Writing Guide: How Many Paragraphs Are in an Essay

As you move up in school, you will naturally be required to write essays. The higher you go, the more complex and demanding your papers will get. Although most people get better at writing essays naturally, it is essential to learn how to communicate your points clearly. It is also necessary to master essential grammar and punctuation functions.

Aside from these obvious aspects, you have to learn essay composition and structure. The structure of your essay determines how many paragraphs you’ll get to write and how you arrange your ideas.

In this article, we’ll provide basic information on essay writing. You’ll also learn just how many paragraphs count as an essay and how to structure them.

What is an essay?

Before we get into how paragraphs work within an essay, let’s get some basic definitions out of the way, starting with what an essay entails.

An essay is an academic piece of writing based on a particular topic that requires you to explore ideas and provide opinions relevant to the topic discussed.

How much is a paragraph?

A paragraph should contain at least five words or more. Anything less isn’t worthy of an essay because it cannot carry the information required to write one.

How many paragraphs in a page?

The amount of paragraphs on a page is determined by the type of academic writing you are undertaking. Generally, an article is up to two pages long and will have about five paragraphs. Amongst these paragraphs, the introduction counts for one, three paragraphs count for the main topic of discussion, and one final paragraph for the summary.

If the number of sentences that fits within a paragraph is not specified, you can choose a minimum of five words per sentence. However, if what you are writing requires about five to six pages, you would need to write about 15 paragraphs.

You must have at least two paragraphs on a page in any form of writing you’re given.

How many paragraphs in an essay?

A standard essay format consists of three minimum paragraphs; anything less can’t be called an essay.

A paragraph can be only one sentence. However, this is quite rare for an essay. It is usually three or more sentences that make up paragraphs of an essay. A one-sentence section can only occur in the introduction of an essay.

How much is 3 paragraphs for an essay? Well, not enough; it’s better to have five, which is for the smallest papers.

How many paragraphs in a college essay?

The type of essay should determine the total number of paragraphs you have.

How much is 5 paragraphs for a college essay? Well, that’s way too small. You’re never going to get an essay that is that short at such an academic level.

The instructions of a college essay should tell you if your paper contains only a few or several paragraphs. For example, you can be asked to write a minimum of seven paragraphs of content on the subject of an essay with a specified number of words.

Always remember to outline your essay on paper before you go ahead and start writing. It offers you a quick overview of what you need to write and how many words you can fit into your paragraphs. Also, ensure all your main points are mentioned in the essay exactly where they are meant to be and in the paragraph, they should be written.

How long should a college essay be?

Your lecturer or instructor usually determines the length of a college essay. However, if you aren’t given this specific information, the length of your essay should be as long as is needed to cover the topic conveniently.

The type of essay also determines how long it should be. Nevertheless, an essay in college can be as little as 500 words and as long as 2000 words or more.

If you are taxed with writing an essay with a word count of at least 1000, you may require two or more paragraphs to introduce your topic to the reader. What makes an essay great is its information and how you present it. It isn’t how many paragraphs you write.

Although writing a 10 paragraph essay will enable you to cover every aspect of your topic, it will be unsatisfactory without good composition.

Long college essays usually contain detailed and complex arguments. When writing the conclusion part of your essay, you can use paragraphs to reinforce your main points to the reader. This adds depth to your presentation and makes your essay easy to comprehend.


When writing an essay, ensure each paragraph effortlessly flows into the next, creating coherence and comprehension. Coupled with maintaining a specific paragraph count, this idea can be daunting. However, paragraphs help keep your writing focused and easy to read through. It is better to have just a few more paragraphs describing your points than too few.

Practical Steps to Writing an Argumentative Essay

Different types of essays are based on convincing a reader about a particular point of view. But, argumentative essays stand out from others in this aspect. It goes further to support opinion using factual evidence and logical reasoning.

The entirety of an argumentative essay depends on how you present your case. Structure is crucial when writing an argumentative essay. Hence, when writing, it’s essential to follow the prescribed sequence.

Firstly, writing a compelling argumentative essay requires the use of persuasive language. Your interest is to prove to the reader that your point is the only logical conclusion. This article goes through other crucial things to note when writing an argumentative essay.

