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8th Grade Essay: Examples, Topics, & Writing Tips
If you find yourself on this page, you are probably going to another level of your education – the final year of Middle school!
Isn’t it exciting?
One of the most common assignments in the 8th grade is an essay. Indeed, it gains new features. An eighth-grade essay is not the same as the sixth or seventh-grade one. It has more requirements and needs a deeper level of analysis.
How to write an 8th-grade essay? How many paragraphs should it contain? What is a standard 8th-grade essay format? On this page, you’ll find the answers to these and other questions that might arise. We’ve prepared creative 8th-grade essay topics, examples, and tips to write an A+ informative, narrative, or persuasive essay.
- 🧩 8th Grade Essay 101
- 📑 8th-Grade Essay Types
- 💾 Topics for the 8 th -Graders
🍎 8th Grade Essay Examples
🧩 8th-grade essay format explained.
Once again: the 8th-grade essay format is a bit different from that of the previous years.
Below, we thoroughly explain how long an 8th-grade essay should be and how to write it. We guarantee you’ll have no questions about the format and assessment of this type of work.
What Is the 8 th Grade Essay Format?
In this section, you’ll know which parts comprise any 8th-grade essay.
The first thing to remember: you’ve got onto an entirely new level. So, your writing isn’t as simple and short as it used to be in the previous school years.
Let’s start with the structure. The fundamental parts are the same as in any type of essay:
8th Grade Essay: How to Write & Typical Mistakes
With the help of this section, you’ll get to know the most straightforward and helpful tips for 8th-grade essay writing.
These are the things that any 8th grader should know!
8 th Grade Essay Do’s
- Look for reliable sources to find arguments and evidence.
- Try to arouse eagerness for writing: it surely will ease the whole process for you.
- Choose the topic that is interesting for you if you have such an option.
- Use academic language, special terms, consistent phrases, and correct grammar.
- Use good quotations from reputable sources to solidify your ideas.
8 th Grade Essay Don’ts
- Don’t write dully: an essay is a story. It should be exciting and consistent.
- Don’t make all your examples too similar: diversity is of the essence.
- Don’t let your text look like an unreadable pile of words: use graphic tools to highlight the most critical points.
- Don’t use unreliable sources and websites for citation.
- Don’t be afraid of honest self-expression. Your identity and thoughts are what make your 8th-grade essay unique.
- Don’t forget to revise your text after you’ve finished writing it.
8th Grade Essay Rubric
Meet the assessment strategies for 8th-grade writing. Here you’ll also find some prompts that improve your essay and lead you to a higher score.
So, the assessment pattern of a written piece comprises several main points. These are the things that assessors pay attention to:
📑 Eighth Grade Essay Types
We suppose that you come across different types of assignments during middle school. Among them, there indeed were descriptive and narrative essays.
However, now you are to face other exciting formats of writing. In the section below, you’ll get to know a few new types.
8th Grade Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing where you make a claim and prove your point of view with solid arguments. Your aim at this point is to make readers nod in contempt while reading and share your opinion.
The structure may be pretty familiar to you:
In your argumentative essay, you should back up your opinion with some exact data: statistics, figures, research studies, and polls.
To solidify your claim, you can use three types of arguments:
- Aristotelian . The classical way – you make a statement and try to persuade the audience that it is the one that is fair and right.
- Rogerian . First, you display an issue, then present the opposing view. After that, reveal your own opinion and start convincing readers why they should take up your point.
- Toulmin . Present your thesis statement, then provide the audience with the grounds to support it. The final touch is to connect these parts.
PRO TIP: Explain why you disagree with the opposing point of view on your issue.
8th Grade Persuasive Essay
A persuasive essay is very similar to argumentative writing. There you have to pick up a mainly burning issue and establish a firm opinion towards it. The primary goal is the same as in the argumentative essay: to make your readers believe you.
Remember the three essentials of persuasive writing:
- Logos appeals to logic, which is apparent. Deliver your thoughts cohesively and reasonably.
- Ethos is about persuading the readers, appealing to their sense of ethics and morality.
- Pathos helps you convince through emotions.
8th Grade Essay – Informative
An expository essay brings concepts to complete understanding. In other words, you explain something to give a clue about the subject in question. Successful expository writing makes the audience get the whole picture, leaving no questions or misunderstandings.
To familiarize yourself with expository essay structure, check our recently updated guide on writing an expository essay .
And briefly look at six major types of expository essays:
💾 8th Grade Essay Topics
8th grade argumentative essay topics.
- What is the main challenge you’ve ever met?
- What was the happiest moment of your childhood?
- Tell about the accomplishment you’re most proud of.
- What are the personal qualities you like most?
- Write about an inspiring celebrity.
- What does emotional intelligence mean?
- Write about the largest challenge of getting older.
- How is adolescence different from childhood?
Read the list of topics we’ve prepared for an 8th-grade essay. Choose your favorite or use our Free Essay Topics Generator to find the best one.
Persuasive Essay Topics for 8th Grade
- Would limited screen time be beneficial for health?
- Will the global use of electric vehicles save us from the ecological crisis?
- The government should provide citizens with more qualified psychological help.
- What are the pros and cons of buying a pet for a child?
- Should people use paper and textile bags instead of plastic ones?
- Is it necessary to attend PE classes in school?
- Is it ethical to use smartphones during the lesson?
- Should parents forbid their children from watching TikTok?
- Pros and cons of cheating on exams: immoral or beneficial?
- Should there be only healthy snack vending machines at schools?
- Is it acceptable for a teacher to raise the voice at a student?
- Should modern rappers’ songs be put through censorship?
- Is it ethical for students to discuss their teachers?
- Should all cosmetic products become cruelty-free?
- Should we stop the overconsumption of sugar for the sake of our health?
- Should zoos and circuses be banned forever?
8th Grade Informative Essay Topics
- Compare and contrast the environmental policies of the USA and Europe.
- What are the harmful effects of CO 2 emissions on the environment?
- How is the concept of freedom reflected in 20th-century literature?
- Reveal the details of the famous friendship of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
- Brush off or fight: how to act when you come across bullying at school?
- What are the most significant challenges school attendees usually face?
- How to overcome your fears without getting traumatized?
- How to prepare for the exam period and overcome anxiety?
- Freedom or despair: the history and concept of trailer parks in the USA.
- Explain the concept of sustainability and what benefits it has.
- Provide a classification of American lifestyles based on location.
- A reasonable person: describe the concept and the features.
Look at our 8th grade essay examples. These are mostly just excerpts, but we included the most significant parts. Approach us in case you need a similar paper or have any questions.
8th Grade Argumentative Essay Example (#1)
The most notorious substance in the ecological discourse: is CO 2 really that bad?
Did you know that it’s better for the earth if you work out or jog with your mouth tightly shut? It’s not common knowledge, but professionals know: we need a considerable amount of CO 2 in our blood. In some terms, it’s even more vital than oxygen. Undoubtedly, there has to be a proper balance, and here is the point: CO 2 can be beneficial.
Though what good does it make to nature and the environment?
It’s all the same as with our body: CO 2 is not evil on earth, but there must be a proper balance. Now, this balance is critical, and we must make serious efforts to change the situation.
- According to last year’s research, the USA is in the second place among countries producing the most significant part of CO 2 in the whole world. The website statista.com published striking figures. 4.57 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were produced in 2020 by the energy consumption sphere in the United States.
- Besides, a recently published report from the IEA agency reveals another piece of statistics. Compared to the previous year, the amount of CO 2 emissions will rise to 5% in 2021. This year we’re facing 33 billion tons of this greenhouse gas.
- These figures mean nothing without context. Here you are: nature suffers greatly from CO 2 influence. Due to the greenhouse effect caused by an excess of CO 2 , the water temperature in oceans and seas is rising. This process is not positive at all because the natural habitat for sea creatures is altering. The changes are dramatic and lead to the extinction of many species.
In conclusion, we need to find an efficient way to improve the ecological situation regarding CO 2 emissions. The key is global social and individual awareness and consciousness. Each and every inhabitant of the Earth has to understand the meaning of CO 2 for global warming clearly. So, try to jog with your lips closed and choose a bike instead of a car.
Example #2: 8th Grade Persuasive Essay
Is it essential to stay away from social media for the sake of mental health?
Nielsen Company conducted research that says that the average US adult spends more than 10 hours interacting with social media each day. Indeed, social media plays a very considerable role in the life of a modern person. Most of us are more likely to spend time watching short videos than reading a good book. But is it harmful to our mental health to the extent that we have to quit using social media platforms?
To my mind, we are greatly dependent on our Instagram and TikTok accounts, and the content posted there. It certainly has a negative impact, too. However, the complete cancellation of social media is not a way out. The key to good mental condition is in the skill of managing your relations with them.
- One of the recent surveys by the Lancet reports that Facebook users who scroll the newsfeed before sleep tend to be more depressed. Apparently, the deprivation of sleep affects mental well-being to a great extent.
- FInancesOnline has recently posted the results of the research. According to this data, Facebook constitutes 72% of people’s FOMO and anxiety. Posts about traveling and active social life create most of these feelings.
- At the same time, healthy rivalry can motivate development and growth. There’s a reasonable quotation saying that one should compare themselves yesterday instead of comparing to others. The best thing one can do to take care of their mental health is to take a digital detox for a while.
Thus, it is vital to trace your obsessions with social media and negative feelings caused by comparison with others on the Internet. Try to get more aware of it, take your time to rest from social media, and plunge into real life.
5 Paragraph Essay Example for 8th Grade (#3)
The Financier and American Tragedy : compare and contrast two main characters of Dreiser’s novels.
Do you know that Theodore Dreiser is sometimes called an American Fyodor Dostoevsky? Both writers touched upon the most sensitive social and existential issues. However, the subject of this paper is not the comparison of the authors but two famous Dreiser characters: Clyde Griffiths and Frank Cowperwood.
Both of these young American men were striving to reach financial and social success in a world of brutal struggle and hardships.
- Clyde Griffiths represents the desperate strive for American Dream. Born in a poor and religious family, he grows greedy for money and status. In his blind obsession with gaining a high social position, he doesn’t notice his spiritual degradation. He is smart enough to struggle his way into high society but not so witty to solidify his standing with decent means. He cheats, lies, and finally commits a murder: Clyde seems to be already born guilty at times. On reading the story, there doesn’t appear any sympathy toward him. On the contrary, he provokes feelings of abomination and disgust.
- Frank Cowperwood also aims to become wealthy and socially firm. He wants to improve his family’s life quality. Still, his ways and means astonish. Frank is a natural-born predator and strategist. His sophistication and sharp wit show up in him since his very childhood. He isn’t a man of high moral standards: Frank doesn’t mind cheating on his wife and manipulating city treasure money. However, he’s a passionate man, honest and open in his heart urges and impulses. That is the reason why fortune favors him.
