How Long Should a College Essay Be

Meeting a length requirement is often a tough task for students of high school and college. The questions of exceeding an average essay length or writing less than the required amount worry students at the time of admission process and after being accepted to college. Here we are to give you a few tips on the following essay length to help you receive the best grade for your work.

Essay Length

During your studying in high school, you are often asked to create a piece of writing that contains an introduction, two or three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. An essay length is ranging from 300 to 1000 words.

When you tried to get into college, you had to write different kinds of personal statements, motivational essays and answers to the trickiest questions one can imagine. Do you remember how strict a length requirement was then? Usually, you had to produce 250-650 words per essay.

Now, as a college student, you will be expected to write much longer pieces of writing. An average college essay length is 1500-5000 words, and we’re not talking about research papers even. Don’t worry: the number of words that need to be written for your major is defined by the discipline, program requirements, department and college, so you will not write essays of 5000 words all the time.

For your information, the stated college essay length is not the highest you can face during your pursuit of higher education. In graduate school, young scholars write essays up to 6000 words and long research papers. The master thesis is another exceeding kind of writing, however, it’s a research work, not an essay assignment.

Tips to Meet Quantity of Words in Essay

1. Maintain the word-paragraph conversion.

Before writing, remember to check with this list to make sure you divide the word amount equally between the parts of your writing to meet the requirement of length. Take a look:

  •  A 100-500 word essay should have 3 paragraphs at least;
  • A 650-750 word essay should have from 4 to 5 paragraphs;
  • A 800-word essay should have not less than 5 paragraphs;
  • A 900-word essay should have 6 paragraphs;
  • A 1500 word essay should have 10 paragraphs;
  • A 2000 word essay should have 13 to 14 paragraphs;
  •  A 2500 word essay should not be less than 16 paragraphs;
  • A 3000 word essay should not be less than 20 paragraphs;
  • 26 paragraphs are the minimum for a 4000-word essay;
  • 33 paragraphs are the minimum for a 5000-word essay.

2. Know how long is an essay part you are currently writing should be.

While writing, do not forget that the body is the longest part of your essay. It is obvious due to the work you have to do here: develop your ideas, provide proof to your arguments, etc.

An introduction should take a proportional space of your essay. If you write a complex essay over 3000 words, an introduction may take two to three paragraphs. In shorter writing please limit your beginning part to one paragraph.

The concluding part should be one paragraph regardless of the overall essay length you produced. If you have written a long piece of writing, leave one paragraph for a conclusion, too. There is no need to count all the ideas you developed but instead, the main thoughts should be tied to one strong conclusion.

3. Pay attention to the word count.

If you were given a certain range of words to fit your thoughts in, you have to follow it. For instance, you were asked to write a 1500-1750 word essay. In such a case, your writing should be at least 1500 words. If you write 1900 words, your instructor is likely to lower your grade for not following the instructions.

‘What about the concrete number of words?’ you ask. If there is a task to write a 2000 word essay, ask your professor regarding allowed deviation in a word count. Sometimes students are allowed to exceed the stated amount by 10%.

4. Cut wisely.

There are cases when you just need to cut out a piece of writing to meet the essay length requirement. If it’s your situation, remember two things:

  • Connect the remaining paragraphs once again after you cut any of them;
  • Do not cut your introduction and conclusion. Instead, check it with some writing tools to see whether they are wordy or not and if they aren’t, try to rewrite your thoughts in the body to lessen the word amount.

Leave a Reply