limit, ask yourself: is there anything more you could say to elaborate on or support your points? Consult with a parent, friend, or teacher on where you could elaborate with more detail or expand your points.

Also, if the college gives you a word range, you absolutely need to at least hit the bottom end of the range. So if you get a range from the institution, like 400-500 words, you need to write at least 400 words. If you write less, it will come across like you have nothing to say, which is not an impression you want to give.

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What If There Is No Word Limit?

Some colleges don't give you a word limit for one or more of your essay prompts. This can be a little stressful, but the prompts generally fall into a few categories:

Writing Sample

Some colleges don't provide a hard-and-fast word limit because they want a writing sample from one of your classes. In this case, a word limit would be very limiting to you in terms of which assignments you could select from.

For an example of this kind of prompt, check out essay Option B at Amherst :

"Submit a graded paper from your junior or senior year that best represents your writing skills and analytical abilities. We are particularly interested in your ability to construct a tightly reasoned, persuasive argument that calls upon literary, sociological or historical evidence. You should NOT submit a laboratory report, journal entry, creative writing sample or in-class essay."

While there is usually no word limit per se, colleges sometimes provide a general page guideline for writing samples. In the FAQ for Option B , Amherst clarifies, "There is no hard-and-fast rule for official page limit. Typically, we anticipate a paper of 4-5 pages will provide adequate length to demonstrate your analytical abilities. Somewhat longer papers can also be submitted, but in most cases should not exceed 8-10 pages."

So even though there's no word limit, they'd like somewhere in the 4-10 pages range. High school students are not usually writing papers that are longer than 10 pages anyways, so that isn't very limiting.

paragraph essay length

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Implicit Length Guideline

Sometimes, while there's no word (or even page) limit, there's still an implicit length guideline. What do I mean by this?

See, for example, this Western Washington University prompt :

“Describe one or more activities you have been involved in that have been particularly meaningful. What does your involvement say about the communities, identities or causes that are important to you?”

While there’s no page or word limit listed here, further down on page the ‘essay tips’ section explains that “ most essay responses are about 500 words, ” though “this is only a recommendation, not a firm limit.” This gives you an idea of what’s reasonable. A little longer or shorter than 500 words would be appropriate here. That’s what I mean by an “implicit” word limit—there is a reasonable length you could go to within the boundaries of the prompt.

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But what's the proper coffee-to-paragraph ratio?

Treasure Hunt

There is also the classic "treasure hunt" prompt. No, it's not a prompt about a treasure hunt. It's a prompt where there are no length guidelines given, but if you hunt around on the rest of the website you can find length guidelines.

For example, the University of Chicago provides seven "Extended Essay" prompts . You must write an essay in response to one prompt of your choosing, but nowhere on the page is there any guidance about word count or page limit.

However, many colleges provide additional details about their expectations for application materials, including essays, on FAQ pages, which is true of the University of Chicago. On the school’s admissions Frequently Asked Questions page , they provide the following length guidelines for the supplemental essays: 

“We suggest that you note any word limits for Coalition or Common Application essays; however, there are no strict word limits on the UChicago Supplement essays. For the extended essay (where you choose one of several prompts), we suggest that you aim for around 650 words. While we won't, as a rule, stop reading after 650 words, we're only human and cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention indefinitely. For the “Why UChicago?” essay, we suggest about 250-500 words. The ideas in your writing matter more than the exact number of words you use!”

So there you go! You want to be (loosely) in the realm of 650 for the extended essay, and 250-500 words for the “Why UChicago?” essay.

Help! There Really Is No Guidance on Length

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).

In general, 500 words or so is pretty safe for a college essay. It's a fairly standard word limit length, in fact. (And if you're wondering, that's about a page and a half double-spaced.) 500 words is long enough to develop a basic idea while still getting a point across quickly—important when admissions counselors have thousands of essays to read!

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"See? It says 500 words right there in tiny font!"

The Final Word: How Long Should a College Essay Be?

The best college essay length is usually pretty straightforward: you want to be right under or at the provided word limit. If you go substantially past the word limit, you risk having your essay cut off by an online application form or having the admissions officer just not finish it. And if you're too far under the word limit, you may not be elaborating enough.

What if there is no word limit? Then how long should a college essay be? In general, around 500 words is a pretty safe approximate word amount for a college essay—it's one of the most common word limits, after all!

Here's guidance for special cases and hunting down word limits:

If it's a writing sample of your graded academic work, the length either doesn't matter or there should be some loose page guidelines.

There also may be implicit length guidelines. For example, if a prompt says to write three paragraphs, you'll know that writing six sentences is definitely too short, and two single-spaced pages is definitely too long.

You might not be able to find length guidelines in the prompt, but you could still hunt them up elsewhere on the website. Try checking FAQs or googling your chosen school name with "admissions essay word limit."

If there really is no word limit, you can call the school to try to get some guidance.

With this advice, you can be sure you've got the right college essay length on lockdown!

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Hey, writing about yourself can even be fun!

What's Next?

Need to ask a teacher or friend for help with your essay? See our do's and dont's to getting college essay advice .

If you're lacking in essay inspiration, see our guide to brainstorming college essay ideas . And here's our guide to starting out your essay perfectly!

Looking for college essay examples? See 11 places to find college essay examples and 145 essay examples with analysis !

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Ellen has extensive education mentorship experience and is deeply committed to helping students succeed in all areas of life. She received a BA from Harvard in Folklore and Mythology and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University.

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How Long Should a Paragraph Be in Essays or College Writing

  • by Joseph Kenas
  • January 18, 2024

Writing a paragraph

Paragraph length is one of the more important things to get right when you’re writing an article. A good paragraph length will help your article to be more engaging and easier to read. The ideal paragraph length is one of the most debated topics in writing.

It is not the same for all types of writing, and it’s not the same for all types of writers. Many factors will influence what your ideal paragraph length is. In this article, we dig deep into how long should a paragraph be and the factors influencing its length.

What is a Paragraph?

Paragraphs are a fundamental feature of writing. In a very basic sense, it is a collection of sentences that make a point. It can also be defined as a collection of sentences that are connected to each other. They are used to organize your thoughts and to break up a text into sections, making it easier for readers to digest what you have written. A paragraph is also used to introduce a topic, define a point or set a scene.

A single paragraph should only have one main idea and its supporting details.

a Paragraph

Every sentence should support your main idea.

Most professional writers argue that a comprehensive and readable paragraph should be about three or five sentences long.

However, there are shorter and longer paragraphs depending on the use of the text in question.

Characteristic of a Good Paragraph

Characteristic of a Good Paragraph

  • It should be brief: A good paragraph is brief and concise. The length of the paragraph determines its readability and whether the reader will be able to understand it.
  • It covers only one idea: An excellent paragraph does not ramble around different ideas. It is focused and precise.
  • It is clear and precise: A good paragraph uses precise and specific language. It avoids vague and ambiguous language.
  • It is organized: A good paragraph is arranged clearly and logically.

How Long Should a Paragraph Be?

The length of a paragraph depends on several factors, including how the paragraph is used, the length of its sentences, and the information it contains.

The average paragraph length of a blog post is between 100 and 250 words, so writing a short paragraph of 10 to 20 words is a good choice for a blog post.

On the other hand, a long paragraph of more than 250 words is best for a research paper. These are basically one-page long paragraphs. Feel free to use our free word to pages converter to know the number of pages for every word count.

In a formal essay, a paragraph should contain between three and six sentences of 15 to 20 words each. In a resume, a paragraph should be between two and five sentences of 25 to 30 words each. 

In terms of sentences, a readable paragraph should be about 4 to six sentences. However, there are even as short as one sentence paragraphs for blogs, dialogues, and short stories. There are also more than six sentences paragraphs for high scholarly work.

Factors Determining the Length of a Good Paragraph

A paragraph is the base of any good writing. As earlier mentioned a paraph has two main purposes. One is to explain something to the reader.

The second purpose is to create a visual break in the piece of writing so that the reader knows where the current idea being explained will end. There are many factors that determine the length of a good paragraph. These include;

1. The Medium used

A medium/ channel is a communication route or system that allows the transmission of information from a speaker or writer (the sender) to the audience (the receiver).

Some examples of written media that use paragraphs include newspapers, television, books, reports, magazines, and the internet.

Some media such as television and the internet may require precise information due to time and data usage. This means that paragraphs written for such media must be short.

However, when writing books and magazines, the audience has a lot of time. As such, information needs to be broad, thus calling for longer paragraphs.

2. The Topic you are Writing

A topic is a specific issue or concept that is discussed in a paragraph, essay, report, or speech. In a paragraph, the principal topic is contained in the topic sentence. The broader the topic sentence the longer the paragraph.

This means that topics with a limited, or specific scope are easier to describe carefully and in detail using fewer words than topics that are ambiguous or extremely broad.

For example, general topics like mountains, automobiles, and music sound systems are so wide and hence will take a lot of words to explain in a single paragraph.

On the other hand, some aspects of sound systems, such as compact discs are more straightforward hence may take fewer words.

3. The target Audience

These are listeners or spectators during a presentation or performance, or the intended readers for a piece of writing.

Audience

It’s crucial to consider the relationship between your audience’s knowledge and level of expertise on the subject, and your own evidence selection and presentation.

Much of what you say in a paragraph relies on whether you’re speaking to a group of specialists or a broader audience of people interested in your issue.

Also the technique you structure your paragraphs and the quantity of detail you include—the terminology you define, the amount of background you provide, the depth of your explanations—are influenced by what your audience requires.

4. The Purpose of your writing

The purpose refers to the reason for writing the paragraph. Such reasons include to inform, entertain, explain, or persuade. It is also known as the goal of writing.

As a writer, you must know the objective of your writing and align your point of view with that aim. This purpose also determines the optimal length of your paper or an essay.

The objective of writing alters the length of the paragraph greatly. For example, paragraphs are written to explain are much short because they are straight to the point.

On the other hand, you need a lot of information in one paragraph if you were to persuade your audience effectively. For instance, when writing a 2-page essay , you will need short paragraphs so that the points will fit in the paper.

Students frequently encounter the issue of balancing a word count with a general essay structure — introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs – when writing an essay.