However, having similar goals but different personalities and mindsets, Griffiths and Cowperwood reach completely different destination points.
How to Write an Essay in 8th Grade?
– You should pick up a good topic and formulate your attitude to the problem. – Write an outline. – Make a clear and brief thesis statement. – Think of at least 3 firm arguments if the essay type demands it. – Impress your readers with a firm conclusion. Voila! Do not forget to proofread!
How Long Is an Essay in 8th Grade?
The length of the 8th-grade essay slightly depends on the format and the particular type of writing. However, it varies from approximately 500 to 800 words. Within this framework, you have to make yourself clear and deliver all necessary points.
How Many Sentences Are in a Paragraph for 8th Grade?
The size of a paragraph in the 8th-grade essay has to be not less than 8 sentences in each. Besides that, mind that the sentences are primarily compound or complex, error-free, and coherent. Also, remember to connect the sentences and paragraphs with particular language means.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay in 8th Grade?
Choose an exciting and acute topic. Make up a thesis statement out of the problem. Draft an outline or a brief plan. Explore some reliable sources for the evidence and arguments for your essay. Organize the facts and information into a cohesive structure.
I’m an 8th grade student at a private school, and my teacher assigns us up to 4-6 pages most to write. First of all we get other essays on top of this, and usually have nearly to a week to finish. Me and my classmates struggle with this. Do you guys think this is too much for an average 8th grade student?
i am writin apaper right now and it is averreding and its about the changes we woud make to our cafeteria it has to be 5 paragraphs long
Thanks for stopping by at our blog. We would be happy to help you with your paper. You can be interested in some other posts on this blog (https://overnightessay.com/blog/category/essay-tips/) or contact our friendly Support Team to get professional writign help from experienced writers. Good luck with your paper! Best regards,
8th grade writing
by: Hank Pellissier | Updated: August 4, 2022
Verbal has a double meaning for eighth grade writing: it refers to the oral presentations the kids will do and to this year’s focus on grammar — gerunds, participles, and infinitives.
Written in formal language, argument essays should start with an introduction that clearly presents the writer’s position and flows into a well-organized, research-backed argument that advocates for their position and argues against opposing claims. Your child’s writing should exhibit a profound understanding of the topic. Arguments should be logical and fueled by evidence from credible sources. Papers should end with a persuasive conclusion that summarizes the viewpoint and declares the topic resolved. Topics will vary, but you’ll often see teen issues such as: Are video games harmful to mental health? Should our school have uniforms? Should bullies be suspended or given a chance to make amends?
Informative and explanatory writing
In their informative and explanatory papers , students use formal language to explain complex topics with relevant data, precise ideas, and logical analyses. Kids should start with an intriguing introduction that previews the subject matter. Next, they present well-organized information that’s backed by evidence from credible sources. Eighth graders should use a variety of “strategy tools,” including:
- Classifying information.
- Defining terms.
- Using subject-specific, academic , and transition vocabulary words.
- Quoting sources.
- Incorporating factual details.
- Making comparisons.
- Contrasting different situations.
- Explaining cause-and-effect relationships.
- Including graphics (charts, tables, images) and multimedia.
- Using formatting (headings, bullet points).
Finally, the concluding paragraph should provide a synopsis of the main point of the essay. Your child’s papers are likely to cover topics that students are familiar with — but still need to research in order to answer, like If there is a drought, how can we save water? Or Explain how a specific invention has changed your life .
Eighth graders write narratives or stories that describe events in their lives (personal histories, memoirs) or imagined scenarios (fiction, fantasy). Junior J.K. Rowlings learn effective storytelling techniques, such as introducing the narrator and characters, establishing context for the setting, and conveying a point of view. Students practice letting the sequence of events unfold, giving characters depth, and developing the plot through actions, dialogue, and reflection. Your future F. Scott Fitzgerald should use transition words to guide readers from one place and time to another. For example: Four hours later, Jack opened his locker to discover a shocking surprise . Or, Returning to the cafeteria, Tinsley saw the cute new boy sitting with her best friend, Amanda . Remember that even narratives have a conclusion, hopefully one that helps readers ponder the meaning of the story.
Changes and more changes
Grit. Concentration. Determination. Eighth graders strengthen their literary skills by revising their papers over and over again, following advice from teachers and classmates to re-imagine, re-outline, redraft, re-edit, rewrite, and try new approaches. Is this just a form of perfectionistic punishment? No, the practice helps teens learn to tighten their prose, pick stronger verbs, use more accurate descriptors, and organize their writing in the most effective and interesting ways.
Your eighth grader will likely need the internet to create, type, and share their work, which will often have links to web sources and include graphics and multimedia. Also, these are typically typed. Your child should be tying about 40 words per minute. (Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction recommends a typing speed 5 times your grade . If your child needs practice, there are free typing classes for middle schoolers available online .)
It’s increasingly common for kids to be required to collaborate on projects online, often in Google Docs or Slides. What’s more, drafts and completed assignments are often turned in via email or by uploading to an online portal. So if your child’s technical skills aren’t up to snuff, think about getting your child a little extra help so these requirements don’t hold him back.
Evaluating their sources
Eighth graders do short projects that require research from multiple sources. Teens learn to evaluate the credibility of their sources. For example, Is Saturday Night Live as reliable as National Public Radio? No. Kids need to be careful about how they present information, paraphrasing information or using quotes to avoid plagiarizing, which Merriam-Webster defines as “to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas.” The standard way to end all research projects? A bibliography, formatted correctly, of course, that shows both the quality and quantity of their sources.
Students get to do the critiquing this year — whether it’s a book or their classmate’s essay. Eighth graders analyze how modern fiction uses the plot, themes, and characters. Students look for connections and explain how a contemporary text borrows from, comments on, or changes the old foundation. For example, How does The Hunger Games trilogy use the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur?
Students also evaluate the evidence their peers use in essays and to back up arguments. It helps them become more skilled at determining fact from fiction, legitimate truth from biased propaganda, scientific theories from fraudulent nonsense.
Eighth graders learn to identify verb voice. If the subject in a sentence does the action, then the verb is in the active voice, like this: The whale ate the shrimp. However, if the subject in a sentence is the target of the action, then the verb is in the passive voice, like this: The shrimp was eaten by the whale .
Presenting their work
Expect quite a few oral reports in eighth grade. In these presentations, kids need to deliver their arguments and the results of their investigations to the class. Key skills for a solid presentation include:
- using formal language;
- making eye contact;
- pronouncing things clearly and loudly enough for all to hear.
Your child’s presentations should be coherent, organized, logical, supported by evidence, and, in many cases, jazzed up with costumes, props, maps, music, sound effects, charts, and visual projection. Teens (and adults) often suffer from sweaty, knee-knocking stage fright. Inform your adolescent that this is totally normal; remind them to breathe and enjoy the attention.
Here’s a preview of the presentation skills required in high school.
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The Guide to 8th Grade: Reading and Writing
Review reading and writing curricula for 8th grade, including what to expect and resources to support learning..
In their last year of middle school, 8th graders immerse themselves in preparation for high school by practicing and strengthening skills they learned in earlier years of middle school while also learning new (and often more complex) skills.
In many ways, 8th grade is a year of transition, as students are expected to have mastered the ways of middle school and begin becoming “high-schoolers.” Specifically, 8th graders are expected to be independent thinkers and workers analyzing and explaining what they learn in both their writing and verbally.
8th Grade Reading
In 8th grade, students continue to practice many of the skills they learned in earlier grades, specifically paying attention to details like text evidence, language, and cross-text comparisons in different genres of text. However, 8th graders push their analyses of texts further as they examine the details and writing structure and assess how those elements affect the text.
In order to build reading skills, your 8th grader :
- Evaluates the evidence in texts to determine the strongest supports of an idea and analysis.
- Determines the main idea or theme of a text using evidence from the text to support it.
- Provides an objective summary of a text.
- Understands, summarizes, and tracks the progress of the main idea of a text, using evidence from the text.
- Analyzes how elements such as specific dialogue, events, or word usage impact the characters, the decisions they make, and other events and actions in the text.
- Understands the use of language in a text, including figurative language, analogies, and allusions to other texts.
- Compares and contrasts the different structures of texts including the structures of paragraphs and sentences.
- Analyzes the difference between characters’ points of view and how these differences affect the text.
- Analyzes the pros and cons of using different forms of text and media to present a topic or idea.
- Compares a text to a film or play version of a text, paying specific attention to the way in which the film or play veers from the text.
- Analyzes texts that include conflicting information on the same topic and decipher when those are due to conflicting facts or interpretations.
8th Grade Writing
In 8th grade, students continue to practice and refine many of the writing skills they learned in 7th grade while also learning some additional complex writing skills. Given that refining one’s writing can take time and practice, students are not expected to cover a great deal of new skills. However, they do learn some new techniques and skills that enhance their writing and enable them to become better writers.
In order to build writing skills, your 8th grader :
- Acknowledgements of opposing claims
- Logical and orderly presentation of reasons and evidence
- Graphics, special formatting, and multimedia, when appropriate
- Support of the claims through the use of evidence from credible sources
- A concluding sentence or paragraph that supports the argument made
- A formal tone and style
- Use supporting claims and evidence based on credible texts and resources
- Provide an introduction that includes an explanation of what follows
- Develop topics through the use of facts, details, quotations, examples, and subject-specific terms and definitions
- Include transitions that connect concepts, events, and paragraphs
- Include a conclusion that supports the presented idea(s)
- Maintain a formal “essay type” style
- Integrate other forms of media and formats such as graphs, charts, headings, audio, or video when appropriate
- A narrator, characters, and a point of view
- Descriptive detail and sensory language to describe characters, settings, and experiences
- Dialogue, pacing, reflection, and details and descriptions of characters, setting, and experiences
- Thought-out word choice
- A clear structure with a logical order and flow, as shown through the use of transition words and phrases and a logical sequence
- A conclusion that is connected to and builds on the narrative
- Plans, revises, and edits writing, specifically with guidance from teachers and peers, focusing specifically on trying new approaches and making sure the writing has a purpose and appeals to its audience.
- Uses technology and the Internet to produce and publish writing, work with others, and cite sources.
- Works on multiple short research projects that answer specific questions and cite multiple sources, while gathering additional questions for later research.
- Uses both print and digital resources to conduct research, focusing on using appropriate search terms and reliable sources.
- Uses quotes and a standard format for citation.
- Uses research to analyze and make inferences.
Shop the best resources for seventh grade below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store .
Explore other grade guides:
- First Grade
- Second Grade
- Third Grade
- Fourth Grade
- Fifth Grade
- Sixth Grade
- Seventh Grade
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How Long is An Essay in 8th Grade? Writing Tips
Learn how long an essay should be in eighth grade and how to write a great essay by reading this article.
