Writing an Essay: How Long should an essay be? Length, Editing, and Citing

While writing an essay, in most cases, use requirements from your instructor or class assignment to know what is required. However, in cases where there are no specifications on what is expected, you may use this guide as a reference.

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Essay Length – How long or How many pages/ words should an essay be?

First, you must remember there is no limit to the length of an essay or any paper. An essay could be less than 1 page, eg a discussion post, or even more than 50 words, eg a dissertation. So the big question. How do I know how many words/pages to write in my paper?

The answer depends on what you are writing about, and how many points you want to discuss. Therefore, you must consider the following perspective when writing an essay (or any other paper).

A good essay should take a minimum of five paragraphs.

Wait, why Five paragraphs?

Well, an essay must have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. These three components must be present in your essay structure.

The introduction and conclusion parts take their own full paragraphs. The other three paragraphs come from the body paragraphs supporting your main argument.

As you may know, the thumb rule of writing the body paragraphs of an essay is to keep one point per paragraph. (Read more about body paragraphs) Therefore, you can use at least 3 main points to create three body paragraphs. In the end, the essay will be 5 paragraphs long (1 introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and 1 concluding paragraph).

If you have the freedom to choose the length of your essay, make sure you address all the key points for your claim or argument before settling for the length. If you find yourself with five points, it is better to make an essay with 7 paragraphs than stacking the points together in a paragraph.

Therefore, here at Gateway Essay Writing Service, we recommend at least 7 paragraphs in your essay.

Sources or References

After completing the writing process for your essay, it is time to ensure all the sources you have used as evidence to support your argument and topic sentences are well and fully cited. Each in-text citation should have an accompanying reference entry. Different assignments require specific referencing and citing styles. Confirm with your instructor if the style is not specified in the assignment guidelines. Check out our guide on referencing and citing your work for more information on this section.

Editing and Proofreading when writing an essay

Ensure you double-check your essay before submitting it to remove grammar and spelling errors. Use Grammarly to check for grammatical to check your work for errors. Also, read through the work to ensure all sentences are complete and key points fully explained. You can use our editing and proofreading services for this part.

How do I start my Essay?

  1. Have an Outline. See our detailed guide on how to create an outline.
  2. Use a ‘catchy statement to begin the introduction paragraph. Check out our full guide on how to introduce an essay.

What are the parts of an Essay?

The structure of an essay follows a basic format with 3 main parts. The Introduction paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph. (Click here to learn more about outlining, writing an introduction, body paragraphs, or conclusion)

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