Academic writing conventions suggest that the main text (body) be the most important in terms of substance and word quantity in this scenario. In general, the following is a suggested structure:

  • The introduction should account for 10% of the entire word count.
  • Body paragraphs account for 80% of the total word count.
  • The conclusion accounts for 10% of the total word count.

1. In a College Essay

When it comes to college writing there are no specific rules or formulas concerning paragraph length. However, a common rule of thumb for paragraphs in college essays is that they should be about 1/3 to 1/2 page long. If you go on much longer, there’s a considerable probability you’ll have more than one core thought.

  • Generally, if the total word count is 500, then,
  • 50 words for the introduction paragraph.
  • A total of 400 words are used in the body paragraphs (divided almost equally amongst paragraphs)
  • 50-word conclusion paragraph

 2. In a High School Essay

In high school, a paragraph should be about 5-7 sentences long. However, you should focus on writing, not on worrying about the number of words. The paragraph should be long enough to make your point and short enough to keep your reader interested.

All the same, most students struggle with the paragraph length question because they don’t want to make it too long or too short. Most scholars say it should be;

  • Generally, if there are 250 words in total, then
  • The first paragraph is 25 words long.
  • 200-word body paragraphs (divided equally amongst the paragraphs)
  • 25-word conclusion paragraph

3. In a Graduate Essay

In graduate essay paragraphs, you want to keep your readers engaged, and still give them room to breathe. So it means that you don’t want to use them too often, but you also don’t want to be using many sentences in your essay. Therefore, the trick is to make sure that you have the right balance of paragraphs and sentences.

  • In general, if there is a total word count is 1000.
  • 100-word introduction paragraph
  • A total of 800 words are used in the body paragraphs (divided equally among paragraphs)
  • 100-word conclusion paragraph

paragraph essay length

Joseph is a freelance journalist and a part-time writer with a particular interest in the gig economy. He writes about schooling, college life, and changing trends in education. When not writing, Joseph is hiking or playing chess.

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On Paragraphs

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The purpose of this handout is to give some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.

What is a paragraph?

A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic. Learning to write good paragraphs will help you as a writer stay on track during your drafting and revision stages. Good paragraphing also greatly assists your readers in following a piece of writing. You can have fantastic ideas, but if those ideas aren't presented in an organized fashion, you will lose your readers (and fail to achieve your goals in writing).

The Basic Rule: Keep one idea to one paragraph

The basic rule of thumb with paragraphing is to keep one idea to one paragraph. If you begin to transition into a new idea, it belongs in a new paragraph. There are some simple ways to tell if you are on the same topic or a new one. You can have one idea and several bits of supporting evidence within a single paragraph. You can also have several points in a single paragraph as long as they relate to the overall topic of the paragraph. If the single points start to get long, then perhaps elaborating on each of them and placing them in their own paragraphs is the route to go.

Elements of a paragraph

To be as effective as possible, a paragraph should contain each of the following: Unity, Coherence, A Topic Sentence, and Adequate Development. As you will see, all of these traits overlap. Using and adapting them to your individual purposes will help you construct effective paragraphs.

The entire paragraph should concern itself with a single focus. If it begins with one focus or major point of discussion, it should not end with another or wander within different ideas.

Coherence is the trait that makes the paragraph easily understandable to a reader. You can help create coherence in your paragraphs by creating logical bridges and verbal bridges.

Logical bridges

  • The same idea of a topic is carried over from sentence to sentence
  • Successive sentences can be constructed in parallel form

Verbal bridges

  • Key words can be repeated in several sentences
  • Synonymous words can be repeated in several sentences
  • Pronouns can refer to nouns in previous sentences
  • Transition words can be used to link ideas from different sentences

A topic sentence

A topic sentence is a sentence that indicates in a general way what idea or thesis the paragraph is going to deal with. Although not all paragraphs have clear-cut topic sentences, and despite the fact that topic sentences can occur anywhere in the paragraph (as the first sentence, the last sentence, or somewhere in the middle), an easy way to make sure your reader understands the topic of the paragraph is to put your topic sentence near the beginning of the paragraph. (This is a good general rule for less experienced writers, although it is not the only way to do it). Regardless of whether you include an explicit topic sentence or not, you should be able to easily summarize what the paragraph is about.

Adequate development

The topic (which is introduced by the topic sentence) should be discussed fully and adequately. Again, this varies from paragraph to paragraph, depending on the author's purpose, but writers should be wary of paragraphs that only have two or three sentences. It's a pretty good bet that the paragraph is not fully developed if it is that short.

Some methods to make sure your paragraph is well-developed:

  • Use examples and illustrations
  • Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and others)
  • Examine testimony (what other people say such as quotes and paraphrases)
  • Use an anecdote or story
  • Define terms in the paragraph
  • Compare and contrast
  • Evaluate causes and reasons
  • Examine effects and consequences
  • Analyze the topic
  • Describe the topic
  • Offer a chronology of an event (time segments)

How do I know when to start a new paragraph?

You should start a new paragraph when:

  • When you begin a new idea or point. New ideas should always start in new paragraphs. If you have an extended idea that spans multiple paragraphs, each new point within that idea should have its own paragraph.
  • To contrast information or ideas. Separate paragraphs can serve to contrast sides in a debate, different points in an argument, or any other difference.
  • When your readers need a pause. Breaks between paragraphs function as a short "break" for your readers—adding these in will help your writing be more readable. You would create a break if the paragraph becomes too long or the material is complex.
  • When you are ending your introduction or starting your conclusion. Your introductory and concluding material should always be in a new paragraph. Many introductions and conclusions have multiple paragraphs depending on their content, length, and the writer's purpose.

Transitions and signposts

Two very important elements of paragraphing are signposts and transitions. Signposts are internal aids to assist readers; they usually consist of several sentences or a paragraph outlining what the article has covered and where the article will be going.

Transitions are usually one or several sentences that "transition" from one idea to the next. Transitions can be used at the end of most paragraphs to help the paragraphs flow one into the next.

What are the six different essay lengths?

paragraph essay length

This is the second of three chapters about Essays . To complete this reader, read each chapter carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Discuss why essays might vary in length

– Outline the six major lengths of academic essay

– Provide defining features for each essay length

Chapter 1: What is an academic essay?

Chapter 2: What are the six different essay lengths?

Chapter 3: What are the seven different types of academic essay?

Before you begin reading...

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The length of essay you’re assigned will likely depend on where you are exactly in your academic course. Generally, assignments at the start of a bachelor’s degree will be shorter than those required in a student’s final years, just like master’s  and doctoral-level essays will continue to increase in both length and difficulty.

1. The One-Paragraph Essay

Generally about 150 to 250 words in length, the one-paragraph essay may be assigned by academic tutors simply in order to practise the basic concepts of paragraph writing, or it may also be used for specific purposes such as to practise summarising an article that’s been read in class or to write an extended definition of a concept. Additionally, one-paragraph essays may also be used as a diagnostic to quickly determine the level of a student’s writing. Unlike other essay lengths, for the one-paragraph essay, you’ll need to include at least some introductory, body and conclusive elements within the same paragraph.    

2. The Three-Paragraph Essay

Usually around 500 words in length, the three-paragraph essay is generally used to introduce students to the concept that all essays should maintain an introduction , body section and conclusion if the writer wishes to produce cohesive and a logical writing. The introduction and conclusion will be the first and last paragraphs and tend to be a little shorter in length, while the central body paragraph will contain the essay’s content or argument. A simple table explaining the balance of content in a three-paragraph essay has been provided below:

About Essay Types 2.1 Three Paragraph Essay

3. The Five-Paragraph Essay

Around 1,000 words in length, the five-paragraph essay is generally set by tutors who are content that their students understand the introduction-body-conclusion essay  structure and wish to allow more freedom to expand the ideas and arguments presented by the writer in the body section of the essay. This length of essay still only dedicates one paragraph to the introduction and conclusion , but allows three paragraphs to be dedicated to the exploration of the theme in the essay’s body. At this length, certain essay types such as cause and effect essays or compare and contrast essays may now be utilised. The following is a simple diagram of the balance of paragraph lengths in a five-paragraph essay.

About Essay Types 2.2 Five Paragraph Essay

4. The Extended Essay

The extended essay is the most common type of essay that’s assigned during a bachelor’s or master’s degree , and it may be of any length – although it’s unusual for such essays to be above 5,000 words. The most common lengths for an extended essay are 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000 words, with a word count allowance of plus or minus 10%. Such essay types will most certainly require research and referencing skills , and may also begin to follow more complex structures such as are found in dissertations and theses rather than simply following the introduction-body-conclusion structure of shorter essays.

5. The Dissertation

Generally assigned as the final project for both bachelor’s   and master’s degree , the typical length of an academic dissertation is 10,000 or 15,000 words. Unlike shorter essay types , dissertations have more complex structures and are almost always based around primary research (original research that the writer has conducted themselves). The following table demonstrates some of the key parts of a dissertation as well as the rough word count  percentages for each section:

About Essay Types 2.3 The Dissertation

6. The Thesis

Finally, the thesis is the longest academic essay type and the one that’s reserved for doctorate students studying PhDs. Generally between 40,000 and 60,000 words in length, the doctorate thesis may contain all the elements of a dissertation but in much more detail and with more careful investigation. Such essays  are almost certainly original and are based on primary research , with a larger focus on the accuracy of the literature review , data collection and data analysis . Many students will never encounter this essay type. 

Once you can recognise which essay length you’ve been assigned, the next question covered in Chapter 3 is about determining the type of essay you have to write. This is because each essay type will require particular styles, structures, foci and language.

To reference this reader:

Academic Marker (2022) Essays . Available at: https://academicmarker.com/academic-guidance/assignments/essays/ (Accessed: Date Month Year).

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How Long Should an Essay Be? Essay Length Guide & Tips

How long is an essay

Table of contents

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Use our free Readability checker

Have you ever wondered how long is an essay? The simplest answer is that it should be as long as specified in the requirements. However, when it comes to practice, everything isn't so easy. The length of an essay can vary greatly depending on its purpose, level of education, and specific assignment instructions.