How long should an essay be in eighth grade? The format and the particular type of writing have a small impact on the length of the eighth-grade essay. However, the 8th-grade essay length varies from approximately 500 to 800 words. You must express yourself clearly and make all necessary points within this framework.
To help you write an essay in the eighth grade, we’ve prepared this list of imaginative topics, examples, and writing advice.
Table of Contents
How Long is An Essay in 8th Grade?
An essay for an eighth grade should be between 500 and 800 words long. In the eighth-grade essay, each paragraph must contain a minimum of 8 sentences. Additionally, keep in mind that the sentences are mostly complex or compound, flawless, and coherent. Also, keep in mind to use specific language to connect the sentences and paragraphs. Learn How Long is An Essay in 6th and 7th Grade.
To write an excellent 8th-grade essay, you should:
- Select a worthwhile subject, then decide how you will approach the issue.
- Create an outline.
- Formulate a succinct and clear thesis statement.
- If the essay type requires it, come up with at least three solid arguments.
- Impress your audience with a solid conclusion. Remember to proofread!
What is the 8th-Grade Essay Format?
You’ll learn what goes into an essay for the eighth grade in this section. You’ve entered a completely new level, which is the first thing to keep in mind. Therefore, your writing is longer and more complex than it was during your earlier academic years.
Beginning with the structure The fundamental parts are the same as in any type of essay:
- Introduction: An intro should contain something intriguing to catch your audience’s attention. It’s typically a hook or an opening sentence that piques readers’ interest in your essay. The next significant part of your introduction is the thesis statement . The reader learns about the topic of your essay from your paper’s central idea.
- Body paragraphs: Body paragraphs contain supportive arguments and evidence. They need to be reliable and convincing.
- Conclusion: After everything is written, you are to conclude the ideas you’ve delivered.
How to Write An Excellent Essay?
You can learn the easiest and most practical advice for writing an essay for the eighth grade in this section. Anyone in the eighth grade should be aware of these things.
- To find justifications and supporting information, look for trustworthy sources.
- Try to incite enthusiasm for writing; it will undoubtedly make the process easier for you.
- If you have a choice, pick the subject that most interests you.
- Use formal language, appropriate grammar, specific terms, and consistent phrases.
- Make your points more compelling by referencing credible quotations.
- Write clearly; an essay is a story. It ought to be exciting and reliable.
- Don’t make all your examples too similar: diversity is of the essence.
- Use graphic tools to emphasize the most important points in your text to avoid having it appear like an unreadable mess of words.
- Use only trustworthy sources and websites when citing information.
- Do not be afraid to express yourself honestly. Your eighth-grade essay is distinctive because of who you are and what you think.
- Don’t forget to edit your text once you’ve finished writing it.
Eighth Grade Essay Types
During middle school, we assume that you encounter various kinds of assignments. There were indeed descriptive and narrative essays among them. However, now you are to face other exciting formats of writing. Get to know a few new types in the section below.
Informative and Explanatory Writing
In their informative and explanatory papers , students use formal language to explain complex topics with relevant data, precise ideas, and logical analyses. A captivating introduction that gives a sneak peek at the subject matter should be the first step for children. They then present information that is well-organized and supported by data from reliable sources. Eighth graders should use a variety of “strategy tools,” including:
- information classification.
- Defining terms.
- utilizing transitional, academic, and subject-specific vocabulary words.
- Quoting sources.
- Factual information is included.
- Making comparisons.
- comparison of various circumstances.
- describing the causes and effects of relationships.
- including multimedia and graphics (charts, tables, and pictures).
- Using headings and bullet points for formatting.
The final paragraph should provide a summary of the essay’s main idea. Your child’s papers are likely to cover topics that students are familiar with — but still need to research in order to answer, like What are some ways we can conserve water in a drought? Or Explain how a specific invention has changed your life .
Eighth graders write narratives or stories that describe events in their lives (personal histories, memoirs) or imagined scenarios (fiction, fantasy). Effective storytelling strategies are taught to junior J.K. Rowlings, including how to introduce the narrator and characters, set the scene, and convey a point of view.
Students work on letting the events flow naturally, developing the characters’ personalities, and creating a compelling plot through the characters’ deeds, words, and thoughts.
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing in which you present a claim and support it with convincing evidence. At this point, your goal is to persuade readers to agree with your viewpoint while they read.
You should provide specific data in your argumentative essay to support your position, such as statistics, figures, research studies, and polls.
Similar to writing an argumentative essay, a persuasive essay is persuasive. There, you must choose a topic that is particularly pressing and form a strong opinion on it. Making your audience believe you are the main objective, just like in an argumentative essay.
Remember the three essentials of persuasive writing:
- It is clear that Logos appeals to logic. Clearly and logically communicate your ideas.
- By appealing to the reader’s sense of morality and ethics, ethos aims to persuade them.
- Pathos aids in emotional persuasion.
Conclusion: How Long is An Essay in 8th Grade?
In eighth grade, how long should an essay be ? 500 to 800 words are enough. You should write an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of paragraphs should never be less than 8 sentences in one.
The Length of Each Part in an Essay
The Length of Different Kinds of Essays
The Length of Essays in Different Grades
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How Long Is an Essay? The Ultimate Essay Length Guide
It’s safe to say that most students struggle with the word limit within an essay. Sometimes, it’s hard to find ideas for a text and meet the word requirement for every part of the paper. With so many factors influencing essay length, it’s easy to get confused.
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📜 Is Essay Length Important?
📏 essay parts: recommended length.
- 🤔 How to Make Essays Shorter or Longer
- 📑 Essay Length & Formatting
- ❓ Different Academic Levels FAQ
- 📚 Essay Length: Different Types
- ⭐ Other Aspects
- 📝 Essay Examples
Often, the phrase “word limit” causes panic among students. After all, if an essay is too long or too short, your grade will be lowered. However, in reality, there’s nothing to worry about. When it comes to words, limitations are beneficial for both the students and the professors.
Let’s see what exactly it means.
Many people believe that the longer an essay is, the better. However, according to Frontiers, research shows that it’s a bias that couldn’t be further from the truth. A perfect-length paper is one that allows students to express their ideas and showcase their knowledge fully while keeping it clean and simple.
What Influences Essay Length
Various factors determine the length of an essay. Here are the most important ones:
Let’s start with the essentials. Usually, assignment length is given as a number of words rather than pages. Unless your supervisor or instructor mentions any specific limitations, it’s acceptable to be 10% below or above the word limit.
It’s also worth knowing the 80/20 rule . According to it, the body should constitute 80% of the text, while the intro and the conclusion take up the remaining 20%.
Keep reading to learn more about the recommended length of each essay part. The main numbers are shown in the table below:
How Long Should an Introduction Be?
An introduction is the first section and the face of your essay. For that reason, it needs to be compelling and well-thought-out. Usually, it consists of 3 to 5 sentences or 50 to 80 words .
An introduction must have a hook, some background information, and a thesis statement. While the attention grabber and the thesis are usually brief, you may need 2 to 3 sentences for the background. To avoid going overboard, try to stay on topic and don’t add any filler.
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How Long Is a Body Paragraph in an Essay?
The length of a body paragraph may vary. Sometimes, it can be limited to a single sentence. In other cases, it may take up a whole page. Usually, it’s recommended to have between 80 and 200 words (5-8 sentences) per body paragraph.
Since the paper’s body contains the most information, it’s necessary to explain and support your ideas properly. That’s why it’s no big deal if your body paragraphs go slightly over the word limit.
How Many Body Paragraphs Should Be in an Essay?
Like the word count, the number of paragraphs is determined by the type of paper and its topic. The minimum is 1. Generally, however, the body consists of 3-5 paragraphs , 1 for each argument.
To improve your paper’s structure, ensure that there are as many paragraphs as there are points in your thesis statement. Each one should have a purpose and support your arguments. If there’s any fluff, it’s better to get rid of it.
How Long Should a Conclusion Be?
Like the introduction, the conclusion consists of 50-80 words . It’s essential to keep it simple and only mention the central ideas. A weak concluding sentence may affect the reader’s understanding of the topic and spoil the overall impression of your paper.
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🤔 How to Make Essays Shorter or Longer: Best Tips
Undoubtedly the essay’s content is more important than the number of words you use. But there are times when students go more than 10-15% below or over the limit. Is there a solution to this problem?
Yes, there is! In this section, we will share the most useful tips to help you stay on point with your paper’s word count.
How to Make Essays Longer
Since having enough words is essential for a good grade, we’ve collected the best tips that can help you lengthen your essay without teachers noticing:
- Use relevant quotations. You don’t need to litter your essay with citations, but using them whenever appropriate is a great idea. For instance, if you’re working on a book analysis, referencing a couple of direct quotes from the source text will make your essay more credible and increase the word count.
- Give examples. Go through the claims in your paper and provide additional evidence where possible. It will make your essay longer and more informative.
- Use transitional expressions. Adding transition words and phrases is a natural way of increasing the number of words. It will also improve your essay’s readability.
- Add more references. Providing references is always a good idea when writing a formal essay. That way, you will increase the number of words and make your paper more credible.
- Work on your descriptions. If you struggle to develop new ideas, go over what you’ve already written and consider adding some descriptive words. It’s a great idea for creative essays to include more imagery.
How to Shorten an Essay
Another struggle of academic writing is cutting down the number of words in your essay to meet a set limit. We are here to tell you that it’s not that hard. Writing straightforwardly and keeping your sentences short is a key to concise content. Here are several strategies you may use to tighten a lengthy essay:
- Choose the active voice. It takes up less space than passive voice. Using it also makes your writing more professional and compelling.
- Remove needless transitions. Transitions can indeed maintain the flow of the paper. But some transitional phrases can be easily removed.
- Get rid of unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Some students tend to overuse adjectives and adverbs. It adds wordiness to their writing.
- Avoid running starts. Some students like to start their sentences with long phrases like: “there are,” “it is believed,” or “the fact that.” Getting rid of them makes texts much more concise.
- Delete “that.” In most cases, the word “that” can often be easily removed from texts.
Another cool trick is to use our summarizing tool as essay shortener. Try it out!
📑 How Long Is an Essay Depending on Formatting?
As we mentioned earlier, the essay’s length is usually limited by the number of words. But sometimes, a teacher may ask you to write a specific number of pages. This is trickier because the amount of text you can place on the page depends on the formatting. By using the font size and spacing properly, it’s possible to make the paper visually longer or shorter. Let’s discuss it in more detail.
Essay Spacing: How Does It Affect the Length?
- Adjusting the spacing between lines. Try to make the changes as slight as possible. For instance, if you were asked to double-space the paper, use 2.1 or 2.2 spacing instead. Another option is to slightly extend spaces between paragraphs.
