Writing Short and Longer Essays
Table of Contents
Most students who need to write an essay find themselves stuck with two main questions: how many pages should be written and how much time should be spent on composing an essay? Well, the latter depends on your writing skills, while the former can turn out to be a tricky one. So, we have prepared for you a quick guide on how to write 200, 300, or 500-word essays.
200 Words – Keep It Brief but to the Point
Writing such a short essay can be more difficult than writing longer papers since you need to squeeze all important information in the minimum number of sentences. In light of this, consider the following points:
- Try to avoid direct citations. Rather, give information from other sources in your own words. This will keep you from further explanation and, as a result, from bigger word count.
- Make sure each sentence is specific and unambiguous. You cannot afford to sound unclear. Also, ensure you do not provide too many details.
- Double-check your paper for grammar mistakes. Since the paper is extremely short, each error will count here. Besides, your professor will easily see each of them.
300 Words – Stay Focused
300 words give you some freedom compared to a 200-word essay. However, you still need to be attentive to all the details and keep your paper is compressed as possible. Special attention should be paid to the following:
- Find some information about your topic to shape the points you want to discuss. However, do not go too deep in your research since you are not going to write a 15-page research paper. Value your time.
- Think of the main theme of your paper and write in one sentence what your paper will be about. This is called thesis statement. It will guide you through the paper.
- Brainstorm 2-3 arguments that would support your thesis. You will use specific (body) paragraphs to develop them. Remember to use one paragraph per argument.
- Create brief introduction and conclusion. In the introduction, provide some general information to introduce your main theme. In your conclusion, paraphrase the main points of your paper.
500 Words – Creativity Is Allowed
In a 500-words paper, you have some space for creativity. Now, you have some freedom in the way you organize your sentences though you still should strive to be clear and discuss one main argument in one paragraph. Also, like other paper, this one should consist of 3 main parts. As for the word count, you may even go above it if you have much to say, but make sure you have professor’s approval first.
Normally, in this type of essay, you can freely use outside sources. The only requirement here is to choose reputable sources because most professors do not appreciate Wikipedia or SparkNotes. So now, you are ready to compose a good paper regardless of the word count requirement. Just keep in mind the points above.