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    How to Write a 250 Word Essay

    By Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Updated: February 1st, 2024
    How to Write a 250 Word Essay

    Have you come across a 250 word essay in a scholarship or college application? These shorter essays can be tricky for students because of the limited word count. In this guide, you will learn how to write a successful 250 word essay with our step-by-step process:

    1. Outline your essay in bullet points
    2. Only answer the question being asked
    3. Don’t worry about the word count in your first draft
    4. Proofread

    Let’s dive in so you can complete your 250 word essays!

    Outline your essay in bullet points

    An outline is a good move for writing most scholarship essays, but is an absolute necessity if you are writing a short 250 word essay. This will allow you to answer the essay prompt in the simplest, most concise way. My suggestion is to think about the essay in five bullets:

    • Hook the reader with an engaging first line and introduce your response.
    • Expand on point 1
    • Expand on point 2
    • Expand on point 3
    • Conclude your essay with a meaningful last line

    The resulting bullet points may not craft the perfect essays. As a result, you will probably need to smooth it out a bit and include some transitions. This is totally fine, but be careful how much you add onto the essay. Try to stick to your five bullet outline as much as possible.

    Only answer the question being asked

    In essays, it can be tempting to meander. After all, the writing process is a creative one and once you get going, you may wind up in a completely different place. Discipline is the key to shorter essays and you will need to focus on only answering the question being asked.

    Recommended: How to write a winning scholarship essay

    Don’t worry about the word count in your first draft

    I know that this seems counterintuitive, but hear me out! For some students, it may actually be even better to write an essay without thinking about the 250 word count at all.

    If you choose to go this route, you will have to spend some time cutting down on your word count. However, sometimes it does make sense to overwrite and then edit out the fluff that is not necessary.

    Discover: Top Essay & Writing Scholarships

    Proofread (and proofread again!)

    Even though a 250 word essay is short, it is still an essay that requires an editing and proofreading process. Generally, writers are their own worst proofreaders. So once you finish your essay, ask someone else to read it to ensure another set of eyes glances over everything.

    Don’t forget to check on the word count as you proofread and edit your essay! Good luck, writers!

    Also see: Can you use the same essay for multiple colleges?

    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • There’s not a lot of extra room in a 250 word essay, which means you will need to be direct and on topic
    • Try writing your first draft without a word count in mind and then go back and edit it down later
    • Remember to ask others to proofread for you, as it can be hard to see your own mistakes
    • If you are writing an essay for a specific college, be sure to give them a search in our college essay database to see what other helpful advice we might have

    See Also: How to write an essay about yourself

    Frequently asked questions about how to write a 250 word essay

    How long is a 250 word essay?

    A 250 word essay is about half a page single spaced or one page double spaced. As we said above though, try not to get too caught up on the length. Start your first draft out with no word limits in mind and just write. From there, you can begin to either add or take away from your easy where needed to tailor it to fit the desired length.

    Is 200 words a lot for an essay?

    200 words is relatively short for an essay. It may feel like a lot when you first see the essay length requirement, but once you start writing, it should feel more manageable. Writing an essay in fewer words may actually prove harder than you think once you get going. Remember to check out the tips above!

    How long is an average college essay?

    Average college admissions essays are between 200-650 words long. There may be some schools that go above or below that range, but for the most part, colleges will require essays to be a couple hundred words long. 500 word essays are also a popular length for both colleges and scholarships. Colleges that ask more niche, in depth questions may give you more room compared to colleges that may ask common essay prompts about why you’ve chosen to apply to their school. 

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