- Extending the margin size. You can increase the right and bottom margins by a quarter to make very subtle changes in length. For example, if the margins are 1 inch , you can set them at 1.25 inches instead.
- Increasing the spacing between characters. It is less noticeable than the line spacing. Still, try not to overdo it and keep the numbers between 1.2 and 1.5 .
- Adjusting the footer. Add a footer with page numbers to stretch the bottom margin even further.
- Lengthening the header. You can extend your header by adding your name, e-mail address, or other relevant information. Another option is double-spacing it.
Length of an Essay: Font and Size
- Using the right type of font. If your instructor didn’t specify which font you should use, go for the bigger ones. We suggest Arial, Bangla Sangam MN, Cambria, or Quicksand. They will make your text look longer without being too on the nose.
- Using a bigger font size. This is another technique that can come in handy. However, be careful and don’t increase your font by more than 0.1-0.5 pt.
- 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.
What to Do if There Are No Length Guidelines
Sometimes a teacher sets no word limit for a written work. What to do in that case? Well, first, you can ask your professor to confirm if they have simply forgotten to mention it. But if that’s not the case, here are a couple of helpful solutions:
- Think of the paragraph number. Sometimes, you may be given the number of paragraphs instead of words. In that case, you can decide on the number of words depending on how many paragraphs you have.
- Think about the topic’s complexity. The length of your paper is also directly dependent on the theme. If the topic is simple, 4-5 paragraphs will be enough. A more complex issue may require an in-depth explanation, so your essay can be 6-8 paragraphs long.
❓ Essay Length for Different Academic Levels FAQ
The length of the elementary school essay is usually short. Usually, a paper needs to have around 3-5 paragraphs, with 4-5 sentences per paragraph. Primary school essays can be 1-2 paragraphs long.
The word limit for a middle school essay is usually between 300 to 1000 words. The most common essay length is 500 words, which is about 5 paragraphs. However, it may differ from school to school.
The length of the high school essay may differ depending on the school and the complexity of the task itself. Usually, however, a paper can be between 300 to 1000 words long.
The length of the undergraduate college essay often falls within the range of 1500 to 2100 words. It translates into roughly 5-7 pages. 5 pages is the most common essay length at this level.
When it comes to the graduate school admission essay, the word limit is usually between 500 and 1000 words. It’s possible to go slightly over or below the set limit; however, it’s best to stick to the requirements as close as possible.
📚 How Long Should an Essay Be: Different Types
Now, let’s talk about different types of essays. How long should they be? Keep reading to learn about the length of college essays, short and extended ones, scholarship essays, and research papers.
How Long Is a College Essay?
When it comes to a college essay, it’s more important to stick to the word limit than with any other paper. Some teachers may refuse to read it unless it meets all the requirements.
The shortest limit for a college essay is about 250 words which is the shortest length of a Common App personal statement. It’s also rare to see a good college essay with over 650 words . So, an average piece usually has between 150 and 650 words ; you can go over or below the limit by 50.
How Long Is a Paragraph in College Essays?
A college essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs . One paragraph takes about 1/3 of the page, which is roughly 5 sentences . Each sentence corresponds with one of the following components:
- Topic sentence.
College Essay Length Requirements: Top 5 Schools
To understand the requirements for a college application essay even better, take a look at the table below. It showcases the top 5 schools and their length criteria for personal statements. Keep it in mind when writing your college essay:
How Long Is a Short Essay?
A short essay is usually 500 words long. Using 12pt Times New Roman font with standard margins and double spacing should result in about 2 pages of text.
Extended Essay Length
An extended essay is different from a short or a standard one. It requires extensive research and thorough explanation. That’s why the upper limit for this kind of essay is 4000 words . In this case, a typical essay length is 3500 words or 18 paragraphs .
Scholarship Essay Length
Generally, scholarship papers have a limit of 500 words , which is 1 page in length. Most scholarship programs provide additional requirements that indicate the minimum number of words or pages. If there are no set limitations, you can stick to the limit.
How Long Is a Research Paper?
Typically, a research paper is between 4000 and 6000 words long. Sometimes, there are shorter papers, which have around 2000 words, or in-depth ones with over 10000 words.
⭐ Other Aspects of Essay Length
When it comes to essay length, many different aspects come into play. Here, we’ve gathered all the essential information regarding an essay’s number of pages, paragraphs, words, and references.
How Many Paragraphs Are in an Essay?
Sometimes, it is more convenient to count paragraphs rather than words. Let’s now figure out how many paragraphs are in essays of different lengths. You may also check out the examples to see what such an essay looks like:
How to Count Paragraphs in an Essay Based on Word Count
You can also count the number of body paragraphs for your essay using the formula below:
Number of body paragraphs (average) = (TWC – TWC*0.16)/100
- TWC – total word count
- 0.16 – an average percentage of total word count for introduction and conclusion
- 100 – an average number of words per paragraph
How Many Pages Are in an Essay?
The number of pages in your essay may vary from subject to subject. But it’s still possible to determine the number of pages based on word count. Check out the numbers below to see the conversions with bonus examples:
You can also use a specialized calculator such as Word Counter to determine a number of pages in your essay.
What Does an Essay Look Like when Typed?
You might be wondering: what do essays of different lengths look like when typed? Well, here’s the table where you can find out the metrics for single- and double-spaced papers.
How Many Pages Are in a Handwritten Essay?
In case you need to turn in a handwritten paper, you should check out the table below.
Counting Words in a Handwritten Essay
If you don’t have enough time to count the words in your handwritten essay one by one, here’s what you can do:
- Count how many words there are in one line. Take the first and last lines and a line in the middle of a page. Let’s say there are 15, 14, and 15 words in them. Then, the average number of words per line is 15.
- Next, count how many lines there are on one page. Let’s say there are 17 lines on a page.
- Take the number of words per line and multiply it by the number of lines per page. In our case, we multiply 15 by 17. So, there are 255 words per page on average.
- Finally, multiply the number of words per page by the number of pages. If your essay has 3 pages, it is approximately 765 words long.
How Long Does it Take to Write an Essay?
It is crucial to know how long writing will take you, especially if you are working on an exam essay or just short on time. Note that you need to consider the time for typing and researching necessary to complete a piece. Research time may vary. Usually, it’s 1-2 hours for 200-250 words .
Below, we’ve gathered the average writing time for average and slower writing speed:
And here are the results in pages:
How Many References Does an Essay Need?
Another essential part of any composition is the reference list. Different academic levels require different references. You’ll find out how many of them should be in your paper in the table below!
📝 Essay Examples: Different Length
Finally, we’ve gathered some excellent sample essays of different lengths. Make sure to check them out!
We also recommend you check out our free essay samples sorted by pages:
- 1-Page Essay Examples
- 2-Page Essay Examples
- 3-Page Essay Examples
- 4-Page Essay Examples
- 5-Page Essay Examples
- 10-Page Essay Examples
- 20-Page Essay Examples
- 30-Page Essay Examples
- 40-Page Essay Examples
- 50-Page Essay Examples
Now you know all about essay length, word limits, and ways to lengthen or shorten your text. If you know other interesting tricks, make sure to share them in a comment! Good luck with your writing assignments!
You may also like:
- How to Write a Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline
- How to Write a Precis: Definition, Guide, & Examples
- How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay: Examples & Guide
- How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples
- How to Write a Formal Essay: Format, Rules, & Example
- Word Limits and Assignment Length: Massey University
- The Paragraph in the College Essay: California State University, Long Beach
- Introductions & Conclusions: The University of Arizona Global Campus
- How Long Should a Paragraph Be?: Daily Writing Tips
- Paragraphing (Length Consistency): Purdue University
- Hitting the Target Word Count in Your College Admission Essay: Dummies.com
- How Long Should Your College Essay Be? What is the Ideal Length?: College Vine
- Writing Personal Statements Online: Issues of Length and Form: Penn State University
- Pen Admissions: Essays: University of Pennsylvania
- Essay Questions: University of Michigan
- Essay Structure: Harvard University
- Traditional Academic Essays in Three Parts: Penn State Abington
- Write Your Essay: UNSW Sydney
- College Writing: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- 21 Helpful and Easy Tips to Make an Essay Longer: Seventeen
- How to Make a College Paper Longer: ThoughtCo
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How Long Is an Essay? Basic Academic Recommendations
Words by Essay Parts
High School Level
Manage the Word Count
Various types of essays differ in length. Students are often confused about how many pages to write and meet the professor’s requirements. Thus, the writer should know that everything depends on the subject of the study and the course. Generally, the professor provides the instructions with a clear guideline and word count. But if not, you should decide depending on the situation. You can learn how to become a good writer, or ask qualified paper writers for help.
Speaking about the essay length: compared with other academic papers, an essay is shorter than the research or thesis. Still, if you don’t know the exact number of pages, you should concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Here, we will discuss how long is an essay for different educational levels and various types of essays.
Basic Tips for Essay Length
Here you can find some useful recommendations that fit any essay:
- the essay requires a minimum of three main paragraphs: introduction, main body, and conclusion.
- five paragraphs are the basic requirement for the essay;
- the introduction and conclusion are shorter than the main body paragraphs;
- in each of the paragraphs, there should be a topic sentence defining the central idea and the concluding sentence;
- do not forget that single-spaced and double-spaced pages differ in word count (275 and 550 words).
How Many Words to Include in Each Part of the Essay?
The length of the paragraphs depends on the length of an essay overall. Everything you need is to divide the essay into equal parts (except for the introduction and conclusion). It is not OK when you write a very long paragraph consisting of 8 sentences and then continue with the small one comprising only three. There should be a certain balance to maintain throughout the text.
The main piece of advice is to think about the length of each paragraph before starting to write. Make an outline, define the main idea of each paragraph, and specify the word count for each part.
High School Level: How Long is an Essay?
One to five pages are enough for the high school level. Typically, the essay should consist of 5 paragraphs and follow the standard essay model. So, you will need to write an introduction with a thesis, main body (3 sections), and the conclusion.
For the high school level, the quality means much more than the quantity. But you should not forget that the professor will expect the basic length of the essay.
Recommendations for the College Essay
In the case of typical college essays, three pages are often enough to discuss the topic. Thus, you need approximately one page for the introduction and conclusion and two pages for the main body.
If the topic is very broad, it’s better to write 4-5 pages, but not more. If the college essay is longer than five pages, it can be perceived as a research paper. To complete such a big assignment, you might need to consult a research paper writing service . Anyway, the main requirements for the college essay are to be precise, coherent, and well-structured.
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Recommendations for the University Level (Undergraduate)
At this stage, the quantity of pages increases, and the typical essay starts from 1500 words, which is approximately five pages. The length of the written assignment depends on the subject, institutions, departments, and course level.
The students often have a special course in the university where they study all essential writing skills. In this case, the word count is often clear as the professors teach you how to adhere to the word count and do not exceed or lack the number of words.
