When you are given a writing assignment in college, either a certain number of pages or a particular word count is required. If the assignment is to write a six-page paper on a topic related to the American Revolution, you may wonder how many words are in six pages. The fact is there is no perfect answer to this question. How many words there are on a page depends on the font type, font size, spacing, margins and paragraph length. Depending on the assignment, the Professor may require students to divide their papers into sections, with headings and subheadings. That can also affect the number of words per page.
For college essays and papers, the typical font types are Times New Roman, Arial, and Verdana. The standard font size requirement is 12pt, and the margin requirements are one-inch on all sides. Also, in college, papers must usually be double-spaced, though single-spacing can also be required by some Professors.
There are general guidelines, on how many pages it takes to reach a word count. For example, a 2000-word essay is approximately four pages when single spaced and eight pages when double spaced. A 60,000 word dissertation written by a Ph.D. candidate is about 120 pages single spaced and 200 pages double spaced.
Calculating Words per Page
Let’s say a student must write a short essay with 1000 words. The assignment calls for Times New Roman 12pt font, one-inch margins, and double spacing. So, how many pages is 1000 words going to take up? The answer is about four pages. If the student uses the Arial typeface instead, the total number of pages will be about 3.7. And when using Verdana, the number of pages will be approximately 4.4.
What about an essay that must be 1500 words? How many pages is 1500 words? Using our Word Counter, the average number of pages for 1500 words is three pages when single-spaced and six pages when double-spaced. Now, let’s say the spacing must be 1.5 per the assignment instructions. If a student uses the Times New Roman font type, and the font size requirement is 12pt, then the number of pages to reach 1500 words is approximately 4.8, which rounds up to about five pages.
How Many Words are in a Speech?
Another typical college assignment entails giving a speech in front of your peers. For example, your Chemistry professor may require you to give a 5-minute speech on an element from the Periodic Table. In preparing the speech, you will need to know how many words are in a 5-minute speech. Again, there is no definitive answer because pacing (how many words you speak per minute) and pausing (breaking between sentences/paragraphs) will affect the total time it takes. Daphne Gray-Grant over at Visual Thesaurus writes: “The average person speaks at somewhere between 125 and 150 words per minute.”
For a five-minute speech done by a person speaking 150 words per minute, the approximate word count is around 750. However, as a general rule of thumb for giving speaches you should use around 100–200 words per minute. This is because for public speaking it is better to speak slowly so your audience understands what you are saying. Hence, a five-minute speech using this general rule will have somewhere in the range of 500–1000 words.
Word Counts for Publishing
For those people that are out of college and writing professionally (i.e. publishing their work), another factor when considering how many words there are per page is how the final work is to be printed. In addition to the layout, the font type and size used for published works is often quite different from college papers. For published books, mainly paperback novels, fonts such as Garamond and Calibri are often used. However, there is not hard and fast rule, as a different font can be utilized depending on the subject, genre, or any number of other factors. The size of the font often used in paperback novels commonly ranges from 10pt to 14pt.
Other factors that will affect the number of words per page in a published book include:
Whether the book has pictures, charts, graphs, etc.
The formatting for a book containing such elements means the word count will differ from a book that has only words.
The spacing of the text and between paragraphs.
In most paperback and hardcover novels, the text in the final printed book is single-spaced. Also, a lot of publishers like to put extra spaces between sections of the book to separate point-of-views and settings.
The physical dimensions of the book.
The typical dimensions for a novel are either 5x8 inches or 6x9 inches. It all depends on how the publisher prints the final work and whether it is a hardcover or paperback.
The Reading Level of the book.
For example, children’s books are going to have fewer words per page than a book meant for adult readers.
Common Novel: Word Counts per Page
How many words per page are there in a typical novel? For manuscripts, the answer is about 250–300 words per page if it is double-spaced. A manuscript for a novel is typically 500 words if single-spaced. When the final work is printed for sale and published, the number of words per page will differ.
So, how many pages is 500 words? For a manuscript, the answer is two pages if the word count per page is 250 and it is double spaced. If single-spaced, it is one page. It all depends on the font type, font size, spacing, and formatting of the text. If a novel has a total of 80,000 words with 300 words per page, the number of manuscript pages is 267.
It is interesting, as well as necessary at times, to look at the number of words per page. If you are a college student writing a paper, knowing how many words per page there are in your essay helps you track your progress to the required word count for the assignment. If you are an author working on your next bestseller, you should know that a typical manuscript with double-spaced text has about 250 words per page. Overall, there are multiple answers to the question regarding the number of words per page, as it all depends on font type, font size, and formatting.
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As a rule, you’ll write your essay in three main parts. First, you’ll introduce your topic to your reader. Next, you will have body text in which you discuss the topic in more detail, and finally, you’ll have a conclusion that tells your reader what you were able to see after looking into the facts or thinking through the topic.
