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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 .

In most cases, your assignment will include clear guidelines on the number of words or pages you are expected to write. Often this will be a range rather than an exact number (for example, 2500–3000 words, or 10–12 pages). If you’re not sure, always check with your instructor.

In this article you’ll find some general guidelines for the length of different types of essay. But keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity – focus on making a strong argument or analysis, not on hitting a specific word count.

Table of contents

Essay length guidelines, how long is each part of an essay, using length as a guide to topic and complexity, can i go under the suggested length, can i go over the suggested length, other interesting articles, prevent plagiarism. run a free check..

In an academic essay, the main body should always take up the most space. This is where you make your arguments, give your evidence, and develop your ideas.

The introduction should be proportional to the essay’s length. In an essay under 3000 words, the introduction is usually just one paragraph. In longer and more complex essays, you might need to lay out the background and introduce your argument over two or three paragraphs.

The conclusion of an essay is often a single paragraph, even in longer essays. It doesn’t have to summarize every step of your essay, but should tie together your main points in a concise, convincing way.

The suggested word count doesn’t only tell you how long your essay should be – it also helps you work out how much information and complexity you can fit into the given space. This should guide the development of your thesis statement , which identifies the main topic of your essay and sets the boundaries of your overall argument.

A short essay will need a focused, specific topic and a clear, straightforward line of argument. A longer essay should still be focused, but it might call for a broader approach to the topic or a more complex, ambitious argument.

As you make an outline of your essay , make sure you have a clear idea of how much evidence, detail and argumentation will be needed to support your thesis. If you find that you don’t have enough ideas to fill out the word count, or that you need more space to make a convincing case, then consider revising your thesis to be more general or more specific.

The length of the essay also influences how much time you will need to spend on editing and proofreading .

You should always aim to meet the minimum length given in your assignment. If you are struggling to reach the word count:

  • Add more evidence and examples to each paragraph to clarify or strengthen your points.
  • Make sure you have fully explained or analyzed each example, and try to develop your points in more detail.
  • Address a different aspect of your topic in a new paragraph. This might involve revising your thesis statement to make a more ambitious argument.
  • Don’t use filler. Adding unnecessary words or complicated sentences will make your essay weaker and your argument less clear.
  • Don’t fixate on an exact number. Your marker probably won’t care about 50 or 100 words – it’s more important that your argument is convincing and adequately developed for an essay of the suggested length.

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In some cases, you are allowed to exceed the upper word limit by 10% – so for an assignment of 2500–3000 words, you could write an absolute maximum of 3300 words. However, the rules depend on your course and institution, so always check with your instructor if you’re unsure.

Only exceed the word count if it’s really necessary to complete your argument. Longer essays take longer to grade, so avoid annoying your marker with extra work! If you are struggling to edit down:

  • Check that every paragraph is relevant to your argument, and cut out irrelevant or out-of-place information.
  • Make sure each paragraph focuses on one point and doesn’t meander.
  • Cut out filler words and make sure each sentence is clear, concise, and related to the paragraph’s point.
  • Don’t cut anything that is necessary to the logic of your argument. If you remove a paragraph, make sure to revise your transitions and fit all your points together.
  • Don’t sacrifice the introduction or conclusion . These paragraphs are crucial to an effective essay –make sure you leave enough space to thoroughly introduce your topic and decisively wrap up your argument.

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How Long Is an Essay? Basic Academic Recommendations

average essay length pages

Words by Essay Parts

High School Level

College Level

University Level

Graduate Level

Manage the Word Count

Final Words

Various types of essays differ in length. Students are often confused about how many pages to write and meet the professor’s requirements. Thus, the writer should know that everything depends on the subject of the study and the course. Generally, the professor provides the instructions with a clear guideline and word count. But if not, you should decide depending on the situation. You can learn how to become a good writer, or ask qualified paper writers for help.

Speaking about the essay length: compared with other academic papers, an essay is shorter than the research or thesis. Still, if you don’t know the exact number of pages, you should concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Here, we will discuss how long is an essay for different educational levels and various types of essays. 

Basic Tips for Essay Length

Here you can find some useful recommendations that fit any essay:

essay length

  • the essay requires a minimum of three main paragraphs: introduction, main body, and conclusion. 
  • five paragraphs are the basic requirement for the essay;
  • the introduction and conclusion are shorter than the main body paragraphs;
  • in each of the paragraphs, there should be a topic sentence defining the central idea and the concluding sentence;
  • do not forget that single-spaced and double-spaced pages differ in word count (275 and 550 words).

How Many Words to Include in Each Part of the Essay?

The length of the paragraphs depends on the length of an essay overall. Everything you need is to divide the essay into equal parts (except for the introduction and conclusion). It is not OK when you write a very long paragraph consisting of 8 sentences and then continue with the small one comprising only three. There should be a certain balance to maintain throughout the text.

