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How to write a 500 Word essay: Illustrative Guide

How to write a 500 Word essay: Illustrative Guide

When it comes to writing a 500 word essay, there are many things to consider. It’s never too early to start thinking about the college essay. There are a lot of factors that go into writing such an important piece, and it can be difficult for students who don’t have experience with these types of essays.

This blog post will cover some of the basics for how to write a 500 word essay and offer suggestions on common mistakes that students make when they start their essay. Don’t worry; we’ll also give you some help with overcoming writer’s block!

How long is a 500 word essay?

The general answer to this question is: it depends.

The essay structure varies widely across academic disciplines, so the length of a 500 word essay will vary from subject to subject. In many cases, however, a 500-word essay is roughly two standard pages long, because an academic page averages 250 to 275 words. The number of sentences and paragraphs can vary as well; generally speaking, you need at least five sentences in each paragraph. A detailed breakdown of what different lengths mean for specific disciplines can be found below.

Note that although one page equals about 250 words, not all essays with 250 words are one page long (i.e., if you wrote constantly for four pages without stopping to compile your thoughts). The end goal is getting your argument or idea across, and so how to structure your argument and which points to highlight depends on the specific demands of your assignment.

It is important to keep in mind that different universities and academic programs may have slightly different expectations for the lengths of 500-word essays. Make sure to pay attention to what your professor requests before you begin writing (or ask them directly if you’re not sure).

How many Pages is a 500 Word essay?

As a broad guide:

A 500 word essay should be about two standard pages long (2 Page Paper);

An 800 word essay should be about three standard pages long (3 Page Paper);

A 1500 word essay should be six standard pages long (6 Page Paper); and

A 2000 word essay should be seven standard pages long(7 Page Paper).

These guidelines can vary depending on whether you are taking classes at an American or British university or if your academic program is math or language-heavy. Many universities and programs require a word count at the bottom of essays so you can aim for these guidelines and check with your professor if necessary.

Many students may find writing five standard pages to be a challenge, but this length is expected in many core courses as well as graduate seminars.

Finally, it’s important to remember that all of these numbers are just approximations. The number of words will change depending on the formatting style required by your school/professor (e.g., APA, MLA). In addition, the number of sentences and paragraphs should also vary according to the structure implied by your prompt. For instance, a prompt asking you to compare and contrast two things may have more paragraphs than a prompt asking you to give an argument.

6 steps of writing a 500 word essay

The steps involved in writing an essay are often overlooked, but must be taken in order to produce a refined final product.

Step 1: Outlining

Outlining is the most crucial step of writing your paper because it gives you an idea of what you’re thinking about and allows you to determine if all the pieces fit together.

The first thing I do when starting my outline is writing down any ideas I have on index cards or worksheets so that they don’t slip my mind. Then, I put them into pervious thought groups by where they belong in my paper. Once they’re organized, I expand upon each group using these main headings: Introduction, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusion. Putting each paragraph inside one of these three sections will help you stay on topic and keep your paper organized.

The next thing I do is take my outline and lay it out in a way that makes sense for an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. If there’s any important information in the outline that doesn’t deserve its own paragraph in the paper, I put it beneath the headings so I know where to properly place it when writing. This step gives me a basic skeleton of what my essay should look like and supplies me with all the details I’ll need.

Step 2: Research

As far as research goes, if you’re writing about something you already have extensive knowledge of than simply add your personal experiences into your essay when appropriate to support or explain your claims. However, if you are writing about something you don’t know much about or are unsure of, I suggest starting with Wikipedia. It’s a good place to start when beginning the research process because it gives you an overview of what your topic is about and possible sources for further research.

From there, I use my outline to find credible sources that will help in expanding on important aspects of my topic in each body paragraph. There are several websites that can help in this process such as Google Scholar, Credo Reference, and Questia.

Once I’ve collected all my sources, I read them carefully and take notes under headings within my essay outline so they’re easy to reference when writing. If needed, use citeshares to help support your work with additional outside evidence.

Step 3: Writing

Once I’ve collected all the sources I need, it’s time to start writing. The first thing I like to do is take my favorite quote or excerpt from each source and turn it into a subheading for each body paragraph. This helps me stay focused when writing because after looking at my outline, I can easily go back to the exact place in my source that will aid in further explaining my thesis statement (the original idea you had before you even began outlining). If there are any confusing sections of your paper, use direct quotes from your sources so readers know exactly what expert opinion has been set forth on the topic you’re discussing.

