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An essay is one of the most creative and powerful ways of expressing one’s opinions and thoughts. But how long should an essay be? What is the ideal length of an essay? How many words should an essay contain? Or How many pages it should take up?
All of the above questions pop inside your head one after the other if your instructor gave you an essay writing assignment without specifying the exact word count.
Well, the length and word count of an essay is subjective and depends on a variety of factors such as the topic, purpose, audience, complexity, etc. Generally speaking, 500-1500 words is considered the average range for a typical essay.
In this article, our team of essay-writing experts from Perfect Essay will share insights on how many words are required for a perfect essay and how long it should be.
Importance of Word Count in Essay Writing
Setting a word count isn’t just about hitting an arbitrary goal, it’s about making sure you’re able to truly convey your message. When you know the overall scope of your work even before your start writing the actual task becomes much more achievable.
For instance, if you have decided that you need to write a 2,500 words essay then it’s easy to break that down into three points at 560 each plus 400 for the intro and conclusion. Voila! It’s that easy to plan your essay after you know the word count.
Word Count Saves Your Time and Energy
Don’t invest too much time and energy into research that won’t even fit the scope of your project. Respect the assigned word count and make sure each piece of work is tailored to the required specifications. Remember that it’s no use writing more than 600 words when they won’t be used. Maximize your efficiency and make sure every single second is spent writing quality words that will actually improve your grade.
Important Factors to Consider While Deciding the Word Count in an Essay
Before you assign a word count for your essay, you must consider all the important factors that directly affect your essay’s word count.
Type of Essay
The word count of an essay can vary depending on the type of essay you are writing. For instance, a persuasive essay may require more words to articulate all of your points and arguments, while an analytical essay might require fewer words. It doesn’t mean that a 2000-word essay worth is more than a 1000-word essay worth because it all comes down to your target audience and the purpose of your essay.
Purpose of the Essay You are Writing
A persuasive essay is not complete unless or until you are satisfied that you have persuaded your readers to agree with your point of view. There is a lot of difference between an essay that is written for the doctorate level and a high-school essay. The purpose of a doctorate-level essay is to provide an in-depth explanation of the issue at hand.
Your Target Audience
Essay writing is all about writing for your target audience. In fact, the most important factor while deciding how good or how bad your essay is how well your target audience understands what you are trying to suggest. Depending on the target audience certain essays may need to be longer or shorter than others.
Instructions from Your Teacher/Supervisor
If your instructor has given you a clear word count for the essay that you are supposed to write then you should stick to that word count. Remember that the plus-minus ten percent (+/- 10%) word count rule only applies if your instructor allows you to do it.
Recommended Word Count for Different Types of Essays
Strategies for Meeting Essay Word Count Requirements
Wondering how long does a essay have to be? Or how to meet the required word count for your essay? Well, here are the top-three strategies on how to meet the required essay word count like a pro.
Outlining and Planning
Start outlining your essay’s word count by identifying your essay’s main points, then divide them into shorter subsections. When outlining, be sure to include keywords or phrases that will help you stay on track and keep your essay focused. Once you have your outline complete, set a goal for how many words you want to write for each section, and make sure that you stick to it. This will help ensure that no part of your essay is rushed or left out, which can make the difference between a good and a great essay.
Avoiding Fluff and Repetition
To meet the essay word count while making sure you write great-quality meaningful content you must avoid all the fluff and fillers. This can be done by:
Avoid using overly long or complex sentences that repeat the same information multiple times.
Try to make it easier for readers to understand your argument quickly and efficiently without sacrificing clarity.
Read through your final draft several times before submitting it to catch any instances of needless repetition.
Using fluff and fillers just for the sake of using them should be avoided at all costs.
Editing and Proofreading
It’s a common misconception that editing an essay makes it shorter. In fact, you can also make the essay longer to meet the required word count while editing your essay. Adding some more relevant detail to every supporting statement in the body paragraphs of your essay can help increase the word count by a fair margin.
In conclusion, the right number of words for a perfect essay varies depending on the level and style of writing. While most essays adhere to an average word count range between 500-1,000 words this doesn’t mean that an essay cannot contain 300 words or 8000 words.
No need to wonder about things like “how big is an essay”, because essays should not be longer than necessary and must be able to effectively convey your ideas without relying solely on word count as a measure of quality. If you can write an essay that is concise yet powerful in its message, then you can rest assured that it will achieve its purpose regardless of how many words it contains.