The main piece of advice is to think about the length of each paragraph before starting to write. Make an outline, define the main idea of each paragraph, and specify the word count for each part.

High School Level: How Long is an Essay?

One to five pages are enough for the high school level. Typically, the essay should consist of 5 paragraphs and follow the standard essay model. So, you will need to write an introduction with a thesis, main body (3 sections), and the conclusion. 

For the high school level, the quality means much more than the quantity. But you should not forget that the professor will expect the basic length of the essay. 

Recommendations for the College Essay

In the case of typical college essays, three pages are often enough to discuss the topic. Thus, you need approximately one page for the introduction and conclusion and two pages for the main body.

If the topic is very broad, it’s better to write 4-5 pages, but not more. If the college essay is longer than five pages, it can be perceived as a research paper. To complete such a big assignment, you might need to consult a research paper writing service . Anyway, the main requirements for the college essay are to be precise, coherent, and well-structured.

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average essay length pages

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Recommendations for the University Level (Undergraduate)

At this stage, the quantity of pages increases, and the typical essay starts from 1500 words, which is approximately five pages. The length of the written assignment depends on the subject, institutions, departments, and course level. 

The students often have a special course in the university where they study all essential writing skills. In this case, the word count is often clear as the professors teach you how to adhere to the word count and do not exceed or lack the number of words. 

University Essay (Graduate)

The graduate-level essay is very similar to the undergraduate. The same, everything depends on the requirements of the university and the course. The topic of the essay also affects the number of pages. 

Very often, each of the university courses requires several writing assignments for each module. If you do not know exactly how long is an essay for this level, remember that the word count ranges between 2000-6000 words.

Tips to Manage the Word Count

Of course, following the length requirements is essential for the student. But do not forget that the bad quality of the paper will affect your grade even if everything is OK with the word count. Do not try to use wordy expressions or thousands of linking devices in each sentence to make a long paragraph. This strategy means that you didn’t understand the main purpose of the assignment. 

You should focus on the argumentation provided in each paragraph and the basic structure of the paper. If you miss at least one part of the essay, it will result in a bad mark. That’s why prepare an outline and think beforehand about the word count for each paragraph. 

Why is it Important to Adhere to Expected Essay Length?

Remember that the professor expects a certain length of an essay depending on the academic level. Even if you don’t know exactly how long is an essay for a certain school subject or university course, follow the basic recommendations about word count.

If the student writes a shorter essay than expected, the tutor may decide that he/she doesn’t put enough effort into submitting the task. Indeed, if the word count exceeds a lot, the student might have used wordy constructions or added useless information to the essay without proper analysis. 

Now you know what the professor expects from your essay at different levels. The main recommendation is to follow the basic requirements for the essay, including the structure (introduction, main body, and conclusion). Also, maintain a certain balance between the paragraphs. Do not forget that the introduction and conclusion are shorter than the main part of the text.

You might be interested in reading about how to write an essay on French Revolution. The article contains a lot of interesting information.

If you do not have an exact word count, adhere to basic recommendations about the length and focus more on the quality of the essay. If all these rules seem too convoluted, order an essay from a writing company and forget about feeling stressed.

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What are the six different essay lengths?

average essay length pages

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 is an Essay? A Guide to Appropriate Essay Length

Table of Contents

How long is an essay ? The length of your article is determined by several factors. These include level of education, course of study, departmental guidelines, and tutor’s requirements.

Compared to a research paper or dissertation, an essay is a shorter piece of writing. This article provides general guidelines for the length of different types of essays.

Since there are several essay types, it is crucial to understand the length required of your assignment. On average, an essay should be at least 700 to 1,200 words. It shouldn’t be too long or too short.

Usually, when an instructor hands out a project, the number of pages to be written will be given alongside. The instructor will often give the word count for the assignment, which will be more helpful than just telling the number of pages. This will mostly be a range (e.g., 500-800 words).

Most important in writing an essay is to prioritize quality over quantity. The focus should be on making a solid argument about the subject rather than hitting the specified word count. However, writing an essay according to the specified length is possible without compromising quality.

The specified length of your essay gives you a sense of how much information and complexity you can fit into the given space. This will determine how you outline your ideas and structure your argument.

The time needed for editing and proofreading also varies by the length of the essay.

A few tips to keep in mind when writing an essay include:

  • An essay should have a minimum of three paragraphs. The paragraphs should contain the introduction, body, and conclusion, respectively.
  • For an introductory paper, a five-paragraph structure is typical.
  • The conclusion and introduction paragraphs are generally shorter.
  • Each central idea should occupy a separate body paragraph.

There is a standard essay length for most high school, college, graduate, and professional schools. Although it is usually difficult to determine the length of an essay by words, working within the specified range is generally good. The following guidelines will help you determine how long your essay should be.