Once I’m done gathering all the evidence I need, my outline tells me what kind of connection needs to be made in each body paragraph. For example, if one source says A and another source says B, then my job is to explain how A and B are related. This requires taking information from both sources and putting them together so that it makes sense and reinforces your own claims (the thesis statement).

To help fix any confusing sentence structures or grammatical errors in your essay, break up large blocks of text with highlighters so you can find possible areas for improvement more easily later on.

Step 4: Proofreading

Proofreading is a very important step because it’s where you add all the finishing touches to your paper before handing it in—and then giving it one more read through before turning it in for good.

When proofreading, I check my work three separate times: once at the beginning, once in the middle, and once at the end.

First, I start with sentence structure because it’s one of the easiest mistakes to make when writing. Are any words being used improperly? Is there a lack of commas or periods anywhere? Are there parts of sentences that look awkward together without proper punctuation separating them? Fix these problems right away during your first run through.

Next, go back over your essay again checking for grammatical errors—words that are either too hard or too easy, misspelled words that shouldn’t be there in this context—and fix them.

Finally, reread your essay from start to finish looking for any sentence that still looks awkward or unclear. If you have a hard time figuring out what’s unclear about it, get a second opinion from another pair of eyes. If they’re equally confused, there may be just something wrong with the clarity of your writing and you’ll need some serious reworking before handing this in.

If everything looks good after all three readings through, you’ve got yourself a finished paper!

Step 5: Printing

Before printing your paper, make sure to adjust the margins so it fits on one regular-sized page instead of two by reducing the font size to compensate for all that extra space left around each edge. Also double-check to make sure you’ve got all your pages in the right order.

Afterwards, make sure to write your name and class period on the top of each page (which will come in handy if one or two pages get misplaced). Finally, staple everything together firmly so it doesn’t fall apart while being passed around during class discussion.

Step 6: Revising

One of the best ways to improve your writing is by constantly revising . This means rewriting an entire paper several times over until it feels like pure perfection before handing it in—which is especially important when you’re dealing with fast approaching deadlines. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of your school’s writing lab where other students are available for help! Getting people’s point of view on your writing is a fast and easy way to improve it.


500 Word Essay Outline, Format and Structure

What does a 500 word essay look like?

While many tasks can be completed without creating an outline, creating one for a 500 word essay would certainly help organize thoughts and materials in order to avoid unnecessary time wastage later on. The general structure of a 500 word essay outline is similar to other essays, but the number of paragraphs are much less.

Writing an introduction paragraph for a 500 word essay would include an anecdote or opening incident that sets up the main idea that’s explored in the body of this for this for this article. Writing about 3-4 sentences should suffice. This is where one begins laying out important arguments and ideas.

Some may choose to write it in complete sentence format while others may prefer to put down keywords with their subjects/predicates in bullet points accompanied by phrases describing each subject or predicate. It is suggested to use full sentences when possible so readers are not confused about what exactly is being said, especially if they are unfamiliar with topic being discussed within the 500 word essay outline.

The body paragraphs of a 500 word paper would introduce more information and support for the main idea in the introduction. Again, it’s suggested to write up to 4 body paragraphs although there is no specific rule on how many or little paragraphs one should have within a 500 word essay.

The conclusion paragraph of a 500 word college essay needs to summarize what has been discussed from start to finish. This is where readers are reminded of the argument that’s been laid out in introduction and supported with data in body paragraphs. In most cases, this paragraph would include a restatement of the main point followed by an evaluation or observation regarding further implications created as a result of all presented arguments.

College Essay Writing Tips

  • When writing an outline, try sticking to one sentence sentences rather than multiple sentence sentences. This is important when creating a 500 word essay outline, as one does not have a lot of space to present information and arguments.
  • Make sure to keep it concise! When writing an outline for a 500 word essay, try to keep paragraphs short especially if they are going to be written in complete sentences. In some cases, bullet points or keywords can suffice so long as they do not over simplify the argument being made.
  • Use examples from popular culture, current events or social media trends when possible so readers can become more familiar with your topic right away rather than having them search through their memories for incidents that may feel irrelevant to what you’re discussing within your 500 word essay outline.
  • Creating an outline can help make writing easier. You’ll never know what you don’t know unless you try creating one out, so go ahead and give it a try. It can help you remain organized and focused on the task at hand, allowing for better results in less time.

