It’s 3 AM and you’re sitting at your computer, staring into the void worried about the results of this subpar essay you’ve painstakingly endured this weekend. You glance over at the word count, and even though you’ve valiantly written 3,000 words already, you’re still short another 2,000. This insurmountable writing assignment is only 60% finished and it’s early in the morning.
I’m sure you’ve all been in this situation, if not maybe something similar. It feels like you’ve spent your yearly allowance of creativity into one essay and still come short. I want to assure you that you’re not alone in these struggles. Writing isn’t easy to do, it requires careful thought and planning and a direction and a purpose.
But one of the biggest blocks is the word count. The infamous word count that can break students easily at the end of a lengthy writing session. Luckily for you, there are some tips and tricks to effectively increase your word count but still write a fantastic essay. We of course want to avoid repetition and all the unnecessary fluff that doesn’t pertain to our essay – so we are only going to focus on the tips that can stretch your word count but in all the right ways.
Make sure you’ve included everything you need to in order to make your grade
This is often overlooked because you’re tired or fatigued. Check your assignment requirements and walk yourself through what you’ve already written. Sometimes you miss a question or a talking point, you can go back and insert that missing paragraph. Not only can you find holes in your essay, but it’s another way to thoroughly check your essay so it’s in tip-top shape. Make a checklist, consult a teacher or classmate, just make sure that you’re not missing any information that is essential to your essay. Reading it through, you’ll be able to go over the information to see if it makes sense together or not and see if you’re missing a piece of the total package.
Rewrite your Intro and Conclusion
Usually the easiest part of writing an essay, the introduction and conclusion paragraphs are short and concise. But very few revisit it after writing it initially. There should be just enough information about your topic in the introduction, but it’s not limited to hypothetical and rhetorical questions. There’s room for statistics or maybe a quick anecdote to help solidify your thesis. The same applies to your conclusion, which should just summarize your entire essay. You can expand your conclusion even more by referring to several examples from your main body paragraphs. In this way, not only will you increase your word count, but significantly improve your essay.
Upgrade your language
Academic writing is supposed to be sophisticated and proper, and your essays should be the same. This means a number of things, such as using linking words and transitional phrases between sentences and paragraphs. Linking words not only will stretch your word count, but it does so in a way that makes your writing a bit more complex.
Here are a few examples of linking words:
- On one hand
- To conclude
- In turn
- But for
Upgrading your language also means using complex grammar structures. Converting your sentences into relative clauses and inverted questions can make your phrases a bit more wordy but in the best way possible.
Quick Grammar Lesson: Relative clauses add extra information to your sentences.
For example, “Steve Jobs, the one who invented the iPhone, was a very intellectual man.” We added that extra information of “who invented the iPhone” to the sentence. Not only will this increase your word count, but make you sound more sophisticated as well.
Upgrade your vocabulary
Consider using a thesaurus for more complex ways to explain some words with phrases. Instead of using just one plain verb, you can delve into several verbs to explain in more detail. Think of several examples of adjectives and adverbs that can greatly increase your word count while still sound very smart. Try using open compound words and collocations as well, like “dinner table, largely irrelevant, newly formed” to get you double the word while sounding sophisticated. Expanding your language means expanding your word count, but in a smart way.
Write your numbers and contractions
That’s it. That’s the tip. They still count as words, so it’ll help you in the long run. You’re becomes “You are” and “500” becomes five hundred.
In research papers, quoting your sources and people is essential, as it further proves your point. But it’s not limited to just research papers, using very relevant and very smart quotes in strategic places can improve the quality of your examples and reasonings. It takes a perspective of someone else and includes it in your essay – which proves to be quite useful.
Quotations must also include the source where you’ve gotten it from, and the correct punctuation to be effective. Also, we should be careful about adding to many quotations, we want our own words more prevalent than the quotes themselves.
Sometimes a block quote is necessary to get your point across. A block quote is a large quote taken almost word from word from a text. It should be indented and in its own separate paragraph, but should have a preceding and anteceding paragraph explaining or elaborating the quote itself.
Not only does inserting quotations exemplify your points, but of course it adds to your word count, which is why you’re probably reading this article right now.
In summary, writing an essay is a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. The parameters your college professor sets for you is not arbitrary, it showcases your critical thinking skills and forces you to think and explain the things you’ve learned as an assessment. Writing isn’t only about turning in an assignment, but reguritating the information you’ve already learnt in class.
If, somehow, you still can’t figure this essay writing things out and the deadline is coming closer and closer, head over to Assignment Expert and they will be able to help you write your essay or any other homework-related problems.