Definition and Examples of Formal Essays

Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In composition studies , a formal essay is a short, relatively impersonal composition in prose . Also known as an impersonal essay or a Baconian essay (after the writings of England's first major essayist , Francis Bacon ).

In contrast to the familiar or personal essay , the formal essay is typically used for the discussion of ideas. Its rhetorical purpose is generally to inform or persuade.

"The technique of the formal essay," says William Harmon, "is now practically identical with that of all factual or theoretical prose in which literary effect is secondary" ( A Handbook to Literature , 2011).

Examples and Observations

  • "' Formal' essays were introduced in England by [Francis] Bacon , who adopted Montaigne's term. Here the style is objective, compressed, aphoristic , wholly serious. . . . In modern times, the formal essay has become more diversified in subject matter, style , and length until it is better known by such names as article , dissertation, or thesis, and factual presentation rather than style or literary effect has become the basic aim." (L. H. Hornstein, G. D. Percy, and C. S. Brown, The Reader's Companion to World Literature , 2nd ed. Signet, 2002)
  • A Blurred Distinction Between Formal Essays and Informal Essays "Francis Bacon and his followers had a more impersonal, magisterial, law-giving, and didactic manner than the skeptical Montaigne. But they should not be viewed as opposites; the distinction between formal and informal essay can be overdone, and most great essayists have crossed the line frequently. The difference is one of degree. [William] Hazlitt was essentially a personal essayist , though he wrote theater and art criticism; Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin were essentially formal essayists , though they may have tried a personal essay once in a while. Personality creeps into the most impersonal of writers: it is difficult to read Bacon on friendship or having children , for instance, without suspecting he is talking about autobiographical matters. Dr. Johnson was probably more a moral essayist than a personal one, though his work has such an individual, idiosyncratic stamp that I have persuaded myself to place him in the personal camp. George Orwell seems split fifty-fifty, an essay hermaphrodite who always kept one eye on the subjective and one on the political. . . . "The Victorian era saw a turn toward the formal essay , the so-called essay of ideas written by [Thomas] Carlyle, Ruskin, [Matthew] Arnold, Macaulay, Pater. Between Lamb and Beerbohm there was scarcely an English personal essay, with the exception of those by Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas De Quincey . . . ." (Phillip Lopate, Introduction to The Art of the Personal Essay . Anchor, 1994)
  • Voice in the Impersonal Essay "[E]ven when 'I' plays no part in the language of an essay, a firm sense of personality can warm the voice of the impersonal essay narrator . When we read Dr. [Samuel] Johnson and Edmund Wilson and Lionel Trilling , for instance, we feel that we know them as fully developed characters in their own essays, regardless of their not referring personally to themselves." (Phillip Lopate, "Writing Personal Essays: On the Necessity of Turning Oneself Into a Character." Writing Creative Nonfiction , ed. by Carolyn Forché and Philip Gerard. Writer's Digest Books, 2001)
  • Crafting the Impersonal "I" "Unlike the exploratory 'self' of Montaigne, Francis Bacon's impersonal 'I' appears already to have arrived. Even in the comparatively expansive third edition of the Essays , Bacon provides few explicit hints as to either the character of the textual voice or the role of the expected reader. . . . [T]he absence of a felt 'self' on the page is a deliberate rhetorical effect: the effort to efface voice in the 'impersonal' essay is a way of evoking a distant but authoritative persona . . . . In the formal essay , invisibility must be forged." (Richard Nordquist, "Voices of the Modern Essay." University of Georgia, 1991)
  • What Are the Different Types and Characteristics of Essays?
  • What is a Familiar Essay in Composition?
  • Characteristics of a Formal Prose Style
  • The Essay: History and Definition
  • What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?
  • What Does "Persona" Mean?
  • An Introduction to Literary Nonfiction
  • A Look at the Roles Characters Play in Literature
  • What Is Tone In Writing?
  • Plain Style in Prose
  • Periodical Essay Definition and Examples
  • What Is Colloquial Style or Language?
  • Figures of Speech: The Apostrophe as a Literary Device
  • Definition and Examples of Humorous Essays


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  • How Long Should an Essay Be? Essay Length Guide & Tips
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How Long Should an Essay Be? Essay Length Guide & Tips

How long is an essay

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Have you ever wondered how long is an essay? The simplest answer is that it should be as long as specified in the requirements. However, when it comes to practice, everything isn't so easy. The length of an essay can vary greatly depending on its purpose, level of education, and specific assignment instructions.

How many pages or words do you have to write to achieve the perfect essay length? How to keep your writing clear, structured, and logical staying within the specified word limit? What is the length of different types of essays and how to achieve a perfect match of the paper content and length? Find the answer to these essential questions and discover real-life examples in this ultimate guide. If you need to write your essay and there are no instructions, StudyCrumb essay writers will guide you.

Importance of Essay Length

An essay length and word count are important because they help you achieve your goals. If you're writing a paper to impress an admissions committee, it should be long enough to give the committee the information they need. At the same time, it shouldn't be too long. Otherwise, it may seem boring or uninteresting. 

In addition to helping you achieve your goals, the length of an essay and word count can also help make sure your paper is easy to read and flows well. You also have to stay compliant with the specific writing requirements to get full credit for the paper. Staying within the word limit is one of them. You can use our free tool to count how many words your paper is to make sure you stay within limits.

What Impacts Essay Length?

So, how long your essay should be? The trick is that it depends. In general, academic papers are divided into three categories:

  • School essay
  • College essays
  • University papers.