How many pages or words do you have to write to achieve the perfect essay length? How to keep your writing clear, structured, and logical staying within the specified word limit? What is the length of different types of essays and how to achieve a perfect match of the paper content and length? Find the answer to these essential questions and discover real-life examples in this ultimate guide. If you need to write your essay and there are no instructions, StudyCrumb essay writers will guide you.

Importance of Essay Length

An essay length and word count are important because they help you achieve your goals. If you're writing a paper to impress an admissions committee, it should be long enough to give the committee the information they need. At the same time, it shouldn't be too long. Otherwise, it may seem boring or uninteresting. 

In addition to helping you achieve your goals, the length of an essay and word count can also help make sure your paper is easy to read and flows well. You also have to stay compliant with the specific writing requirements to get full credit for the paper. Staying within the word limit is one of them. You can use our free tool to count how many words your paper is to make sure you stay within limits.

What Impacts Essay Length?

So, how long your essay should be? The trick is that it depends. In general, academic papers are divided into three categories:

  • School essay
  • College essays
  • University papers.

Depending on the educational level, the length requirements will be different. In addition, there are 4 essential factors that determine the volume of an academic essay.

  • Essay type Different types of essays have different requirements regarding length and content, which are usually listed in your professor's syllabus or instructions.
  • Educational level For example, college students are generally expected to write longer papers compared to middle school essay.
  • Essay topic If your professor gives you a topic that requires research (like "How has technology impacted education?"), chances are your paper will go beyond the limits of a 1000 word essay . But if they want you to share your impressions on a movie, you can fit it into 275 words well.
  • Specific requirements your professor may have For instance, if they want a piece that's three pages, double-spaced, and includes footnotes, then those are the parameters you'll need to work within.

Essay Length Recommendations

It's important to know the length of your essay before you start writing so that you can decide on the word count for each paragraph and stay compliant with other recommendations of your professor. So, after we have discovered the main factors influencing the essay’s length, let’s find out how long should an essay be depending on the type of paper and educational level.

Average Essay Word Count and Page Count Directions

Feel free to use our converter to find out how many words fit on a page.

High School Essay

500-800 words are usually enough for a typical 5 paragraph essay in high school. This is the space you can use to fully express yourself and your ideas at a high-school level. The most important thing is that you have a clear thesis statement and a good introduction that draws the reader in. Make sure your conclusion is also solid and makes a strong point while tying everything together. If you're asked to submit a high school essay that is shorter than 500 words, it's likely that the teacher wants you to focus on a very specific part of the prompt.

>> Read more: How to Write an Essay?

College Admission Essay

The length of a college admission essay is often shorter than those written for high school. With this type of task, you have to stay within 650 words on average but it depends on the type of college you’re applying to, so make sure you check with the school directly before writing your essay (they will have recommendations on length). College admission papers can be either analytical or narrative—the length doesn’t change based on what type of essay it is.

Undergraduate College Essay

An undergraduate essay in college should be between 500-650 words, but it still depends on the paper type and topic to cover. The length of an undergraduate college essay varies depending on the type of paper being written as well as what type of school you're attending (public vs private). It also depends on whether you're writing an essay of any specific type – an argumentative piece or a narrative piece. In terms of writing style, this type of essay is more formal than what would typically be expected from a high school essay.

Graduate School Admission Essay

Graduate school admission papers should be between 500-1000 words, depending on what type of graduate program you're applying for. This essay is just the paper that matters most to the admission committee, so it's important to make sure that it's clear, concise, and well-written. The admissions committee will be looking for a strong introduction, a compelling thesis statement, and an effective conclusion. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs can be a little shorter than the body ones. To get an idea of graduate school admission essays length and logic, take a look at successful sample papers. 

>> Learn more: How to Write an Essay Fast?

Graduate School Essay

The general rule of thumb for all graduate school essays is that you should keep it under 1000 words. This is because the admissions committees are looking for a comprehensive review of your background and experiences that includes information about your academic, professional, and personal life. 500-1000 words for a graduate school essay is the academic average. Use up to four pages to fully explain your reasoning and express your ideas. Also, keep in mind that the length and content requirements are usually set by the school itself.

How Long Is Every Part of an Essay

As you know, every paper consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. But how many words should you write for each section? Keep in mind a simple yet general rule of 80/20. It means that your essay’s body should contain 80% of all your content. This is also the room for explaining your “why” and “how”, citing relevant studies, and providing argumentation. 

Now, let’s find out how to write each of the parts while keeping an average essay length and the required word count in mind. 

To ease your essay writing process, we advise preparing a draft. If you have never done it before, take a rough draft example .

Average Length of Essay Parts

How Long Should an Introduction Be for an Essay?

The introduction is the first paragraph of an essay. It serves as the opening for your essay. The introduction should provide a brief summary of the topic, point out the significance of your topic, and give a preview of what you will discuss in your paper. If you are writing a normal essay with up to 550 required words count, your introduction should take approximately 100 words. Most general essays will have one or two paragraphs in their introduction section.

>> Read more: How to Start an Essay

How Long Should an Essay Body Paragraph Be?

An average length of a body paragraph is up to 150 words. It means that each you should take up four to six text lines (Times New Roman 12). Build up your body paragraphs in the next way to achieve the right lengths, keep your flow logical, and follow a word limit within an essay. Around 5-7 sentences are usually enough for a short essay paragraph, so:

  • Write a topic sentence to every paragraph.
  • Present a research-supported statement.
  • Offer your argumentation.
  • End with a transition phrase.

>> Learn more: How to Write a Good Body Paragraph

Deciding on the Number of Body Paragraphs in an Essay

So, how many paragraphs should you write to create a full-length essay that’s also compliant with your professor’s requirements? The answer is simple: You should write as many body paragraphs as it takes to get your point across. That means that if you have a lot of information to share, then you might want to add more paragraphs. If you don’t have much information, then you can keep the number low. Below is the average number of paragraphs (including into and outro) depending on the word count:

  • 275 words - 3 paragraphs
  • 550-words - 4-5 paragraphs
  • 1100 words - 6-8 paragraphs.

How Long Is an Essay Conclusion Supposed to Be?

As you know, a conclusion in an essay is its final part and it should never be longer than your paper’s body. Generally, it is necessary to write one paragraph for simpler and typical essays and two paragraphs for longer papers.

But the important thing is not to overdo it. If your conclusion is too long, the professor is likely to lower your grade — just because you failed to follow the academic writing standards (even if there are no complaints about your outro content). That’s why on average, a conclusion of an essay should be up to 100 words long.

Tips to Achieve the Required Length

So, at this point,  you know how long general essays should be and how many words in an essay are depending on its type. Now, let’s deal with the most challenging task and find out what you can do to make your essay longer or shorter, improving its quality along the way.

Making Your Essay Longer

Use the next 5 tips to transform a short essay into a longer one.

  • Add examples. You can use your own experiences. Use examples from other people or books that relate to the topic.
  • Add facts, statistics, and citations. Adding these kinds of details will help prove how well-informed you are on this topic and help back up some of your claims.
  • Use transitions but don't overdo them. They're useful for helping readers follow along with your paper. But too many transitions may sound just like an attempt to extend the paper’s volume.
  • Double-check your argumentation. Providing a clear argumentation is difficult. That's why you have to double-check your reasoning and make sure you hadn't combined two different arguments in a single paragraph. To fix such a mistake, add one more section to your paper’s body for each of the arguments you have. Such a simple tip will make your writing clearer too.
  • Read sample papers on the topic to grab more ideas. Chances are you've missed some important points. The papers of other students will help you fill the gaps and reasonably extend the word count.

Making Your Essay Shorter

Some students tend to write significantly more than an average essay word count. It may sound paradoxical but writing longer essays is easier than short ones. In the latter case, you should be as concise as possible. Here is how to make your essay shorter without losing the main ideas and disrupting the flow.

  • Remove irrelevant examples. You don't need to give several detailed examples for every point you make. Look at your thesis and ask yourself if every example supports that thesis. If not, cut it.
  • Make your paragraphs 4-sentences long. In this way, you will achieve a shorter essay volume and improve clarity at once.
  • Remove repetition. If something has already been said in the paragraph before, but it doesn't fit in the current context, get rid of it.
  • Make your introduction and conclusion shorter. An introduction is supposed to be interesting enough that readers want to keep reading. A conclusion is supposed to summarize everything you said. Don't reinvent the wheel in these sections.
  • Use a readability check tool. Transforming long and difficult-to-read sentences into shorter and clearer ones. It is one more way to make a long essay fit into the provided requirements.

Mistakes to Avoid When Adjusting the Length of an Essay

When adjusting the length of a paper, there are a few mistakes to avoid.

  • Adding unnecessary details. It's easy to think that you need to add more information when trying to make your piece longer. In reality, this is often not the case. Try balancing your explanations and keep them to the point in every sentence.
  • Cutting the necessary details. If you have too much information and need to cut it down, do so carefully. For example, if you have several suitable citations to include, use the most relevant or the most recent one instead of adding them all.
  • Writing “one more paragraph” for the sake of volume. This is a mistake because you can end up with a poorly-argued and too-watery piece.
  • Missing essential research. Missing essential research can be a big mistake because then you won't have enough information to write actually on the topic. In this case, your paper is likely to be too short.
  • Adding irrelevant citations. Irrelevant citations make your paper look like it was written by someone who doesn't know what they're talking about. They also make your essay look less credible than it truly is.

How Long Should an Essay Be Depending on Format?

So, how long are essays and how many pages should you write, depending on the formatting style you are required to follow? The trick is that different formatting styles may require you to use different fonts, sizes, and spacing. For example, if you write in MLA, you have to use Times New Roman 12, while APA usually requires you to use Arial 11. Both styles imply using double spacing. Now, let's discover how spacing and font size affect the paper’s length.

  • 275 words (Times New Roman 12, double-space) – 1 page
  • 550 words (Times New Roman 12, double-space) – 2 pages
  • 1100 words (Times New Roman 12, double-space) – 4 pages
  • 275 words (Arial 11,  double-space) – 1 page
  • 550 words (Arial 11, double-space) – 2 pages
  • 1100 words (Arial 11, double-space) – 4 pages

If your professor specifically required to use single spacing, it will take two times less space than when using double spacing.

