As long as you want to complete your schooling, essays are unavoidable. Students write them as homework, scholarship requirements, and so on.
Although essays are common, several students find them unsettling because they either aren’t good at writing or find it challenging to do so. However, writing an essay doesn’t have to be problematic or complicated. You can write an A-worthy essay with a good understanding of the accompanying instructions, standard essay formats, and basics like standard essay length.
This guide will help you understand the critical elements of an essay and the standard essay length.
What are the key elements of an essay?
Before you start writing, you need to identify the essential aspects of an essay. Regardless of what type of essay you are writing, all essays are generally divided into the following sections:
- Introduction: the introduction gives a brief description of the essay. The introduction provides information on the topic and what direction the topic will take. The introduction to an essay is not expected to be too long, with only essential information that can guide the reader. You may need more than one paragraph for your introduction in rare cases, but that is an exception.
- Body: the body of an essay is the central part of the essay. This is where the topic is developed, expounded, and explained in detail. In an ideal essay, the body of an essay contains three to five paragraphs. However, you may need more paragraphs depending on the subject area and expected word count. Each paragraph should cater to one major point of the essay. The number of paragraphs affects how many sentences are in an essay. As much as possible, do not put more than one idea in a paragraph. Each paragraph should flow seamlessly into the other.
- Conclusion: every good essay should have a concluding paragraph that summarises the key ideas in the paper. The concluding paragraph could also state your position on an idea, especially if the essay were argumentative. A good concluding paragraph is as important as an excellent introductory paragraph.
How long should a college essay be?
While many essays come with instructions on the expected essay length, some don’t. This leaves us with the question, “how long is an essay college?”
Generally, college essays, especially college admission essays, come with instructions concerning the word count. However, this may vary between 250 to 700 words depending on the institution. This is mainly because college admission committees have to read over a thousand essays and review them.
If you are writing a college admission essay, it’s advisable to keep the word count at 500 words. This will prevent you from writing too much or too little. You can follow the standard essay format for this length, which includes one paragraph for the introduction, three paragraphs for the body, and one for the conclusion.
On the other hand, if you are given a word count range, ensure to work with the upper limit or an average of the given range.
However, if your essay isn’t a college admission essay, you can ask your instructor or lecturer for the expected word count range. Better still, you can also make inquiries about the standard essay lengths of your institution.
How to make an essay longer
Given how easy the standard essay format is and the numerous details an essay requires, one would expect essay writing to be a walk in the park. But that is not the case. Despite extensive research and a good knowledge of essay outlines or formats, students still struggle to meet the required essay word counts. And when faced with this problem, many of them revert to repetition and the addition of fluffy words.
While this solves the problem, it has grave repercussions like bad grades, college or scholarship essay rejections, etc. So, how to extend essay length? To address this issue without using repetitions or facing repercussions, here are some steps you can take:
- Elucidate your points for clarity; increase the length of your paragraphs
- Add as many examples as you can
- Maximize transitional phrases
- Hire online essay writing help
- Read through and add details you may have missed
- Make use of relevant quotations
- Conduct extensive research on the topic to avoid short essay length
To write an essay length that would be acceptable, you need an outline. Your outline would help you design your paragraphs and assign a certain number of words to each paragraph. However, note that the length of your essay will determine how many paragraphs are in an essay.
When writing your essay, remember to create a balance between quality and quantity.