Depending on the educational level, the length requirements will be different. In addition, there are 4 essential factors that determine the volume of an academic essay.

  • Essay type Different types of essays have different requirements regarding length and content, which are usually listed in your professor's syllabus or instructions.
  • Educational level For example, college students are generally expected to write longer papers compared to middle school essay.
  • Essay topic If your professor gives you a topic that requires research (like "How has technology impacted education?"), chances are your paper will go beyond the limits of a 1000 word essay . But if they want you to share your impressions on a movie, you can fit it into 275 words well.
  • Specific requirements your professor may have For instance, if they want a piece that's three pages, double-spaced, and includes footnotes, then those are the parameters you'll need to work within.

Essay Length Recommendations

It's important to know the length of your essay before you start writing so that you can decide on the word count for each paragraph and stay compliant with other recommendations of your professor. So, after we have discovered the main factors influencing the essay’s length, let’s find out how long should an essay be depending on the type of paper and educational level.

Average Essay Word Count and Page Count Directions

Feel free to use our converter to find out how many words fit on a page.

High School Essay

500-800 words are usually enough for a typical 5 paragraph essay in high school. This is the space you can use to fully express yourself and your ideas at a high-school level. The most important thing is that you have a clear thesis statement and a good introduction that draws the reader in. Make sure your conclusion is also solid and makes a strong point while tying everything together. If you're asked to submit a high school essay that is shorter than 500 words, it's likely that the teacher wants you to focus on a very specific part of the prompt.

>> Read more: How to Write an Essay?

College Admission Essay

The length of a college admission essay is often shorter than those written for high school. With this type of task, you have to stay within 650 words on average but it depends on the type of college you’re applying to, so make sure you check with the school directly before writing your essay (they will have recommendations on length). College admission papers can be either analytical or narrative—the length doesn’t change based on what type of essay it is.

Undergraduate College Essay

An undergraduate essay in college should be between 500-650 words, but it still depends on the paper type and topic to cover. The length of an undergraduate college essay varies depending on the type of paper being written as well as what type of school you're attending (public vs private). It also depends on whether you're writing an essay of any specific type – an argumentative piece or a narrative piece. In terms of writing style, this type of essay is more formal than what would typically be expected from a high school essay.

Graduate School Admission Essay

Graduate school admission papers should be between 500-1000 words, depending on what type of graduate program you're applying for. This essay is just the paper that matters most to the admission committee, so it's important to make sure that it's clear, concise, and well-written. The admissions committee will be looking for a strong introduction, a compelling thesis statement, and an effective conclusion. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs can be a little shorter than the body ones. To get an idea of graduate school admission essays length and logic, take a look at successful sample papers. 

>> Learn more: How to Write an Essay Fast?

Graduate School Essay

The general rule of thumb for all graduate school essays is that you should keep it under 1000 words. This is because the admissions committees are looking for a comprehensive review of your background and experiences that includes information about your academic, professional, and personal life. 500-1000 words for a graduate school essay is the academic average. Use up to four pages to fully explain your reasoning and express your ideas. Also, keep in mind that the length and content requirements are usually set by the school itself.

How Long Is Every Part of an Essay

As you know, every paper consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. But how many words should you write for each section? Keep in mind a simple yet general rule of 80/20. It means that your essay’s body should contain 80% of all your content. This is also the room for explaining your “why” and “how”, citing relevant studies, and providing argumentation. 

Now, let’s find out how to write each of the parts while keeping an average essay length and the required word count in mind. 

To ease your essay writing process, we advise preparing a draft. If you have never done it before, take a rough draft example .

Average Length of Essay Parts

How Long Should an Introduction Be for an Essay?

The introduction is the first paragraph of an essay. It serves as the opening for your essay. The introduction should provide a brief summary of the topic, point out the significance of your topic, and give a preview of what you will discuss in your paper. If you are writing a normal essay with up to 550 required words count, your introduction should take approximately 100 words. Most general essays will have one or two paragraphs in their introduction section.

>> Read more: How to Start an Essay

How Long Should an Essay Body Paragraph Be?

An average length of a body paragraph is up to 150 words. It means that each you should take up four to six text lines (Times New Roman 12). Build up your body paragraphs in the next way to achieve the right lengths, keep your flow logical, and follow a word limit within an essay. Around 5-7 sentences are usually enough for a short essay paragraph, so:

  • Write a topic sentence to every paragraph.
  • Present a research-supported statement.
  • Offer your argumentation.
  • End with a transition phrase.

>> Learn more: How to Write a Good Body Paragraph

Deciding on the Number of Body Paragraphs in an Essay

So, how many paragraphs should you write to create a full-length essay that’s also compliant with your professor’s requirements? The answer is simple: You should write as many body paragraphs as it takes to get your point across. That means that if you have a lot of information to share, then you might want to add more paragraphs. If you don’t have much information, then you can keep the number low. Below is the average number of paragraphs (including into and outro) depending on the word count:

  • 275 words - 3 paragraphs
  • 550-words - 4-5 paragraphs
  • 1100 words - 6-8 paragraphs.

How Long Is an Essay Conclusion Supposed to Be?

As you know, a conclusion in an essay is its final part and it should never be longer than your paper’s body. Generally, it is necessary to write one paragraph for simpler and typical essays and two paragraphs for longer papers.

But the important thing is not to overdo it. If your conclusion is too long, the professor is likely to lower your grade — just because you failed to follow the academic writing standards (even if there are no complaints about your outro content). That’s why on average, a conclusion of an essay should be up to 100 words long.