Font and Size

Using the right font and size is important for getting the full grade for your paper and staying compliant with the professor's requirements. Agree, it will be disappointing to get a lower grade just because you've used another font that your professor asked you to use. Fortunately, the requirements for font and size aren't too diverse or complicated. So, here is a list of commonly used fonts and sizes for MLA, APA, and Chicago formatting styles.

APA style format :

  • Font: Times New Roman or Arial

MLA format essay :

  • Font: Times New Roman

Chicago format :

What to Do if There Are No Essay Length Requirements?

If you're writing an essay and there are no essay length requirements, don't panic! There are still some guidelines you can follow to make sure your essay has the right length.

  • Be guided by general academic writing rules. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to keep your papers between 500 and 1,000 words. If you're writing an essay for school or university, it should also be double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Consider paper type. Get back to the chart with essay types and recommended length we've provided above. Use this volume as a starting point.
  • Suggest the right volume depending on the topic. Some topics require several pages to be fully researched and explained. Others require stating your personal opinion that may fit well in two-three paragraphs.
  • Ask your professor. As for the simplest but still right solution, ask your professor for help determining what length would be best for your essay. If they give you some guidelines but don't specify exactly how long an essay paragraph or sentence should be, then follow those guidelines instead of worrying about word counts or page numbers.
  • Take a look at sample papers on similar topics. See how those students organized their thoughts into paragraphs and sections. You might even consider using their format as a starting point for your own piece.

Using Length to Determine an Essay Scope

It may seem that the length of your paper is just a formal requirement. In practice, it is a framework that helps you organize your essay sections. If you're writing a short essay, it's likely that you have a narrow focus and are only looking at part of the issue in question.

For example, if you are required to write a 550-words paper, you can immediately understand that you have to write an intro and conclusion (100 words each). Then, share the remained 450 words between three-four body paragraphs (100-150 words each). 

Next, everything becomes even easier. Outline the core ideas for each of the paragraphs. Support them with studies and citations and add your vision.

Bottom Line on How Long Is an Essay

So, now we have covered everything that matters for determining the right essay length and writing a full-credit paper following the requirements. In most cases, your professor will kindly provide you with a precise number of words you have to write. Otherwise, be guided by general academic writing rules for an essay type you are about to create. And keep the rule of thumb in mind. 

Regardless of your paper volume, it should be well-researched, clear, logical, structured, and reasoned.

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If you don't feel like sticking to instructions, we will always help you. Our professional college essay writers will write excellent work of any length. Just fill out an order on our website and get your essay done quickly.

FAQ About Essay Length

1. how long is an essay in middle school.

A middle-school essay is usually up to 550 words. An essay in middle school is typically short because the students are learning how to write, and they're not yet comfortable with long-form writing. These papers are typically short because they're meant to answer one question or dwell on a single subject being studied.

2. How long is an essay in sentences?

The length of an essay in sentences depends on the type of essay and the amount of information you have to cover. A 550-word typical essay usually consists of 15 sentences, given that the length of each sentence is approximately the same. However, if you are used to writing longer or shorter sentences, their total number may vary. So, the best tactic is to write sentences without clauses to keep them clear and understandable.

3. How long should a short essay be?

A short essay should be no longer than 550 words. The point of a short essay is to convey an idea in a precise and focused way, so it's important that you don't waste any words on unnecessary details. The best way to match the necessary word count is to write an outline before writing a final draft. In this way, you will know how much space each section will take up, at least approximately.

4. How many pages are in an essay?

The answer to this question depends on the topic, scope, and depth of your essay. In general, an essay of 2-3 pages is considered short; 4-6 pages is average; 7-10 pages is long. The amount of pages also depends on the spacing you are required to use. Using double-space between paragraph extends the page count twice.

5. How many words are in an essay?

There's no one answer to the question of how many words are in an essay. It depends on the type of essay you're writing and the formatting style you use, as well as your professor’s requirements. A standard word count for college essays is between 550-1100 words. However, some professors may request that you write more or less than this amount.

6. Can I go over the expected essay length?

The more compliant you are with the professor’s requirements, the more chances of getting full credit you have. So, don’t go over the expected length. Still, you can write up to 50-100 words more if the point you would like to add really matters for your reasoning.

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The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples

An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.

There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.

The essay writing process consists of three main stages:

  • Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
  • Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
  • Revision:  Check your essay on the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.

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Table of contents

Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.

The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .

For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.

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Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
  • Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
  • Do your research: Read  primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
  • Come up with a thesis:  The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
  • Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.

The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.

1. Hook your reader

The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.

Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

2. Provide background on your topic

Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.

3. Present the thesis statement

Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:

As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.

4. Map the structure

In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.

The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

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The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.

Length of the body text

The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.

Paragraph structure

To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.

That idea is introduced in a  topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.

After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

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The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :

  • Returns to your thesis
  • Ties together your main points
  • Shows why your argument matters

A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.

What not to include in a conclusion

To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:

  • Including new arguments or evidence
  • Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
  • Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

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Checklist: Essay

My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).

My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.

My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.

I use paragraphs to structure the essay.

I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.

Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.

I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.

My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.

I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.

I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.

I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.

My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .

My essay has an interesting and informative title.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).

Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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Paragraph Length in Compositions and Reports

Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In composition , technical writing , and online writing , the term paragraph length refers to the number of sentences in a paragraph and the number of words in those sentences.

There is no set or "correct" length for a paragraph. As discussed below, conventions about appropriate length vary from one form of writing to another and depend on various factors, including medium , topic , audience , and purpose .

Simply put, a paragraph should be as long or as short as it needs to be to develop a main idea. As Barry J. Rosenberg says, "Some paragraphs should weigh a skimpy two or three sentences, while others should weigh a robust seven or eight sentences. Both weights are equally healthy" ( Spring Into Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists , 2005). 

See Examples and Observations below. Also, see:

  • The Invisible Mark of Punctuation: The Paragraph Break
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Development
  • Paragraph Break  and  Paragraphing
  • Sentence Length

Examples and Observations

  • " Paragraph lengths , like sentence lengths , give an essay a kind of rhythm that readers can feel but that is hard to talk about . . .. A very short paragraph can be just the right kind of pause following a long and complex one. Or a series of paragraphs of about the same length can give the reader a very satisfying feeling of balance and proportion." (Diana Hacker and Betty Renshaw, Writing With a Voice , 2nd ed. Scott, Foresman, 1989)
  • Paragraph Length in Essays "There is no set rule about paragraph length . They can be long or short ..., though do note that both the shortest and the longest are rare and you should take care in their use. What works best is usually a mixture of longer and shorter paragraphs within the middle range. Aim to vary length rather than look for a set formula. . . . [A] paragraph [that] contains . . . 150 words . . . is probably about average for what would most often be used in an essay." (Jacqueline Connelly and Patrick Forsyth, Essay Writing Skills: Essential Techniques to Gain Top Marks . Kogan Page Ltd., 2011)
  • Dividing a Long Paragraph "[S]ometimes you may discover that a particular point in your essay is so complex that your paragraph is growing far too long—well over a typed page, for instance. If this problem occurs, look for a logical place to divide your information and start a new paragraph. For example, you might see a convenient dividing point in a series of actions you're describing or a break in the chronology of a narrative or between explanations of arguments or examples . Just make sure you begin your next paragraph with some sort of transitional phrase or key words to let the reader know that you are still discussing the same point as before ('Still another problem caused by the computer's faulty memory circuit is . . .')." (Jean Wyrick, Steps to Writing Well With Additional Readings , 8th ed. Wadsworth, 2011)
  • Paragraph Length in Academic Writing "Paragraphs give readers a sense of where one unit ends and another begins, a sense of how the argument develops by moving from one topic to another. . . . Paragraphs let the reader digest one idea at a time without becoming overwhelmed. "In modern academic writing , paragraphs are usually less than a page in length. But it's rare to find many short paragraphs (of, say, less than four lines) in a row. A typical paragraph is roughly ten to twenty lines in length. But there will be variety. Short paragraphs are sometimes needed for other purposes besides laying out a component of the argument. For example, a transitional paragraph might be needed at a certain point in order to sum up all that's been established so far and to hint at where the argument will go from here. "And sometimes short paragraphs can simply underscore a point." (Matthew Parfitt, Writing in Response . Bedford/St. Martin's 2012)
  • Paragraph Length in Business and Technical Writing "Quantifying paragraph length is difficult, but in business and technical writing , paragraphs exceeding 100 to 125 words should be rare. Most paragraphs will consist of three to six sentences. If a single-spaced paragraph goes beyond one-third of a page, it is probably too long. A double-spaced paragraph should not exceed half a page in length. "The document's format should influence paragraph length. If a document has narrow columns (two to three to the page), then paragraphs should be shorter, perhaps on the average of no more than 50 words. If a document uses a full-page format (one column), then average paragraph length can reach 125 words. "Length is therefore a function of appearance and visual relief." (Stephen R. Covey, Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication , 5th ed. FT Press and Pearson Education, 2012)
  • Paragraph Length in Online Writing "If the statistics are to be believed, by the end of this sentence, I’ll have lost most of you. Because according to some estimates, the average time spent on a webpage is 15 seconds. . . "And so webmasters worldwide have launched an emergency austerity programme, pruning, paring, compacting everything possible in a frantic attempt to spare our readers a few precious seconds. . . . "The most obvious casualty of this economy drive is the venerable paragraph. . . . "The internet . . . has exerted further downward pressure on paragraph length . Reading on a laptop screen or phone is slower and more fatiguing, and it’s harder to keep your place; inserting regular, clear breaks (complete lines rather than indentations) is one way to create a smoother reading experience. "None of this is in dispute. But consider  this recent piece on the BBC website . With two exceptions, all the paragraphs in this story consist of precisely one sentence. . . . "[O]ne reason, and one reason alone, is sufficient to justify the Save the Paragraph Campaign. Time was, when you came across a paragraph of one sentence, you knew it contained powerful stuff (in the writer’s view, at least). A short paragraph, coming after many long ones, could deliver a real punch." (Andy Bodle, "Breaking Point: Is the Writing on the Wall for the Paragraph?." The Guardian , May 22, 2015)
  • One-Sentence Paragraphs "Occasionally, a one-sentence paragraph is acceptable if it is used as a transition between longer paragraphs or as a one-sentence introduction or conclusion in correspondence." (Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu, The Business Writer's Handbook , 10th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012)
  • Paragraph Length and Tone "How long is a paragraph ? "As short as that. "Shorter. "Or as long as it needs to be to cover a subject. . . . "But there is a complication. Writing that aims to be inviting, like the writing in newspapers, popular magazines and books, uses shorter paragraphs than more ambitious and 'profound' writing. New paragraphs are begun before a topic is exhausted. "Anytime. "For no reason at all. "Because each new paragraph lightens the tone , encourages readers, offers a foothold down the page. "When paragraphs are short, writing does seem easier. Less happily, it also seems disjointed and superficial—as though the writer can't concentrate on a subject. "Thus paragraphing , like so much else, is a matter of tone. You want to have a proper paragraph length for your subject, your audience, and your degree of seriousness (or frivolity)." (Bill Stott, Write to the Point . Anchor Press, 1984)
  • Best Practices for the Most Effective Use of Paragraphs
  • Definition and Examples of Paragraphing in Essays
  • Definition and Examples of Paragraph Breaks in Prose
  • Writers on Writing: The Art of Paragraphing
  • How to Write and Format an MBA Essay
  • Paragraph Transition: Definition and Examples
  • Unity in Composition
  • An Introduction to Academic Writing
  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • Avoid the Common Mistakes That Beginning Reporters Make
  • Outlines for Every Type of Writing Composition
  • Persuasive Writing: For and Against
  • Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • How to Write Your Graduate School Admissions Essay

