The 500-word essay is an excellent focus exercise. It teaches students to be clear and concise; to get their point across in as little as 500 words. Expect it to pop up frequently in your late high school and college freshman years.
This essay appears during in-class writing exercises and exam questions. You’ll be expected to write this essay fast, like 45-minutes fast. Hence, learning how to write a 500-word essay is essential for every student.
The essay itself is short. Still, you must always have a solid hook, thesis, and other structural and literary requirements. The professor will evaluate your ability to be clear and concise while using the least amount of words.
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- Length & Formatting: How Long is a 500 Word Essay?
- Creating an Outline
- How to Write a 500 Word Essay
- Writing Tips
Length & Formatting: How Long is a 500 Word Essay
So how long is a 500-word essay? You guessed it! It’s 500 words long.
The essay is usually presented in Times New Roman 12pt. All school and college papers are double-spaced and include a title page.
Pages are usually numbered and include the student’s surname near the page numbers. Ask your instructor on the format you should use (MLA, APA, etc.) Since these essays are usually handwritten during class or exams, the form is not a central priority.
Your 500 word essay length should not exceed a page and a half. This exercise is meant to show that you can prove your thesis in 500 words. Therefore it is crucial not to exceed the word limit.
Creating an Outline
To write a 500-word paper fast, you must start with the outline. It is the skeleton of your essay that must include all the points you wish to discuss.
Just jot down an outline on a separate piece of paper to help you be organized when writing. The outline must include:
An essay introduction
- Background information
- Topic sentence
- Supporting evidence
- Concluding sentence
- Summary of main points
- Re-stating the thesis
- Final thoughts
A helpful strategy in thinking about the essay conclusion is asking the “So What?” question. Asking yourself this question will help you explore and clarify the importance of your study to the reader.
After you jot down the outline, you’ll have a perfect picture of the essay in your head. Writing it will be the most natural part!
How to Write a 500 word Essay
After you’ve picked a topic and made an outline, it’s time to write your essay. Remember to keep the outline handy as a point of reference.
Your introduction should grab the reader's attention and provide some background information about your topic. Keep in mind that a sharp hook is only the start. You want to keep your reader interested the whole time. Try to maintain the same optimistic tone throughout the paper as in your introduction.
And don’t forget about the thesis statement!
The body is the section where you present your main points in a specific order. Each body paragraph consists of a topic sentence, a reference to a study or source (if necessary), and personal insight which explores the topic sentence from your point of view.
Each body paragraph must transition logically into the next. Good transition sentences will create a smooth reading experience for the reader.
Your essay will feel like a coherent whole, rather than a summary of facts.
Good conclusions trace back to the essay introduction by restating the thesis. The most important goal of the concluding paragraph is to summarize the main points and leave the reader with a sense of completeness.
Lastly, offer your concluding thoughts on the paper.
Why have you chosen the topic?
Why is the issue relevant?
What lessons or morals have you gained while exploring the topic?
A great tip that always works: create a draft before writing the final essay. Proofreading and editing are what makes compositions great!
More about this in the next section.
As Stephen King once said, “To write is human, to edit is divine.” The editing process is the secret to all great writing. Here are some useful tips to help make your essay smooth:
Forget It, Then Edit
The rule of thumb is to leave your article for a few days if you can. Forget about it - do something fun. Then come back to it. You will immediately see every loophole and be motivated to fix it.
Get a Second Pair of Eyes If You Can
Ask your friends & siblings to read your essay. They could offer useful insight and help you improve your writing. Don’t be shy!
Check for Grammar
It’s a bummer when your grade goes down because of grammar. It’s an easy thing to miss. Luckily, there are plenty sites like Grammarly which could check the paper for you.
Check for Clarity
Even if your piece of writing seems logical to you, your peers may find it hard to understand.
Make sure that your sentences are not too lengthy, and that you use transitions between paragraphs. There’s a useful online app called Hemingway app which can help you simplify your writing.
If you’ve referenced trustworthy sources, it’s important to cite them. This action will add credibility to your writing. Citing quotes & referencing the external sources on the last page of your work will prevent you from facing plagiarism issues and lower grades. Mind the preferred citation format.
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