When trying to get through an essay or dissertation with a hefty word count, it’s easy to sit staring at your screen trying to figure the best way to fill that dreaded word count. It can be difficult to elaborate on the point you’re making when you already feel like you’re saying everything you need to say, but making a few simple changes, such as switching one or two words to be more of a formal sentence structure, can make the world of difference and get you one step closer to meeting that looming word count.
Maria Ovdii, co-founder and CEO of premium academic research company www.ivoryresearch.com, has laid out eight top ways of amending your ongoing or upcoming essays in order to get you to your word count:
Adding in “for example” to one of your statements will not only reinforce the point you’re trying to make, but it will also get you one step closer to your word count.
When you find the statements in your writing, if adding in an example doesn’t make sense, then clarifying the sentence might work. This can be done by inserting one or more specific statements to clarify the original one. One way of doing this is to follow your statement with, “in other words…”.
You will more than likely already have a few relevant quotations in your essay, but adding a couple more would never hurt. Finding appropriate quotes from experts in the field that support your statements can be an excellent way to add words to your essay while improving the overall strength of your work, helping to back up any points you’re trying to make.
REWORD YOUR INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION
If you’ve done all of the above and are still struggling to meet your word count, look to expand on your introduction and conclusion rather than the body of the essay. A lot of teachers and markers will give more leeway for the introduction and conclusion to be wordy than the main body of the essay, so fluffing them out a bit will get you closer to your word count in such a simple way.
REWORD YOUR SENTENCES
By switching out one or two words to create a more formal sentence structure, you will not only sound more professional and academic, but it also increases your word count. It can be as simple as replacing “like” to “along the lines of”, “in fact” to “as a matter of fact” and “twice” to “on two separate occasions”.
HAVE SOMEONE PROOFREAD YOUR ESSAY
Even if you’re short on time, getting a fresh pair of eyes to read through your essay, specifically noting any points they find confusing, can help you come up with ideas to re-word parts of your essay.
INCLUDE MORE TRANSITIONAL PHRASES
A lot of the time, those grading essays will look for traditional words linking sentences together, such as “therefore”, “even though” and “on the other hand”. Read back through your work and make sure the sentences flow nicely into each other. If they don’t, add in some transitional phrases and, not only will your writing be easier to read, you’ll also be closer to the minimum word count.
READ YOUR ESSAY OUT LOUD
When you read something out loud, you become increasingly aware of any grammatical or syntactical issues. When you then go back to rephrase these sentences, you will most likely end up increasing the length of your essay too. Reading it out loud might also help you realise that you didn’t include enough detail within a particular paragraph.