How Long Is an Essay? The Ultimate Essay Length Guide

It’s safe to say that most students struggle with the word limit within an essay. Sometimes, it’s hard to find ideas for a text and meet the word requirement for every part of the paper. With so many factors influencing essay length, it’s easy to get confused.

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The picture enumerates the factors influencing essay length.

Luckily, our custom-writing team has your back. In this article, our custom-writing experts will answer all your questions regarding essay length. We will also help you write papers with an ideal number of words!

📜 Is Essay Length Important?

📏 essay parts: recommended length.

  • 🤔 How to Make Essays Shorter or Longer
  • 📑 Essay Length & Formatting
  • ❓ Different Academic Levels FAQ
  • 📚 Essay Length: Different Types
  • ⭐ Other Aspects
  • 📝 Essay Examples

🔍 References

Often, the phrase “word limit” causes panic among students. After all, if an essay is too long or too short, your grade will be lowered. However, in reality, there’s nothing to worry about. When it comes to words, limitations are beneficial for both the students and the professors.

Let’s see what exactly it means.

Many people believe that the longer an essay is, the better. However, according to Frontiers, research shows that it’s a bias that couldn’t be further from the truth. A perfect-length paper is one that allows students to express their ideas and showcase their knowledge fully while keeping it clean and simple.

What Influences Essay Length

Various factors determine the length of an essay. Here are the most important ones:

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Let’s start with the essentials. Usually, assignment length is given as a number of words rather than pages. Unless your supervisor or instructor mentions any specific limitations, it’s acceptable to be 10% below or above the word limit.

It’s also worth knowing the 80/20 rule . According to it, the body should constitute 80% of the text, while the intro and the conclusion take up the remaining 20%.

Keep reading to learn more about the recommended length of each essay part. The main numbers are shown in the table below:

How Long Should an Introduction Be?

An introduction is the first section and the face of your essay. For that reason, it needs to be compelling and well-thought-out. Usually, it consists of 3 to 5 sentences or 50 to 80 words .

An introduction must have a hook, some background information, and a thesis statement. While the attention grabber and the thesis are usually brief, you may need 2 to 3 sentences for the background. To avoid going overboard, try to stay on topic and don’t add any filler.

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How Long Is a Body Paragraph in an Essay?

The length of a body paragraph may vary. Sometimes, it can be limited to a single sentence. In other cases, it may take up a whole page. Usually, it’s recommended to have between 80 and 200 words (5-8 sentences) per body paragraph.

Since the paper’s body contains the most information, it’s necessary to explain and support your ideas properly. That’s why it’s no big deal if your body paragraphs go slightly over the word limit.

How Many Body Paragraphs Should Be in an Essay?

Like the word count, the number of paragraphs is determined by the type of paper and its topic. The minimum is 1. Generally, however, the body consists of 3-5 paragraphs , 1 for each argument.

To improve your paper’s structure, ensure that there are as many paragraphs as there are points in your thesis statement. Each one should have a purpose and support your arguments. If there’s any fluff, it’s better to get rid of it.

How Long Should a Conclusion Be?

Like the introduction, the conclusion consists of 50-80 words . It’s essential to keep it simple and only mention the central ideas. A weak concluding sentence may affect the reader’s understanding of the topic and spoil the overall impression of your paper.

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🤔 How to Make Essays Shorter or Longer: Best Tips

Undoubtedly the essay’s content is more important than the number of words you use. But there are times when students go more than 10-15% below or over the limit. Is there a solution to this problem?

Yes, there is! In this section, we will share the most useful tips to help you stay on point with your paper’s word count.

How to Make Essays Longer

Since having enough words is essential for a good grade, we’ve collected the best tips that can help you lengthen your essay without teachers noticing:

  • Use relevant quotations.  You don’t need to litter your essay with citations, but using them whenever appropriate is a great idea. For instance, if you’re working on a book analysis, referencing a couple of direct quotes from the source text will make your essay more credible and increase the word count.
  • Give examples.  Go through the claims in your paper and provide additional evidence where possible. It will make your essay longer and more informative.
  • Use transitional expressions.  Adding transition words and phrases is a natural way of increasing the number of words. It will also improve your essay’s readability. 
  • Add more references.  Providing references is always a good idea when writing a formal essay. That way, you will increase the number of words and make your paper more credible.
  • Work on your descriptions.  If you struggle to develop new ideas, go over what you’ve already written and consider adding some descriptive words. It’s a great idea for creative essays to include more imagery. 

How to Shorten an Essay

Another struggle of academic writing is cutting down the number of words in your essay to meet a set limit. We are here to tell you that it’s not that hard. Writing straightforwardly and keeping your sentences short is a key to concise content. Here are several strategies you may use to tighten a lengthy essay:

  • Choose the active voice.  It takes up less space than passive voice. Using it also makes your writing more professional and compelling.
  • Remove needless transitions.  Transitions can indeed maintain the flow of the paper. But some transitional phrases can be easily removed.
  • Get rid of unnecessary adverbs and adjectives.  Some students tend to overuse adjectives and adverbs. It adds wordiness to their writing.
  • Avoid running starts.  Some students like to start their sentences with long phrases like: “there are,” “it is believed,” or “the fact that.” Getting rid of them makes texts much more concise.
  • Delete “that.”  In most cases, the word “that” can often be easily removed from texts.

Another cool trick is to use our summarizing tool as essay shortener. Try it out!

📑 How Long Is an Essay Depending on Formatting?

As we mentioned earlier, the essay’s length is usually limited by the number of words. But sometimes, a teacher may ask you to write a specific number of pages. This is trickier because the amount of text you can place on the page depends on the formatting. By using the font size and spacing properly, it’s possible to make the paper visually longer or shorter. Let’s discuss it in more detail.

The picture describes how formatting affects essay length.

Essay Spacing: How Does It Affect the Length?

  • Adjusting the spacing between lines.  Try to make the changes as slight as possible. For instance, if you were asked to double-space the paper, use 2.1 or 2.2 spacing instead. Another option is to slightly extend spaces between paragraphs.
  • Extending the margin size.  You can increase the right and bottom margins by a quarter to make very subtle changes in length. For example, if the margins are 1 inch , you can set them at 1.25 inches instead. 
  • Increasing the spacing between characters.  It is less noticeable than the line spacing. Still, try not to overdo it and keep the numbers between 1.2 and 1.5 . 
  • Adjusting the footer.  Add a footer with page numbers to stretch the bottom margin even further.
  • Lengthening the header.  You can extend your header by adding your name, e-mail address, or other relevant information. Another option is double-spacing it.

Length of an Essay: Font and Size

  • Using the right type of font.  If your instructor didn’t specify which font you should use, go for the bigger ones. We suggest Arial, Bangla Sangam MN, Cambria, or Quicksand. They will make your text look longer without being too on the nose.  
  • Using a bigger font size.  This is another technique that can come in handy. However, be careful and don’t increase your font by more than 0.1-0.5 pt.  
  • Increasing the size of periods and commas.   This is one of the less noticeable tricks you can use. For instance, if your paper’s font is 12 pt. , increase it to 14 pt. only for punctuation marks. Italicizing periods and commas will also add several lines of length to your essay. 

What to Do if There Are No Length Guidelines

Sometimes a teacher sets no word limit for a written work. What to do in that case? Well, first, you can ask your professor to confirm if they have simply forgotten to mention it. But if that’s not the case, here are a couple of helpful solutions:

  • Think of the paragraph number.  Sometimes, you may be given the number of paragraphs instead of words. In that case, you can decide on the number of words depending on how many paragraphs you have. 
  • Think about the topic’s complexity.  The length of your paper is also directly dependent on the theme. If the topic is simple, 4-5 paragraphs will be enough. A more complex issue may require an in-depth explanation, so your essay can be 6-8 paragraphs long.

❓ Essay Length for Different Academic Levels FAQ

The length of the elementary school essay is usually short. Usually, a paper needs to have around 3-5 paragraphs, with 4-5 sentences per paragraph. Primary school essays can be 1-2 paragraphs long.

The word limit for a middle school essay is usually between 300 to 1000 words. The most common essay length is 500 words, which is about 5 paragraphs. However, it may differ from school to school.

The length of the high school essay may differ depending on the school and the complexity of the task itself. Usually, however, a paper can be between 300 to 1000 words long.

The length of the undergraduate college essay often falls within the range of 1500 to 2100 words. It translates into roughly 5-7 pages. 5 pages is the most common essay length at this level.

When it comes to the graduate school admission essay, the word limit is usually between 500 and 1000 words. It’s possible to go slightly over or below the set limit; however, it’s best to stick to the requirements as close as possible.

📚 How Long Should an Essay Be: Different Types

Now, let’s talk about different types of essays. How long should they be? Keep reading to learn about the length of college essays, short and extended ones, scholarship essays, and research papers.