University Essay (Graduate)
The graduate-level essay is very similar to the undergraduate. The same, everything depends on the requirements of the university and the course. The topic of the essay also affects the number of pages.
Very often, each of the university courses requires several writing assignments for each module. If you do not know exactly how long is an essay for this level, remember that the word count ranges between 2000-6000 words.
Tips to Manage the Word Count
Of course, following the length requirements is essential for the student. But do not forget that the bad quality of the paper will affect your grade even if everything is OK with the word count. Do not try to use wordy expressions or thousands of linking devices in each sentence to make a long paragraph. This strategy means that you didn’t understand the main purpose of the assignment.
You should focus on the argumentation provided in each paragraph and the basic structure of the paper. If you miss at least one part of the essay, it will result in a bad mark. That’s why prepare an outline and think beforehand about the word count for each paragraph.
Why is it Important to Adhere to Expected Essay Length?
Remember that the professor expects a certain length of an essay depending on the academic level. Even if you don’t know exactly how long is an essay for a certain school subject or university course, follow the basic recommendations about word count.
If the student writes a shorter essay than expected, the tutor may decide that he/she doesn’t put enough effort into submitting the task. Indeed, if the word count exceeds a lot, the student might have used wordy constructions or added useless information to the essay without proper analysis.
Now you know what the professor expects from your essay at different levels. The main recommendation is to follow the basic requirements for the essay, including the structure (introduction, main body, and conclusion). Also, maintain a certain balance between the paragraphs. Do not forget that the introduction and conclusion are shorter than the main part of the text.
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- Essay Guide
How Long Is an Essay and How to Achieve the Needed Length?
Table of content.
- 01. How Many Paragraphs Are in an Essay in General?
- 02. Guidelines for Average College Essay Length
- 03. Determining Essay Size Based on Its Type
- 04. Is It Possible to Go Under Suggested Length?
- 05. What About Going Over the Suggested Length?
- 06. Follow Instructions and Avoid Unnecessary Worries
How long is an essay? It’s such a simple question, and yet very few students know an answer to it. For some reason, many professors choose to focus on clarifying requirements, grammar rules, writing style, credible sources, and they forget about essay length. Sure, they’ll likely tell if they want 3 or 5 pages, but there will also be instances where you’re left guessing.
The only way to resolve this issue once and for all is by learning whether there is a specific academic standard regarding an average length of papers. We’ve prepared detailed explanations that will address every possible question one might have.
How Many Paragraphs Are in an Essay in General?
There is an easy way to remember how long general essays should be: just think about paragraphs. In average-sized papers that take at least several pages, one paragraph usually ranges from 30 to 200 words. So, students should not write less or more than that. If you’re wondering about the specifics, keep this following fact in mind: a sentence should be at least 10 words long.
So, at a minimum, paragraph must have 3 sentences (an opening statement, the heart of a paragraph, concluding remark). 200 words are the maximum in a five paragraph essay as going above that length will make an essay very wordy. People don’t like struggling through the paper where no breaks are in sight — even if you describe the most interesting topic, majority will find it hard to keep reading. Let’s see statistics of how long paragraphs should be depending on essay size.
- Short essays: between 100 – 500 words.
These papers have to have at least 3 paragraphs . Yes, it could be complex for students to write a 200 word essay and still divide it into several paragraphs, but the thing is, an essay is a special type of writing. It’s not a discussion post where you could express everything in one short passage: essays must have an introduction, body, and conclusion, with a minimum of 3 sentences present in each.
- Average essays: between 600 – 1000 words.
Here, you should compose at least 4-5 paragraphs. Once again, there will be an intro along with conclusion, and the rest should go to a body.
- Longer essays: between 1100 – 1500 words.
Add at least 6-8 paragraphs for papers of this length. There can be more in a 1000 word essay and above, but definitely not less.
- Long essays: between 1600 – 2000 words.
In such a long text, there should be between 8 and 14 paragraphs . Take some time to describe every point; don’t viola set limit — break your text into readable and coherent parts.
For even longer papers, calculate the number of paragraphs by using statistics or data we presented. Remember the main rule: passage of text should be 30 – 200 words long. It cannot have less than 3 sentences.
Guidelines for Average College Essay Length
Now that we’ve covered paragraphs, let’s talk about three major components of an essay. Intro and conclusion should be of specified length. Normally, they cannot be shorter than 5% of the overall content, but they also shouldn’t be longer than 10%. This way, body length is virtually unlimited — allow instructions from your teacher to guide you there. The reasoning here is simple: you should introduce your topic in sufficient details, but it is important not to overdo it. No need for presenting all details at once, better to leave it for the body.
Same applies to conclusion: you have to re-state all major findings, but this must be done in a concise manner. Avoid copying stuff from previous paragraphs and simply finalize your point. A typical essay example in terms of length would be a 500 word essay. In this case, size of intro and body would have to be 50 words tops. Stick to these rules and you won’t have any issues!
Determining Essay Size Based on Its Type
You likely know that essays could be of many different kinds. For example, a letter-to-a-friend assignment isn’t long: it usually takes about 700 words max. Personal commentary tasks are of the same size or shorter. Narrative, argumentative , or analytical works comprise 1200 words (4 pages) — this is standard word count for essays of this type. A term paper is more serious and longer task where you need to write at least 1500 words. Research and dissertation are even more complex: their format presupposes length of at least 3000 words. But it is better to regard the size depending on study level.
High School Essay
One of the most common types of assignments in high school is a 5 paragraph essay. It ranges between typical 300 – 1000 words (1 – 3+ pages respectively).
College is tougher than school, so students should be prepared to work harder. Essays could start with 1500 and go up to 4000 words. The latter isn’t all that common, but it happens when you’re studying a complex subject where a lot of research is involved. You could be asked to write reports on companies or other businesses, and they usually are far from being short.
How long are essays that are submitted as admission attempts? They should be relatively concise, but at the same time, they must present your personal story in a captivating and sufficiently detailed way. So, based on general standards, people should write 400 words as a minimum & 1200 words as an absolute maximum.
Students have lots of writing to do when they become graduates. For proving they are capable of maintaining this education level, they are expected to compose papers ranging between 2000 and 6000 words, sometimes more. Dissertations tend to be even longer, but they could fall within this word limit, too.
Is It Possible to Go Under Suggested Length?
This question concerns a big number of students. It’s understandable: you could be a great expert in your major or at any school subject, but being a good writer isn’t an automatic skill that could be acquired with no practice. In these cases, it’s a chore to write 750 word essay, working on combining hundreds upon hundreds of words, and desire to stop sooner than required could be overwhelming. Well, you can always violate that limit we suggested above — after all, it’s merely a standard, not a solid requirement.
Never go under the word count indicated by professor. This is the strict rule: if you write fewer words than that, there’s a risk of receiving failing grade or getting it reduced by a big, upsetting extent. Professors hate what they perceive as students’ laziness — many will simply refuse to read an essay that lacks even one word. Listen to them as they inform you of how long should an essay be and follow their instructions.
What About Going Over the Suggested Length?
While some people hate necessity of being writers as they’re studying, others absolutely love it. In fact, they love it so much that they can’t stop writing, so before they know it, they exceed the normal size limit. It is preferable to failing to reach set limit, but the reactions of teachers could differ. Imagine that you asked, “How long is a short essay we have to write?” The reply was, “500 words.” But you got so inspired when working on it that resulted in 700.
Some professors praise for going above the length — they’ll be impressed. Others will reject your essay because they have no interest in dealing with disobedient students, even if writing more is technically a commendable thing. There is the third group, too: they’ll stop reading your essay after the limit, and give marks depending on what they’ve already read. It is really better to clarify or follow length guidelines you’ve been given.
Follow Instructions and Avoid Unnecessary Worries
No matter how hard it is, always try sticking to instructions. If you’re told to write a 250 word essay, do it. In case you went above the imposed length, try shortening content by cutting off redundant sentences (though if you clarified this with professor in advance, it’s perfect and you shouldn’t worry). Everything is more difficult in case a student fails to think of more paragraphs to write. They could look for help or give themselves some time for cooling off. Either way, put your best efforts into it, and you’re bound to succeed!
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How Many Words Should Be in an 8th-Grade Essay?
This topic has always been a matter of debate among educators. Generally, there is a specific standard that is set for each grade at school for the length of the essay. These standards make sure that the length of the essay should be according to the level of grade and its understanding in students.
The essay is about expressing the ideas and views that the students are supposed to illustrate in the form of essay projects. As well as the 8th grade is concerned, there should be around 500 to 800 words in the essay. These include brainstorming, paragraph, grammar, and sentence structure. In the 8th standard, the students are supposed to state, analyze and replicate various ideas and the length of 500 to 700 words suit best for these purposes.
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How Long Should My Academic Essay Be?
When you're given an academic essay assignment, it's easy to feel overwhelmed—especially if English is your second language or you have limited experience with academic writing. Academic essays can range from a few paragraphs to book-length dissertations, so the scope of expectations varies widely based on the school you're attending, the class you're taking, the departmental expectations, and (most especially) the professor giving you the assignment.
However, if you're new to academic essay writing and are stressing over the length it should be, keep in mind that in most situations, your questions will be answered by your professor or the admissions committee assigning you the essay in the first place. When an assignment is given, some professors are very specific on their expectations, including what they expect the word count to be.
For most assignments, you'll likely be given guidelines based on word count (for example, 1,000 to 1,200 words) or page count (3 to 5 pages, double-spaced). You might also be given guidelines on the citation format to use, how many sources you should have, and even the publication date range of those sources. Some professors like to be extremely specific on their expectations for each academic essay assignment, while others might be more lenient and less structured in their guidelines. And of course, these guidelines will vary based on the type of academic essay and its purpose.
General guidelines for essay length
Academic essay assignments typically start in middle school in the American education system and fall within the range of 300 to 800 words. In these grades, you'll be learning the basic 5-paragraph essay structure, which includes an introduction, a thesis statement, the body, and a conclusion. In the typical 5-paragraph essay format, the first paragraph should be the introduction, the second through fourth paragraphs should be the body of the essay, and the fifth paragraph should be the conclusion. In very rare instances would your introduction or conclusion take up more than one paragraph for these types of essays.
In high school, you'll still likely need to write a 5-paragraph essay, although some teachers (especially English and Language Arts) will start to require longer essays (3 to 5 pages). This is to prepare you for the rigor of academic writing that you'll be fine-tuning in college. In these essays, you will still have the basic format of introduction, body and conclusion; however, you'll expand the body to more thoroughly explore or explain a topic. The conclusion of your 3 to 5-page essay will likely still fall within one paragraph, although the introduction might be more than one, depending on the topic.