1. High School Essay

The recommended word count for a high school essay is 300 to 1000 words. It may vary, but you’ll often need to write a 5-paragraph essay that contains an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

2. College admission essay

College admissions essays are much shorter than any other. They range from 200 to 650 words and contain a few paragraphs that express your motivations and interests.

3. Undergraduate college essay

The length of undergraduate essays varies depending on the institution, course of study, and course levels.

However, no matter the length, every undergraduate college essay must include the following:

  • Introduction
  • Body (containing the subject arguments)

The word count of a typical undergraduate essay ranges from 1500 to 5000 words.

4. Graduate school admission essay

A typical graduate admission essay contains about 500–1000 words detailing your statement of purpose and highlighting some of your academic achievements.

5. Graduate school essay

Graduate school essays are usually more detailed and comprehensive, which means they tend to be longer. A typical graduate school essay ranges from 2500 to 6000 words.

First, you need to decide how many words your essay requires. Afterward, you can break it down into paragraphs. A short piece of 600-800 words will require that each section contains 100-150 words.

The introduction is one of the essential parts of an essay. The introduction is usually the same length as the conclusion and is shorter than the body. It should be just one paragraph and should match the length of the essay. For example, an essay with a length of 500 words would have an introduction of about 100 words.

The essay’s main body is usually the longest part and should take up the most space. It would be best to put each argument and idea in a separate paragraph. The paragraphs in the main body should be roughly the same length.

The conclusion of the essay is often a single paragraph. It should sum up the main points in a convincing way.

man wearing a blue shirt, writing on paper with a pen

Writing your essay according to the specified length is essential, especially when your instructor recommends it. However, the length of your essay should not compromise its quality .

Creativity and originality are crucial factors in writing a well-structured essay, but it’s also vital that your essay is well-written.

Essay length can vary depending on the requirements of the forum you are submitting your work to. If the length is not specified, the specifications in this article should help you determine the length.

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

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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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:

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  
  • Traditional Academic Essays in Three Parts: Penn State Abington  
  • 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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Knowledge Base

How to Write an Essay

Know the Length of Different Types of Essay Here!

Cathy A.

13 min read

Published on: May 8, 2023

Last updated on: May 11, 2023

length of an essay

In This Guide

  • How To Write An Essay
  • Types Of Essays

Essay Topics

Essay Structure

Essay Outline

  • Length of an Essay

Essay Introduction

Thesis Statement

Thesis Statement Example

  • Body Paragraph
  • Essay Conclusion
  • Revise an Essay

Essay Examples

Essay Checklist

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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.

In most cases, your assignment will include clear guidelines on the number of words or pages you are expected to write.

Often this will be a range rather than an exact number (for example, 2500–3000 words or 10–12 pages). If you’re not sure, always check with your instructor.

In this article, you’ll find some general guidelines for the length of different types of essays . But keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity – focus on making a strong argument or analysis, not on hitting a specific word count.

Importance of Understanding Essay Length Requirements

Knowing the appropriate length for an essay while writing an essay is essential for several reasons.

  • First, adhering to the length requirements demonstrates that you understand and respect the assignment guidelines. 
  • Second, it ensures that you're able to fully explore your topic and develop your argument within the given constraints. 
  • Finally, meeting the length requirements can impact your grade, as instructors often factor in adherence to guidelines when evaluating your work.

Factors that Influence Essay Length

Several factors can affect the ideal length of an essay. These include the complexity of the topic, the essay structure , the type of essay, and the specific guidelines provided by your instructor or institution.

It's essential to consider these factors when planning and writing your essay to ensure that it meets the necessary requirements.

Overview of Different Types of Essays and their Typical Lengths

Here are some general guidelines for essay length

  • High School Essays: In high school, essays typically range from 300 to 1000 words or 1 to 4 pages, depending on the assignment and subject. Teachers often assign shorter essays to help students learn the basics of essay writing, focusing on structure and argument development.
  • College Essays: At the college level, essay length can vary significantly, from 1000 to 5000 words or more, depending on the course, assignment, and subject. In general, college essays tend to be longer and more in-depth, requiring students to conduct research and provide more detailed analysis and support for their arguments.
  • Graduate School Essays: Graduate school essays are often more specialized and in-depth, ranging from 3000 to over 10,000 words, depending on the subject and assignment. These essays require students to demonstrate a deep understanding of their field and present well-reasoned arguments supported by extensive research and evidence.

Length Guidelines for Specific Types of Essays

Various types of essays require different lengths due to their purpose and style. Here are the length requirements for different essay types:

Narrative Essays

  • Purpose and structure: Narrative essays tell a story or recount a personal experience, often using a chronological structure and descriptive language to engage the reader.
  • Typical length: Narrative essays are generally between 800 and 1500 words, depending on the level of detail and complexity of the story.

Descriptive Essays

  • Purpose and structure: Descriptive essays aim to create a vivid picture of a person, place, or object using sensory details and descriptive language.
  • Typical length: Descriptive essays tend to be shorter, usually between 500 and 1000 words, as their primary focus is on creating a vivid image rather than developing an argument.