How Long Is a College Essay?

When it comes to a college essay, it’s more important to stick to the word limit than with any other paper. Some teachers may refuse to read it unless it meets all the requirements.

The shortest limit for a college essay is about 250 words which is the shortest length of a Common App personal statement. It’s also rare to see a good college essay with over 650 words . So, an average piece usually has between 150 and 650 words ; you can go over or below the limit by 50.

How Long Is a Paragraph in College Essays?

A college essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs . One paragraph takes about 1/3 of the page, which is roughly 5 sentences . Each sentence corresponds with one of the following components:

  • Topic sentence.
  • Explanation.
  • Transitions.

College Essay Length Requirements: Top 5 Schools

To understand the requirements for a college application essay even better, take a look at the table below. It showcases the top 5 schools and their length criteria for personal statements. Keep it in mind when writing your college essay:

How Long Is a Short Essay?

A short essay is usually 500 words long. Using 12pt Times New Roman font with standard margins and double spacing should result in about 2 pages of text.

Extended Essay Length

An extended essay is different from a short or a standard one. It requires extensive research and thorough explanation. That’s why the upper limit for this kind of essay is 4000 words . In this case, a typical essay length is 3500 words or 18 paragraphs .

Scholarship Essay Length

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. If there are no set limitations, you can stick to the limit.

How Long Is a Research Paper?

Typically, a research paper is between 4000 and 6000 words long. Sometimes, there are shorter papers, which have around 2000 words, or in-depth ones with over 10000 words.

⭐ Other Aspects of Essay Length

When it comes to essay length, many different aspects come into play. Here, we’ve gathered all the essential information regarding an essay’s number of pages, paragraphs, words, and references.

How Many Paragraphs Are in an Essay?

Sometimes, it is more convenient to count paragraphs rather than words. Let’s now figure out how many paragraphs are in essays of different lengths. You may also check out the examples to see what such an essay looks like:

How to Count Paragraphs in an Essay Based on Word Count

You can also count the number of body paragraphs for your essay using the formula below:

Number of body paragraphs (average) = (TWC – TWC*0.16)/100

  • TWC – total word count
  • 0.16 – an average percentage of total word count for introduction and conclusion
  • 100 – an average number of words per paragraph

How Many Pages Are in an Essay?

The number of pages in your essay may vary from subject to subject. But it’s still possible to determine the number of pages based on word count. Check out the numbers below to see the conversions with bonus examples:

You can also use a specialized calculator such as Word Counter to determine a number of pages in your essay.

What Does an Essay Look Like when Typed?

You might be wondering: what do essays of different lengths look like when typed? Well, here’s the table where you can find out the metrics for single- and double-spaced papers.

How Many Pages Are in a Handwritten Essay?

In case you need to turn in a handwritten paper, you should check out the table below.

Counting Words in a Handwritten Essay

If you don’t have enough time to count the words in your handwritten essay one by one, here’s what you can do:

  • Count how many words there are in one line. Take the first and last lines and a line in the middle of a page. Let’s say there are 15, 14, and 15 words in them. Then, the average number of words per line is 15.
  • Next, count how many lines there are on one page. Let’s say there are 17 lines on a page.
  • Take the number of words per line and multiply it by the number of lines per page. In our case, we multiply 15 by 17. So, there are 255 words per page on average.
  • Finally, multiply the number of words per page by the number of pages. If your essay has 3 pages, it is approximately 765 words long.

How Long Does it Take to Write an Essay?

It is crucial to know how long writing will take you, especially if you are working on an exam essay or just short on time. Note that you need to consider the time for typing and researching necessary to complete a piece. Research time may vary. Usually, it’s 1-2 hours for 200-250 words .

The picture shows the fact about the average speed of writing.

Below, we’ve gathered the average writing time for average and slower writing speed:

And here are the results in pages:

How Many References Does an Essay Need?

Another essential part of any composition is the reference list. Different academic levels require different references. You’ll find out how many of them should be in your paper in the table below!

📝 Essay Examples: Different Length

Finally, we’ve gathered some excellent sample essays of different lengths. Make sure to check them out!

We also recommend you check out our free essay samples sorted by pages:

  • 1-Page Essay Examples
  • 2-Page Essay Examples
  • 3-Page Essay Examples
  • 4-Page Essay Examples
  • 5-Page Essay Examples
  • 10-Page Essay Examples
  • 20-Page Essay Examples
  • 30-Page Essay Examples
  • 40-Page Essay Examples
  • 50-Page Essay Examples

Now you know all about essay length, word limits, and ways to lengthen or shorten your text. If you know other interesting tricks, make sure to share them in a comment! Good luck with your writing assignments!

You may also like:

  • How to Write a Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline
  • How to Write a Precis: Definition, Guide, & Examples 
  • How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay: Examples & Guide
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples
  • How to Write a Formal Essay: Format, Rules, & Example
  • Word Limits and Assignment Length: Massey University
  • The Paragraph in the College Essay: California State University, Long Beach
  • Introductions & Conclusions: The University of Arizona Global Campus
  • How Long Should a Paragraph Be?: Daily Writing Tips
  • Paragraphing (Length Consistency): Purdue University
  • Hitting the Target Word Count in Your College Admission Essay: Dummies.com
  • How Long Should Your College Essay Be? What is the Ideal Length?: College Vine
  • Writing Personal Statements Online: Issues of Length and Form: Penn State University
  • Pen Admissions: Essays: University of Pennsylvania
  • Essay Questions: University of Michigan
  • Essay Structure: Harvard University
  • Components of a Good Essay: University of Evansville
  • Write Your Essay: UNSW Sydney
  • College Writing: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 21 Helpful and Easy Tips to Make an Essay Longer: Seventeen
  • How to Make a College Paper Longer: ThoughtCo
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How Long Should An Essay Be? 6 Different Essay Lengths

Ritik Sharma

  • December 20, 2023

The length of an essay can vary greatly depending on the type of essay being written and the purpose for which it is being written. While there is no strict rule on how long an essay should be, some general guidelines can help you determine the appropriate length for your essay. In this article, we will discuss 6 different essay lengths and provide tips on how to write a strong essay at each length.

What is an Academic Essay?

Before we dive into the different lengths of essays, it’s important to understand what an academic essay is. An academic essay is a piece of writing that presents and defends an argument or point of view on a specific topic. It is commonly used in higher education as a way for students to demonstrate their understanding and critical thinking skills.

An academic essay should be well-researched, well-structured, and well-written. It should also follow a specific formatting style, such as MLA or APA, and include citations and a bibliography. The length of an academic essay can vary depending on the type and purpose of the essay.

6 Different Essay Lengths

1. the one-paragraph essay.

The one-paragraph essay, typically 150 to 250 words, acts as a learning exercise for students to grasp the basics of paragraph writing.

Academic tutors may assign it for various purposes, such as summarizing an article or giving an extended concept definition.

Furthermore, one-paragraph essays can be a diagnostic tool to evaluate a student’s writing proficiency.

This type of essay incorporates introductory, body, and concluding elements within a single paragraph.

2. The Three-Paragraph Essay

The three-paragraph essay is commonly used to introduce students to essay structure. It typically consists of around 500 words.

The essay includes an introduction, body section, and conclusion. The purpose is to teach students how to write cohesively and logically.

The introduction and conclusion, which are usually shorter, serve as the first and last paragraphs of the essay.

The central body paragraph contains the content or argument of the essay.

3. The Five-Paragraph Essay

Tutors often assign a five-paragraph essay to assess students’ grasp of essay structure.

The body section benefits from the added flexibility to expand ideas, typically spanning approximately 1,000 words.

This type of essay dedicates one paragraph each to the introduction and conclusion while allotting three paragraphs to explore the essay’s theme.

This length allows essay types like cause-and-effect or compare-and-contrast essays to be effectively utilized.

A simple diagram can illustrate the allocation of paragraph lengths in a five-paragraph essay.

4. The Extended Essay

The extended essay is commonly assigned for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

It can vary in length but typically does not exceed 5,000 words.

Common word lengths for an extended essay are 1,500, 3,000, and 5,000 words, with a 10% allowance.

These essays require research and referencing skills and may follow more complex structures like dissertations and theses.

They are not limited to the traditional introduction-body-conclusion structure of shorter essays.

5. The Dissertation

Dissertations are usually assigned as the final project for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

The typical length of an academic dissertation is around 10,000 to 15,000 words.

Unlike shorter essay types, dissertations have more complex structures.

Dissertations are almost always based on primary research, which means conducting original research.

Dissertations require the author to conduct research rather than rely solely on existing sources.

6. The Thesis

The thesis is the longest type of academic essay, typically written by doctoral students studying for a PhD.

It is considerably longer, ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 words, compared to other types of essays.

While similar to a dissertation, a thesis delves into greater detail and involves more extensive research.

These are typically based on primary research, emphasizing the accuracy of the literature review, data collection, and data analysis.

Not all students will come across this essay type during their academic journey.

However, it requires an immense amount of time and dedication to complete.

In addition to these types, essays are classified into 5 other types: High School Essays, College Admission Essays, Undergraduate College Essays, Graduate School Admission Essays, and Graduate School Essays.

Let’s have a look at the table below to understand the suggested lengths for these essays:

The length of an essay can vary depending on the type and level of education. Knowing the lengths of essays can help students effectively plan and manage their assignments. However, it’s important to remember that the length should not be the sole focus when writing an essay.

It’s equally important to focus on the quality of content and meeting the assignment’s requirements. A well-crafted essay with cohesive arguments and supported evidence is more valuable than simply meeting a specific word count. Students should prioritize developing their writing skills to effectively convey their ideas and arguments rather than solely focusing on meeting a certain length requirement.

1. How long should an essay be?

The length of an essay can vary depending on the type and level of education, ranging from 250 words for a short essay to 60,000 words for a thesis.

2. Can I exceed the recommended length for an essay?

It is generally not recommended to significantly exceed the recommended length for an essay as it may indicate a lack of conciseness and focus. However, ensuring that all necessary points and arguments are adequately addressed within the essay is important.

3. How long should each paragraph be in an essay?

The length of each paragraph can vary depending on the content and purpose of the essay. Generally, paragraphs should be at least three sentences long and focus on one main point or idea. It’s important to balance too short and too long paragraphs for cohesion and clarity in the essay.