50+ Original 500 Word essay Topics

They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be about anything imaginable: some topics are more controversial than others, some will get more of a reaction from your reader than others. When writing, you need to know what good essay topics look like and how to pick them out of the crowd. You want to choose one that is relevant and interesting, but not too specific or specific that it makes your reader uninterested.

Here’s a list of 50+ original 500 word essay topics for college students.

  1. Is the American Dream still alive?
  2. Why do people fear things they don’t understand?
  3. If someone had given you $1 million dollars when you were younger would you have been more successful in life than you are now?
  4. What is the best way to motivate someone to do something they don’t want to do?
  5. Are people today too dependent on technology?
  6. How long does it take for people’s true colors to show through when they are in a tough situation?
  7. Why do so many people compare themselves to other people who seem more successful than themselves?
  8. Does one bad decision define who you are as a person or can you change and become someone better over time?
  9. Is there an easier way to get into college then getting straight A grades?
  10. Should schools offer financial aid to students based off merit rather than solely on need of money for schooling.
  11. Can our country ever be completely debt free or will we always owe somebody something?
  12. Is it a good idea to give students a large amount of homework everyday even though they have already learned the material that day in class?
  13. How can we combat obesity in America?
  14. Do you think that online educational resources should replace physical classrooms and if so why or why not?
  15. What will be the next great technological advancement after virtual reality headsets are created?
  16. Who Invented Something Inventions That Changed The World ?
  17. Is technology making people smarter or more stupid now days.
  18. In what ways is being connected to everyone else bad for society as a whole, including those who avidly use social media networks every day.
  19. Is it better to be poor but happy or rich but miserable?
  20. How much does location impact success in life?
  21. Why are people living in poverty encouraged to have children that they can’t afford even though having them will just increase their financial struggles?
  22. What are the most important factors that lead to a successful marriage and why has divorce become more and more common in our society today.
  23. Can you achieve happiness while working towards living your dream lifestyle and what steps, if any, does one need to take before actually achieving said dream lifestyle.
  24. How Earning A College Degree Is Changing In The 21st Century?
  25. Is There Any Right Way To Relax?
  26. Why Does Everyone Get Depressed Sometimes?
  27. How is technology changing the way that people communicate with one another?
  28. What are The Most Common Causes of Divorce?
  29. How important is it for people to be able to speak foreign languages in this global economy?
  30. Is social media bad for you and if so how?
  31. Why do people behave badly on the internet when they never would in person?
  32. Should schools offer lessons on the dangers of using the internet irresponsibly because it seems like everyday someone younger than 18 gets arrested for sexting or cyber bullying. What other online crimes should students learn about before they become adults and begin to use the internet unsupervised.
  33. Where do you draw the line between mercy killing and murder?
  34. What role do vaccines play in public health?
  35. Is it better to live a life that is full of memories or one that is full of achievements regardless if the achievements were the result of mistakes and failures?
  36. What are some consequences people face when they do not work hard enough in school.
  37. Intelligent people should have more kids to combat climate change. You disagree, why?
  38. Do you agree with this statement: “In order for us to be successful we must start at a very young age and learn all we can about what we like and don’t like and then move forward from there.” Why or why not?
  39. Why does TV entertainment programming seem to focus on topics such as violence, crime, and other elements that show negative aspects of humanity rather than the positive aspects of life?
  40. Why are people afraid to try new foods and instead eat things they know how to cook without ever venturing out into the potential world of new tastes and aromas?
  41. How has social media impacted society in a negative way?
  42. What effect does technology have on relationships today, good or bad.
  43. Does everyone need an equal education based on their learning capabilities or should some students be pushed harder than others because of their natural abilities even if this means that the smarter kids end up becoming bored with schoolwork while the slower students might not be able to handle harder work.
  44. Is holding on to anger or hatred more destructive for one person rather than letting it go so you can become free from its bondage over you.
  45. Is it possible for a person to love someone and not know what that means?
  46. How can we reduce school bullying and violence by teens against teens at schools across the nation while still protecting the privacy of all students?
  47. What is something that everyone should learn about in school that they won’t because of budget cuts and shrinking class sizes.
  48. Why is music such an important part of human life?
  49. Can you ever really be ready for college even if your parents, teachers, counselors, etc try their best to prepare you or do you always enter into this new stage of your life feeling like you are ill-prepared and anxious with nervousness over how well you will do academically even if receiving good grades in high school gives you some confidence.
