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How Long Should an Essay Be?

How Long Should an Essay Be? Whether you’re a terse writer or a loquacious one, we can advise you on college essay length. In this guide, we’ll cover what the standard college essay length is, how much word limits matter, and what to do if you aren’t sure how long a specific essay should be.

Consider your words carefully when you write! If your writing isn’t clear, a professor will assume that your thinking wasn’t clear, either. That’s why it’s important for you to understand not only what to say in your essays but also how to say it.

How Long Is a College Essay?

The answer is, “it depends.” What kind of essay are you writing? How is it going to be evaluated? And what are the parameters for its length? Let’s take a look at some examples.

  • A college essay should be between 500 and 1000 words in length. That’s about the length of one full-length movie script, so it gives you an idea of how much space you have for your ideas. If you’re writing a personal statement or application essay, keep this range in mind; it will help give structure to your work and make sure that every part has its place within the whole piece.
  • Letters of recommendation also come in different lengths based on where they’re going and who they’re written by (for example: letters from professors often run longer than letters written by friends). For reference purposes only, 250-500 words can be considered appropriate lengths for these kinds of documents as well (with 250 being very short and 500 being long).

What Is the Average Essay Length?

You might have heard that the average length of an essay is 500 or 650 words. These numbers are commonly attributed to standardized tests, such as the SAT, ACT and GRE. However, these numbers are only relevant when you’re writing an exam essay for a test.

The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to how long your essay should be—the correct length depends on what type of writing it is and who you’re writing it for!

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How Long Should a College Essay Be?

The length of your college essay depends on the type of essay you’re writing and the requirements of the school. Some schools may ask for a single-spaced essay, while others will want double-spaced or even longer. It’s important that your piece be appropriate for its audience and topic, so make sure to research what’s expected from each school before you get started on your writing.

The length of an essay also depends on who you’re writing it for: if it’s a professional writer doing some freelance work, they may have specific guidelines they need followed; if they don’t specify anything in particular then perhaps they’ll be more open-minded about how long their work should be (though this still doesn’t guarantee anything).

If you have trouble determining exactly how long an essay should be then consider using one of these tools instead:

How Long Should an Introductory Paragraph Be?

Your introductory paragraph is the first opportunity you have to make a good first impression on your reader. It should be short, but it can also accomplish a lot of tasks in a small space.

Here’s what you need to include:

  • The thesis statement, which sums up the essay and states your argument or idea for the essay
  • A hook that piques your readers’ interest, like an anecdote or question
  • A transition sentence that connects this paragraph with your topic sentence (the next one) and signals that this is where things are going to get interesting

How Long Should a College Application Essay Be?

It’s important to know how long your college application essay should be because it can help you make sure that you don’t write too much or too little. If an essay is too short, it will not give the reader a good understanding of who you are and what you have done. On the other hand, if an essay is too long, then it may go on for so long that readers lose interest in reading it.

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Asking yourself “how long should my college application essay be?” is one way to keep track of how much information you’re including in each paragraph or even sentence. For example, if I ask myself “what should I include in this sentence?” then I might realize that there isn’t enough space left over after writing out everything necessary so I need another word here or there so as not to use up all my valuable real estate!

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to figuring out how long your essay should be.

When it comes to deciding how long your essay should be, you’ll want to consider a few different factors. The most important is the length of your assignment. If it’s an essay test or project, take note of the word or page limit and use that as a guide.

A good rule of thumb is that you should aim for about three paragraphs per page. Each paragraph should have between five and seven sentences in it (you don’t want too many more than this since they can get difficult for readers). Each sentence should have between 20 and 25 words (but not so many that it becomes awkward). And each line should contain around 30 characters (including spaces), which makes for an average line length of about 60-65 words total per page.

So if your assignment calls for an essay with four pages; try aiming for about 1,600-1,800 words total by using these formulas: 1) 3 x 5 = 15 paragraphs; 2) 15 x 7 = 105 sentences; 3) 105 x 20 = 2,150 words; 4) 2,150 divided by 30 lines = 65 average character count per line


Good essay writing takes time, thought, and effort. It’s not something you can do in ten minutes. If you want to write an essay that will stand out and leave a lasting impression on your reader—and maybe even get a high score in the process—then you need to think about what is going to be most effective for them.

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A good way to start thinking about length is by asking yourself some simple questions: What are my goals as an author? How much information do I need? What does my audience expect? How long am I willing or able to spend on this task?

If this is for school, then there’s probably already been some guidance given as far as how many words per page should be expected or required of each student; if it hasn’t been specified yet by your instructor then go ahead and ask! But remember that while there are standard rules of thumb (or norms) used throughout academia when considering these kinds of things, these should never supersede our own best judgment when it comes down to using them in practice so always keep those questions above at hand when deciding how long an essay should really be.

In general though, keep two things in mind when deciding how much space you want between paragraphs and how few sections there should ideally be within each one: firstly that shorter paragraphs help make reading easier for readers because they break up large blocks of text into smaller bites which makes comprehension more manageable; secondly if our goal here really is just trying not only make sure everything fits but also so they won’t scroll past very quickly either then we could also consider breaking up longer sentences with commas as well since we’ll likely have fewer words per line anyway due both factors working together thus allowing us less screen space needed overall! It doesn’t matter what kind of writing project it may seem like.

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