4. How do you increase or decrease the length of an essay?

To increase the length of an essay, students can expand on their arguments and provide more evidence to support their points. They can also include additional examples, quotes, or analysis to add depth to their ideas. Students can eliminate unnecessary details or repetitions to decrease the length and ensure concise writing by avoiding filler words and phrases. However, it’s important not to compromise the quality and coherence of the essay in the process.

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How Many Words Should Your Essay Have for Grading High?

How many words are in an essay?

This question bothers all students, whether in middle school or college. Two reasons:

They don’t have word count guidelines to know how long their essay should be to grade high. Or, they struggle with the word limit within a paper and wonder if they can go under the suggested length.

The essay length varies, depending on many factors: subject, purpose, and academic level. Essays are usually shorter than dissertations or research papers. The thesis is the longest one.

In this article, I’ll answer two popular questions: How long is an essay? How many paragraphs are in an essay?

Also, let’s learn how long each essay part is and if it’s okay to go beyond or under the suggested length.

How Long is an Essay, Depending on the Type?

The above rules are average. They may vary at different educational institutions. It stands to reason that elementary-level students write short essays. And their papers get longer in their middle 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades, etc.

Often, there’s no exact word number or page count for academic papers. Guidelines usually prescribe a supposed range: 500-850 words, 5-7 pages, and so on. When in doubt, you can ask your instructor.

How Many Paragraphs is an Essay? 6 Main Lengths

You won’t find any rule prescribing a set number of paragraphs for an essay. Five-paragraph essays are a standard, but it doesn’t mean ALL papers should follow it.

Each essay consists of three parts:

  • Introduction . Often, it’s one paragraph introducing your topic and thesis to readers. When writing complex papers like dissertations, your intro section can be 2-3 paragraphs.
  • Body. It’s a core section discussing the topic in detail. The number of paragraphs here depends on your paper’s type and complexity. This part is 1-4 paragraphs unless you write extended research papers.
  • Conclusion. Like intros, this section is often one paragraph summarizing the essay.

Below, I’ll cover the six main lengths to show how to balance a word count in essays.

One-paragraph essays

Three-paragraph papers, five-paragraph essays, extended papers, dissertation, frequently asked questions:, is essay length important.

Yes, it is. Prescribing a length, instructors understand if you can organize thoughts and arguments. An essay of 1,000 words requires more research and effort than a 350-word paper, agree? The specified length also helps you understand how complex your work should be to grade high. Longer essays teach you to write cohesive texts, choose arguments, and think critically.

Don’t write essays for the sake of count. Quality matters, so please focus on arguments, evidence, and analysis. Avoid placing too many transitions, generic words, and lengthy expressions. Make your every word and sentence count.

How many words are in an essay sample?

350 words at least.

It depends on the essay type you write. Thus, a high school essay sample will be 350 words at least. If you need a college application essay, consider personal papers of 250-650 words. Check essay samples of 800-1,000 words if you need a standard college paper. More complex works like graduate school essays or dissertations will be 3,000+ words.

How long is each part of an essay?

Stick to the 80/20 rule when calculating the length of each essay part. An essay body is the core section of academic papers: Make it 80% of the text. The remaining 20% goes to an introduction and a conclusion.

Say you write a 1,000-word essay. It means you will have 800 words in the body; 100 words go to the introduction and 100 words — for a concluding paragraph. You can go 10% below or above the prescribed limit. (Unless your instructor sets specific limitations.)

How many sentences are in an essay?

21-34 sentences for a standard 5-paragraph essay.

It depends on your essay type and the required word count. I’ll take a standard 5-paragraph college paper as an example:

You have one introductory paragraph, which is 3-5 sentences average. Other 3-5 sentences go to your conclusion. The body consists of three sections, 5-8 sentences each (1). So, here we have it: 21-34 sentences in an essay.

How many words are in an essay introduction?

Take 10-15% of the total length required. Thus, if you need to write a 1,000-word essay, your introduction will be 100-150 words.

For advanced research papers, where intros are longer than one paragraph, stick to 100-150 words per paragraph average. Such texts are usually above 3,000 words, so you’ll follow the 80/20 rule anyway.

Can I go under the suggested length?

It’s not advisable. Please do your best to meet the minimum word count given in the assignment. If the guidelines say “350-600 words,” write at least 350 words in an essay. Sometimes, a 10% deviation is acceptable, but don’t take this rule for granted. Most instructors won’t appreciate your 315-word paper if they ask you to write 350 words at least.

How to make your essay longer?

  • Add more examples and evidence to the body paragraphs. 
  • Explain and analyze every argument in detail. 
  • Mention counterarguments if applicable.

Can I make my essay longer?

Yes, you can exceed the word limit by 10% if allowed by your course instructor. For example, if you get an assignment of 500-700 words, it’s okay to submit a 770-word essay for a review.

Important! Always ask your instructor if the 10% rule is available in their course. And exceed the word count only if you have critical information to add.

Academic writing is all about rules and instructions. Essay length isn’t an exception:

Every college paper has a prescribed, approximate word count to follow. When asking, “How long is an essay?” remember the answer will depend on several factors:

  • Academic level. (Middle and high school students write short essays. Undergraduates and graduates craft longer and more complex papers.)
  • Type and purpose. (Research-based essays are longer than reflective stories you write for college admission officers.)
  • Instructions you get from a teacher. (Check them: The supposed essay length is often there.)

How many words are in an essay? You can answer this question now.

References:

  • https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/paragraphs_and_paragraphing/paragraphing.html  
  • Essay samples
  • Essay writing
  • Writing tips

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A Helpful Guide on How to Start an Essay

Smiling guy in headphones sitting at desk in library and writing

Writing essays is a common part of many students’ lives, especially if they pursue higher education. Many college courses place hefty emphasis on essays. Their content, length, research, writing, and revision will often form large portions of many college students’ curricular efforts, one semester at a time. 

Knowing how to properly write an essay is an invaluable skill. Not only does it ensure the papers are properly written, it also helps establish life skills involving research, critical thinking, and time management. As with most projects, the best place to start with an essay is the beginning. 

As obvious as that sounds, a strong start will help ensure a strong finish. Though it will take more than just a good start to complete a strong essay, everyone needs to begin somewhere.  

We reached out to the popular essay writing service Write My Essays for advice. After all, who understands how to write an essay better than a professional essay writer? 

Review the directions  

This may seem obvious, but before starting the essay, it’s important to review the directions provided by the professor. The directions should include all the important points, such as spacing, fonts, and the expected layout of the content. 

The contents will depend on the subject. Different fields use different methods of citation for their sources, as one example, and that needs to be taken into account. Understanding the guidelines will help direct focus and energy in the right direction, ensuring time isn’t wasted on improper settings or sources. 

The amount of detail within the directions can vary greatly, depending on the level of the course, the subject matter, and the inclination of the professor. Do not be afraid to ask for advice from on-campus resources or the professor themselves to ensure the directions are fully and properly understood. 

Make an outline  

Before working on the paper itself, it is a good idea to create an outline. This might be a part of the assignment requirements, even, or possibly an assignment all its own. Regardless, outlining the essay’s contents and key points will make writing the essay easier. 

Outlines aren’t for everyone, but even if they are not required, they are also a useful tool. Having an idea of the direction of the essay before writing it will help with the writing process and makes for a handy way to start the work before the essay is even written. 

Format the document  

Before actually writing the essay, formatting the document to the required guidelines first will save a lot of time and effort on fixing issues during the revision process. Revising is arduous enough without having to take typesetting issues into account, especially with how easy document formatting has become. 

Standard requirements for an essay are an easy-to-read font at a standard size like 12, with one-inch margins, indented paragraphs, and double spacing for ease of reading. Actually, requirements may vary, which is why it’s so important to review them, especially if working on multiple projects in different classes at the same time. 

Set up the first page  

Depending on the requirements, the first page may simply be a title page with the assignment, class number, and student’s name. Some of that information may be on a second page, with just the title on the first page. These pages generally do not count towards page lengths and are meant to help prevent padding. 

Setting up the title page is part of formatting, but at least it’s finally putting words on a page. This is also a good point to save the document, ideally in a folder created for the various coursework of the related class so that it is easy to find, load, and, eventually, submit. 

How to begin the paper  

Finally, with the document formatted and necessary first page organized, the actual writing of the essay can begin. Presumably the required research and other pre-writing prep has been completed. So, it’s time to actually put some words to virtual paper and start writing the essay in earnest. 

The question is how to start the paper, that is, the actual contents and not just the title or document itself. The guidelines from the professor might have some notes on this matter, and those should be adhered to when required. If the requirements lack such guidelines, the students have some freedom on how to open their essay. 

Open with a quote  

Oftentimes, a relevant quote, especially from a source cited throughout the essay, can help set the tone and ground the reader with what to expect. A proper quote will help set expectations and bring an idea of the content ahead in a quick and quirky format. 

The quote also sets the tone, as previously mentioned. Serious issues will merit a more serious quote, while lighter subjects can get away with pithier wording. Depending on the subject, sources, and topic of the paper, the quote need not be from a serious source. As long as it is cited, a relevant book or movie quote could also be used to set the opening. 

Pose a question  

Another option to open the essay is with a question. This is a direct way to bring the main topic of the essay to the forefront, by immediately leading with the thesis question, the answer to which is generally the entire point of the essay. 

This does not work for all essays, but the question need not be that powerful. A simpler question to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into the topic at hand can work just as well. Just like with an opening quote, the question sets the tone and leads into the introductory paragraph, which is generally a basic summary of the essay as a whole. 

Also as with a quote, the question can be as serious or irreverent as possible when writing scholastic works, depending on the subject matter, the class, and, occasionally, the demeanor of the professor. Though it is ill advised to think about it too much, at the end of the day, most essays are read by two people, and only two people: the student who wrote them, and the professor who reads and grades them accordingly. 

Start with the Thesis Statement  

It will need to be stated in the introductory paragraph anyway, and beginning with it can provide a strong hook to the start of an essay. While the first paragraph is an essential foundation for the essay, the thesis statement is the base for the first paragraph and the assignments as a whole. 