Tips to Achieve the Required Length

So, at this point,  you know how long general essays should be and how many words in an essay are depending on its type. Now, let’s deal with the most challenging task and find out what you can do to make your essay longer or shorter, improving its quality along the way.

Making Your Essay Longer

Use the next 5 tips to transform a short essay into a longer one.

  • Add examples. You can use your own experiences. Use examples from other people or books that relate to the topic.
  • Add facts, statistics, and citations. Adding these kinds of details will help prove how well-informed you are on this topic and help back up some of your claims.
  • Use transitions but don't overdo them. They're useful for helping readers follow along with your paper. But too many transitions may sound just like an attempt to extend the paper’s volume.
  • Double-check your argumentation. Providing a clear argumentation is difficult. That's why you have to double-check your reasoning and make sure you hadn't combined two different arguments in a single paragraph. To fix such a mistake, add one more section to your paper’s body for each of the arguments you have. Such a simple tip will make your writing clearer too.
  • Read sample papers on the topic to grab more ideas. Chances are you've missed some important points. The papers of other students will help you fill the gaps and reasonably extend the word count.

Making Your Essay Shorter

Some students tend to write significantly more than an average essay word count. It may sound paradoxical but writing longer essays is easier than short ones. In the latter case, you should be as concise as possible. Here is how to make your essay shorter without losing the main ideas and disrupting the flow.

  • Remove irrelevant examples. You don't need to give several detailed examples for every point you make. Look at your thesis and ask yourself if every example supports that thesis. If not, cut it.
  • Make your paragraphs 4-sentences long. In this way, you will achieve a shorter essay volume and improve clarity at once.
  • Remove repetition. If something has already been said in the paragraph before, but it doesn't fit in the current context, get rid of it.
  • Make your introduction and conclusion shorter. An introduction is supposed to be interesting enough that readers want to keep reading. A conclusion is supposed to summarize everything you said. Don't reinvent the wheel in these sections.
  • Use a readability check tool. Transforming long and difficult-to-read sentences into shorter and clearer ones. It is one more way to make a long essay fit into the provided requirements.

Mistakes to Avoid When Adjusting the Length of an Essay

When adjusting the length of a paper, there are a few mistakes to avoid.

  • Adding unnecessary details. It's easy to think that you need to add more information when trying to make your piece longer. In reality, this is often not the case. Try balancing your explanations and keep them to the point in every sentence.
  • Cutting the necessary details. If you have too much information and need to cut it down, do so carefully. For example, if you have several suitable citations to include, use the most relevant or the most recent one instead of adding them all.
  • Writing “one more paragraph” for the sake of volume. This is a mistake because you can end up with a poorly-argued and too-watery piece.
  • Missing essential research. Missing essential research can be a big mistake because then you won't have enough information to write actually on the topic. In this case, your paper is likely to be too short.
  • Adding irrelevant citations. Irrelevant citations make your paper look like it was written by someone who doesn't know what they're talking about. They also make your essay look less credible than it truly is.

How Long Should an Essay Be Depending on Format?

So, how long are essays and how many pages should you write, depending on the formatting style you are required to follow? The trick is that different formatting styles may require you to use different fonts, sizes, and spacing. For example, if you write in MLA, you have to use Times New Roman 12, while APA usually requires you to use Arial 11. Both styles imply using double spacing. Now, let's discover how spacing and font size affect the paper’s length.

  • 275 words (Times New Roman 12, double-space) – 1 page
  • 550 words (Times New Roman 12, double-space) – 2 pages
  • 1100 words (Times New Roman 12, double-space) – 4 pages
  • 275 words (Arial 11,  double-space) – 1 page
  • 550 words (Arial 11, double-space) – 2 pages
  • 1100 words (Arial 11, double-space) – 4 pages

If your professor specifically required to use single spacing, it will take two times less space than when using double spacing.

Font and Size

Using the right font and size is important for getting the full grade for your paper and staying compliant with the professor's requirements. Agree, it will be disappointing to get a lower grade just because you've used another font that your professor asked you to use. Fortunately, the requirements for font and size aren't too diverse or complicated. So, here is a list of commonly used fonts and sizes for MLA, APA, and Chicago formatting styles.

APA style format :

  • Font: Times New Roman or Arial

MLA format essay :

  • Font: Times New Roman

Chicago format :

What to Do if There Are No Essay Length Requirements?

If you're writing an essay and there are no essay length requirements, don't panic! There are still some guidelines you can follow to make sure your essay has the right length.

  • Be guided by general academic writing rules. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to keep your papers between 500 and 1,000 words. If you're writing an essay for school or university, it should also be double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Consider paper type. Get back to the chart with essay types and recommended length we've provided above. Use this volume as a starting point.
  • Suggest the right volume depending on the topic. Some topics require several pages to be fully researched and explained. Others require stating your personal opinion that may fit well in two-three paragraphs.
  • Ask your professor. As for the simplest but still right solution, ask your professor for help determining what length would be best for your essay. If they give you some guidelines but don't specify exactly how long an essay paragraph or sentence should be, then follow those guidelines instead of worrying about word counts or page numbers.
  • Take a look at sample papers on similar topics. See how those students organized their thoughts into paragraphs and sections. You might even consider using their format as a starting point for your own piece.

Using Length to Determine an Essay Scope

It may seem that the length of your paper is just a formal requirement. In practice, it is a framework that helps you organize your essay sections. If you're writing a short essay, it's likely that you have a narrow focus and are only looking at part of the issue in question.

