If you write 3,000 words, you’ll end up with 12 pages double spaced.
Imagine this scenario. You’re an undergraduate student in electrical engineering. In order to pass your last required class before graduation, you need to write a 3,000-word essay on probabilistic methods. Your professor asks you to send in a Microsoft Word document with double spacing, before the semester ends. She’s also asking you to cite your sources, using either MLA format or APA format. Here’s the question: How many pages long should your term paper be?
To know how many pages you’ll need, you’ll first have to select a font. We recommend using a standard font, like Arial or Times New Roman, in a 12-point font size. Most readers prefer something classic. You could always test your limits with a more exotic font, such as Calibri or Verdana; however, think carefully before selecting anything too hard to read. You want your professor to pay attention to the content of your writing, not your formatting.
Since you’ve been given a word count, you know that your paper must be at least 3,000 words. Using the chart below, you can see that the same number of words may result in a different page count, depending on the line spacing you select. With the assigned word count, your essay would be approximately twelve pages double spaced. Had the advisor asked for single spacing, you’d end up with six pages. The word limit does not include the works cited page.
Of course, you can imagine that the content of your essay may influence the page length. Let’s say you use lots of long words in your paper, like “nonconstructive” and “combinatorics”. That 3,000-word paper about probabilistic methods could end up filling up more pages. By changing the type of font, deviating from standard 1-inch margins, and including graphs and charts, you may be able to extend the page count. For that reason, we can’t give a definitive answer about the exact number of pages you’ll need.
Here’s the good news: Most word processors, like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, contain a word counter that allows you to check the word count and character count of a document. Also, if you’re writing for a class assignment, it never hurts to ask for clarification. Check with the professor to see if she requires a certain number of pages, font type, or character count. To help students with term papers and other writing assignments, many high schools, colleges, and universities have a writing services center. They can help you with proofreading and structuring your 3,000-word essay.
As a good rule of thumb, use this chart to approximate the number of pages you’ll get for a particular amount of words. The chart includes estimates for a single space or double space essay with Times New Roman font or Arial font.
If you’d like to know how to convert a speech from pages to minutes, check out this article.