In its simplest form, an essay can consist of three paragraphs with one paragraph being devoted to each section. Proponents of the five paragraph essay say that the body text should consist of three paragraphs, but in reality, it’s fine to write more or fewer paragraphs in this section.
Guessing How Many Paragraphs Before You Begin
This is a rule of thumb, which means it won’t always work quite that way, but it’s handy all the same. In academic work, your paragraphs are likely to be a bit longer than most of the ones you see in this blog post. On average, there are usually 100 to 200 words in a paragraph. So if you’d like a guesstimate, you can assume that a 1,000-word essay will have between five and ten paragraphs.
What Points Do You Have to Cover?
Another, less limiting and more accurate way to work out how many paragraphs you need to cover your topic is to look at the main points you have to cover in the body text. A paragraph contains all the ideas that support or explain a single concept.
When you are planning your essay, you will think of or research the main elements that are needed in the body text. It would be safe to assume you need at least one paragraph for each of these. Of course, if there is a lot of information to cover in order to explore each area, you may need more.
For example, if you are writing an essay on childhood development and exposure to technology, you will want to look into the physical, psychological and cognitive developmental effects of tech on kids. When you research this topic, you will find that there are contrasting points of view and researchers have identified several physical, developmental, and psychological effects of technology use in children.
Assuming five psychological effects have been identified, you can assume you’ll need to write five paragraphs if you are going to write a relatively in-depth essay. But if both those who say technology is bad for kids and those who say it can be good have done a great deal of work on the sub-topic, you might want to make that ten paragraphs so that you can cover both sides of the argument and look into how earlier authors reached their conclusions.
Of course, if you have been set a relatively short word limit, you may not be able to go in-depth at all, in which case a paragraph for each of the main sub-topics (psychology, physical development, and cognitive development) will likely be adequate.
Essay Content Is More Important Than the Number of Paragraphs
Ultimately, your essay will be evaluated on the information you present, not on the number of paragraphs in the essay. Early in your academic life, teachers and lecturers may give you both a structure for your essay and a guideline on how long each part of the essay should be. I have seen essay instructions say how many marks are allocated for each section, and my trick is to take the total word count and allocate a percentage of words to each section based on the percentage of marks you can get for it. After all, if the teacher is allocating 80 marks for content in total and you can see 50% of the mark relates to a certain part of the essay, then 50% of your essay’s words should be devoted to that section.
Sometimes, you’ll just be given a topic and told to air your opinion. This gives you more freedom, but it’s a tad more difficult. The research will show you how many angles you should look at, and it’ll help you to find information that both supports and contradicts your point of view. To make a strong argument, you need to look at both supporting and contradictory information.
To avoid getting tangled up in one aspect of the discussion, you’ll have to decide how long it should be. If it’s the most important aspect informing your conclusion, you can spend a little more time (and words) on that particular point. It could run into several paragraphs rather than just one or two.
Always Remember the Purpose of Paragraphs
Paragraphs structure information into sub-topics, and they make your work easier to read and understand thanks to the structure they provide. With careful advance planning, you’ll be able to work out more or less how many paragraphs you need to complete your essay.
How many paragraphs is…
For those looking for a general rule-of-thumb, below are some estimates on the number of paragraphs there would be in an essay of different lengths based on an average length of 150 words per paragraph. Of course, the number of paragraphs for your essay will depend on many different factors. You can use the following information for a general reference, but don’t take these numbers as literal..
Basic Essay Word to Paragraphs Conversions
- A 100 word essay is 3 paragraph. (minimum for an essay)
- A 200 word essay is 3 paragraphs. (minimum for an essay)
- A 250 word essay is 3 paragraphs. (minimum for an essay)
- A 300 word essay is 3 paragraphs. (minimum for an essay)
- A 400 word essay is 3 paragraphs. (minimum for an essay)
- A 500 word essay is 3 to 4 paragraphs.
- A 600 word essay is 4 paragraphs.
- A 700 word essay is 4 to 5 paragraphs.
- A 750 word essay is 5 paragraphs.
- A 800 word essay is 5 to 6 paragraphs.
- A 900 word essay is 6 paragraphs.
- A 1,000 word essay is 6 to 7 paragraphs.
- A 1,250 word essay is 8 to 9 paragraphs.
- A 1,500 word essay is 10 paragraphs.
- A 1,750 word essay is 11 to 12 paragraphs.
- A 2,000 word essay is 13 to 14 paragraphs.
- A 2,500 word essay is 16 to 17 paragraphs.
- A 3,000 word essay is 20 paragraphs.
- A 4,000 word essay is 26 to 27 paragraphs.
- A 5,000 word essay is 33 to 34 paragraphs.
- A 6,000 word essay is 40 paragraphs.
- A 7,000 word essay is 46 to 37 paragraphs.
- A 7,500 word essay is 50 paragraphs.
- A 8,000 word essay is 53 to 54 paragraphs.
- A 9,000 word essay is 60 paragraphs.
- A 10,000 word essay is 66 to 67 paragraphs.