How Long Should A College Essay Be: Find Out The Truth


Writing college essays is a challenging task for most students. While there are many other requirements that should be met in this piece of writing, academic paper length is one of the most crucial. Thus, it is not surprising that students constantly type in Google: “How long are college essays?” Whether it’s a school, a college, or a university, the requirements for writing an essay vary. And word count or page limit differ. Some institutions claim to have concise and clear pieces of writing, while others require writing a long academic writing paper.

Discover the truth and get an A+ grade for your academic paper immediately!

How Long Is A College Essay: Measurements For Different Educational Facilities

Essays requirements for high schools and colleges are quite different. And it is essential to make sure you are on the same page with your teachers or professors. When asking the question “How long are college essays?” you will receive an answer in a certain number of word counts. However, if you are a teenager in a high school, the unit of measurement of an essay length will be counted in pages.

That is to say, you will often hear from your teachers to write a one-page or two-page academic paper.

How Long Are College Essays Usually: What About Limits?

Since you find out the appropriate amount of words or pages, you have to think about how to adjust it to your thoughts. An academic paper is a great chance to show all your talents. And if it is an application essay, it is even more valued. But you don’t want your essay to be of poor quality. Thus, you should never write a minimum number of words or pages.

When talking about actual numbers, it is always better to stick to the average or almost maximum limit. To give an illustration, if your college professor sets a requirement for an essay length ranging from 300 to 500 words, then you should write approximately 450 words. It is always up to you but writing within the norm will be the correct decision.

What If I Exceed The Limit?

Going over the requirements is always treated in a harsh way. However, the case depends on how much you exceed the limit. If it is up to 10 words, then such a case scenario is possible. But if you write your academic paper of more than 50-100 words, professors may not take it appropriately. And they have a right even to stop reading your work and put a period where it should be.

What If I Don’t Write Enough?

A concise way of discussing the topic is possible. But it is quite difficult to cover all the points successfully within a small number of words. Moreover, your teachers will definitely refuse to call it excellent work. Thus, your academic paper should not be equal to the lowest number. Try to find more arguments to reach at least the middle of the limit.

How To Count Words For College Essays?

If you have a word count limit, you should know how to stick to it. And obviously, it is not about counting every word and writing it down. Depending on the services you use, the instructions on how to find the word count will differ. Let’s look at two basic programs: Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

  • When using Google Docs, you should go to “Tools” and then “Word count.” There, you will see the number of pages, words, characters, and characters excluding spaces. For your convenience, you can set a feature to display the word count on the screen so you see how long it is when writing an academic paper.
  • In the Microsoft Word document, the word count is written in the lower-left corner. However, you can go to the “Reviews” section and then click on “Word count” to see the detailed information.

How Long Do College Essays Have To Be: What If There Is No Special Requirement?

Sometimes it happens that there is no answer to the question: “How long are college essays?” And you read the instructions carefully, but the “word count” collocation has not appeared in any way. In that case, it is essential to find so-called hints. Look for the following signs.

Unclear Word Count Limit

Some colleges don’t limit students to a certain number of words that should be covered in the academic paper. They might form it in the following way: “Write a several-paragraph essay.” And yet it doesn’t have an actual word count identification. Then it is up to you how long these paragraphs should be but try to write them within the 500-600 words limit.

Essay Samples

On rare occasions, colleges may ask you to submit your academic paper from previous years at school. In other words, it is a graded academic paper that shows your experience in writing. Even though there might be a word count, you will not be able to adjust to it as your academic paper has already been marked as complete by your high school teachers.

Absence Of Hints

It is possible that there is no suggestion on how long a college academic paper should be. So as not to take unnecessary actions, call the admission center. They will provide you with at least the approximate number of words.

How Long Are College Essays: Conclusion

The main rule for measuring the length of your academic paper is to stick to the requirements that your college sets. Try not to exceed the limit and write close to the maximum number. If you see no exact numbers for the academic paper length, look for any hints that will orientate you in that question or call directly to your college admission center.

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