How Long is a Short Essay?

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How Long is a Short Essay? Essential Information

It is impossible to count the number of essays written by students each year, as it is equally impossible to count the stars. Why do students have to write such compositions? These formal and informal papers teach us to express strong arguments, turn into opinion makers, as well as fluent narrators. If a student is able to compose a decent essay, he will likely become an expert in a certain field in the future. Essay writing keeps us involved in the art of expressing thoughts. Such papers endow us with the ability to seek logical arguments, criticize various notions and situations rationally, tell compelling stories in a literary manner, and experiment with miscellaneous writing styles.

Though long essays seem to be more time-consuming, it is convenient to delve into the needed subject, elaborating on its every aspect. On the contrary, a short essay may seem to be an easier task until you realize that its every sentence should express and support an attention-grabbing idea. It is often challenging to include all the essential details into the minimal word count.

While the main difficulty of this paper depends on the topic, you must be able to assess the short essay length. However, a particular oxymoron arises when you ask the question, “How long is a short essay?”Apparently, such an essay cannot be too extensive, but the assignment becomes trickier when the precise number of words is not specified. If you tend to be extremely eloquent, you risk to transcend the limit of brevity. Hence, it is advisable to keep in mind that the key words of this essay’s structure are succinct, concise, laconic, and terse.

There is a variety of succinct essays, from traditional school assignments to personal statements and application essays. Despite the discrepancies between styles and formats of such papers, the unifying feature consists in the optimal short essay length. Usually, you should not exceed a 500-word limit. It does not matter if you have to describe your personal experience, present an expert opinion or apply for an exchange program, your ideas must be revealed sufficiently, profoundly, and concisely.

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Short Essay Format

Following the structure step by step will help you to succeed with this assignment. The short essay format requires the usage of Times New Roman font with standard margins. The word limit remains within 400 or 500 words, which is about two double-spaced pages or one single-spaced page. Formatting requirements may vary, so you should always pay attention to the instructions. A proper structuring of such work comprises of a hook or a thesis expressed within the introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a summary.

Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should embody the quintessence of your piece of writing. It should not be shallow and ambiguous. Though it is basically one sentence, it should evoke interest in your readers regarding the subject you investigate. It is an introductory statement that elucidates the major concept or argument of the essay.


It can be said that a good introduction closes in a thesis statement, creating a perfect amalgamation of the most logical and catchy ideas. The information you present must be relevant and idiosyncratic. This is a symbolic first impression – it does not reveal all the details, but it generates valuable allusions about the topic’s essence. A decent introduction convinces the audience that the essay immerses in significant matters. Your last sentence of the introductory paragraph must reveal a statement that would instigate the flow of debates.

Main Body

The main body usually consists of three paragraphs, which present the details of the ideas you mentioned above. In this section, you must focus on facts and supporting evidence. The primary paragraph has to include the strongest argument for further elaboration. While presenting evidence, do not forget to employ citations. In other paragraphs, meticulously interconnect your own thoughts with the cited examples. Remember that the particularity of the short essay format also lies in the proper employment of conjunctions. The coherence of your sentences is no less important as it makes your writing easy-to-read.


Your results are reflected in the paragraph where you summarize the major points of the issue under discussion. You must logically support your thesis statement and answer the key question or solve the problem of the research paper. Nevertheless, the task is not only to summarize the outcomes, but also to present newness of the issue, ponder on its future prospects.

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Short Essay Concluding Guidelines

So how to write a short essay to meet all the academic requirements? Scrupulous preparation of an outline is the key to the fruitful fulfillment of this assignment. Outlining is a helpful sketch that determines the major steps you need to accomplish to make your essay elaborate despite its brief format. If you have to choose a topic on your own, pay attention to something memorable and currently central. Write down the main question or challenge that must be divulged in your paper. If the topic seems to be slightly complicated for you, dedicate more time to its exploration as the core task of yours is to be specific.

It is unwise to overuse quotes, especially when writing a concise essay. This task discloses your ability to express your own thoughts and arguments, not simply to cite other authors. Moreover, extensive quotations deprive you of the precious space you have for presenting an individual investigation. If you have to express opinions of trustworthy authors anyway, it is better to paraphrase their words and make the appropriate references. It does not only save the space for your reflections but also contributes to the authenticity of your written work. Improper citation could lead to accidental plagiarism, the most intimidating factor for diligent students.

If the question “What is a short essay?”still torments your mind, kindly contact us and we will provide you with the seamless writing help by the unfeigned knights of the pen. You can rest assured that your essay will be succinct, catchy, inventive, topical, as well as plagiarism-free.

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