500 Word Essay Guide from Nerds (UPDATED for 2019)

Nerdify Tips and Tricks for Students

Being assigned with your first essay writing task is daunting, at best. So, why not turn that beginner’s fear into a creative challenge? Before we talk more about the 500 word essay structure itself, let’s reveal a clever trick — not thinking of your task as something academic or gradable, but as an opportunity to speak your mind, practice thought control, and surmount that language mountain.

There’s certainly a lot you’ve got to say, after all.

A simple change of perspective will help you see this assignment for what it really is — a lecture in structuring your arguments and sparking verbal debate. As a young person who’s examining the world through the prism of critical thinking, you’ll find this skill to be a cool intellectual advantage later in life.

Here’s what a 500 word essay format should look like, and how to master it.

What Exactly Is an Essay?

Generally speaking, an essay is a piece of writing that discloses the author’s own perspective and argument. An essay subject depends on whether the assignment is formal or not, but can envelop anything from social commentaries or literary criticism to personal experiences or self-revelations.

Since a precise definition of an essay does not exist, and since most guidelines tend to overlap with those for writing an article, a paper, a pamphlet, or even a short story, it’s strongly recommended that you pinpoint the expected norm with your professor. Should you focus on comparison or exemplification, narration or description, analysis or reflection? If it’s unclear, don’t hesitate to ask.

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How Long Is a 500 Word Essay?

Even though essayistic forms and styles differ from one academic environment to another, structure and formatting rules are the same everywhere. Being that Times New Roman 12 and double space are accepted as universal, at least in college, your 500 word essay should be about a page and a half long.

A 500 word essay structure requires the following three sections:

● Introduction

● Main part, or “body”

● Conclusion

Each of these sections has a particular purpose and a recommended word count.

Why is Research Crucial?

An essay is not the same as a research paper, but preparing one for college still asks for preliminary research. Well-written essays are founded on solid arguments, which means that you’ll need authentic evidence and references from reliable sources to back your original claims with. Whether you choose to agree or to argue with its postulates, research material will add credibility to your arguments.

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How to Write a 500 Word Essay

Once your research is done — and for that, you’ll need to visit libraries on top of going online — pen down what you’ve learned about your subject matter and organize your thoughts and findings into note cards.

From there on, the entire process of writing a 500 word essay should go as follows.

Step 1: Drafting an Outline

Be it detailed or rough, an outline should serve as a skeleton for your entire essay. Its purpose is to help you break down a topic in logical order, structure your thoughts, and make them clearer and more coherent. Use headings to separate arguments into paragraphs, and start expanding on them.

Step 2: Crafting an Introduction

Writing a good essay introduction requires both skill and craft. In no more than 100 words, you need to introduce and address your thesis statement — to highlight the main idea of your essay, and tell your readers what they are going to read in the main section.

The introduction has to be concise and focused, yet interesting and engaging.

Think about how familiar your readers are with the subject at hand, and expand your thesis statement accordingly. Make sure that your introduction conveys the message with utmost clarity, but also include some thought-provoking findings to make them interested in reading more.

Both of these elements are crucial for making the best first impression.

Step 3: Composing a Body

The main section of your essay should be around 300 words long, and divided in 3 main paragraphs. It’s where you expose your thesis statement in full, explain your arguments and support them with research material, and reveal your personal interpretation of the subject together with your conclusion.

Stay focused on delivering upon the following requirements:

● A well-written body should examine your main point and offer hard facts and references to support your arguments.

● Each paragraph should be more specific than the last, introducing new pieces of information, examples, and detailed evidence.

● Every thought needs to be relevant and concise.

A 500 word essay structure can be tricky exactly because there’s not much room for straying thoughts. In order to make sure that every statement is on point, build topic sentences for each paragraph. The surrounding text should either expand, explain, defend or invalidate them with strong arguments.

Step 4: Summarizing with Conclusion

The purpose of a concluding part is twofold — it serves as a summary of your main argument and a reaffirmation of its relevance. Start by restating your thesis statement, illustrate it with a few strong points analysed in the body, and conclude by providing directions on their further applicability.

The last section of an essay should be 100 words long, and leave the reader with something to think about. Remember that a conclusion must not be the same as the introduction, even though both center around a thesis statement. Focus on providing a critical insight into the investigated subject matter.

Guidelines & Tricks

● An essay should make an impact, so opt for a memorable topic.

In case you were assigned with a specific subject, make it more thought-provoking by choosing a fresh point of view and an original stance. Engage your readers and make them rethink what they know and believe.

● After drafting an outline, write the first draft of an essay without censoring yourself. Feel free to double the length — once you’ve released everything you had to say, start over and give it some structure. Especially if the subject is complex, it’s much easier to expand and narrow.

● A strong thesis statement can be accomplished by asking a question and then answering it.

● Since the introduction has to be on point, write a general draft and rewrite it after you’ve finished the body. Or, establish a thesis statement, and leave the rest of the introduction for later.

● The best 500 word essay examples for beginners illustrate how broad topics can be examined with a very few words — by using active instead of passive verbs, being succinct instead of descriptive, and removing everything but the most relevant parts.

● Always proofread your essays before turning them in. Look for misspelled words and typos, and rewrite statements that seem unclear. It may help you to read the essay out loud, or to hand it over to a friend or a family member for a fresh perspective and second opinion.

It may seem intimidating at first, but writing an essay can actually be a lot of fun. Think of it as a blank page for you to leave your intellectual footprint on. That way, a 500 word essay will be nothing but an opinion you’ve longed to express, and a template for expressing it right.

That’s what the word “essay” means, after all — to “attempt” or “try”. Even if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try, and try again.

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