University (Undergraduate level)
Once you get admitted into an undergraduate program, the length of your academic essay assignments will vary significantly, depending on the classes you take and the departments you take them in. You'll also encounter classes that require academic essays of varying length as the semester progresses, with a longer essay due as the final assignment for a greater percentage of the class grade. In most cases, these longer academic writing assignments will be structured in such a way in that parts of the essay assignment must be turned in at different times, with all sections being put together as a final paper.
For example, in an advanced-level English class, your professor might assign multiple shorter essays of 5 to 7 pages (or 1,500 to 2,100 words) and one final essay that explores a topic in more depth at 8 to 10 pages (or 2,400 to 3,000 words). Another class, such as a core curriculum survey course, might require fewer essays or more journal prompt-type writing assignments.
University (Graduate level)
Much the same as the undergraduate level of college, graduate-level academic writing assignments will vary based on several factors, such as the professor, the course, the department, and the program of study. One university program might require extensive writing while another might be more lab-based or hands-on experience.
Graduate level is also where you're likely to first encounter "thesis" and "dissertation" academic writing assignments, which can go up to 100,000 words or more. These types of assignments obviously require extensive planning, research, and writing time, but you'll likely be given very specific word count and citation requirements when being assigned the paper to write.
Graduate level writing is significantly more involved than the 5-paragraph essay format and contains elements such as sections related to a review of literature, background of the topic/theoretical framework, methodology of research, and your specific findings. These separate sections might have their own word count limits and requirements, with some requiring significantly more time and writing than others. As with some undergraduate assignments, you might be asked to submit these academic writing assignments in stages or sections, including a proposal, a list of your sources, etc.
Beyond word and page count
Even if you stay within a certain word or page count that is required for an academic writing assignment, you could still receive a poor grade for not using that count wisely. For example, it's possible to write a 3 to 5-paragraph paper that is disorganized and illogical, in the same sense that an 8-page essay might have the same faults.
Here are some important guidelines to follow when writing an academic essay, regardless of the word count required:
- Always carefully outline before you begin writing. An outline will help you cover everything that should be covered and ensure that you've included all of the required parts of the essay (introduction, thesis statement, etc.)
- Never allow your academic essay writing style to appear rambling, off-topic, or full of "filler" words. While the topic you're writing about might be new to you, your professor will likely know it extensively and will be able to tell if you're writing just to fill space.
- Do your best to avoid hedging. Hedging is when you essentially dance around a topic with vague statements but never have an actual stance on it. In most forms of academic writing, you're expected to make a clear assumption or thesis statement and then back up your claim with solid research and/or data.
So, can I go over or under word count?
Ultimately, it will always be in your best interest to stay within word count requirements given to you on assignments. Word count or page count limits are given to you for a reason—your professor knows exactly how in-depth you can explore a topic or topics given that word count restriction. If you find that you are significantly under word count when you've completed your writing assignment, it's likely that you haven't explored the topic to the depth expected of you by your instructor. A poor or failing grade might be the result, as it will be clear to your professor that you either didn't understand the topic or didn't take the time needed to research it correctly.
Some professors will allow word count that is over suggested limits a lot more readily than word count that is under them. However, keep in mind that if you have gone significantly over word count in your academic essay assignment, it's always a good idea to ask your teacher if this is acceptable. He or she might have such a heavy student and research load that they are simply unable to read hundreds of essays that are over the suggested word count limit, and might be forced to stop reading once you've reached it. This means that important parts of your writing will not be read and could affect your teacher's grade choice for the assignments.
This is also true for college admissions essay assignments. Admissions committees might be reading the essays of thousands of applicants and need those writers to stay within word count restrictions for the sake of time and logistics. Allowing one applicant to write extensively more could also put that applicant at an unfair advantage, so word count restrictions should always be followed. For a more in-depth look at what you should and shouldn't do on your college admissions essay, check out this article on writing a college admissions essay that stands out from the crowd .
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How long is an 8th grade essay.
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How long should middle school essays be?
Academic essay assignments typically start in middle school in the American education system and fall within the range of 300 to 800 words. In these grades, you’ll be learning the basic 5-paragraph essay structure, which includes an introduction, a thesis statement, the body, and a conclusion.
How long should an assignment introduction be?
The introductions for most papers can be effectively written in one paragraph occupying half to three-quarters of the first page. Your introduction may be longer than that, and it may take more than one paragraph, but be sure you know why.
Can a paragraph be longer than 8 sentences?
There’s often a lot of confusion, but if you’re looking for a general answer to the question, How many sentences in a paragraph? the answer is there are 3 to 8 sentences in a paragraph. The important key to take away from this answer is that it’s a rule-of-thumb.
Is 9 sentences too long for a paragraph?
Various educators teach rules governing the length of paragraphs. They may say that a paragraph should be 100 to 200 words long, or be no more than five or six sentences. But a good paragraph should not be measured in characters, words, or sentences. The true measure of your paragraphs should be ideas.
What does 100 words look like?
The answer is 100 words is 0.2 pages single-spaced or 0.4 pages double-spaced.
How long is a 1000 word essay double spaced?
Pages by Word CountWord CountPages (single spaced)Pages (double spaced)600 Words1⅓ Page2⅔ Pages750 Words1½ Pages3 Pages800 Words1⅗ Pages3⅕ Pages1000 Words2 Pages4 Pages16
How long will it take to write 10000 words?
How long does it take to write a 10,000 word essay? It takes about 33 hours and 20 minutes to write a 10,000 word essay.
Can I write 2000 words in a day?
In sum, there is really no reason why anyone can’t write 2000 words a day. That said, it’s important to take care of your health during the process. Get up regularly, stretch, and don’t forget to those other rhythms: eating and sleeping. No point writing a book you’ll never read.
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How Long Should a College Essay Be? | Word Count Tips
Published on September 29, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on June 1, 2023.
Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.
You should aim to stay under the specified limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, if you write too little, it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a thoughtful and developed essay.
Table of contents
Word count guidelines for different application types, how to shorten your essay, how to expand your essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.
Each university has a different suggested or required word count depending on which application portal it uses.
Some application portals will allow you to exceed the word count limit, but admissions officers have limited time and energy to read longer essays. Other application portals have a strict limit and will not allow you to exceed it.
For example, in the Common App , the portal will not allow you to submit more than 650 words. Some colleges using the Common App will allow you to submit less than 250 words, but this is too short for a well-developed essay.
For scholarship essays , diversity essays , and “Why this college?” essays , word count limits vary. Make sure to verify and respect each prompt’s limit.
Don’t worry too much about word count until the revision stage ; focusing on word count while writing may hinder your creativity. Once you have finished a draft, you can start shortening or expanding your essay if necessary.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
On some application portals, you can exceed the word limit, but there are good reasons to stay within it:
- To maintain the admissions officer’s attention
- To show you can follow directions
- To demonstrate you can write concisely
Here are some strategies for shortening your essay.
Stay on the main point
It’s good to use vivid imagery, but only include relevant details. Cut any sentences with tangents or unnecessary information.
My father taught me how to strategically hold the marshmallow pierced by a twig at a safe distance from the flames to make sure it didn’t get burned, ensuring a golden brown exterior.
Typically, my father is glued to his computer since he’s a software engineer at Microsoft. But that night, he was the marshmallow master. We waited together as the pillowy sugary goodness caramelized into gooey delight. Good example: Sticks to the point On our camping trip to Yosemite, my family spent time together, away from technology and routine responsibility.
My favorite part was roasting s’mores around the campfire. My father taught me how to hold the marshmallow at a safe distance from the flames, ensuring a golden brown exterior.
These college essay examples also demonstrate how you can cut your essay down to size.
Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay. If a word doesn’t add value, cut it.
Here are some common examples of wordiness and how to fix them.
Use a paraphrasing tool
If you want to save time, you can make use of a paraphrasing tool . Within the tool you can select the “short” mode to rewrite your essay in less words. Just copy your text in the tool and within 1 click you’ll have shortened your essay.
If you’re significantly under the word count, you’re wasting the opportunity to show depth and authenticity in your essay. Admissions officers may see your short essay as a sign that you’re unable to write a detailed, insightful narrative about yourself.
Here are some strategies for expanding your essay.
Show detailed examples, and don’t tell generic stories
You should include detailed examples that can’t be replicated by another student. Use vivid imagery, the five senses, and specific objects to transport the reader into your story.
Reveal your feelings and insight
If your essay lacks vulnerability or self-reflection, share your feelings and the lessons you’ve learned.
Be creative with how you express your feelings; rather than simply writing “I’m happy,” use memorable images to help the reader clearly visualize your happiness. Similarly, for insight, include the follow-up actions from your lessons learned; instead of claiming “I became a hard worker,” explain what difficult tasks you accomplished as a result of what you learned.
If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
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Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.
You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.
If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.
If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.
If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.
You can speed up this process by shortening and smoothing your writing with a paraphrasing tool . After that, you can use the summarizer to shorten it even more.
There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay . College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count .
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How To Write an 8 Page Paper: A Guide
Students are often worried about the length of research writing when it comes to assigned papers. There are many factors that determine how long a research paper should be.
These include your grade level, the topic and the depth of the research, among many others. Naturally, you’re asked for a specific word count or number of pages in your prompt.
In this article, we will explore how to write an 8 page paper for your next assignment. We’ll focus on the following;
- 10 steps of writing an 8 page long research.
- How to structure and organize a paper.
- Outline Template and Example.
- 6 common mistakes to avoid.
Table of Contents
How To Write 8 Page Paper: 8 Step Guide
An 8-page long research paper is moderately lengthy. For many of you, it may be the longest research paper yet. Viewing it this way, writing a research paper might seem intimidating.
So you’ll need to change your approach to this mission. Dividing this big task into manageable steps will make it easier to tackle. This section provides you with calculated steps on how to write an 8 page paper.
Understanding The Instruction
Imagine trying to assemble your Ikea shelf without any visual or verbal instruction. You’ll naturally mess it up, one way or the other. Many students make the mistake of neglecting the prompt.
The success of your paper depends on your understanding of these instructions. So before you start a research paper , read your prompt thoroughly. These guidelines will highlight all the technical requirements, including;
- Formatting style
- Required word count
- Any visual or imagery requirements
- Length of paragraphs
- Line spacing
- Method of submission
Thus, carefully review your instruction document for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps you determine when and how to follow all the requirements.
Choosing A Topic
Choosing the right research paper topics is a hassle on its own. Each topic has its own scope and research capacities. Here are some key factors to register while picking your topic.
- Your interest in the topic
- The amount of relevant information available on the topic.
- Authentic sources for that information. (less reliable information can damage your credibility)
- Consider the depth of the topic.
If you happen to like a vague topic, try focusing on a specific aspect. This way, you can narrow down your research to meet the requirements.
