600 Word Essay How Many Paragraphs Is 300

A Quick Tutorial On How To Write 300 Word Essays


Three hundred word essays can be some of the most difficult papers to write because of the tight length constraint. These essays are often about a very specific topic and require a lot of thought. This essay is just over 600 words, so for reference, your essay would be half of this. Not very much space at all! Here is a basic tutorial on how to write a 300 word essay.

  1. If your topic is not given to you, brain storm and come up with something. A topic for a 300 word essay should be a very specific point that has a clear cut answer to your question. You really do not have space to use colorful language or go on tangents on things that are not necessary to proving your point. If you have your topic provided, write out your 3 or so main points and the “proof” for them so you can organize it into an outline. As annoying as making an outline can be it is really useful to keeping your essay concise.

  2. If time allows it is helpful to make a basic outline, or for new writers, try the detailed outline in section 4. A basic outline might look something like this for a 300 word essay.

    • Topic sentence
      • Supporting info A
        1. Back up support A
        2. Back up support A
      • Supporting info B
        1. Back up support B
        2. Back up support B
      • Supporting info C
        1. Back up support C
        2. Back up support C
    • Closing sentence

  3. Check your flow in your outline. Do the supporting ideas make sense in the order that they are in? Does the supporting information flow and make sense? If you think it needs to flow better, now is the time to fix it.

  4. Decide on your format. Your essay can be a traditional 3 paragraph essay or it could be 1 block of text. I generally suggest that you stick to the 3 paragraph essay format because it is nicely organized and easy to read, but since a 300 word essay is so short you actually can do it in one paragraph. If you aren’t sure what a 3 paragraph essay is I will outline it below. You can follow this more detailed outline if you like.

    • Opening Paragraph
      • Attention getter (An interesting idea that will draw the reader in)
      • Supporting sentence (connects attention getter to thesis/topic sentence)
      • Thesis (outlines what your essay is about and mentions your main points)
    • Body Paragraph
      • Topic sentence – outlines what the paragraph is about, more narrow than thesis. It serves as the transition from the opening paragraph to the body or “meat” of the essay.
      • Supporting info A
        1. Back up support A
        2. Back up support A
      • Supporting info B
        1. Back up support B
        2. Back up support B
      • Supporting info C
        1. Back up support C
        2. Back up support C
    • Closing Paragraph
      • Closing sentence, rewords your thesis sentence in a creative way to summarize your essay
      • Transition sentence between closing and final thoughts
      • Final thoughts on the subject. Do not add new information.

  5. Follow your outline. Fill in the details with the information you have and put your thoughts into sentences. A 300 word essay is usually 15-20 sentences, though it could be more or less than that depending on how wordy your sentences are.

It is not difficult to write 300 word essay as long as you keep it short and simple, keep on topic, and sound confident. These essays can be easy with practice and will serve as an important skill to have throughout your educational career as many teachers and professors will use them.

The ACCUPLACER includes the WritePlacer exam, which is the ACCUPLACER essay test. On this portion of the test you are evaluated on organization, focus, development and support, sentence structure, and mechanical conventions. The good news is that your essay is only required to be 300-600 words in length. A simple 5 paragraph essay will be more than sufficient. Scores on WritePlacer range from 1 to 8 (you can find WritePlacer sample essays at each score-level here).

You will have 1 hourto plan, write, and proofread this essay.

An essay that is too short to be evaluated, written on a topic other than the one presented, or written in a language other than English will be given a score of zero. Notice that the biggest differences between the low-scoring and high-scoring essays is LENGTH and CLARITY. Aim to achieve multiple paragraphs with good organization, and this essay should be fairly easy!

WritePlacer Tips and Strategies

  • Understand that the WritePlacer exam will NOT require any outside knowledge. You are not expected to have any specific technical know-how or understanding of specific books or authors. The essay will be based off a provided prompt meant to spark your creativity. Everything you need to answer the question will be part of the prompt!
  • Select one side only. Unlike real life where most of our opinions are a mix of gray, the ACCUPLACER essay requires you to take a strong stand on one side and one side ONLY of the issue. You won’t be able to adequately argue a middle-of-the-road approach, and you risk appearing indecisive and muddling your essay.
  • Remember that you will not be scored on your opinion. Don’t worry if you feel you are choosing a less commonly held position on the topic. The reader will NOT give you a lower score based on personal bias.
  • Don’t change your position mid-essay. Even if you feel you’re running out of steam and you’re regretting your position on the topic, stay strong and finish the essay anyway. Don’t waffle, and don’t try to take a “middle of the road” approach. You don’t have time to go back and re-write the whole thing.
  • No example is “too” specific. As long as you can argue logically that it supports your thesis, no example is “too” specific. Most essays are way too general. Aim to make the reader think, “wow, what extreme detail!” as they read. If you are using an example from personal experience, using some names, dates, places, and other concrete details can go a long way. Replace abstracts with absolutes.
  • Incorporate the opposing side. A great way to strengthen your own argument is to acknowledge that there is in fact complexity to the issue. However, if you bring up and describe the opposing side, make sure to criticize it effectively and reiterate that your side is the only one that is valid. This is a great tool to use in your conclusion, although many students include it in an additional body paragraph.
  • Keep the introduction and conclusion brief. Don’t take forever to get to the topic. The function of an introductory paragraph is to introduce the reader to the topic in the prompt, and then to clearly and forcefully state your position on it. More than 3-4 sentences is too long. In the conclusion, 1-2 sentences is great to reiterate your position and leave the essay with a closing idea. Save your writing-time for your body paragraphs!
  • Use Transition Words. Scroll down to the bottom of this article to see a good list of common transition words. Be sure to use them as you move between paragraphs! Always make sure the reader will understand why you are moving from one paragraph to the next paragraph!