For example, if you are required to write a 550-words paper, you can immediately understand that you have to write an intro and conclusion (100 words each). Then, share the remained 450 words between three-four body paragraphs (100-150 words each). 

Next, everything becomes even easier. Outline the core ideas for each of the paragraphs. Support them with studies and citations and add your vision.

Bottom Line on How Long Is an Essay

So, now we have covered everything that matters for determining the right essay length and writing a full-credit paper following the requirements. In most cases, your professor will kindly provide you with a precise number of words you have to write. Otherwise, be guided by general academic writing rules for an essay type you are about to create. And keep the rule of thumb in mind. 

Regardless of your paper volume, it should be well-researched, clear, logical, structured, and reasoned.


If you don't feel like sticking to instructions, we will always help you. Our professional college essay writers will write excellent work of any length. Just fill out an order on our website and get your essay done quickly.

FAQ About Essay Length

1. how long is an essay in middle school.

A middle-school essay is usually up to 550 words. An essay in middle school is typically short because the students are learning how to write, and they're not yet comfortable with long-form writing. These papers are typically short because they're meant to answer one question or dwell on a single subject being studied.

2. How long is an essay in sentences?

The length of an essay in sentences depends on the type of essay and the amount of information you have to cover. A 550-word typical essay usually consists of 15 sentences, given that the length of each sentence is approximately the same. However, if you are used to writing longer or shorter sentences, their total number may vary. So, the best tactic is to write sentences without clauses to keep them clear and understandable.

3. How long should a short essay be?

A short essay should be no longer than 550 words. The point of a short essay is to convey an idea in a precise and focused way, so it's important that you don't waste any words on unnecessary details. The best way to match the necessary word count is to write an outline before writing a final draft. In this way, you will know how much space each section will take up, at least approximately.

4. How many pages are in an essay?

The answer to this question depends on the topic, scope, and depth of your essay. In general, an essay of 2-3 pages is considered short; 4-6 pages is average; 7-10 pages is long. The amount of pages also depends on the spacing you are required to use. Using double-space between paragraph extends the page count twice.

5. How many words are in an essay?

There's no one answer to the question of how many words are in an essay. It depends on the type of essay you're writing and the formatting style you use, as well as your professor’s requirements. A standard word count for college essays is between 550-1100 words. However, some professors may request that you write more or less than this amount.

6. Can I go over the expected essay length?

The more compliant you are with the professor’s requirements, the more chances of getting full credit you have. So, don’t go over the expected length. Still, you can write up to 50-100 words more if the point you would like to add really matters for your reasoning.


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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5-Paragraph Essay


Extended Essay: Formal vs. Informal Writing

  • Extended Essay- The Basics
  • Step 1. Choose a Subject
  • Step 2. Educate yourself!
  • Using Brainstorming and Mind Maps
  • Identify Keywords
  • Do Background Reading
  • Define Your Topic
  • Conduct Research in a Specific Discipline
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  • Step 6. Create a Timeline
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  • Chicago Citation Syle
  • MLA Works Cited & In-Text Citations
  • Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay
  • Evaluate & Select: the CRAAP Test
  • Conducting Secondary Research
  • Conducting Primary Research
  • Formal vs. Informal Writing
  • Presentation Requirements
  • Evaluating Your Work

Differences Between Informal and Formal Essays

When writing your extended essay you should use language that is formal and academic in tone.  The chart below gives you some idea of the differences between informal and formal essays. See the box below for examples of the differences in tone in informal and formal essays written on identical topics. A PDF of this chart, and the examples below, is in the box to the right , along with a list of tips for avoiding colloquial writing.

Examples of Informal and Formal Tone in Essay Writing

The following examples highlight the differences between formal and informal tone.

Language B - English

  • Formal vs. Informal Writing A chart giving the differences between informal and formal essays in seven areas (author's viewpoint; subject/content (sources of evidence); tone; structure; location of the research question; vocabulary; and purpose. Also included are examples comparing informal and formal writing for essays in English, biology, and psychology.
  • How to Avoid Colloquial (Informal) Writing While it may be acceptable in friendly e-mails and chat rooms, excessive colloquialism is a major pitfall that lowers the quality of formal written text. Here are some steps/tips that you can follow to help improve your overall writing.
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Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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How Long Should An Essay Be? 6 Different Essay Lengths

Ritik Sharma

  • December 20, 2023

The length of an essay can vary greatly depending on the type of essay being written and the purpose for which it is being written. While there is no strict rule on how long an essay should be, some general guidelines can help you determine the appropriate length for your essay. In this article, we will discuss 6 different essay lengths and provide tips on how to write a strong essay at each length.

What is an Academic Essay?

Before we dive into the different lengths of essays, it’s important to understand what an academic essay is. An academic essay is a piece of writing that presents and defends an argument or point of view on a specific topic. It is commonly used in higher education as a way for students to demonstrate their understanding and critical thinking skills.

An academic essay should be well-researched, well-structured, and well-written. It should also follow a specific formatting style, such as MLA or APA, and include citations and a bibliography. The length of an academic essay can vary depending on the type and purpose of the essay.

6 Different Essay Lengths

1. the one-paragraph essay.

The one-paragraph essay, typically 150 to 250 words, acts as a learning exercise for students to grasp the basics of paragraph writing.

Academic tutors may assign it for various purposes, such as summarizing an article or giving an extended concept definition.

Furthermore, one-paragraph essays can be a diagnostic tool to evaluate a student’s writing proficiency.

This type of essay incorporates introductory, body, and concluding elements within a single paragraph.

