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Those 5-page Papers – What’s Up with That?

  • September 01, 2017
Those 5-page Papers – What’s Up with That?

So, what exactly is a five-page paper? It kind of runs between an essay which is usually shorter, and a paper, which is usually longer. Still, if it’s five pages, it’s likely that you will be doing a bit of research – you will have to back up the points you make with some facts, after all.

Just how many words in a five-page paper will vary only a little, depending on the font you use. It will run between 1250 and 1375 words. This means that you will have to choose a topic that is not too complex, because of your word limit.

How to Write a 5-Page Essay or Paper

How to Write a 5-Page Essay

You’ll be using the same process for a five-page paper that you would use for longer papers. Yes, it can be tedious, and yes it doesn’t seem quite fair for such a short assignment. But if you skip steps, you’ll be sorry. 

Get a Topic that Works

It does really matter how many words is a five-page paper when you are choosing a topic. You might have some strong opinions about climate change, but you cannot possibly cover them all in such a short work. You will have to narrow that topic to one opinion about one type of climate change issue and just address that. Here’s how you narrow your topic:

General Topic Area: Climate Change

Effects of Climate Change: oceans, air, agriculture, animal life, weather, etc.

Topic for Paper: One of the effects, and only one of them.

So, pick the effect that you feel most passionate about.

Get Some Facts

Yes, your paper is short but it can’t be full of your opinions and “rants.” You have to have some facts to back up your thesis. This calls for a bit of research.

Fortunately, because your topic is narrowed, your research will be narrower too – that’s a good thing.

Maybe you have decided to focus on the effect of climate change on the ocean temperatures. They are getting warmer, and that is affecting weather, sea life, and coastal flooding. So, get some scientific data on those three things, and you will be good to go.

Yes, You Do Need an Outline

Don’t skip this step just because your paper is short. Each of your major points needs to be addressed in a logical order. Putting together an outline will give you that order and will keep you on track while you write.

Rough Draft, Revision, and Final Draft

Sound familiar? It should. These are the next steps. Write your rough draft from your outline, walk away from it for a while, then come back to review it and revise.

Ready for the Introduction and Conclusion

Write your introduction last, after you have all of your thoughts down on paper. You want to begin with some startling fact, to get your reader’s attention. Here’s one for ocean warming and rising: Scientists now say that Miami may be under water before today’s children are senior citizens. That’s pretty startling and will get your reader’s attention right away.

About that Conclusion: You either want to summarize the points you made, or give a call to action, or both.

How Long Does it Take to Write a Five-Page Paper?

That depends. Sometimes, these are harder to write than a longer paper or a shorter, 3-paragraph essay. You have to be careful about topic and about your words. You may need to re-write several times and take out unnecessary phrases to keep the length under control

Getting Some Help

If you are really struggling with short papers, you are not along. Lots of students use writing services for help. To find a good one, check out our writing services reviews and pick one that has a high score.