Some essay assignments seem to puzzle the student deliberately, and one of them is a popular “500-words essay”. You’ll be lucky if a professor gives some additional details to make the task a little bit more specific. Otherwise, it leaves the student all alone with this assignment, desperately searching for any guide on how to write that essay, and what that size means. Well, independent research skills are highly valued in colleges.
For this reason, we have composed this article to share a manual dedicated to 500-words essays. We’ll talk about the preparations for this task, the structure, and the contents of such an essay.
Preparations Before You Start Writing
This is not a separate type of the essay, the definition concerns its size only. At first, you should clarify which kind of an essay (definition, argumentative, narrative, descriptive, or else) you need to perform. Then you get an understanding of what criteria you need to focus on.
Consider the size
500 words are the standard size of a college essay. Visually it will depend on the font and format you choose. The usual style is the Times New Roman font of 12 pt size. With this style, it might take up to two pages for the double spacing, or less with the more compact layout. This size is enough to explore the topic and produce a good text. Besides, you should also clarify if the 500-words size is a maximum or minimum size. Additional limitations can be a trap.
Choose the topic
It gives you a great advantage if you have the freedom in choosing the topic yourself. First of all, read the conditions set for your assignment and clarify all your doubts to make sure you’ve understood it all correctly. Then think of the topic. There are some tips to help you choose it:
- It should be interesting for you personally – something you love to talk about or to argue about. This makes it much easier to write an essay of any type and size when the ideas appeal to you genuinely.
- It should be actual and relevant. The text you write is for your audience, and you need to make it interested as well. People are always engaged with the burning issues they regularly hear about.
- It should suit your target audience. If the audience is your fellow students, try to estimate their possible reaction. You are not supposed to create some colorless and convenient essay to please everybody, but choose the topic to not abuse the audience.
- It should be impressive – the tone and style of your text depend on that. Think if you want to entertain your audience, or astonish them, or call them to action, or to reveal some concept and help them to learn new things. Some subjects like the Sciences imply that you use the more official and dry tone, others let you be creative.
Run research and outline essay
Rather a moderate size of this essay does not mean little research. You need to explore the topic you chose.
- The crucial thing is the trustworthiness of your research results – you must care about the sources you use to gather the information. Refer to the dedicated resources and experts’ opinions. You need to pick evidence to support your thoughts, and that evidence must be reliable.
- Define your thesis statement in general. It is not necessary to formulate it at this stage, but you should get an idea about them. The thesis is the key claim that you make, and you need to prove in the text of the essay. You can offer only one of several theses, and during the 500-words essay writing task, you will need to cope with them all.
- When you decide the main ideas of your essay and complete the research, sort the data and pick the pieces of information to use in your essay as arguments.
- The next thing is to outline the essay. Some students prefer the freewriting form, but is it always better to make a plan – it helps to manage the data and organize the structure of the text. You are not obliged to write it at once and follow it strictly, still, it is a helpful method, especially when you have several theses.
Besides, an outline helps to check the logical connections in your 500-words essay task and assure that logical reasoning is valid.
Structure of a 500-Words Essay
Like any other essay, this one consists of three obligatory parts: the Introduction, the Body, and the Conclusion. As you have only 500 words, you need to “split” this number between these parts. The ratio is usually as follows:
- The Introduction – approximately 100 words;
- The Body – about 300-350 words;
- The Conclusion – the rest of 50-100 words left.
The Introduction part is the opening of your essay must help you to reach several important goals:
- Make your audience intrigued by introducing a “hook” – a short and catchy piece related to your topic. It can be some quote, a question, an interesting fact, or else;
- Explain what your essay is about and why you chose it. Also, provide here the data necessary for your audience to catch your ideas – main terms and concepts you will use;
- Present the thesis statement.
It is vital to offer a strong Introduction because it lets you get the audience and set them to apprehend your essay.
The Body part takes most of the essay. In this essay format, it usually includes 3-4 paragraphs that must be logically connected. The number will depend on the number of your theses.
- Each paragraph is dedicated to one thesis.
- Every paragraph must be a logical piece itself with its opening and closing.
- The size of the paragraph will depend on your preferences, but it is recommended to keep it about 100 words – you can have it about 20-25 words more or less.
- Paragraphs must be logically connected, and your main idea must come through them all.
- Support your thesis statements by arguments, but also try to offer a different point of view – and disprove it. This shows your all-around approach.
The Conclusion part should be a strong and laconic statement. Summarize your thesis and arguments and paraphrase them – you shouldn’t use the same words in the Conclusion as in the rest of the text.
- Add an impressive final sentence that should cause the reaction of your audience:
- Ask a question – it can be rhetoric or it can require an answer that your audience would give to themselves;
- Include the call to action;
- Add some humor – cite a joke or an anecdote.
No matter which style you choose, make sure to provide own thought in the text. Show own language and own opinion on the subject. If you quote someone – make sure to give credits to your sources and accentuate their reliability.
Practical tips on the writing process for the 500-words essay
- Don’t try to make it 500 words exactly when you compose your draft. Just write as you go. You will see how to make it shorter or longer when you get the first draft. Then you will edit it to meet the requirements.
- Consider the language. Avoid rare words, vague phrases and longer constructions where you can use shorter. Of course, you mustn’t make your language too plain and primitive, but it must be clear and concise, without any language “litter”. Prefer verbs over the verbal nouns.
- Give yourself proper rest after you finish the first stage of writing this text. You need to have a pause before you proceed to edit it. It is necessary to refresh your mind. When you start to edit right after writing, you miss many issues, because you are tired. So, have at least several hours of rest, better – a night sleep.
- Correct all grammar errors and edit the text. You may need to paraphrase the sentences, remove some fragments, or change the wording. If possible, show your ready essay to some person you trust and ask for the feedback. They have the advantage of seeing your text with fresh eyes. They can find the issues you missed.
- Run the plagiarism check. You should do it even if you are sure that you did not refer to someone else’s words. You might not note using some phrases or forgot their origin. A good and trustworthy plagiarism checker shows the URLs of sources where it finds similar texts, so you can edit yours or add those sources into your list of the works cited.
Check the Examples or Ask for Help
In many cases having a high-quality example of such an essay helps a lot when you have to write the 500-words essay. You can check the structure, see which methods the author uses, and how the Introduction and Conclusion look. On this website, you can request some ready examples of essays on the necessary subject to use them as references.
And if you still struggle with the writer’s block or any other difficulties and lack time – here you can order the job of writing an essay on any subject and topics. It can be that 500-words text or any other assignment.
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