How Long Should Your Personal Statement Be?

Your essay should have an introductory paragraph with a thesis/hook, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion that ties everything together. Your story might lend itself to six or seven paragraphs instead of five, depending on where the natural narrative breaks lie, and that’s fine. Just make sure it has a clear beginning, middle, and end. The general rule is that 3 paragraphs are minimum for an essay. So, no matter how short your essay is, you should still need 3 paragraphs. If you are really for some reason writing a 100 word essay, then you should have one short sentence for both your introduction and conclusion.

how long is a essay

When I heard about Leadership Opportunities for Teens , a program that promotes leadership skills and self-advocacy with teenagers like me, I joined. Whereas other students dealt with taunting and physical abuse, I was in a school with accommodating teachers and students who were curious about my experience. The only person who had been contributing to my shyness and fear was myself. And from my dance experiences, I knew I was capable of more. In your first draft, don’t worry about a fancy opening or ending, and don’t worry about length. For example, if you’re writing a Common App personal statement, and your first draft ends up being 800 or 900 words, you’re fine. But cutting is the easiest part of writing—it mostly involves just using the “delete” key.

A Few Tips for an Excellent Essay

And if you notice that your short essay goes to something like 600 to 900 words, you can write it in the five-paragraph format. This is the final part of your short essay; it should equally comprise 10% of the total word count. The introduction is the most significant component of a short essay. You should limit yourself to one short paragraph, comprising 10% of your entire paper. It should grab the attention of your readers and pique their interest to read the essay. It should also be the point where you declare the essay topic.

how long is a essay

These are used by an array of authors, including university students and professional essayists. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Edmund Burke and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote essays for the general public. Thomas Carlyle’s essays were highly influential, and one of his readers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, became a prominent essayist himself. Later in the century, Robert Louis Stevenson also raised the form’s literary level. In the 20th century, a number of essayists, such as T.S. Eliot, tried to explain the new movements in art and culture by using essays. Virginia Woolf, Edmund Wilson, and Charles du Bos wrote literary criticism essays.

How to Shorten an Essay

As you finish your final body paragraphs ask yourself “So what? The Common App essay is the main personal statement you’ll submit to colleges that use the Common App and require the essay. What you’re taught is often a general rule to shoot for, not a rule set in concrete. Your teacher felt that 7 paragraphs was a good number for the essays you wrote for her, but it doesn’t always have to be that way.

Descriptive writing is characterized by sensory details, which appeal to the physical senses, and details that appeal to a reader’s emotional, physical, or intellectual sensibilities. A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic. Description uses tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language, metaphor, and simile to arrive at a dominant impression. Compare and contrast essays are characterized by a basis for comparison, points of comparison, and analogies. The comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects.

How Long Is a Typical Essay?

Some teachers may refuse to read it unless it meets all the requirements. When a student sits to write a short essay, he/she may have a number of ideas.

If there is no space and the thesis is not supported, it is time to revisit your thesis and make it more focused. Another key determinant of the pages or word count that you need to write an essay on is the essay prompt instructions. Apart from containing the essay topics, the essay prompt also defines the number of words, length, or pages you need to write an essay. Text length may be considered especially construct-relevant when it comes to writing in a foreign language. Because of the constraints of limited language knowledge, writing in a foreign language may be hampered because of the need to focus on language rather than content .

Supplements & scholarship essays

In that context, the ability of writing longer texts may be legitimately considered as indicative of higher competence in a foreign language, making text length a viable factor of assessment. For example, Ruegg and Sugiyama showed that the main predictors of the content score in English foreign language essays were first, organization and second, essay length.

  • They will help you identify what is missing and unclear in your work.
  • Your story might lend itself to six or seven paragraphs instead of five, depending on where the natural narrative breaks lie, and that’s fine.
  • In some other instances, students are required to write essays that have 1.5 spaced lines.
  • 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 daunting element of the college application is something that can create angst for even the most accomplished students. In a blog post offering language tips for college essays, Fisher expounds on the importance of writing in a way true to how you talk in real life. This is a rule of thumb, which means it won’t always work quite that way, but it’s handy all the same. In academic work, your paragraphs are likely to be a bit longer than most of the ones you see in this blog post. On average, there are usually 100 to 200 words in a paragraph. So if you’d like a guesstimate, you can assume that a 1,000-word essay will have between five and ten paragraphs. If you take time to find quotations from books and scholarly articles to support your thesis statement before you start to write, it will make your writing a lot faster.

How Long Does it Take to Write an Essay?

Graduate school essays, graduate school admission essays, and exam answers in graduate school exams are examples of advanced short essays. Suppose you notice that there is a sample and no word limit given but the topic, write an essay whose length is the same as the sample. The same applies to college entry essays with no word limit. You can check the samples on websites or the college writing centers how long is a essay to help you estimate the word limit. When writing college essays, the admission officers always stop reading when the word count is covered. This is specifically detrimental if the rest of the essay is far much convincing than what is within the word range. However, because of the flowing nature of ideas, a robust thesis statement, and lack of proper planning, you go over the word count.

how long is a essay

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. An essay is five paragraphs long on average, which is around 400–700 words. WritingUniverse how to introduce quote aims to provide students with access to a unique set of self-study services and online tools that would unlock their true learning potential. Once again, there will be an intro along with conclusion, and the rest should go to a body.

Student Questions

The following is a simple diagram of the balance of paragraph lengths in a five-paragraph essay. Furthermore, text length as a criterion of quality cannot be generalized over different text types at random.

The format for long essays includes two introduction paragraphs, 3 ideas in the body with each idea presented in four paragraphs, and a conclusion. This gives the writer the chance to achieve the given length. As with the novel, essays existed in Japan several centuries before they developed in Europe with a genre of essays known as zuihitsu—loosely connected essays and fragmented ideas.

Main Body

This article provides general guidelines for the length of different types of essays. You have a limit over the word count, therefore, using excessively long speech doesn’t make sense in a short essay. Keep your sentences short and should explain the meaning perfectly.

how long is a essay

Make an outline, define the main idea of each paragraph, and specify the word count for each part. In its essay prompt guidelines, Wellesley College doesn’t give you a range of words or pages. Instead, it says, “in two well-developed paragraphs.” That means paragraphs can be quite long but within a reasonable limit, which is about 450–500 words. So this is when you’ll need to estimate or even guess a bit. As going above that length will make an essay very wordy. People don’t like struggling through the paper where no breaks are in sight — even if you describe the most interesting topic, majority will find it hard to keep reading. Let’s see statistics of how long paragraphs should be depending on essay size.