Blog entry by Andrew Garcia
300-word essays are one of the essay requirements regularly assigned to college students throughout their academic life. Similar to other types of essays, these test the ability to write and argue. Only this time, students must operate within a very limited word count of 300.
300 words do not sound like a lot. In fact, when a 300-word essay is assigned to students, many of them would underestimate the requirement. In their minds, they would think, “What is a measly 300 words compared to 2000?” Despite having such a small word count, it is still no pushover: you will be required to write a well-written essay with sufficiently substantiated arguments with supporting evidence, all within 300 words. Now, that makes a 300-word essay sound more challenging.
Hence, it is vital to know how to write a 300-word essay well. Thankfully, it is, again, only 300 words long. It is only a matter of which 300 words you will type and how you will present them based on the essay structure - composed of the introduction, body, and conclusion. In this case, the best way is through a simple guideline: 10-80-10.
Basically, what this means is that 10% of the word count should be for the introduction, 80% is for the body, and 10% is for the conclusion—in other words, 30 words for the introduction, 240 words for the body, and 30 words for the conclusion. The reason behind this is that you need to dedicate the majority of your words to your argumentation, which is located in the body of your essay.
The introduction of any essay serves to open the reader up to the discussion. Outside of the thesis statement, there is nothing much added here. Hence, if you think that 30 words are not enough for the introduction, fret not—it is very short. In this case, you have to make sure that your introduction has just enough information to transition to your argumentation in the body. Consider the following points:
- The most efficient way to maximize 30 words is with 2-3 sentences, all within one paragraph which is indented, depending on the assigned format.
- The first and second sentences must contain two things: the topic and the problem statement.
- Introducing the topic only involves defining the current subject matter. A very basic definition will do.
- When it comes to the problem statement, use the word “but” or “however” to transition to the presentation of the problem.
- Like the topic, the problem statement should be concise yet sufficient.
- The last sentence contains your thesis statement which, once more, should be brief and complete.
With 240 words, you have a lot of breathing room to present your claims. With here as well, there is a certain allocation involved. In particular, you need to divide the 240 words based on how many arguments you have.
- Each separate argument must have its own paragraph.
- The first sentence of each body paragraph starts immediately with the argument, followed by supporting evidence and details.
- Depending on the instructions, you may be required to indent the first body paragraph and not indent the body paragraphs that come after.
- It is, therefore, imperative to consult your instructor about the assigned format.
- Ideally, the 240 words should be equally divided by the number of arguments that you have.
- For example, having 3 arguments means having 3 paragraphs with 80 words each.
- Sometimes, an argument has more weight than others, in which case you can allocate more words to it than your other arguments.
- Of course, always remember that all of your arguments have to be sufficiently explained.
With 300-word essays, the conclusion is basically a summary of your introduction and body.
- As with the introduction, the conclusion is composed of only 30 words within one paragraph that is typically indented.
- The most common way to mark the conclusion is with “In conclusion,” though you may feel free to use other ways.
- The conclusion should contain a short explanation of the topic, the problem statement, and the thesis statement in the introduction, followed by a brief listing of each of your arguments in the body.
- Your arguments do not need to be explained, only listed down.
- The conclusion should not add more to the discussion; it is simply a wrap-up.
Writing a 300-word essay is truly a challenge. That pesky word count can really be a bother—you might end up omitting some things just to reach 300 words. Nevertheless, it should be respected as among the other types of essays that you will be assigned with. This essay requirement teaches you to maximize the traditional essay structure and to be concise in your future argumentation.