Essay Length Guide & Proper Paper Length

Essay Length is usually given by the instructor. Before you determine, you better read the requirements a rubric if exist. Unless there is no given information about a length restriction, you can follow our rubric.

Before we give specific intervals for an essay length, there are 3 simple questions you should answer.

  1. What is the format (APA, MLA, etc.) you use?
  2. How many sources should an essay have?
  3. What is type of essay (Undergraduate, PHD, etc.)?

1.     Format’s effect to the length of an essay

Different formats include different qualifications. For example, when APA format includes abstract, MLA don’t.

Abstract, introduction, conclusion parts are also effective parameters.

However, you should always remember these;

  • Cite all outside information. Use your sources to support your ideas.
  • Your paragraphs should not be page-long. No one wants to read that!
  • Each sentence must be 50 words to 150 words and at least 3 sentences recommended.
  • Use 1 source for 1 body paragraph. 3 body paragraphs recommended.

2.     Number of sources

Number of sources is critical parameter to determine essay length.

You must use 1 source for 1 body paragraph. Which means that if you are willing to use 3 sources, your body part (without cover page, abstract, introduction, conclusion and references) should be approximately 450 to 900 words.

3.     Type of Essay

You should keep in mind that word count starts from the first letter of introduction and finishes with the last word of conclusion. (cover, abstract, References pages are not included to the wordcount)

High School Essay350-1000 words
College admission essay200-650 words
Undergraduate1000-3000 words
Graduate school essay2000-6000+ words

Essay Lenght Graph Scheme

You can read our article about Academic Writing | How to write an academic paper? Step by step Guide for more…

If all these looks too much to you, you can always find an expert on


Author Since: 08/08/2020

My name is Engin. I am the founder of pureassignment, a traveller, fitness lover and a cat person.


  • I love how detailed “academic writing step by step guide” writing is. It’s also nice to see it has branches like this page. I can’t left the website lol

  • Your team is a warehouse of knowledge. Your work reveals this thing without any doubt. Keep it work!

  • Marie

    3 years ago

    I agree, just do it. If it is too short, add one more citation and so 1 more paragraph (which makes like 150-300 words). If it’s too long; probably it’s because intro part is so long. Just delete (chop) parts. You’re good to go 🙂

  • I don’t think there should be a rubric for it. Just write it… (only if it’s not given by client)

    • admin

      3 years ago

      Well, I don’t agree. It’s good to have an idea about the length of writing. You can design paper structure better with this way

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