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The number of words in your essay largely depends on your academic level, the topic, the course, and the instructions from your professor. Typically, this essay is shorter than a research paper or dissertation. But exactly how long should an essay be?

Typically, your assignment document will specify the length criteria. It can be specified as a range of words (300-500 words) or a specific number of words, paragraphs, or pages (5 pages). The best advice is to discuss the length of your essay with your tutor if you are unsure.

Purposes for Writing Essays

Most essays will require you to do some description of the way things are or were, and some analysis of why things happened, how they could be done better (Brick, 2011). Every essay serves one of four purposes: to inform, persuade, explain, and entertain.

  • Information

Essayists that create informative essays want to provide readers with knowledge that may be brand-new, revised, or updated.

  • Persuasion

It is your intention to compel your audience to act when you write a persuasive essay.

  • Explanatory

Explanatory essays typically simplify a process that your target audience would typically find challenging to carry out.

  • Entertainment

Writing for entertainment requires the author to influence the readers’ emotions. 

How Long Does an Essay’s Body?

To compose a good essay, it is mandatory to have an outline that will be a guide for you throughout the composition (bestassignmentwriter, 2021). The primary body of an academic essay should always occupy the largest amount of space. You present your arguments, support them with evidence, and develop them here.

The length of the introduction should match the length of the essay. A one-paragraph introduction is typical for essays under 3000 words. In lengthier and more intricate essays, you might need to present your argument and set up the background information throughout two or three paragraphs.

Even in lengthy writings, the conclusion is frequently a single paragraph. It can cover some sections of your essay; it should succinctly and persuasively connect your key ideas.

Using Length To Indicate The Topic And Level Of Difficulty

The proposed word count helps you determine how much material and complexity you can put into the allotted area and how long your essay should be. You can even look for Essay Help Online to get a grasp on essay writing. This should serve as a roadmap for creating your thesis statement, which establishes the parameters of your entire argument and highlights the primary subject of your essay.

A concise essay should have a narrow, precise topic and a direct, unambiguous line of reasoning. Even while a longer essay may require a broader approach to the subject or a more complicated, ambitious argument, it should still be focused.

The time you will need to edit and proofread the essay will also depend on how long it is.

Can You Cut The Recommended Length Short?

Always try to write at least as long as required by your assignment.

  • Increase the number of proof and examples in each paragraph to reinforce or explain your points if you are having trouble staying within the word limit.
  • Ensure that you have completely evaluated or discussed each example, and try to elaborate on your ideas.
  • Start a new paragraph by addressing a different facet of your subject. You might need to revise your thesis statement to build a more ambitious argument.
  • Avoid using filler. Your essay will lose strength, and your thesis will become less obvious if you use extraneous language or complex sentences. If you see Best College Essay Writing Service, they don’t use filler.
  • Avoid focusing on a precise figure. For an essay of the recommended length, it is more crucial that your thesis is compelling and sufficiently developed than whether you use 50 or 100 words.

Can You Exceed The Advised Duration?

You can sometimes go 10% over the top word limit. As a result, you might write a maximum of 3300 words for a task that calls for 2500–3000 words.

However, the guidelines vary per course and organization, so always ask your instructor if you have any questions.

Only go beyond the word limit if it is required to finish your case. Lengthier essays take longer to grade, so avoid burdening your marker with extra work. If it is very difficult to cut down:

  • Make sure every paragraph contributes to your thesis, and omit any information that seems out of place or extraneous.
  • Ensure that each paragraph sticks to its topic and doesn’t veer off course.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words, and make sentences succinct and connected to the text’s main idea.
  • Don’t exclude any information essential to your argument’s reasoning. Make sure to update your transitions and fit all of your points if you decide to omit a paragraph.
  • Don’t neglect the opening or closing paragraphs. These paragraphs are essential to a successful essay; be sure to give enough room for a full introduction of your subject and a firm conclusion of your position.


“College essays” in this context refer to essays written for admissions. Essays for admission are very different from those you write for an assignment. Their main objective is often to convince the committee that you are a deserving candidate. The proper portion of the college website should have all the information regarding such essays available to the general public. However, you still have options if you need to know the word count and can’t locate it. How long should a college essay be briefly addressed below?

The typical length of a college essay is 500 words.

Tips For Length of Admissions Essays

  • Once the college’s website has loaded, search for terms like “essay questions,” “information about supplemental essays,” “application guidelines,” etc.
  • Admissions essays often range in length from 250 to 600 words because board members must read a large number of them every day.
  • Keep the length within the specified range; for example, if it states 500-550 words, the maximum length is 600.
  • If you go over the word count, your essay cannot even be read through.


Brick, J. (2011). Academic Culture: A student’s guide to studying at university. South Yarra, VIC: Macmillan Publishers.

BAW, (2021).  5 Quick Tips To Write An Essay. Online Available at <https://bestassignmentwriter.co.uk/blog/5-quick-tips-to-write-an-essay/> [Accessed on 13th December 2022]


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