2. The Three-Paragraph Essay

The three-paragraph essay is commonly used to introduce students to essay structure. It typically consists of around 500 words.

The essay includes an introduction, body section, and conclusion. The purpose is to teach students how to write cohesively and logically.

The introduction and conclusion, which are usually shorter, serve as the first and last paragraphs of the essay.

The central body paragraph contains the content or argument of the essay.

3. The Five-Paragraph Essay

Tutors often assign a five-paragraph essay to assess students’ grasp of essay structure.

The body section benefits from the added flexibility to expand ideas, typically spanning approximately 1,000 words.

This type of essay dedicates one paragraph each to the introduction and conclusion while allotting three paragraphs to explore the essay’s theme.

This length allows essay types like cause-and-effect or compare-and-contrast essays to be effectively utilized.

A simple diagram can illustrate the allocation of paragraph lengths in a five-paragraph essay.

4. The Extended Essay

The extended essay is commonly assigned for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

It can vary in length but typically does not exceed 5,000 words.

Common word lengths for an extended essay are 1,500, 3,000, and 5,000 words, with a 10% allowance.

These essays require research and referencing skills and may follow more complex structures like dissertations and theses.

They are not limited to the traditional introduction-body-conclusion structure of shorter essays.

5. The Dissertation

Dissertations are usually assigned as the final project for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

The typical length of an academic dissertation is around 10,000 to 15,000 words.

Unlike shorter essay types, dissertations have more complex structures.

Dissertations are almost always based on primary research, which means conducting original research.

Dissertations require the author to conduct research rather than rely solely on existing sources.

6. The Thesis

The thesis is the longest type of academic essay, typically written by doctoral students studying for a PhD.

It is considerably longer, ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 words, compared to other types of essays.

While similar to a dissertation, a thesis delves into greater detail and involves more extensive research.

These are typically based on primary research, emphasizing the accuracy of the literature review, data collection, and data analysis.

Not all students will come across this essay type during their academic journey.

However, it requires an immense amount of time and dedication to complete.

In addition to these types, essays are classified into 5 other types: High School Essays, College Admission Essays, Undergraduate College Essays, Graduate School Admission Essays, and Graduate School Essays.

Let’s have a look at the table below to understand the suggested lengths for these essays:

The length of an essay can vary depending on the type and level of education. Knowing the lengths of essays can help students effectively plan and manage their assignments. However, it’s important to remember that the length should not be the sole focus when writing an essay.

It’s equally important to focus on the quality of content and meeting the assignment’s requirements. A well-crafted essay with cohesive arguments and supported evidence is more valuable than simply meeting a specific word count. Students should prioritize developing their writing skills to effectively convey their ideas and arguments rather than solely focusing on meeting a certain length requirement.

1. How long should an essay be?

The length of an essay can vary depending on the type and level of education, ranging from 250 words for a short essay to 60,000 words for a thesis.

2. Can I exceed the recommended length for an essay?

It is generally not recommended to significantly exceed the recommended length for an essay as it may indicate a lack of conciseness and focus. However, ensuring that all necessary points and arguments are adequately addressed within the essay is important.

3. How long should each paragraph be in an essay?

The length of each paragraph can vary depending on the content and purpose of the essay. Generally, paragraphs should be at least three sentences long and focus on one main point or idea. It’s important to balance too short and too long paragraphs for cohesion and clarity in the essay.

4. How do you increase or decrease the length of an essay?

To increase the length of an essay, students can expand on their arguments and provide more evidence to support their points. They can also include additional examples, quotes, or analysis to add depth to their ideas. Students can eliminate unnecessary details or repetitions to decrease the length and ensure concise writing by avoiding filler words and phrases. However, it’s important not to compromise the quality and coherence of the essay in the process.

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Formal Essays

how long is formal essay

Within the activities that you have to deal with in your entire life, there are certain instances where you will be required to write an essay . This is the reason why you have to be knowledgeable on how to construct different kinds of essays so you can easily create a particular one when necessary. One type of essay that is usually asked by entities to be written is a formal essay. A formal essay is commonly associated with academic essay examples  and other educational writing activities. However, the usage of a formal essay is not limited to that as it can be used in professional researchers, business transactions, and other corporate undertakings.

It is essential for a formal essay to inform its audience about a particular matter. More so, it should be composed of details that can persuade the readers to believe what the writer is saying. Refer to the downloadable samples of formal essays that are available in this post so you can have references and guides if you have been tasked to create this specific essay and is unaware of what to do.

Formal Student Profile Essay Sample


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Formal Essay Sample Guide


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Components of a Formal Essay Introduction

Compared to how a  descriptive essay  can be deemed appealing, one of the things that you always have to give focus on when creating a formal essay is the introduction that you will use. First impressions play a vital role in how your target readers will create their perception of your writing. Just as how the physical appearance of people tend to be the factor that can affect your first impression about them, the introduction of your essay can also be the means on how your formal essay can be perceived and initially judged.

You need to create a formal essay introduction that is outstanding. It needs to get the attention of your readers in a way that is not overwhelming. You need to consider different factors when doing your introduction so you can ensure that your formal essay can have a good start. Here are some of the components of a formal essay introduction that you need to be aware of:

  • Statistics or research results either coming from the government or reliable non-profit organizations
  • Hard hitting questions that are relevant to your topic discussion
  • Famous quotations from people whose life works are related to what you will be talking about
  • Use another sentence to provide information about your topic.  Your readers need to have a basic background information about what they can expect with regards the content of your formal essay. This should contain details that can be helpful in providing your readers an idea of why it is relevant for them to continue reading your written output. One sentence is enough as your presentation only requires a few words to be done. Again, focus on the main information that you would like to talk about so that your readers will not be misled regarding the content of your formal essay.
  • Lastly, incorporate your thesis statement in your introduction. It will be best if you will end your introduction with a thesis statement. This is for the reason that it can represent the main idea of your essay. If you will be able to present the major purpose of your essay and the actual point of discussion, then it will be easier for you to connect with your readers. The initial impact that your introduction can provide can say a lot about how you can direct the attention of your prospective audience. With a strong thesis statement, your formal essay is sure to be off to a good start.

