How Long Should an Essay Be: Essential Length Guide

The essay length is a key part of the assessment of academic papers. As such, you should focus to retain your essay within the prescribed length to avoid any repercussions.

However, many students struggle to establish the preferred essay length when the tutor omits this instruction among essay guidelines. This article will thus analyse the typical essay length to allow you to easily go about your papers and overcome any confusion in your essay writing efforts.

How long should an essay be?

The length of an essay is determined by the level of study, the complexity of your paper, and the broadness of an essay topic. lower-level essays range between five hundred to a thousand words while higher-level papers may range up to ten thousand words.

This is because essays in middle school and high school are assigned to gauge a candidate’s ability to write a particular essay type whereas college-level papers seek to investigate a topic and to test how well-versed a candidate is with a topic. 

Ideally, check for samples of essays at your level to gauge the preferred word count range and to overcome any confusion. 

How long is an essay in middle school?

An essay in middle school often ranges between five hundred to six hundred words. These essays often follow a simple style and are divided into an introduction, a body section, and a conclusion.

This roughly converts to one or two pages depending on the spacing and font size used within your paper. Although five-hundred words are often the preferred short essay length, you can exceed or go below this range by fifty words without incurring consequences in exceeding the word count.

College essay length

Unlike a middle school essay, the college essay is divided into multiple sections including the abstract, the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the results, the discussion, and a conclusion. The essay thus ranges between 2000 and 10,000 words depending on the complexity of the subject and the methodology and results from your experiments.

However, note that the title page, the references, and the appendixes do not count toward the final word tally. 

How many paragraphs is an essay?

How long is a 500-word essay?

A 500-word essay ranges between five and eight paragraphs depending on the length of the sentences. These paragraphs can be divided into three sections: two body paragraphs, eight to twelve body paragraphs, and one or two conclusion paragraphs. 

The 500-word essay also ranges between one and two pages based on the spacing and font size used. 

How long is a 600-word essay?

A 600-word essay ranges between six and nine paragraphs and may take up two and a half pages if you use a standard font size of twelve with double-line spacing. 

How long is a 750-word essay?

A 750-word essay formatted in the standard Times New Roman style font size 12, formatted with a double space may yield eight to ten paragraphs of between 80 and 100 words. Like the latter and the former, the 750-word essay is divided into three paragraphs with the introduction taking up no more than three paragraphs and the conclusion ranging between one and two paragraphs. 

How long is a 1000-word essay?

A thousand-word essay is divided into twelve to fourteen paragraphs. This essay may have an abstract and a short methodology section depending on the level of study. A 3-part, 1000-word essay may have a longer introduction with a detailed background analysis. However, the body section should make up the larger part of the essay to bring out the arguments of your essay.

How long is a 2000-word essay?

A two-thousand essay is common for high school and college papers and may be divided into more sections. This paper may be divided into an abstract with 300 words, a literature review section carrying 20% of the total wordcount, an introduction of 20% of the wordcount, a body carrying 40% of the total wordcount, a conclusion carrying 15% of the total wordcount and the references. 

However, the references don’t make up the total word count. your essay may thus take up between twenty-five and thirty paragraphs. Therefore, the essay should be chunked into sections to make it easier to read. 

Final take

We hope that this article has resolved any confusion you had regarding the length of your essay. Feel free to consult our experts for guidance in writing your essay and help with editing and assistance in your academic journey.

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