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How Long it Takes to Write an Essay: From 500 to 5k words

Writing an essay

When you receive an assignment as a writer, you would want to calculate the duration that you will take to complete the assignment.

Unluckily, there exists no exact formula that can assist you in knowing the correct time. However, you can gauge your efficiency over several variables that we will be highlighting in this write-up. Read on. 

How Long Does it Take to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay?

Writing a five-paragraph essay can be effortless when you understand the topic well. The most important aspect is to know the entire word count. In the same vein, beginning with a complete introduction and put the key ideas within the body.

The time it takes to write a 5-paragraph essay is 3 hours if you are a good writer and the topic is easy, or over 5 hours if the topic is technical. The reason for the variation is because of the writing ability of the writer and the technicality of the content. Therefore, it takes between 3 hours and 5 hours to write a 2-page essay.

If you did the proper research and mastered the topic, it should take you between forty and one hours by doing the following: 

1. Focus

You should operate in a quiet environment by sitting off everything that will cause distraction. You can proceed by shutting the windows and doors so that the exterior noise will not disturb you.  

Again, you should put off the music because it is likely to divert your attention. Once you set the environment well, you can begin to work on your five-page essay effectively. 

2. Acquire Information 

The chances of letting your essay suffer can be high if you do it within one hour. Some will prefer to do it within four to five hours to get the right information to include in the essay.

Well, it could be sensible to get poor scores than no scores. You can perform quick research from at least three reliable sources. 

3. Understand Instructions 

Many instructors will have different requirements to allow you to finish the assignments. For this case, the demand is to complete a five paged essay within a short period. Ensure that you stick to those demands when doing research and writing. 

When you master the instructions, it is great that you manage your time. Don’t assume that the instructor gave you more or little time to finish the essay.

The best approach is to start early and complete in time. Doing so gives you more time to proofread and kick out any inconsistencies effectively. 

4. Conduct Brief Research 

You can go to the internet and research on the topic. Read through the articles that you found which can be resourceful to you.


If you have a pencil, you can jot down any point that you find it fit for you.

If you are working via soft copies only, then ensure that you highlight the area with a specific color. 

When you discover that one point occurs in several articles, it is crucial to note it.

If you will be talking about the same point in your essay, then ensure that you express your personal opinion over it. 

5. Create an Outline 

It is challenging to write a five-paragraph essay minus the outline. One needs the outline to write faster. Use the underlined pieces to get a good outline and organize it in a structured manner. Avoid taking the same structure to resemble your sources. 

The most common one is to have the introduction where you will put general topic information. Let the body carry three paragraphs where you will put your key arguments. Lastly, the final paragraph should include a summary of your topic. 

6. Begin Writing 

Follow the guidelines to write the first draft. Ensure you mention all the points that you wanted to talk about.

begin writing essay

The cool thing is you can finish the first draft quickly before thinking of revising the details. 

Support every claim with tangible evidence.

Suppose you are borrowing information from a different source, it is vital to cite properly.

Paraphrase it well to overcome cases of plagiarism. 

7. Polish the Details 

When you finish writing, begin to polish the details in your first draft. You should reread it to see any mistakes that can compromise the total quality. Add or remove unwanted phrases as you eliminate any inconsistencies. Reading it aloud works wonders for you. 

8. Revise

It can be an optional step but it is key to your accomplishment. It can be hard if you are only taking a single hour to finish the essay hence lacking enough time to perfect it as you wish. You can correct any typos and other mistakes to improve your quality. 

Read more about how it takes to write a 5-page paper and learn how to optimize the lengths more. Also, we have written a comprehensive guide to write good essays for you to learn step-by-step.

Factors Determining time taken to Write an Essay

Several elements will dictate your pace when delivering an essay. Remember, you want to deliver the essay within the shortest time possible.   

Writing an essay

It can be hard to ignore the following aspects for effective delivery within an agreeable time. 

1. Topic

If the instructions allow you to select the topic, then ensure you settle for the right topic.

You should not choose a hard topic that will become unmanageable. Such is true because it will lower your chances of success. 

When given the topic, ensure you exhaust it well to know what you should go about it. Before you write a new topic, it will call for thorough research for you to grasp all the facts before writing about it in an engaging manner. 

2. Experience 

One sharpens the writing skills over time because you will be developing new techniques and tools to complement your effort. If you have been writing for a long period, it is an indicator that you have been honing your skills over time. 

When working on an essay paper, there will be a clear demarcation between one with ten years of experience than the one-two month of experience. The one with more experience will likely deliver the essay faster than the rest. 

3. Barriers

Many writers encounter challenges and barriers while crafting their content. These barriers will dictate the pace at which you will perform. One of the hardest things to cope with is the psychological barriers. 

When you get overwhelmed by negative emotions and feelings, you are likely to begin dragging or procrastinating. If you experience such barriers, the chances of delivering a five-page essay within an hour become a tall order. 

4. Pressure

If you are working under pressure to perform, it will affect your productivity. Remember, you need the peace of mind to recollect and research your topic well before you begin to write anything about it. 

The challenge could be that you may be handling many tasks at the same time. You may be having many assignments where you have strict deadlines hence causing you to work under pressure. When done hurriedly, you can meet the deadlines but sacrifice quality.  

5. Typing Skills

Your typing speed is a critical factor that will dictate how fast you can complete an essay when within a given period. If you have efficient typing skills, then it will only take you a few minutes before you complete your projects. 

If your speed is slow especially to a beginner, then you are likely to drag before you complete the essay. If you are slow, then you will increase the chances of delay and extend beyond one hour. 

Read more on how to write a 2-page essay and get some insights into the skills you need to perfect it.

Number of wordsNumber of pagesThe time it takes to write
500 words2One hour and forty minutes 
1000 words4Three hours and twenty minutes 
1200 words4Four hours
1500 words5Five hours 
2000 words7Six hours and forty minutes 
2500 words9Eight hours and twenty minutes 
3000 words11Ten hours 
3500 words12Eleven hours and forty minutes 
4000 words15Thirteen hours and 20 minutes
5000 words20Sixteen hours and forty minutes 

Note that these tips and data relate to writing a normal essay for assignments. This could be different if you are writing other types of essays.

For example, if you are writing a college application, the time taken to write an admission essay is a bit different from a normal assignment essay. But the principles may be the same.