How to write a 500 Word Essay

Table of contents

Brevity is a communication skill that many people lack. This is the ability to communicate a point without using too many words. In life, you will communicate with many people. In most cases, your best path to success is to say things in a concise way. You’ll lose your audience if you ramble. In fact, famous author Ernest Hemingway was known for making his point in very few words. The 500-word essay is a perfect way to practice this.

The 500-word essay is a perfect way to practice saying things in a concise way.

You will see the 500-word essay most commonly as an in-class assignment or part of an exam. It’s a short essay. You’ll be expected to finish it quickly. At the same time, you can’t be careless. Accuracy, good research, formatting, and good writing still count.

As you learn how to write a 500 word essay, you’ll need an attention-getting intro with a solid thesis, strong body paragraphs, and a convincing conclusion. Your professor will evaluate your ability to communicate your ideas clearly, and follow the instructions.

If you need extra help with your 500 word assignment, let us know. This guide is a great help, but we are also available to provide additional assistance.

How Long is a 500 Word Essay?

At first, the answer seems easy. Of course, it’s 500 words. On the other hand, it can be a bit more complicated than that. For example, it’s usually okay to go a bit longer than 500 words. You should never go under. The number of pages will vary. This depends on the font type, font size, margin size, and spacing. Unless otherwise specified your paper will be double spaced. It will also have title pages. If you used research sources, you will also include works cited page. Include inline citations as well. Every page should be numbered. You may be given a citation format to use, such as MLA and APA.

It’s usually okay to go a bit longer than 500 words but you should never go under.

Essay Topic Selection

More often than not, you will be given a topic for your essay. If you do have to choose, select a topic you know. If that isn’t possible, choose something that is easy to research. Here are some topic ideas:

  • What are the best study tips for college students?

  • Compare and contrast the Nintendo switch and the XBox 1.

  • Write a persuasive essay on the topic of students taking a gap year.

Sample 500 Word Essay

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How to Write a 500 Word Essay Fast: Your Paper Step by Step

500-Word Essay Research

You may or may not get time to research your paper. If you do, choose sources that are up to date, clear, and accurate. You want to gather information quickly, and you won’t have time to slog through a bunch of extra information.

Writing an Outline

If time allows, you should create an outline first. This will be the framework of your 500 word essay. Use it to outline your points, and structure your essay. Even jotting down a short, simplified outline can help you organize your thoughts.

Here’s an example of a 500 word essay structure at the outline stage:

  1. Introduction

    1. A gap year is a year of traveling and or volunteering before starting college.

    2. Many students must decide whether or not to take a gap year.

    3. A gap year provides important experience and perspective.

  2. Body Paragraph 1

    1. Some of the most successful graduates took a gap year.

      1. Studies have shown that graduation rates are higher among gap year students.

      2. Nearly all ivy league colleges have stated they favor gap year students.

      3. Overall, gap year students earn more money after graduation.

  3. Body Paragraph 2

    1. Gap year students have better interpersonal relationships.

      1. They remain friends with their host families and friends.

      2. They are better at resolving conflicts with college roommates.

      3. Students who have taken a gap year are better at working in teams.

  4. Body Paragraph 3

    1. Gap year students have the necessary cultural understanding.

      1. Gap years tend to eliminate prejudicial thought processes.

      2. Gap year students can see things from others’ perspectives.

      3. Gap year students are more sought after in the international business space.

  5. Concluding Paragraph

    1. Gap year students are more likely to have successful careers and educational experiences.

Even jotting down a short, simplified outline can help you organize your thoughts.

The Elements of Your Essay Introduction

Your introductory paragraph must contain the following elements:

  • A Hook Such as an Interesting Statistic or Story. This gets the reader interested immediately.

  • An Introduction to The Topic And Its Relevance. Let them know what you will be talking about.

  • Your Thesis Statement. What’s your stance? This is what you’ll be covering!

500 word essay introduction writing infographic

The Body Paragraphs

You’ll usually have three body paragraphs. Sometimes four. Each one will need a topic or main idea sentence. Then you will add your supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.

Don’t forget your transitions. One body paragraph shouldn’t end abruptly with the next paragraph suddenly. Try to prepare the reader for what comes in the next sentence.

500 word essay body writing infographic

Essay Conclusion

Your conclusion will bring all of your points together. You need to summarize your main points. You should also make it clear what the thesis is again. The key here is to bring it all together. Your points should combine together to make a larger sum than their total.

Still confused? Look around for a 500 word essay example. Don’t copy it, but use it for education and inspiration instead. Before long, you will master how to write an essay of 500 words.

500 word essay conclusion writing infographic

Best 500 word paper topics

  1. Causes, treatment, and prevention of muscle strain
  2. Google is Chipping Away Our Intelligence
  3. Big Technology Companies Should Be Broken Apart
  4. Are Flying Cars the Real Solution to Traffic Congestion?
  5. Is a College Degree Worth It?
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How to Write a Good 500 Word Essay: More Tips

Check out our quick and easy tips for writing a better 500 word essay each and every time.

  • Choose a subject that you enjoy. It will make the writing experience more enjoyable.

  • Use grammar and spell checking tool.

  • Find easy to read sources that you can research quickly.

  • Find a good app to take notes quickly.

  • Write an outline no matter what!

  • Read your essay out loud if you can.

  • Get lots of writing practice. Consider starting a blog or writing short stories.

  • Pay attention to news and current events for great essay ideas.

  • Bounce your essay ideas off of your professor or TA.

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