Simple Formal Essay Sample


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Formal Presentation Essay Sample


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How to Create a Formal Essay

Since a formal essay should always be based on factual information, it tends to be more objective, precise and direct to the point compared to other essays. With this, formatting a formal essay requires in-depth knowledge about the topic as well as about the proper format or content flow that should be used to cohesively put together important information. Here is how you can easily format the information that you would like to present in a formal essay may it be a  college essay  or a professional/corporate requirement:

  • Create an introduction which can provide the topic of your discussion. We have already given you an idea on how you can formulate an effective introduction. It all boils down to how you will incorporate these ideas to your actual writing. Your introduction may not give a lot of details when compared to the body of you essay but it certainly can convince your readers to continue reading which can make your work more usable and relevant.
  • Each paragraph should contain a subtopic that is related to your discussion. This can make your discussion more organized.
  • Ensure that your body will have factual details that can support your topic or subject. You have to make sure that the information that you will give to your readers are real so your essay will be deemed credible.
  • Always create a body that conveys ideas related to the thesis statement that you have created. With each topic statement, the connection of both your resources and relevant opinions should be evident.
  • Make a conclusion that can summarize the entire essay.  If you want to create an efficient essay conclusion, it is suggested for you to restate your thesis statement. This can remind your readers of the discussion that you just had in your essay’s body. Also, it will allow them to connect the purpose of the essay to what you have actually come up with. Your conclusion should also summarize all your main points so you can fully present your stand with regards the subject that you talked about.

Creating the format of your formal essay is easy. However, you have to make sure that your objective for writing the essay is realized. Think of the things that you need to discuss so you can put them in their proper places. Organization within the writing procedures can help you to be more focused on what to discuss first and what to give importance and focus on.

Sample Formal Essay Structure


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Formal Essay Example


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How to Make Your Formal Essay Outstanding Through Proper Language Selection

Writing an essay is not just about its thought, content, and format. Aside from these major factors of essay writing, you also have to be keen when selecting the language to use. May it be in the educational and professional field, using the appropriate language when writing your formal essay can affect the entirety of the document.

You need to make sure that the language that you will use is formal and business-like. This is not only used for writing a formal essay as it can also apply to comparative essay  creation and other writing activities. The language that you will incorporate into your essay can make your formal essay stand out if you will be aware of these items:

  • Choose to use words that are formal in nature. Formal vocabulary can help your sentences, phrases, and paragraphs to be structured in a way that it will look more fitting as an academic document.
  • As much as possible, veer away from using a first person standpoint. Always be reminded that your main task is to highlight and support your thesis statement. Both nouns and pronouns that are in the first person can actually make your essay less credible as it will sound like what you are stating are baseless or just your own opinion.
  • Use words that can formally support your statements. It is essential for your language to have a precise interpretation of your essay and its tone. Being able to do this can help your formal essay to be more put together
  • Use a language that is relevant to the needs of your target readers. Avoid slang, jargon, and colloquial terms which may not possibly be understood by your readers. You need to create a proper connection with your readers which is the reason why your language is very important to be considered.

Readers, though interested in the topic that you are writing about, can be offended or feel disinterested if they will find that your language is not appropriate for a particular discussion or written transaction. Hence, you need to be responsible enough as a writer when it comes to choosing your language.

Sample Formal Essay Format


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Extended Formal Essay Guide


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Guidelines in Writing a Formal Essay

Just like any other kinds of essays, there are no strict rules that are irreplaceable. The way that you create a formal essay will always vary from situation to situation. Within the entirety of your formal essay writing, it is for sure that you might commit  common essay mistakes . Listed below are some of the guidelines that you may incorporate into your writing so that your formal essay can look as professional as possible:

  • Do not use redundant phrases. Repeating topics or content theme can make your formal essay boring. Repetitive statements can also irritate or bore your readers.
  • Use samples of formal essays as your writing guides. If you have no idea on how to create a formal essay, it will be easier for you to create one if you are guided by downloadable samples. Having a reference when doing your own formal essay can help you become more efficient in the entire writing process.
  • If samples are not enough to guide you, have the freedom to use templates. There are some templates that already contain a formal essay content. Make sure that you will remove these as all you need from the template is the guideline on how to format the document. More so, refer to the instructions that are given to you so you can incorporate it in the format that you will use.

Formal Essay Rubric Sample


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Formal Literary Essay Sample


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A standardized and comprehensive formal essay is very appealing to readers. Hence, always be consistent with your discussion and the presentation flow that you will follow. Your formal essay can represent your style as a writer which is the main reason why you always have to incorporate credible language, forms, and materials in your writing. Being able to immerse yourself in writing a formal essay in the most effective manner can help you grow as a writer. This will enable you to acquire new skills and develop new opportunities for academic or professional growth.

If you are already prepared to write a formal essay, make use of our samples as well as the tips that we have provided in this post. Review your formal essay before submitting it so you can correct grammatical errors and other mistakes. Writing a formal essay should not be a burden to you. Enjoy the process and learn from everything that you will go through. Once you already get the gist of writing this type of essay, it will be very easy for you to repeat the process for your next writing activities.


