Writing 500 Word Essays: It's Quite Easy

Some instructors give assignments with open ended word count limits. Other instructors prefer to issue a rough page limit requirement, and trust that their students will all produce roughly the same amount of content. For the truly strict professor or teacher, however, there is only one way to measure writing output: the word count. If you have never worked with such a teacher before, you might be a big surprised the first time you get a five hundred word count goal assigned to you.

A five hundred word essay is approximately a page an a half to two pages long, double spaced, and should contain five short paragraphs, each consisting of one hundred words. You should begin with a punchy, conversational, and interesting introductory paragraph, and then have three body paragraphs exploring and developing your topic, followed by a concluding paragraph of about a hundred words, which wraps up your line of thinking and ends on a positive or interesting note.

This may sound like a ton of work. However, five hundred words is truly not that much to write. If you write nonstop, it should only take about half an hour to complete, plus time to edit. Here is some advice for making such a task a bit easier, in case you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the assignment.

Do Not Edit While You Write

Five hundred words can take forever if, after writing a dozen words, you go back and delete half a dozen. Many students who are uncertain about the quality of their writing make this very mistake. It is so tempting to go back on the sentence you have just completed in order to tidy it up or rephrase it. Self doubt may tempt you to go back and remove whole sentences altogether, simply because you are not sure where they are going. Avoid this impulse. Write nonstop and do not go back to read what you have written until you are done.

Use A Writing Program That Removes Distractions

There are many great web based and software applications that can provide you with a simple, blank screen and zero distractions. Companies like Scrivener, Evernote, Google Documents, and Write or Die provide blank spaces that obliterate all outside distractions, including the task bar and the clock on your computer. This can really be helpful for ignoring the desire to procrastinate. You may also want to use a program that shuts off the internet for a period of time that you specify, or that blocks sites you often frequent as a means of procrastination, such as social media sites or your email.

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