Expository Essays

  • Purpose and structure: Expository essays provide information or explain a concept or process, often using a logical structure and clear, straightforward language.
  • Typical length: Expository essays usually range from 1000 to 3000 words, depending on the complexity of the topic and the level of detail required.

Argumentative Essays

  • Purpose and structure: Argumentative essays present a claim and use evidence, logic, and reasoning to persuade the reader to accept the writer's position on a controversial issue.
  • Typical length: Argumentative essays tend to be longer, typically between 1500 and 4000 words, to provide ample evidence and support for the argument.

Compare and Contrast Essays

  • Purpose and structure: Compare and contrast essays examine the similarities and differences between two or more subjects, using a point-by-point or block structure.
  • Typical length: Compare and contrast essays generally range from 1000 to 3000 words, depending on the number of subjects and the depth of comparison.

Persuasive Essays

  • Purpose and structure: Persuasive essays aim to convince the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint or take a specific action, using a combination of evidence, logic, and emotional appeals.
  • Typical length: Persuasive essays can range from 1000 to 3000 words, depending on the strength of the argument and the amount of evidence required to support it.

Research Papers

  • Purpose and structure: Research papers present the results of original research or a comprehensive analysis of existing research on a specific topic, using a clear and organized structure to present the findings.
  • Typical length: Research papers can vary greatly in length, from 3000 words to over 10,000 words, depending on the subject, level of study, and the depth of research involved.

Read essay examples written by experts to understand how you can write high-quality essays within your word limit

Tips for Meeting Essay Length Requirements

Outlining and organizing your essay.

Before you start writing, create an essay outline that includes the main points you want to cover, as well as any supporting evidence or examples. This will help you maintain a logical flow throughout your essay and make it easier to stay within the required length.

Using Appropriate Evidence and Examples

Support your argument with relevant and convincing evidence, examples, or quotes from reliable sources. This not only adds credibility to your essay but also helps you reach the required word count without resorting to filler content.

Avoiding Filler Content and Unnecessary Repetition

Stay focused on your main points and avoid adding irrelevant information or repeating yourself just to meet the word count. This can weaken your argument and make your essay less engaging for the reader.

Adapting Essay Length Based on Assignment Requirements

Understanding the purpose of the assignment.

Read the assignment prompt carefully and make sure you understand what is expected of you. This will help you determine the appropriate length and depth for your essay, as well as the type of evidence and support required.

Adjusting Essay Length to Meet Specific Guidelines

If you find that your essay is too long or too short, revise it accordingly. This may involve adding more supporting evidence or examples, cutting out unnecessary information, or reorganizing your ideas to improve clarity and flow. Remember to focus on the quality of your argument, not just the word count.

Communicating With Instructors or Peers for Clarification

If you're unsure about the length requirements for your essay or need guidance on how to adapt your writing, don't hesitate to ask your instructor or classmates for help. They can provide valuable feedback and help you stay on track with your assignment.

Adhering to the appropriate essay length guidelines is crucial for several reasons. 

It demonstrates your ability to follow instructions, helps you develop strong arguments within given constraints, and can impact your grade. Understanding the typical lengths for various types of essays can also make the writing process more manageable and improve the overall quality of your work.

Being able to adapt your writing style and length to suit different types of essays is a valuable writing skill .

As you progress in your academic career, you'll encounter various essay formats and requirements. Embrace the challenge and get an AI essay generator to help you develop a clear, well-structured essay that effectively communicates your ideas, regardless of its type or length.

Don't be afraid to seek help or clarification from your instructor or peers if needed, and always remember that practice makes perfect. The more you write and revise, the more adept you'll become at crafting well-structured, engaging essays of any length.

Frequently Asked Questions About Persuasive Essays

How long should a persuasive essay be.

Generally speaking, persuasive essays should be between 500-750 words. However, the length of your essay will depend on the instructions given by your teacher or professor.

What Techniques Are Used In Persuasive Essays?

Persuasive techniques include facts and statistics, emotion and logic, personal stories, analogies and metaphors, pathos, ethos, and logos.

How Do I Make My Persuasive Essay More Convincing?

To make your essay more convincing, cite reliable sources, use persuasive language, and provide strong evidence and arguments.

How Is Persuasive Writing Different From Argumentative Writing?

The main difference between persuasive and argumentative writing is that persuasive writing seeks to convince or persuade the reader. On the other hand, argumentative writing seeks to debate an issue.

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How Many Words Is 1 Page?

1 page is 500 words single-spaced or 250 words double-spaced . Documents that typically are 1 page are high school and college essays, short blog posts, and news articles. A typical single-spaced page is 500 words long. It will take approximately 2 minutes to read 1 page .

