How to Write a 500 Word Essay

Writing a 500-word essay for school means you'll need to do some basic research so you’ll have sufficient material to write confidently about your topic. Once you have your research completed, you’ll need to write an outline before beginning the first draft. Don’t forget about editing and making changes and corrections.

Go to the library and find books which cover the topic you are writing about. Make notes on note cards. One way you can do this is to title the note cards with your topic headings and make notes concerning that topic on each card.

Write an outline using your note cards or printed online research. Head each section of your outline with your topic headings and separate your planned paragraphs with your outline. Begin each planned paragraph -- on the outline -- with a “1” or ”A”. Continue this topic with subheadings that will expand on your topic sentence. Your research and outline should help you develop a good thesis statement for your paper.

Write out a thesis statement which will highlight the main idea of your essay. In this statement, you are pointing out the subject of your essay and telling readers what you are writing about. You should be able to support your thesis statement with evidence you have found in your research.

Look at your thesis statement and begin to write down general ideas that come from this statement and your outlined notes. This will be your introductory paragraph, so you need to make sure your general statements will move naturally into your thesis statement. Move your thesis statement to the end of this paragraph. Use information from your research and outline as background and support for your introductory paragraph and thesis statement.

Begin your second paragraph, which will be more specific than your introductory paragraph. This will be the first “body paragraph” of your essay. Build support for your topic sentence in this paragraph by adding examples. Write your second and third “body paragraphs” in this way as well. In each body paragraph you will be giving more specific evidence of the truth of your thesis statement.

Restate your thesis statement for your conclusion paragraph. Write statements that support your thesis and make sure these sentences are less specific and make a broader point about your thesis. End with a final sentence that makes a general statement about your thesis.

Proofread your paper by reading it aloud so you can find mistakes more easily. Look for misspelled words and typographical errors and correct these. Ask a friend or your parent to help you with this -- a fresh set of eyes can find mistakes more easily.

Type up a citations page and include every resource you used in doing your research. Use the format your teacher has given you.

  • Make copies of reference material you cannot check out of the library. Use the copies for your research and highlight the parts you want to use.
  • Type your essay using the format your teacher has told your class to use. If she tells you to use one-inch margins and Times New Roman 12-point font, follow her directions.
  • Do not plagiarize the work of other people. Plagiarizing means you are using their work -- pictures, ideas, words -- without giving them proper credit. If you do this, your teacher will be able to find out and you may get a failing grade.
Items you will need
Essay topic
Library books
Internet research
Assignment guidelines
About the Author

Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.