WritePlacer Template

This is a sample outline for the ACCUPLACER Essay. Notice we are aiming for 5 paragraphs total. You may opt for a shorter 4 paragraph version if 5 paragraphs are too many for you to write, but aim for 5 paragraphs if you can. If you have trouble completing 5 paragraphs, see if you can streamline your body paragraphs. They can often be bloated with unnecessary wordiness. Keep the introduction and the conclusion short and sweet.

Paragraph 1 – Introduction (3-4 sentences)

You will want to begin your essay with one of the following: a generalization about the topic, a quotation, a short anecdote to set-up the correctness of your position, a historical framework, or a piece of news illustrating the contemporariness of the issue.  Admit the complexity of the issue.

You have two goals in the beginning part of the essay: to introduce the topic, and to express your opinion on it. Be sure to place your thesis as the final sentence in your introduction.

Paragraph 2  – First Example (4-6 sentences)

Start with your most-powerful or relevant example. Be specific. Your example can be from history, science, politics, business, entertainment, pop culture, current events, personal experience, etc. Anything can be an example, but choose ONE only for each paragraph. It needs to be something you are knowledgeable about and also something that you believe strongly supports your thesis. You have three tasks in your body paragraphs:

  • Introduce your example.
  • Describe it.
  • Explain how it fully supports your thesis.

You should be spend the majority of your body paragraph accomplishing the the third step: explaining how it fully supports your thesis. Aim to convince the reader through very concrete details how your position on the issue is correct.

Paragraph 3 – Second Example (4-6 sentences)

Use a transition phrase to introduce the second example. Describe it, and explain again how it fully supports your thesis. You may refer to your first example if you need to, but prioritize a focus on your new example. Don’t mention your third example until you get to the third paragraph.

Paragraph 4 – Third Example (4-6 sentences)

Use a transition phrase again in the first topic sentence. Describe the example. Explain how it supports. Make sure you are elucidating for the reader how each example relates to the topic.

Paragraph 5 – Conclusion (2-4 sentences)

In your conclusion, introduce the opposing side. Explain their position in general terms. Refute their position. Then reinforce the correctness of your own thesis. This takes care of having to come up with a conclusion- you’ll already know what to do! Here’s how it might look:

Although ________ is demonstrably correct, some have argued that _______, believing that ________. However, this viewpoint on the present issue is negated by ________. Rather, __________. Therefore, in the long run,

ACCUPLACER Essay Practice

Be sure to write at least 2-3 sample essays before your exam so you are comfortable with the format. Have a teacher, friend, or trusted relative read through your exam and give you feedback.  Below you’ll find a list of three possible ACCUPLACER essay prompts. Choose at least TWO of these ACCUPLACER essay topics and write a practice essay, attempting to follow the above template to the best of your ability.

ACCUPLACER Essay Topics

1) Do works of art have the power to change people’s lives? Some people say a book or a movie has the power to do just that. Are they exaggerating, or can art have such a large impact of individuals?

2) Is an education a requirement for a successful career? Explain the topic and either agree or disagree with the statement, offering support for your position.

3) Scientists and politicians argue over whether global warming and climate control present a real threat to human welfare. Take a position on this issue and explain whether or not you believe this to be a serious problem for humanity.

Transition Words List

Agreement Words

  • in the first place
  • not only … but also
  • as a matter of fact
  • in like manner
  • in addition
  • coupled with
  • in the same fashion / way
  • first, second, third
  • in the light of

Opposition Words

  • in contrast
  • different from
  • of course …, but
  • on the other hand
  • on the contrary
  • at the same time
  • in spite of
  • but
  • (and) still

Causation Words

  • in the event that
  • for the purpose of
  • with this intention
  • with this in mind
  • in the hope that
  • in order to
  • If
  • … then
  • in case

Example Words

  • in other words
  • to put it differently
  • for one thing
  • as an illustration
  • in this case
  • for this reason
  • to put it another way
  • that is to say
  • with attention to
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