A 500 word count will create about 1 pages with single spacing or 2 pages double-spaced when using normal 1-inch margins, 12 pt. Arial font, and a standard A4 (letter size) page size.

However, the number of pages will vary depending on your margins, font family, font size, whether you use multiple spaces after a period , and your paragraph spacing settings. For example, 1 page single spaced created using Arial font will generate only 0.9 pages with Calibri or Times New Roman font.

Table of Contents

How many words is 1 page single-spaced.

1 page single-spaced is 500 words. A standard single-spaced page contains 500 words.

How Many Words Is a 1 Page Essay or Paper?

A 1 page essay will be 500 words single-spaced or 250 words double-spaced. A standard single-spaced page contains 500 words.

How Many Words Is 1 Page Double-Spaced?

1 page double-spaced is 250 words. Teachers may ask you to write an essay using double spacing so that it's easier to read and easier to add comments/feedback to. A standard double-spaced page contains 250 words.

How Many Words Is 1 Page Handwritten?

1 page handwritten and single-spaced produces 250 words. Handwriting is about twice as large as words typed in 12 point Arial or Times New Roman font which makes single-spaced handwritten pages equivalent to double-spaced pages.

How Many Paragraphs Is 1 Page?

1 words is about 2.5-5 paragraphs for essays or 5-10 for easier reading (to allow skimming). A paragraph length typically has 100-200 words and 5-6 sentences.

How Many Sentences Is 1 Page?

1 page is about 25-34 sentences. A sentence typically has 15–20 words.

Which Font Produces More Pages?

Of the standard fonts used in essays and other documents, Verdana will create the most pages. On average, Verdana will create 1.1 pages for every 1 page written using Arial and 0.9 pages for every page written with Times New Roman or Calibri in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. These are just estimates . If you're looking to write the fewest number of words for your school assignment to meet a page count, we recommend using Verdana (if allowed) or Arial. A good rule of thumb is to use Arial font unless your teacher provides different guidelines for font or spacing.

How Long Does It Take to Write a 1 Page Essay?

On average it will take approximately 12.5 minutes for the average writer typing on a keyboard at a typing speed of 40 words per minute.

How to Write a 1 Page Essay

Writing a 1 page essay, along with writing a five-paragraph essay , is one of the common assignments assigned to middle and high school students. Writing a 1 page essay is no easy feat and requires careful planning in order to concisely convey your argument. You should focus on the following three areas:

The Introduction

The introduction of your essay should start with broad sentences, revealing the central idea of your essay, not the details and individual arguments.

Your primary focus should be describing, arguing, and explaining the points you listed in your introductory paragraph . Each paragraph should be less than 100 words.

The Conclusion

In the final or concluding paragraph, you need to summarize the key points of your essay and restate your main claim.

  • How to Write a Descriptive Essay
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay

How Many Words per Page?

To quickly find out how many pages various word counts make, see the table below. You’ll be able to understand quickly how many words you need to write for your essays, blog articles, or memos with page limits:

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How Long is an Essay in Academic Writing

Published by Alaxendra Bets at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023

Essays are the most popular academic assignments you will ever come across, but many students are not familiar with the differences between  different types of essays . As a matter of fact, you might not even know  how long an essay is supposed to be.

This can happen especially when you do not have any prior academic writing experience. These academic essays can range from concise essays to relatively lengthy essays, e.g. a  thesis project that is so detailed and lengthy it is just like a book.

Consult your department or tutor if you are unsure about how long your essay is supposed to be. The expectation regarding the length varies widely, depending on the nature of the subject you are exploring, your academic institute, and the expectations of the tutor who assigned the task.

In most cases, you will be assigned an essay with clear requirements regarding the number of pages to be included or the number of words to be produced (15-20 pages or 2,500-3,000 words).

It makes sense to consult your tutor if you are in doubt. Some tutors do not allow an inch of space, whereas others are more lenient and flexible in their approach.

This article provides detailed guidelines for the lengths of different types of essays. Here it is important to recognise that your essay’s quality is far more important than its length.

An essay that is long enough but lacking depth in content and analysis will not fetch the required results.

Rather than focusing on hitting a certain word count, you must look to write a high-quality essay that addresses the research problem and provides arguments for and against your thesis.

Different Essay Lengths for Different Academic Levels

Expectations about university-level essays are almost always higher than middle and high-school essays.

You need to see the academic level requirements you are  writing the essay  for and ask yourself how long an essay has to be before starting to write the essay.

Below, we will discuss essay writing patterns that can be applied at different academic levels.

How Long is a Middle School Essay?

The concept of the essay in a student’s academic career generally starts in middle school. Students are required to write essays normally consisting of 300-1,000 words at this level.

The essay comprises the five-paragraph model, sometimes called the hamburger model, which includes five paragraphs,  starting from the introduction .

The next three paragraphs will comprise the  main body ,  discussing the essay’s main theme and justifying the  thesis statement . The final paragraph provides a  conclusion .