  50. What are the pros and cons of high school students having access to their own personal cell phones?
  51. Why do people make bad choices even though they know what they are doing is wrong, i.e underage smoking or drug use?
  52. How does social media affect relationships among young people today?
  53. Do you think it’s better to not have a label on who you are as a person but instead be open to exploring new aspects about yourself as you grow older rather than committing yourself at this age to something that may change drastically as your interests and views on life mature?
  54. What can governments do today to improve the lives of their citizens in the future for generations to come?
  55. We often wish we could turn back time and do things differently. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  56. How important is it to be part of the ‘popular crowd’ in high school and why?
  57. Why aren’t schools doing more to educate their students on online safety as it seems that some parents are just as clueless as their kids when it comes to keeping them safe from predators, cyber-bullying, etc?
  58. Do people really change throughout the course of our lives or are we simply modifying ourselves depending upon what life throws at us at any given time based on historical experiences already lived through.
  59. What are some ways that society discriminates against sexual orientation today?
  60. Should there be a limit on how much technology influences children’s lives even though they seem to be learning how to become leaders by observing the adults around them.
  61. What are some pros and cons of being involved in extracurricular activities in high school?
  62. Why are children growing up so fast today compared to when you were young?
  63. Is it possible for a person to love two people at once or does one always have to come ahead of the other?
  64. Would you rather go camping in nature over staying at a hotel on vacation?
  65. What can governments do today to improve the lives of their citizens in the future for generations to come?
  66. How important is it that students respect authority figures like teachers, principals, coaches, etc while still maintaining an appropriate degree of autonomy over their own actions especially when it comes time to make choices on their own rather than having to depend on adults around them telling them what they should do?
  67. How important is it that students respect authority figures like teachers, principals, coaches, etc while still maintaining an appropriate degree of autonomy over their own actions especially when it comes time to make choices on their own rather than having to depend on adults around them telling them what they should do?
  68. Is social media making our generation more narcissistic and self-centered than previous ones because every expression of ourselves is about bragging rights based upon how many views we can receive whether they are positive or negative opinions expressed by others.
  69. Can nothing good come out of the Internet or is there some benefit for society coming from this new digital age where so much information and power is at people’s fingertips?
  70. How much influence should parents have in their children choosing a career path when they get older and what should that balance be between the parent and child in terms of making such consequential life decisions?
  71. Do you feel as though it is more important to live your dreams now rather than put them off for latter on in life because you think you are too old or not skilled enough to accomplish them or do you believe it makes more sense to wait until you are ready so that there is less pressure involved with trying something new?
  72. What effect has social media had on violence, violent behavior, and the escalation of violence among young people today?
  73. Should students be allowed to use cell phones on school grounds or during school hours?
  74. What is the best reward that can be offered to students in order to motivate them into working harder towards obtaining the next highest grade or completing their homework assignments.
  75. How much influence should parents have in their children choosing a career path when they get older and what should that balance be between the parent and child in terms of making such consequential life decisions?
  76. If you knew for certain that this was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?
  77. Is there anything you think people take too seriously these days?
  78. What do you think makes someone popular within high school today other than good looks and money because often times coolness comes from having both things (appearance + financial means).
  79. Can nothing good come out of the Internet or is there some benefit for society coming from this new digital age where so much information and power is at people’s fingertips?
  80. Would you rather be famous in your own small town or infamous everywhere else?
  81. How important do you think it is to have friends in life in order to survive or at least help one get through the rough patches in life when times are tough without positive influences around us?
  82. Is social media making our generation more narcissistic and self-centered than previous ones because every expression of ourselves is about bragging rights based upon how many views we can receive whether they are positive or negative opinions expressed by others.
  83. What effect has social media had on violence, violent behavior, and the escalation of violence among young people today?

500 word essay examples

Here are some examples of 500 word essays to copy:

Sample 1:

500 Word essay on why I want to be a Nurse (pdf)

Sample 2:

500 word Essay on Leadership and Accountability (pdf)

Sample 3:

500 word essay on Not Wasting Time (pdf)

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