Listing Relevant Research Studies
Once you’ve picked a satisfactory topic, collect the relevant research studies done on it. This step will familiarize you with the existing literature on the subject. Additionally, you can pinpoint the exact areas that require more research.
This step will help you narrow down your topic if you haven’t already. You can look for these studies on online platforms or search engines like;
- Google Scholar
- Find Your Answer
You can read related books, journals, research publications, and articles for your paper. Remember to stay on the relevant studies and refrain from exhausting yourself with extraneous readings.
When preparing to compose a research paper, taking notes will help you succeed. Making notes will assist you in filtering your data and keeping tabs on the most authentic and relevant information.
Your note-taking method can vary from others and should suit you. However, here are some common ways that many students adopt.
- Highlighting information by using a spreadsheet or notebook.
- Flag the sources of information to form references.
- Make mind maps and flowcharts or any other diagram technique.
- Make solid bullet points to add to your paper.
- Write down all your ideas that emerge from the research.
These notes will showcase which points add value to your argument. Keep those of the highest validity and reliability. This is especially great for your next step, which is making outlines.
Making an Outline
Make an outline that will serve as your investigation’s outer face. It helps you understand the concept behind this entire exploration. This outline must follow all the rules from your prompt.
You can have your professor help you with writing an outline. Another way to create an outline is to follow an exemplary paper. You can fashion your paper similar to your example. However, make sure to add some original value and not copy someone’s entire work.
In this step, you will notice your research paper coming to life. You can start by assembling all the information you have highlighted within the outline. Students have polarized opinions about this step.
While many treat it like a puzzle game, others are left confused. In case of perplexity, you can look for help in various areas;
- You can ask your instructor to guide you
- You can challenge yourself to learn by copying the sequence of your exemplary paper.
- You can opt for paper writing help and get professional writers to help you.
It’s not necessary to add all the details at once. It might take multiple attempts to adjust all the information in the outline.
You can start working on your first draft according to your blueprint (outline). Try to write in chunks and give yourself enough breaks to stay fresh. Remember your work reflects your state of mind.
Try to incorporate proper citation and formatting techniques in this step. Make sure you follow the recommended citation method.
Editing and making changes is the last of this guide on how to write an 8 page paper. In this stage, you will work towards finalizing your research article. It might seem like this step only requires a spelling or grammar check.
Yet there’s more than meets the eye. This step requires you to;
- Polish your content and use appropriate vocabulary/ jargon.
- Focus on structure and format.
- Use the proper citation method.
- Fix spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
- Get a fresh pair of eyes to review your work. This could be your professor or peers. (make appropriate changes according to their suggestions)
By following these steps, you can compose impactful research. Remember running low on time doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Ask for help and guidance from your peers and professors. If you still feel clueless, get a good research paper writer who helps you learn.
*Note: You can follow these same steps with minor adjustments depending on the length of your research.
How to Write an 8 Page Paper: Organization
Now that you have understood how to write an 8 page paper, let’s move on to structure. Learning how to organize your research paper is another crucial step you shouldn’t skip.
Research writing goes through a General-Specific-General format.
It’s an ideal way to structure your paper. The investigation points will give a reader a precise meaning when the structure is in a flow. Let us explain how to follow these instructions in a detailed overview.
How to Write an 8 page paper: Introduction
In the introduction , you will start with a general statement like, establishing the background. You will also add;
- The research problem
- Importance of the topic
- A glimpse of what makes your work unique
*Remember introduction and literature review are two different sections. Don’t confuse one with the other.
Purpose of Paper
After the intro, you’ll jump to the purpose of your research paper. This section encompasses your
- Thesis statement
Try to establish an outline of the intentions behind the paper.
Your next task is writing your literature review for the paper. This section will include your;
- Identification of gaps and trends in prior research.
- The key finding of the paper
- Selection of relevant sources
How to Write an 8 page paper: Methods
The methods section focuses on information design, procedures and approaches. The writers add the assumptions, collection data, and other relevant information.
The result is next in the structuring of your 8 page research paper. It encompasses the main findings, your arguments, and the achievements of your paper.
How to Write an 8 Page Paper: Discussion/ Conclusion
The final segment of your paper is the conclusion and discussion section. It interprets or extends results and draws inferences. This section points to applications or wider implications of the investigations. It ends with recommendations from the writer on how he sees the situation.
How to Write an 8 Page Paper: Outline and Template
The following outline contains an estimated page space for each segment of the structure. It allows adequate space for each part while considering the limitations of length.
It shows how to adjust each section to complete an 8 page paper without any hiccups. However, you can make changes to suit your data and research.
This is a wrap on our guide on how to write an 8 page paper. We’re positive that this tutorial is helpful for many students. These steps, tips and outline templates will assist you regardless of the length of your paper.
With these guidelines, you can impress your professors and peers. If you need further help, check out related posts and unlock your composition skills. For those who are still struggling, our writers are available for you around the clock. So get in contact without any delays and achieve a top grade.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the complete ib extended essay guide: examples, topics, and ideas.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
IB students around the globe fear writing the Extended Essay, but it doesn't have to be a source of stress! In this article, I'll get you excited about writing your Extended Essay and provide you with the resources you need to get an A on it.
If you're reading this article, I'm going to assume you're an IB student getting ready to write your Extended Essay. If you're looking at this as a potential future IB student, I recommend reading our introductory IB articles first, including our guide to what the IB program is and our full coverage of the IB curriculum .
IB Extended Essay: Why Should You Trust My Advice?
I myself am a recipient of an IB Diploma, and I happened to receive an A on my IB Extended Essay. Don't believe me? The proof is in the IBO pudding:
If you're confused by what this report means, EE is short for Extended Essay , and English A1 is the subject that my Extended Essay topic coordinated with. In layman's terms, my IB Diploma was graded in May 2010, I wrote my Extended Essay in the English A1 category, and I received an A grade on it.
What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme?
The IB Extended Essay, or EE , is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide) . I will explain exactly how the EE affects your Diploma later in this article.
For the Extended Essay, you will choose a research question as a topic, conduct the research independently, then write an essay on your findings . The essay itself is a long one—although there's a cap of 4,000 words, most successful essays get very close to this limit.
Keep in mind that the IB requires this essay to be a "formal piece of academic writing," meaning you'll have to do outside research and cite additional sources.
The IB Extended Essay must include the following:
- A title page
- Contents page
- Body of the essay
- References and bibliography
Additionally, your research topic must fall into one of the six approved DP categories , or IB subject groups, which are as follows:
- Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
- Group 2: Language Acquisition
- Group 3: Individuals and Societies
- Group 4: Sciences
- Group 5: Mathematics
- Group 6: The Arts
Once you figure out your category and have identified a potential research topic, it's time to pick your advisor, who is normally an IB teacher at your school (though you can also find one online ). This person will help direct your research, and they'll conduct the reflection sessions you'll have to do as part of your Extended Essay.
As of 2018, the IB requires a "reflection process" as part of your EE supervision process. To fulfill this requirement, you have to meet at least three times with your supervisor in what the IB calls "reflection sessions." These meetings are not only mandatory but are also part of the formal assessment of the EE and your research methods.
According to the IB, the purpose of these meetings is to "provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their engagement with the research process." Basically, these meetings give your supervisor the opportunity to offer feedback, push you to think differently, and encourage you to evaluate your research process.
The final reflection session is called the viva voce, and it's a short 10- to 15-minute interview between you and your advisor. This happens at the very end of the EE process, and it's designed to help your advisor write their report, which factors into your EE grade.
Here are the topics covered in your viva voce :
- A check on plagiarism and malpractice
- Your reflection on your project's successes and difficulties
- Your reflection on what you've learned during the EE process
Your completed Extended Essay, along with your supervisor's report, will then be sent to the IB to be graded. We'll cover the assessment criteria in just a moment.
We'll help you learn how to have those "lightbulb" moments...even on test day!
What Should You Write About in Your IB Extended Essay?
You can technically write about anything, so long as it falls within one of the approved categories listed above.
It's best to choose a topic that matches one of the IB courses , (such as Theatre, Film, Spanish, French, Math, Biology, etc.), which shouldn't be difficult because there are so many class subjects.
Here is a range of sample topics with the attached extended essay:
- Biology: The Effect of Age and Gender on the Photoreceptor Cells in the Human Retina
- Chemistry: How Does Reflux Time Affect the Yield and Purity of Ethyl Aminobenzoate (Benzocaine), and How Effective is Recrystallisation as a Purification Technique for This Compound?
- English: An Exploration of Jane Austen's Use of the Outdoors in Emma
- Geography: The Effect of Location on the Educational Attainment of Indigenous Secondary Students in Queensland, Australia
- Math: Alhazen's Billiard Problem
- Visual Arts: Can Luc Tuymans Be Classified as a Political Painter?
You can see from how varied the topics are that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to picking a topic . So how do you pick when the options are limitless?
How to Write a Stellar IB Extended Essay: 6 Essential Tips
Below are six key tips to keep in mind as you work on your Extended Essay for the IB DP. Follow these and you're sure to get an A!
#1: Write About Something You Enjoy
You can't expect to write a compelling essay if you're not a fan of the topic on which you're writing. For example, I just love British theatre and ended up writing my Extended Essay on a revolution in post-WWII British theatre. (Yes, I'm definitely a #TheatreNerd.)
I really encourage anyone who pursues an IB Diploma to take the Extended Essay seriously. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition merit scholarship to USC's School of Dramatic Arts program. In my interview for the scholarship, I spoke passionately about my Extended Essay; thus, I genuinely think my Extended Essay helped me get my scholarship.
But how do you find a topic you're passionate about? Start by thinking about which classes you enjoy the most and why . Do you like math classes because you like to solve problems? Or do you enjoy English because you like to analyze literary texts?
Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your Extended Essay topic. You're not more likely to get high marks because you're writing about science, just like you're not doomed to failure because you've chosen to tackle the social sciences. The quality of what you produce—not the field you choose to research within—will determine your grade.
Once you've figured out your category, you should brainstorm more specific topics by putting pen to paper . What was your favorite chapter you learned in that class? Was it astrophysics or mechanics? What did you like about that specific chapter? Is there something you want to learn more about? I recommend spending a few hours on this type of brainstorming.
One last note: if you're truly stumped on what to research, pick a topic that will help you in your future major or career . That way you can use your Extended Essay as a talking point in your college essays (and it will prepare you for your studies to come too!).
#2: Select a Topic That Is Neither Too Broad nor Too Narrow
There's a fine line between broad and narrow. You need to write about something specific, but not so specific that you can't write 4,000 words on it.
You can't write about WWII because that would be a book's worth of material. You also don't want to write about what type of soup prisoners of war received behind enemy lines, because you probably won’t be able to come up with 4,000 words of material about it. However, you could possibly write about how the conditions in German POW camps—and the rations provided—were directly affected by the Nazis' successes and failures on the front, including the use of captured factories and prison labor in Eastern Europe to increase production. WWII military history might be a little overdone, but you get my point.
