Writing a 400 Word Essay: Length and How to write it Well

400 word essay

400 word essay

Often, students are given tasks or assignments that require them to come up with written works that have a word count limit. When students are given word limits as part of the instructions, they are required to adhere to the rules lest they lose points.

There are various word count limits and this article will focus on essays with a 400-word limit. 

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What is a 400-Word Essay?

A 400-word essay is a short piece of written work. This essay is assigned to students by their instructors to test their knowledge concerning a topic that had been taught and their ability to organize their thoughts concisely. 

a short essay outline

400-word essays are commonly assigned for less complex academic works such as discussion boards, personal statements, formal/informal letters, and other simpler academic genres.

Though this is the case, some complex academic genres may require students to come up with 400-word essays.

Such genres may include but are not limited to abstracts, proposals, and project outlines. 

While it is true that some 400-word essays may be part of a complex academic paper, we have some occupations that require professionals to write short works because they are expected to be brief and straight to the point.

Those professionals include communications specialists, journalists, and lawyers. 

From an academic point of view, why should 400-word essays be short as well as concise? Well. Such essays are typically shorter than other academic essays.

As we shall note later in this article, a 400-word essay is less than 2 pages, meaning that it will not require students to expound a lot on their points or provide a lot of examples to elaborate on issues. 

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How to Write a 400-Word Essay

As aforementioned, 400-word essays are meant to allow you to express your thoughts in the fewest and most concise words.

Therefore, you need to follow this guide whenever you are writing a 400-word essay to ensure that your readers understand your arguments quickly and in a short time. 

1. Conduct Research on your Topic

The first and most important step before drafting your 400-word essay is to conduct thorough research on your topic. It may be tempting to write your essay from ideas that have been directly derived from your mind.

a research topic

This is not recommended because the essay will lack new or challenging ideas. It will also lack an academic appeal or credibility because it will be based on what you know or have experienced – not anything new. 

2. Coming up with an Outline

The second step of writing a 400-word essay is to create a plan on how to organize your arguments and findings from the research you have conducted.

The plan is in the form of an outline that will help you organize your essay while sticking to the main subject. Think of an outline as a skeleton and the main essay as the meat.

The skeleton is the basic structure of your essay from which content can be added to create the complete essay. Therefore, an outline is written in point form from the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion (we shall discuss this later).

3. Structuring your Essay

Since you have already conducted thorough research concerning your essay and came up with an outline, you can begin drafting your work. The 400-word essay should always begin with a title because the title dictates what the essay is all about.

writing essay introduction

The title should be short with main words capitalized. Your essay’s title should be a summary of your entire essay.

A 400-word essay has three major parts: an introduction paragraph, body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.

The introduction paragraph introduces the essay to the readers. It should begin with a hook to ensure that the readers are captivated.

It should then provide the purpose of the essay and end with a thesis statement. Since you are writing a 400-word essay, limit your introduction to between 50 and 70 words. 

The body paragraphs of the 400-word essay contain individual points that should be explained and illustrated within individual paragraphs. Always ensure that a paragraph only contains a single point.

The basic structure of a body paragraph is point, illustration, and explanation. A body barograph begins by providing a single point that relates to the thesis statement. This is followed by an illustration or making the point clear using research findings. Explanation of the point follows by justifying your perspective or idea using scientific skills and/or logic. 

The conclusion paragraph is the last part of your 400-word essay that summarizes your main points or arguments. It should also not exceed 70 words since it is a brief restatement of the thesis statement, a summary of main points, and your concluding remarks. 

When you complete drafting your 400-word essay, ensure that you proofread your work and include references to the sources of information. Such sources should come from your research and should be peer-reviewed. 

Examples of 400-Word Essay Topics

Essay topics for 400-word essays are many. Some of them include: 

1. Global Warming 

2. My favorite food

3. My aim in life 

4. Importance of education

How Long is a 400-Word Essay?

word double spacing

In terms of pages, a 400-word essay should be one-and-a-half (1.5) pages in length if the page is double spaced.

The length is directly proportional to the wideness of a page’s spacing. In terms of paragraphs should be about 4 to 6 in number.

When it comes to the number of sentences in a 400-word essay, the estimation is about 20 to 27 sentences. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What a 400-Word Essay Looks Like

Such an essay contains about 4 to 6 paragraphs with the first paragraph being the introduction. It is followed by 2 to 3 body paragraphs and a 1-paragraph conclusion. It is typically less than 1.5 pages. 

Are 400 Words Considered an Essay?

Yes. 400 words are considered an assay because there is a topic, an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs containing supporting points, a concluding paragraph, and references. 

How long is a 400-Word Paragraph?

While it is not recommended to have a 400-word paragraph, it would probably be between 1 and 1.5 pages if you follow the academically recommended line spacing (double-spacing).