It is improbable that the introduction and conclusion chapters would go over one paragraph at this academic level.

How Long is a High School Essay?

If you are a high school student and wondering how long an essay is, then there are a few things that you must keep in mind.

Your essay’s  format and structure   remain the same at high school, although your teachers would like you to expand your essay’s length and make it approximately 3-5 pages long.

The introduction section and  the main body  can be expanded to increase the word count, whereas the conclusion section’s length should still fall within one paragraph.

Want to know what essay structure and style will work best for your assignment?

Problem fixed! We can write any type of essay in any referencing style. We ensure every essay written is beyond your expectations.

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How Long is a University (Undergraduate Level) Essay?

The essay’s length will increase dramatically at this stage, depending much on the course you have taken and the  topic  you are exploring. Undergraduate students have to cope with writing longer essays (normally of 5-10 pages).

Special classes are designed for undergraduate students in most universities, where they are taught essential  essay writing skills . To make sure that all students undergo this writing practice, essays are assigned in  assignments .

As the semester progresses, students are required to submit final essay assignments contributing a larger percentage to their overall grades.

Offered Services: Narrative Essay Writing Service

How Long is a University (Graduate Level) Essay?

Graduate-level essay writing is not very different from undergraduate level. It mainly depends on the requirements of the university, topic, course, and specifically the tutor.

Some university courses include several  essay writing assignments  because the course structure is designed as such.

Other universities do not involve regular essay writing as they focus more on presentations, laboratory sessions, and other practical learning experiences. The word count for essays at this level ranges from 2,000 to 6,000 words approximately.

Let’s understand this through an example; Chris is a student of English Literature and has many essays to write throughout the degree programme. On the other hand, Susan belongs to a Chemical Engineering programme that requires her to write just one or two essays throughout the year. Her programme deals more with practical knowledge, experiments, and calculations. The below table will help you to understand how long an essay should be.

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How to Manage Your Essay Word Count

You could end up receiving a poor grade despite meeting the essay length requirements. This can happen, especially if you have written an essay to fill pages using verbose or wordy expressions that do not address the thesis.

It shows that you have not understood the purpose of the assignment and rather just focused on the length without setting boundaries for your arguments. This produced quantity, not quality. Want to get an A+ on your essay assignment?

Here are some essay writing tips for you to consider when writing academic essays:

  • It is recommended to prepare an outline of the essay before you  start working on the essay . It allows you to include all the essential points that need to be covered, such as the  introduction ,  thesis statement ,  main body , and conclusion , before the actual write-up. This approach will help you to ensure that every critical element of the essay is in place.
  • Many students  struggle with essay writing  because they aim to meet the word count requirement even if they are completely unfamiliar with the topic. You must review the existing literature on the topic before starting to write.
  • Use examples and illustrations. This will enable your readers to grasp information that could be otherwise hard to understand.
  • Even if you are writing a short essay, make sure you are writing based on the essay outline. Short essays need to be straightforward, to the point, and concise, but should clearly present your argument.
  • Each section of the essay should be relevant to the topic. Review each line and paragraph. Make sure that each paragraph focuses on a single point and doesn’t meander. On the other hand, a longer essay allows for more space to adopt a broader approach and guide the audience through a complex reasoning line. However, longer essays still need to maintain a focus.
  • Please do not sacrifice your introduction or conclusion chapters as they enable you to grasp the readers’ attention. Note that the introduction chapter provides the basis of the essay, while the conclusion chapter summarises your overall research and analysis.
  • For longer essays, you will need to spend considerable time  editing and proofreading , so you must plan this aspect of your essay assignment accordingly.
  • When developing your essay outline , review the existing literature to collect details, arguments , and evidence relevant to the subject topic. You might want to revise the thesis to be more specific or more general if it appears that you need more space to present a convincing argument or lack enough information to make up the word count.

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Can you Go Over or Under the Required Essay Word Count?

In this regard, the best practice would be to write within the specified word count because the word limit is set in keeping with your academic course requirements and academic level.

Your tutor would clearly state exactly how much detail should be provided in the essay. If you find your essay length below what was suggested, it means that you have not been able to explore the topic to its full.

Writing an essay that is shorter than the expected length can result in a low grade, as your tutor will perceive that you have not put enough effort into writing the essay.

If you are struggling to reach the expected word count, then the following tips will be of great help:

  • Strengthen and clarify your arguments by adding more examples and evidence to the content of your essay.
  • Analyse each example in detail. If you have not done so, then consider explaining your points more comprehensively.
  • Do more research to find a new aspect of your topic that you have not already included. Be aware that this could also require you to revise your introduction and conclusion paragraphs accordingly.
  • Avoid using filler. Your tutor will negatively mark your essay if it looks like you used unnecessarily complex words and duplicated the same information.
  • Try not to think about the word count as you write the essay. Let the depth and strength of your arguments be the driving force.