If you're really stuck trying to pinpoint a not-too-broad-or-too-narrow topic, I suggest trying to brainstorm a topic that uses a comparison. Once you begin looking through the list of sample essays below, you'll notice that many use comparisons to formulate their main arguments.
I also used a comparison in my EE, contrasting Harold Pinter's Party Time with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in order to show a transition in British theatre. Topics with comparisons of two to three plays, books, and so on tend to be the sweet spot. You can analyze each item and then compare them with one another after doing some in-depth analysis of each individually. The ways these items compare and contrast will end up forming the thesis of your essay!
When choosing a comparative topic, the key is that the comparison should be significant. I compared two plays to illustrate the transition in British theatre, but you could compare the ways different regional dialects affect people's job prospects or how different temperatures may or may not affect the mating patterns of lightning bugs. The point here is that comparisons not only help you limit your topic, but they also help you build your argument.
Comparisons are not the only way to get a grade-A EE, though. If after brainstorming, you pick a non-comparison-based topic and are still unsure whether your topic is too broad or narrow, spend about 30 minutes doing some basic research and see how much material is out there.
If there are more than 1,000 books, articles, or documentaries out there on that exact topic, it may be too broad. But if there are only two books that have any connection to your topic, it may be too narrow. If you're still unsure, ask your advisor—it's what they're there for! Speaking of advisors...
Don't get stuck with a narrow topic!
#3: Choose an Advisor Who Is Familiar With Your Topic
If you're not certain of who you would like to be your advisor, create a list of your top three choices. Next, write down the pros and cons of each possibility (I know this sounds tedious, but it really helps!).
For example, Mr. Green is my favorite teacher and we get along really well, but he teaches English. For my EE, I want to conduct an experiment that compares the efficiency of American electric cars with foreign electric cars.
I had Ms. White a year ago. She teaches physics and enjoyed having me in her class. Unlike Mr. Green, Ms. White could help me design my experiment.
Based on my topic and what I need from my advisor, Ms. White would be a better fit for me than would Mr. Green (even though I like him a lot).
The moral of my story is this: do not just ask your favorite teacher to be your advisor . They might be a hindrance to you if they teach another subject. For example, I would not recommend asking your biology teacher to guide you in writing an English literature-based EE.
There can, of course, be exceptions to this rule. If you have a teacher who's passionate and knowledgeable about your topic (as my English teacher was about my theatre topic), you could ask that instructor. Consider all your options before you do this. There was no theatre teacher at my high school, so I couldn't find a theatre-specific advisor, but I chose the next best thing.
Before you approach a teacher to serve as your advisor, check with your high school to see what requirements they have for this process. Some IB high schools require your IB Extended Essay advisor to sign an Agreement Form , for instance.
Make sure that you ask your IB coordinator whether there is any required paperwork to fill out. If your school needs a specific form signed, bring it with you when you ask your teacher to be your EE advisor.
#4: Pick an Advisor Who Will Push You to Be Your Best
Some teachers might just take on students because they have to and aren't very passionate about reading drafts, only giving you minimal feedback. Choose a teacher who will take the time to read several drafts of your essay and give you extensive notes. I would not have gotten my A without being pushed to make my Extended Essay draft better.
Ask a teacher that you have experience with through class or an extracurricular activity. Do not ask a teacher that you have absolutely no connection to. If a teacher already knows you, that means they already know your strengths and weaknesses, so they know what to look for, where you need to improve, and how to encourage your best work.
Also, don't forget that your supervisor's assessment is part of your overall EE score . If you're meeting with someone who pushes you to do better—and you actually take their advice—they'll have more impressive things to say about you than a supervisor who doesn't know you well and isn't heavily involved in your research process.
Be aware that the IB only allows advisors to make suggestions and give constructive criticism. Your teacher cannot actually help you write your EE. The IB recommends that the supervisor spends approximately two to three hours in total with the candidate discussing the EE.
#5: Make Sure Your Essay Has a Clear Structure and Flow
The IB likes structure. Your EE needs a clear introduction (which should be one to two double-spaced pages), research question/focus (i.e., what you're investigating), a body, and a conclusion (about one double-spaced page). An essay with unclear organization will be graded poorly.
The body of your EE should make up the bulk of the essay. It should be about eight to 18 pages long (again, depending on your topic). Your body can be split into multiple parts. For example, if you were doing a comparison, you might have one third of your body as Novel A Analysis, another third as Novel B Analysis, and the final third as your comparison of Novels A and B.
If you're conducting an experiment or analyzing data, such as in this EE , your EE body should have a clear structure that aligns with the scientific method ; you should state the research question, discuss your method, present the data, analyze the data, explain any uncertainties, and draw a conclusion and/or evaluate the success of the experiment.
#6: Start Writing Sooner Rather Than Later!
You will not be able to crank out a 4,000-word essay in just a week and get an A on it. You'll be reading many, many articles (and, depending on your topic, possibly books and plays as well!). As such, it's imperative that you start your research as soon as possible.
Each school has a slightly different deadline for the Extended Essay. Some schools want them as soon as November of your senior year; others will take them as late as February. Your school will tell you what your deadline is. If they haven't mentioned it by February of your junior year, ask your IB coordinator about it.
Some high schools will provide you with a timeline of when you need to come up with a topic, when you need to meet with your advisor, and when certain drafts are due. Not all schools do this. Ask your IB coordinator if you are unsure whether you are on a specific timeline.
Below is my recommended EE timeline. While it's earlier than most schools, it'll save you a ton of heartache (trust me, I remember how hard this process was!):
- January/February of Junior Year: Come up with your final research topic (or at least your top three options).
- February of Junior Year: Approach a teacher about being your EE advisor. If they decline, keep asking others until you find one. See my notes above on how to pick an EE advisor.
- April/May of Junior Year: Submit an outline of your EE and a bibliography of potential research sources (I recommend at least seven to 10) to your EE advisor. Meet with your EE advisor to discuss your outline.
- Summer Between Junior and Senior Year: Complete your first full draft over the summer between your junior and senior year. I know, I know—no one wants to work during the summer, but trust me—this will save you so much stress come fall when you are busy with college applications and other internal assessments for your IB classes. You will want to have this first full draft done because you will want to complete a couple of draft cycles as you likely won't be able to get everything you want to say into 4,000 articulate words on the first attempt. Try to get this first draft into the best possible shape so you don't have to work on too many revisions during the school year on top of your homework, college applications, and extracurriculars.
- August/September of Senior Year: Turn in your first draft of your EE to your advisor and receive feedback. Work on incorporating their feedback into your essay. If they have a lot of suggestions for improvement, ask if they will read one more draft before the final draft.
- September/October of Senior Year: Submit the second draft of your EE to your advisor (if necessary) and look at their feedback. Work on creating the best possible final draft.
- November-February of Senior Year: Schedule your viva voce. Submit two copies of your final draft to your school to be sent off to the IB. You likely will not get your grade until after you graduate.
Remember that in the middle of these milestones, you'll need to schedule two other reflection sessions with your advisor . (Your teachers will actually take notes on these sessions on a form like this one , which then gets submitted to the IB.)
I recommend doing them when you get feedback on your drafts, but these meetings will ultimately be up to your supervisor. Just don't forget to do them!
The early bird DOES get the worm!
How Is the IB Extended Essay Graded?
Extended Essays are graded by examiners appointed by the IB on a scale of 0 to 34 . You'll be graded on five criteria, each with its own set of points. You can learn more about how EE scoring works by reading the IB guide to extended essays .
- Criterion A: Focus and Method (6 points maximum)
- Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 points maximum)
- Criterion C: Critical Thinking (12 points maximum)
- Criterion D: Presentation (4 points maximum)
- Criterion E: Engagement (6 points maximum)
How well you do on each of these criteria will determine the final letter grade you get for your EE. You must earn at least a D to be eligible to receive your IB Diploma.
Although each criterion has a point value, the IB explicitly states that graders are not converting point totals into grades; instead, they're using qualitative grade descriptors to determine the final grade of your Extended Essay . Grade descriptors are on pages 102-103 of this document .
Here's a rough estimate of how these different point values translate to letter grades based on previous scoring methods for the EE. This is just an estimate —you should read and understand the grade descriptors so you know exactly what the scorers are looking for.
Here is the breakdown of EE scores (from the May 2021 bulletin):
How Does the Extended Essay Grade Affect Your IB Diploma?
The Extended Essay grade is combined with your TOK (Theory of Knowledge) grade to determine how many points you get toward your IB Diploma.
To learn about Theory of Knowledge or how many points you need to receive an IB Diploma, read our complete guide to the IB program and our guide to the IB Diploma requirements .
This diagram shows how the two scores are combined to determine how many points you receive for your IB diploma (3 being the most, 0 being the least). In order to get your IB Diploma, you have to earn 24 points across both categories (the TOK and EE). The highest score anyone can earn is 45 points.
Let's say you get an A on your EE and a B on TOK. You will get 3 points toward your Diploma. As of 2014, a student who scores an E on either the extended essay or TOK essay will not be eligible to receive an IB Diploma .
Prior to the class of 2010, a Diploma candidate could receive a failing grade in either the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge and still be awarded a Diploma, but this is no longer true.
Figuring out how you're assessed can be a little tricky. Luckily, the IB breaks everything down here in this document . (The assessment information begins on page 219.)
40+ Sample Extended Essays for the IB Diploma Programme
In case you want a little more guidance on how to get an A on your EE, here are over 40 excellent (grade A) sample extended essays for your reading pleasure. Essays are grouped by IB subject.
- Business Management 1
- Chemistry 1
- Chemistry 2
- Chemistry 3
- Chemistry 4
- Chemistry 5
- Chemistry 6
- Chemistry 7
- Computer Science 1
- Economics 1
- Design Technology 1
- Design Technology 2
- Environmental Systems and Societies 1
- Geography 1
- Geography 2
- Geography 3
- Geography 4
- Geography 5
- Geography 6
- Literature and Performance 1
- Mathematics 1
- Mathematics 2
- Mathematics 3
- Mathematics 4
- Mathematics 5
- Philosophy 1
- Philosophy 2
- Philosophy 3
- Philosophy 4
- Philosophy 5
- Psychology 1
- Psychology 2
- Psychology 3
- Psychology 4
- Psychology 5
- Social and Cultural Anthropology 1
- Social and Cultural Anthropology 2
- Social and Cultural Anthropology 3
- Sports, Exercise and Health Science 1
- Sports, Exercise and Health Science 2
- Visual Arts 1
- Visual Arts 2
- Visual Arts 3
- Visual Arts 4
- Visual Arts 5
- World Religion 1
- World Religion 2
- World Religion 3
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