The thesis statement states the thesis of the essay, hence the name. The sooner it is mentioned, the better, and, as with many aspects of the paper, it will likely be mentioned in the guidelines for the essay. Either way, starting with the thesis statement sets a strong tone for the rest of the paper. 

Such a strong start can be a little daunting to live up to over the course of finishing the essay, but if that turns out to be the case, it can be moved. If nothing else, though, starting with the thesis statement gets it stated quickly and efficiently. 

The introductory paragraph  

The first paragraph of an essay is usually referred to as the introductory paragraph. This paragraph, as previously noted, is extremely important for the essay. It provides the reader with a basic summary of the essay’s contents. From the original question, hypothesis, thesis statement, antithesis, theory, synthesis, and potentially even cited sources, this paragraph sets the tone for the entire paper. 

That is a lot of pressure to put on the beginning of an essay, but it also helps guide the direction of the essay moving forward. Along with tone, it is a handy reference for the rest of the essay. The reader, i.e., the professor, will expect the paper to follow the outline set forth in the first paragraph. 

Though the introductory paragraph is the first and most important aspect of an essay in several regards, it is also the easiest to revise. If the sources and data take the paper in a direction different from what was originally intended, then the first paragraph is relatively easy to adjust to fit the new information. 

As with other aspects of the essay, the assignment brief may have instructions on how to format the introductory paragraph, as well as potential guidelines regarding its contents. This will help with writing the first paragraph, and thus starting the essay, a little easier. 

Conclusion  

Depending on the chosen course load, essays will likely be a large part of a student’s work throughout their academic career. Learning how to properly plan, format, write, and revise essays will help ensure an easier time over the semesters and years. 

Eventually, writing essays will become second nature thanks to the developed skills. Still, with each essay, turning a blank document into a completed and submitted assignment can be a daunting prospect. 

With proper planning, review of the sources and assignment description, and a good handle on the thesis statement, starting an essay can become as second nature as writing the overall essay. With various ways to begin, mixing it up every now and then will also help fight the tedious nature such papers can garner after the tenth time, and beyond. 

ncesc-geographic-faq

How long is an essay 7th grade?

geographic-faq

An essay in 7th grade typically falls within the range of 300 to 800 words. This allows students to learn and practice the basic structure of a 5-paragraph essay, which includes an introduction, a thesis statement, the body, and a conclusion.

How many paragraphs should a 7th grade essay have?

A standard short essay for 7th grade usually consists of five paragraphs. This structure provides enough information in a concise format.

What should a 7th grade essay look like?

In 7th grade, an essay should have an introductory paragraph that includes the title of the essay or article, the author’s full name if given, and the topic. The following 2-3 sentences should provide some background information about the essay or article, typically taken from the first paragraph.

How long is an essay in the UK?

In the UK, an extended essay usually has common lengths of 1,500, 3,000, or 5,000 words, with a word count allowance of plus or minus 10%.

How long should a year 12 English essay be?

Most year 12 English essays are around 1,000 to 1,200 words in length. However, some essays may go slightly over or under depending on the specific requirements.

How many pages is a 20000-word essay?

A 20,000-word essay is approximately 40 pages when single-spaced or 80 pages when double-spaced. This can vary slightly depending on the formatting and font size used.

How many pages is a 5,000-word essay?

A 5,000-word essay is around 10 pages when single-spaced or 20 pages when double-spaced. However, this can vary based on formatting and font size.

How many pages is a 3,000-word essay?

A 3,000-word essay is approximately 6 pages when single-spaced or 12 pages when double-spaced. Actual page count may vary depending on formatting and font size.

Is 70% a good grade for an essay?

A grade of 70% or above is considered a top band of marks. It is considered a good grade, as anything in the 60% range is typically considered a good grade as well.

How should 7th graders write?

Seventh-grade writing should demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the topic, logical reasoning, and incorporation of solid evidence from reliable sources. Papers should be written in formal language and include clear introductions and concise conclusions that summarize the student’s position.

How do you start a 7th grade essay?

A persuasive 7th grade essay should begin with a hook or attention-grabbing sentence, such as a general statement, question, quote, short story, or shocking statement. The following 2-5 sentences should provide background information on the topic or a summary when appropriate.

Can an essay have 7 body paragraphs?

While the traditional academic standard suggests that an essay should have three body paragraphs, any number is possible. Some essays may have 4, 7, 10, or more paragraphs depending on the content and organization.

Is 7 sentences 2 paragraphs?

There is no absolute rule for the number of sentences in a paragraph. A paragraph can have two to three sentences, but it can also have more. The typical maximum number is five sentences, though this can vary depending on the content.

How many paragraphs is a 500-word essay?

A 500-word essay typically consists of 4-6 paragraphs. Since most paragraphs contain around 75-200 words, a 500-word essay would require this number of paragraphs for proper organization and development.

How many paragraphs is a 600000-word essay?

A 600,000-word essay would have a varying number of paragraphs depending on the organization and content. However, for the sake of discussion, if each paragraph contains around 200 words, a 600,000-word essay would have approximately 3,000 paragraphs.

How many paragraphs is a 700000-word essay?

Similarly to the previous question, the number of paragraphs in a 700,000-word essay would depend on the organization and content. If each paragraph contains around 200 words, a 700,000-word essay might have around 3,500 paragraphs.

How many paragraphs is a 900000-word essay?

Like the previous examples, the number of paragraphs in a 900,000-word essay will vary. If each paragraph contains around 200 words, a 900,000-word essay might have approximately 4,500 paragraphs.

How many paragraphs is a 1000000-word essay?

Similar to the previous examples, the number of paragraphs in a 1,000,000-word essay will vary. If each paragraph contains around 200 words, a 1,000,000-word essay might have around 5,000 paragraphs.

How long is a 15,000-word essay?

A 15,000-word essay would be approximately 30 pages when single-spaced, or 60 pages when double-spaced. The actual length may vary based on formatting and other factors.

Can I write a 15,00-word essay in 6 hours?

Writing a 15,000-word essay in 6 hours would be a challenging task. It typically takes about 37.5 minutes to write 1,500 words. Assuming a similar pace, writing 15,000 words would take around 375 minutes or 6.25 hours, not including breaks or research time.

Is 1,200 words a lot?

Writing 1,200 words generally takes about 3.5 to 4.5 hours. This is a moderate length for an article and allows for the inclusion of key details. However, the writer may not be able to go into extensive depth unless the topic is straightforward.

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  1. How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay

    Published on January 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023. The length of an academic essay varies depending on your level and subject of study, departmental guidelines, and specific course requirements. In general, an essay is a shorter piece of writing than a research paper or thesis.

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    Signposting Paragraph structure Using sources in your writing Jump to content on this page: Paragraph structure Length of paragraph "An appropriate use of paragraphs is an essential part of writing coherent and well-structured essays." Don Shiach, How to write essays Paragraph structure An academic paragraph needs to contain:

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    Purdue OWL General Writing Academic Writing Paragraphs and Paragraphing Paragraphing (Length Consistency) Paragraphing (Length Consistency) Paragraphs are units of thought with one adequately developed idea. Listed here are some rules of thumb to use when paragraphing.

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    What is the most important idea that you are trying to convey to your reader? The information in each paragraph must be related to that idea. In other words, your paragraphs should remind your reader that there is a recurrent relationship between your thesis and the information in each paragraph.

  5. Here's How Many Sentences Are in a Paragraph

    They may say that a paragraph should be 100 to 200 words long, or be no more than five or six sentences. But a good paragraph should not be measured in characters, words, or sentences. The true measure of your paragraphs should be ideas. How many sentences are in a paragraph?

  6. How Long is an Essay? ️ Average Essay Length Guide

    An essay is five paragraphs long on average, which is around 400-700 words. The deadline is too short to read lengthy guides? Save your time with Writing Experts - EssayPro Place an order 5-7 minutes Choose a writer 2-4 minutes Receive your paper always on time Receive any Essay in up to 6 Hours Essay Length Tips

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    Published on September 29, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on June 1, 2023. Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

  8. Academic Paragraph Structure

    Revised on March 27, 2023. Every piece of academic writing is structured by paragraphs and headings. The number, length and order of your paragraphs will depend on what you're writing—but each paragraph must be: Unified: all the sentences relate to one central point or idea. Coherent: the sentences are logically organized and clearly connected.

  9. How Long Is a Paragraph? Tips for Varying Paragraph Length

    Written by MasterClass Last updated: Sep 10, 2021 • 3 min read The average paragraph is about 200 words, but there isn't a hard and fast rule about how long a paragraph should be. Read on for writing tips and techniques about varying paragraph lengths to keep your readers engaged.

  10. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    number of paragraphs in your essay should be determined by the number of steps you need to take to build your argument. To write strong paragraphs, try to focus each paragraph on one main point—and begin a new paragraph when you are moving to a new point or example. A strong paragraph in an academic essay will usually include these three ...

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  12. Paragraph Structure: How to Write Strong Paragraphs

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  13. How Long Should a Paragraph Be in Essays or College Writing

    In a formal essay, a paragraph should contain between three and six sentences of 15 to 20 words each. In a resume, a paragraph should be between two and five sentences of 25 to 30 words each. In terms of sentences, a readable paragraph should be about 4 to six sentences.

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  15. What are the six different essay lengths?

    Generally about 150 to 250 words in length, the one-paragraph essay may be assigned by academic tutors simply in order to practise the basic concepts of paragraph writing, or it may also be used for specific purposes such as to practise summarising an article that's been read in class or to write an extended definition of a concept.

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    In high school, you're usually expected to deliver a relatively short essay, which contains a minimum of five paragraphs. This will usually mean your essay length ranges between 300 and 1000 words. In college, an essay can be anything from 500 words, to 6000, depending on the purpose of the document. Essay type. Average word count.

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    Standard requirements for an essay are an easy-to-read font at a standard size like 12, with one-inch margins, indented paragraphs, and double spacing for ease of reading.

  26. How long is an essay 7th grade?

    This allows students to learn and practice the basic structure of a 5-paragraph essay, which includes an introduction, a thesis statement, the body, and a conclusion. ... Most year 12 English essays are around 1,000 to 1,200 words in length. However, some essays may go slightly over or under depending on the specific requirements.