Formal Essay Generator

Text prompt

  • Instructive
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Write a Formal Essay on the significance of Shakespeare's works in modern literature.

Discuss the ethical implications of genetic engineering in a Formal Essay.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA General Format 

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. 

Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers. 

If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the  MLA Handbook  (9th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult the  MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing  (3rd edition). The  MLA Handbook  is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this page for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA Style.

Paper Format

The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the  MLA Style Manual . Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in  MLA Style :

General Guidelines

  • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the “Tab” key as opposed to pushing the space bar five times.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
  • Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
  • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).

Formatting the First Page of Your Paper

  • Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested or the paper is assigned as a group project. In the case of a group project, list all names of the contributors, giving each name its own line in the header, followed by the remaining MLA header requirements as described below. Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor.
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
  • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks. Write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
  • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text. For example:  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
  • Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
  • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit the last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:

This image shows the first page of an MLA paper.

The First Page of an MLA Paper

Section Headings

Writers sometimes use section headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.

MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.

MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences). Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document.

If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections), you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor.

Sample Section Headings

The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.

Formatted, unnumbered:

Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left

Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left

Level 3 Heading: centered, bold

Level 4 Heading: centered, italics

Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left

Grammar Check

How Long Should a Paragraph Be?

Have you ever wondered how long your paragraphs should be? Or whether you’re including too many or too few sentences in each one? In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ideal paragraph length and provide some tips for keeping your paragraphs concise and readable.

Table of Contents

Paragraph Basics

How long should a paragraph be

Paragraphs, and the sentences that shape them, are perhaps the most important way to give writing direction.

  • Every paragraph needs to have a main point, idea, or focus.

This applies to both academic writing and non-fiction alike. While fiction will traditionally use paragraphs to direct the reader, develop characters and themes, and move the story along, non-fiction writing uses paragraphs in the same manner.

Non-fiction, on the other hand, does not always need to develop characters or themes, but simply conveys information.

In both cases, the use of paragraphs results from the same need:

  • Divide works of writing into separate
  • Isolated ideas
  • Allow the reader to better understand when a point is being made
  • Understand when the author moves on to a new point or idea.

Paragraph Length 101

During schooling, children are often taught that a paragraph should contain a certain amount of sentences. It is a basic part of prewriting to determine how long your paragraphs are going to be!

  • Most often, three to six sentences are regarded as good paragraphs in a classroom setting.

This may be beneficial to help students identify when a new idea comes into play, and thus a new paragraph, but in reality, there are no concrete amount of words or sentences that make a paragraph correct.

Takeaway : The only real rule of thumb is that once an idea has been explained sufficiently a new paragraph can be applied, and is appropriate.

How Many Words?

The lengths of paragraphs will vary depending on the author’s style, the type of writing, the topic, and the audience.

For example , if you’re writing an academic paper, you’ll generally want to use longer paragraphs with more complex information. On the other hand, if you’re writing a blog post or something for a general audience, shorter paragraphs are usually easier to read.

  • As a general rule of thumb, paragraphs usually fall somewhere in the 100-200 words in a paragraph.

Short paragraphs are easier to digest for the reader. Long paragraphs can distract from the overall message of the writing. But ultimately, it’s up to the writer to decide what length works best for their purposes.

How Long Should A Paragraph Be In High School?

To get even more specific, let’s discuss how long paragraphs should be for high school students. Does high school writing have different rules?

The answer is no! Students should follow the same writing conventions as everyone else. Keep your paragraphs in the range of 3-5 sentences. Ensure each paragraph is topically relevant and as concise as possible! Your teacher will likely give you a bad mark if your paragraphs run on and on!

What Makes A Good Paragraph?

Paragraph length

Expanding on ideas from the previous paragraph is very common, and often helpful to the reader, but it is important to make sure that any expansion of information is new content.

That is the fundamental basis of what constitutes a good, proper paragraph – an idea, point, etc. that is developed and explained. Once this has been accomplished a new paragraph, perhaps an expansion of previous content, is appropriate.

  • Maintaining a central focus is the most important thing to consider when writing paragraphs – as word count can vary widely from one to another.

Many well wrote paragraphs often only contain a single, detailed sentence. Another paragraph may take over a dozen. The complexity of the point usually determines the length of a paragraph, and as well how much detail is spent on explaining the complexities.

A good paragraph consists of the following:

  • Topic sentence
  • Several supporting sentences
  • Concluding sentence
  • Paragraph breaks

Essentially, the important thing to consider when organizing a piece of writing is what points are going to be made, and how to divide them into a format that is easy to read and understand. Take the time to think lay out your thoughts and follow proper prewriting techniques to outline your paragraphs.

  • A proper paragraph is made from an idea, or point, that is developed until a new idea or point needs to be made.

Isolating these ideas into paragraphs makes the work of writing easier for both the author to organize thoughts, as well as making the text and ideas within, easier to understand from a reader’s perspective.

Writing Introduction Paragraphs

Introductions can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to give your reader a sense of what your paper is about. On the other hand, you don’t want to give too much away.

Here are a few tips:

  • Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention from the very first sentence. One way to do this is to start with a surprising statistic or fact.
  • Don’t waste time beating around the bush. In your introduction, make sure to answer the question “What is this paper about?” in as clear and concise a manner as possible.
  • Once you’ve gotten the attention of your reader and told them what your paper is about, it’s time to provide some context. Give your reader a brief overview of the history or background of your topic. This will help them understand your argument and follow your line of reasoning.
  • The thesis statement is the most important part of your paper. It should be clear and concise, and it should state the main argument of your paper.
  • An introduction paragraph should be about 50-80 words long.