Parts of an argumentative essay

Like every other type of essay, an argumentative essay comprises different parts. These different parts are what constitute building up the essay. The five elements of a well-written argumentative essay include:

  1. Well-structured thesis

The thesis of an argumentative essay is a vital part of the essay. It’s the introductory section that explains to readers why they should be interested in the content of the essay.

  1. Supporting body paragraphs

The supporting body paragraph contains three different but unified paragraphs that convey the message the title intends. Each of these paragraphs contains a different idea that weaves into the next section.

Every paragraph should contain a topic and a supporting sentence. There should also be room for instances and citations in the paragraphs. Each section should also have an effective claim in an argumentative essay.

An effective claim is primarily a genuine statement that facts and convincing evidence can back up. It serves as the foundation for your counterarguments.

  1. Counter arguments

The counterargument is contained in the body of the essay. That’s to say, it should be situated within one of the three paragraphs. Here, you counter a point, explore your opposing views, and explain why your argument is relevant.

  1. Persuasive conclusion

This is the closing part of your argumentative essay. Your conclusion should be as compelling as your introduction. Instead of introducing new information, your conclusion is to explain how the given evidence supports your argument.

  1. Transitional phrases

Using transitional phrases is essential in every type of writing. It’s equally important in argumentative writing. It helps lines and sentences glide into others to convey clear thoughts. You can use transitional phrases like “in support of,” “given that,” “all things considered,” etc.

What is the purpose of an argumentative essay?

The purpose of argumentative writing is to present facts and evidence that contradicts a previously given opinion. Therefore, an argumentative essay organizes and presents a well-reasoned opinion or belief in an orderly manner to persuade an audience.

Essentially, an argumentative essay requires others to see a subject from a different light. It uses persuasive words and factual evidence as tools to achieve the result.

Steps to writing an argumentative essay

A well-written argumentative essay follows a logical sequence to convey the intended meaning. When writing your argumentative essay, here are the steps to follow.

  1. Choose a compelling topic

Always go for a topic you’re well-informed on. Strong opinions are the foundation of well-written argumentative essays; your topic will help you bring it to life.

  1. Thoroughly research your ideas

Research helps you build up knowledge on your chosen topic. Moreover, since the essence of an argumentative essay is to persuade an audience using information, research helps develop necessary points.

  1. Organize your findings

During the research, you’ll gather a lot of different ideas. For these ideas to convey logical sense, it has to be correctly organized.

  1. Draft your essay using the structure

After organizing your thoughts, the next step is to write your draft. Your essay draft should go in line with the structure of an argumentative essay. It starts with the thesis statement, three body paragraphs, and the concluding paragraph.

  1. Study the argumentative essay rubric

An argumentative essay rubric is a tool teachers use to assess the quality of your essay. The essay rubric forms the foundation of the grading system and criteria used to score your essay. Most times, your teacher will give this to you so that you can structure your essay correctly and provide the best you can. If your teacher doesn’t provide you with one, you can search online to understand what an argumentative essay rubric looks like.

  1. Review & proofread your essay

The final stage of every piece of writing is review and editing. Reviewing and proofreading help finesse your essay, making sure all points are correctly arranged and errors corrected.

The proper style for an argumentative essay is?

Every type of essay has its writing style. For an argumentative essay, the style is persuasive. Therefore, the language used when writing an argumentative should reflect this.

In addition, the language should be critical, reflective, rational, and convincing.

Argumentative essay outline example

An outline is essential in writing, and that includes an argumentative essay. Here’s a sample of what your outline should look like:

  • Introductory paragraph (thesis statement)
  • Body paragraph I
  • Body paragraph II
  • Body paragraph III
  • Concluding paragraph

Argumentative essay conclusion

The concluding part of your argumentative essay is as essential as the introduction. Your conclusion should not be a paragraph for new ideas. Instead, it should restate your topic and summarize opposing viewpoints using provided evidence.


Of all types of essay writing, an argumentative essay requires considerable attention. Because crafting a compelling argumentative essay requires a lot of work.