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Duke University
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How many paragraphs should a college essay be?

I'm working on my college essay and I'm not sure how long it should be. Is there an ideal number of paragraphs for a college essay, or does it just depend on the content and flow of the essay? Any guidance would be much appreciated!

10 months ago

Hey there! It's great that you're working on your college essay. The ideal length for a college essay will depend on the specific essay prompt and the word limit given by the colleges you're applying to. Generally, most college essays fall in the range of 250-650 words.

As for the number of paragraphs, it's more about effectively organizing your thoughts and ideas rather than sticking to a specific number. For instance, you might have a compelling 5-paragraph essay or an engaging 8-paragraph essay. The key is to maintain a strong narrative and flow throughout the essay.

My child faced a similar dilemma when they were applying, and what worked for them was to focus on the content, storytelling, and coherence of the essay rather than the specific number of paragraphs. Remember, it's your unique story and how you present it that matters most. Good luck!

10 months ago

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