Writing Concluding Paragraphs

So you’ve made it to the end of your formal essay . Congrats! The concluding paragraph is your last chance to make an impression on your reader. Here are a few tips to help you write a strong conclusion:

  • This will help to remind your reader of what your paper was about and leave them with a fresh perspective.
  • This will help to remind your reader of what they have read and give them a sense of closure.
  • Pose a question, offer a new perspective, or challenge your reader to take action. Whatever you do, make sure that your conclusion is engaging and leaves a lasting impression.
  • Conclusion paragraph length should be about 60-80 words

FAQs – Paragraphs

There is no hard and fast rule for how long a paragraph should be. However, most teachers typically recommend three to six sentences per paragraph . The reason for this is that shorter paragraphs are easier for readers to digest. They can also help to break up longer sections of text and make them more manageable.

The average paragraph is around 200 words . This can vary depending on the type of writing you’re doing. For example, if you’re writing a paper for school, your teacher may have a specific word count in mind. In general, though, a paragraph should be about five to seven sentences long.

A reasonable range would be around 450-500 words , but it really depends on the context and what you’re trying to accomplish.

A paragraph is typically 3 to 8 sentences long , but it can be shorter or longer depending on the context. In general, a paragraph should be long enough to develop one point thoroughly, but not so long that the reader loses focus or becomes bored.

Normally, a paragraph is one to three sentences long. However, there’s no real limit to how long or short a paragraph can be. You could have a one-word paragraph or a ten-page paragraph if you wanted. It all depends on what the writer wants to do with the text.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Everything you ever wanted to know about paragraphs and then some. By following the simple tips outlined above, you can improve your writing skills by leaps and bounds. Be sure to proofread and use our Essay Checker to making avoid silly mistakes!

The best part is that these guidelines work for any type of writing, whether it’s an academic paper, a business proposal, or even a blog post like this one. Paragraphs are an essential part of good communication, so make sure to use them wisely.


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  1. How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay

    Essay length guidelines. Type of essay. Average word count range. Essay content. High school essay. 300-1000 words. In high school you are often asked to write a 5-paragraph essay, composed of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. College admission essay. 200-650 words.

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    Title. Write your name, the instructor's name, your class, and the date in the upper left corner of the 1st page. Make the title centered and place it after the heading information in the same font as the rest of your paper. Create a separate title page. Make your title centered and written in boldface.

  3. Definition and Examples of Formal Essays

    Examples and Observations "'Formal' essays were introduced in England by [Francis] Bacon, who adopted Montaigne's term.Here the style is objective, compressed, aphoristic, wholly serious. . . .In modern times, the formal essay has become more diversified in subject matter, style, and length until it is better known by such names as article, dissertation, or thesis, and factual presentation ...

  4. How To Write A Formal Essay [BONUS: Formal Essay Format Tips]

    When it comes to writing a formal essay, there are a few rules you should always follow. No first-person point of view. This means no using "I" or "we.". No first-person pronouns. Should primarily be in passive voice. Contractions are also a no-no. This means no "don't," "can't," or anything else along those lines.

  5. How Long Is an Essay? The Ultimate Essay Length Guide

    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.

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  11. How to Write an Essay Outline

    How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield.Revised on July 23, 2023. An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

  12. Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated for 2021)

    A scholarship essay should be tailored to the specific fund you are applying for, and it is best to avoid a generalized essay. The main components of the scholarship essay format are similar to those in a standard college essay: 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial) First line indent. Double-spacing. 1-inch margins.

  13. How Long Should An Essay Be? 6 Different Essay Lengths

    Typically 500 to 1,000 words, often used for class assignments. Long Essay. Usually between 1,500 to 2,500 words, requires more in-depth analysis and research than a short essay. Extended Essay. Around 4,000 words, commonly used by high school students as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

  14. Formal Essays

    Here are some of the components of a formal essay introduction that you need to be aware of: Most formal essay introductions start with hook sentence/s. One to two paragraphs is/are enough to provide a strong impact. Your hook sentence/s should contain interesting statement examples that can ignite the curiosity of your expected readers.

  15. On Paragraphs

    You can have one idea and several bits of supporting evidence within a single paragraph. You can also have several points in a single paragraph as long as they relate to the overall topic of the paragraph. If the single points start to get long, then perhaps elaborating on each of them and placing them in their own paragraphs is the route to go.

  16. Example of a Great Essay

    Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks. Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes. This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction, focused paragraphs, clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion.

  17. Outline Formats: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

    A. Introduction. 1. briefly mention background of social media. a. specific examples like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. 2. explain how social media is a major part of modern people's lives. 3. end with a teaser about whether or not social media is actually good. B. The advantages of social media.

  18. General Format

    Essays. MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name. ... You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document. Numbered: 1. Soil Conservation. 1.1 Erosion. 1. ...

  19. How to Write a Report: A Guide to Report Formats with Examples

    1 Choose a topic based on the assignment. Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that's the case, you can ignore this step and move on.

  20. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  21. How Long Should A Paragraph Be? [Paragraph Length 101]

    The average paragraph is around 200 words. This can vary depending on the type of writing you're doing. For example, if you're writing a paper for school, your teacher may have a specific word count in mind. In general, though, a paragraph should be about five to seven sentences long.