Going beyond the word count would not be a good approach either, but whether you will be marked negatively for writing more words than required depends on your tutor. Some tutors are flexible and lenient in their approach, while  others are strict  and may penalise you for exceeding the length.

If your essay is over the acceptable word count, it is recommended to consult your tutor and seek permission. However, remember that longer essays will take your marker longer to grade your work and potentially annoy them.

If your essay is well above the suggested benchmark, then you will need to edit it to bring it down to within the suggested limits:

  • Exclude information, paragraphs, or parts of paragraphs that appear to be irrelevant to your thesis and argument. If in doubt, leave it out.
  • Ensure that each paragraph in your essay is concise, focused, and does not deviate from your essay’s  main topic .
  • Remove any filler verbiage and words that you have used just for the sake of increasing the word count of your essay.
  • Do not remove any information that is directly relevant to your essay’s topic and adds weight to your reasoning’s coherence.
  • Do not forget to revise the  transitions  after you have cut out the unnecessary information.
  • The introduction and conclusion chapters are of critical importance in essay writing, so avoid sacrificing these two sections. Make sure you give enough space to introduce your topic and summarise your main argument comprehensively.
  • After making any of these revisions, it is imperative that you read the affected sections carefully. Edits can have knock-on effects; it is good practice to read the entire essay through again.

The Length of Each Section of your Essay

Since we have already explored how long an essay should be, it is time to figure out how long each chapter of the essay should be. The main body should occupy most of the space, as this part engages the reader with different arguments, provides pieces of evidence, and shares ideas.

The introduction part should be in proportion to the total length of the essay. For essays with a suggested word count of 2,000 words or less, it is recommended to have an introduction chapter with just one or two paragraphs.

The length of the introduction can vary depending on the word limit provided. It is possible to add extra paragraphs in very long essays.

The conclusion section is short and concise, briefly summarising the key points without going into much detail. The length of the conclusion section will also depend on the overall word limit of your essay.

How Can Research Prospect Help you?

If you are still unsure about how long an essay is or struggling with essay writing in general, then you might want to take a look at our custom essay writing service , which is designed to help you achieve the highest academic grade regardless of your academic standard and the complexity of the topic.

All our essay writers hold master’s or PhD degrees from reputed universities, so you can be confident of having your essay meets every bit of your programme’s requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long is an essay in academic writing.

The length of an essay in academic writing varies based on the assignment and level. Typically, undergrad essays are 1,000-2,500 words , while postgrad ones can be 2,500-5,000 words . Follow guidelines for precise word count and structure.

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How Many Pages is 500 Words?

Most short-form blog posts are around the 500-word mark. often, for college assignments and schoolwork, you’re asked to write a 500-word essay or answer an exam question for an academic essay in less than 500 words. it’s therefore useful to understand how many pages an average word count 500-word article produces for all types of essay writing. this information isn’t just for students. many content writers/essay writers receive briefs requesting 500-word pieces, or 500-word blogs. even business professionals often write 500-words, whether it’s technical writing, news articles a business proposal or another piece of journalism. so it’s worth knowing how many pages a 500-word essay or other delivers. let’s find out more..

average essay length pages

Is Your 500-Word Essay Typed or Handwritten?

A handwritten essay piece produces more pages than a typed piece in Google Docs or Word. This is because handwriting is larger than typed wording, approximately twice the size.  Of course, this varies depending on the average writer.

What Size is Your Handwriting?

You might handwrite college essays and other essay types but everyone has different size handwriting! It also depends on how many words you write on a line versus how many words you type on a line and whether you use lined paper or blank paper. Lined paper is easier to write on and keep an eye on the number of words per line, whereas blank paper is harder to write on neatly.

There’s more too. It depends on your  overall line spacing (double spacing or single spacing element), your paragraph spacing, whether you indent or not, the size of your margins and the size and type of font you use. 

The General Rule 

Generally though, a Google Docs' 500-word essay in Arial 12-point (the point or pt refers to the size of the font) produces one page of copy, single-spaced. If the copy is double-spaced, expect a 500-word piece to produce two pages of text. Based on handwriting being twice the size of typed copy, expect one, 500-word handwritten piece to produce approximately two pages of copy.

Bear in mind that the above information depends on the size of page you use as well. An A4 page in portrait layout is different to landscape. However, you wouldn’t usually type or write an essay on an A4 in landscape layout!  

For college essay guidance, you may find this article useful .

What Factors Change the Number of Pages 500 Words Produces?

While one 500-word academic essay in Arial 12-pt (Google Docs or Word) produces one page of text, there are certain critical factors that change the number of pages, as follows:

If you choose a larger font size, for example Arial 14-pt, your page count will change to approximately one and a quarter pages. The larger the font, the more pages you’ll end up with. The smaller the font and you will end up with a piece that’s ¾ or half a page of A4.

