How Long Should An Essay Be?

The length of an essay is important to know because it ensures that you are doing the right thing when writing a particular essay. For the most part, essays will either be long or short essays. However, this is a general classification and there are specifics especially when it comes to the educational level or purpose of the essay. This post will guide you on how long it should be. 

Guidelines on how long should an essay be

1. Short And Long Essays 

Essays have two major categorizations, either it will be long or short. Long essays will have 1000 words and above and short essays, on the other hand, will be 900 words and below. It also qualifies as a short essay depending on whether it is two pages or shorter. 

A long essay will be three pages or more. Again, this will vary depending on the line spacing and the size of the font used. Below is an example of how long an essay should be.

how long should a college essay be

Nevertheless, even with those general categorizations, how long should an essay be? The answer to this will depend on the purpose or the level of the writer. 

2. College Application Essay

A college application essay is essentially a short one. When you start to write your own, it is good to note that the recommended length for such is between 200 and 650 words. Depending on which word count you go for and the line spacing used, this will be one or two pages. 

College application essay experts, however, recommend that your college application be around 500 words. With single line spacing, this will usually be a single page or if you use double spacing, one and a half pages at the most. 

3. High School Essay 

High school essays also fall in the category of short essays. Many high school assignments will require the student to right 300-1000 words. The number of pages for such will also vary depending on the line spacing and font size used. 

High school essays generally test a student’s grammar and the flow of ideas. It is for this reason that they are not long. The focus here is not the breakdown of a particular idea but to enable the student to write coherently. Some high school teachers can request for longer essays from their students but this is rare and in events that this happens, the students can easily manage. 

4. Undergraduate College Essay

The undergraduate college essay falls in the category of long essays. Undergraduate students face one of the most challenging writing experiences. However, compared to other levels discussed here, undergraduate college essays offer more time to write. 

Generally, undergraduate college essays will vary between 1500-5000 words. The exact number of words that a student will write depends on the program the student is taking. Undergraduate essays are important for explaining concepts in-depth to show proficiency in the given topic. Most undergraduate essays create room for more research on the topic. 

5. Graduate School Admission Essay 

When applying for graduate school, an essay is important, as is the case when applying for undergraduate as well. For graduate school admission essays, the focus is on your academic goals and how a postgraduate program will be helpful to you. 

Such essays do not demand a lot and we can classify them as short essays. Generally, a graduate school admission essay will be between 500 and 1000 words. The choice on the exact number of words to right will depend on the candidate and whether there are any specific instructions on the same. 

6. Graduate School Essay 

The requirements for graduate school differ a bit compared to other levels. For graduate school, long-form essays are normal and take the form of research papers. These have the purpose of elaborating a single idea in-depth. For graduate school, the word count for each will be between 2500 and 6000 words. 

Final Thoughts 

It is important to know which type of essay you are writing and the institution level you are writing for. This will guide you on how to research what type of data you need to write an essay for a particular word count.

How long should Common App essays be?

Common essays should be between 250-650 words. Ensure to stay within this length.

How many pages is a 650 word essay?

A 650-word essay that is Times New Roman, font size 12 and is double spaced with one-inch margin should not be more than two and a half pages.

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