The general preference is to use a 12-point size and the most uniform accepted font is Arial or 12-point Times New Roman font. Let’s move onto standard Font Type.

As mentioned above, stick with Arial if you’re unsure what’s required for SEO articles and other essay types. Other perfectly acceptable fonts are Times New Roman and Calibri. Times New Roman in 12-pt produces one page of typed copy on A4. Calibri produces slightly more words on one page of A4 as it’s a little smaller.

However, if you’re looking to create more pages out of 500 words, consider using Verdana as it’s a larger font that is perfectly readable and usually, widely accepted. Do check the font requirements, especially for college assignments or a thesis statement as you should always follow the specified brief.

You can read up on different fonts and when to use them (and when not to) by clicking here .

  • Line Spacing

Line spacing makes a huge difference! Most blog articles (even with internal links) are single-spaced (producing one page of A4 containing 500-words). As soon as you double-space a piece, you get double the amount of pages. So a 500-word piece with double-spaced pages produces 2 pages of A4 text. Extra space means extra pages!

  • Inserting Images and Videos

If you’re writing a 500-word blog piece or an academic writing piece, then inserting images and videos makes a difference to your overall page quantity.

  • Margin Size/Margin Space

Your margin size makes difference too. Standard 1-inch margins of 12-point Arial font single-spaced produces one page of 500 words A4. If you use narrower margins, you’ll get more text on one single page and if you use wider margins, you’ll end up with a just over one page of typed text. The same rule applies to handwritten pieces.  It's best to use standard margins, especially for blogs, articles and writing essays.

Normal 1-inch margins are best for a 500-word document.

  • Indenting Paragraphs

Some writers like to indent their paragraphs (especially the introductory paragraph), and this makes a difference to the overall page quantity. If you indent every paragraph, a 500-word document in 12-point font will produce a little over one page of typed text.  Paragraph spacing settings therefore make a difference to the end result, whether you use standard paragraph spacing or other.

  • Word Spacing After a Full Stop (or Period)

If you only use a single space after a full stop or period, you will end up with more text on one page consisting of 500-words. If you double space after a full stop or period, you’ll end up with slightly less text on one single page.

  • Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

Inserting bullet points and numbered lists elongates a page of 500-words.

  • Using Headers

Blog posts require headers to break-up the text and for SEO best practices. If you use multiple headers, the end result will change and one, 500-word article will equate to more than one page. Again, font family and size of font will also impact the number of pages used.

So you see there are lots of factors that impact the overall number of pages you end up with when writing one 500-word article.

The Number of Sentences One 500-Word Piece Produces 

A 500-word essay produces approximately 30 sentences. A sentence normally consists of approximately 18 words.  Expect around 5-6 sentences per paragraph, depending on the topic sentence.

The Time it Takes to Read One, 500-Word Essay

This depends on your reading speed but generally, 500-words of text takes approximately 1 minute to read 100-200 words, 2 minutes to read based on reading 250 words per minute.

The Time it Takes to Write One, 500-Word Essay

Again, like the point above this depends on the writer. If you know your topic well, then expect it to take approximately half-an-hour but if your piece involves in-depth research, it might take significantly longer. It also depends on your typing speed and handwriting speed if your piece is handwritten.

What About Character Count?

Some people find using an online word counter tool useful when producing 500-words to analyse count calculations. Many online tools also calculate the number of characters in 500-words and the best and most reputable is Originality AI which calculates word count, character count and additionally, detects plagiarism and AI-generated content.

Final Words on How Many Pages One 500 Word Piece Produces

If you type up a piece in Google Docs using Arial font in 12-point size, single-spaced without multiple headers, images, videos, bullet/numbered lists then expect to produce one page of A4. The end result varies depending on the font chose, the size of the font, document line spacing, margin size, headers, indentations and whether or not you handwrite or type your text.

The perfect 500-word essay in Arial 12-point, single-spacing with 1-inch margins equates to 1 page of A4.  Remember, you can always use a count calculator online to determine content word count for your writing projects.

Jonathan Gillham

More from the blog, readability, how to check your twitter character count.

That proved difficult for lots of users who sent Tweet after Tweet to get their point across. Twitter responded to this by increasing the character limit so nowadays, a Tweet is more like a short, social media post – with a Tweet character limit of 280 characters.

How Do I Work Out the Character Count in Word?

Word (Microsoft Office) is one of the most widely-used document creators on a PC or laptop. Used for so many purposes, especially creating articles and other content. Sometimes, you need to understand your current word count and character count when creating an article or essay.

How to Check Word Count on Google Slides

For those of you busying yourselves creating a business presentation, you might find using Google Slides the best method. Created by Google, this preferred presentation tool provides its users with a vast collection of excellent features to make sure presentations are engaging. In fact, this is the most popular presentation tool available. 

AI Content Detector & Plagiarism Checker for Serious Content Publishers

Improve your content quality by accurately detecting duplicate content and artificially generated text..

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