How to Write an Essay Within the Specified Word Count

Students write essays occasionally, and a challenge that is usually common is sticking to the stipulated word count. Some students reach the word count easily, while others struggle to attain it, and others find themselves writing too many words. Many institutions have introduced penalties to stop students from exceeding the specified count or not reaching it. It means that no matter how well you present your discussion in the paper, you will not score high marks. Writing an essay with a specific word count should not be such a big deal. Here are tips for writing a concise essay that meets the instructed length without compromising quality.

Research Extensively

If you cannot reach the desired word count, you have probably not done enough research. The more time you spend researching your topic, the more ideas you generate for your essay. Undertaking adequate research thus helps develop different ideas. Investing in research also helps you compare different perspectives, and your essay will be enriched.
One reason students get stuck with assignments and buy coursework online is not researching extensively. You should use a variety of sources to gather adequate information to discuss in the paper. Start with recommended class readings. Then, if you are allowed to use outside sources, consider books, peer-reviewed journals, credible websites, and other scholarly sources.
While investing in research, ensure that the research does not leave you with too many words that you end up going above your word count. It means that the essay length should determine how extensive the research should be. If it is a short essay, a few sources will be enough. This strategy will ensure that you have enough information to write, and, at the same time, you will not end up going above the word limit.

Prepare an Outline

Before you draft your essay, you should create an outline using the points you have unearthed from your research. An outline is like a roadmap of what the essay will include; it helps decide what information will go into which paragraph and the number of words every paragraph will take. With a clear idea of the number of paragraphs you need and the number of words in each paragraph, planning will be easier, and you will not have to worry about going over or under the instructed word count.

Develop a Clear Thesis

When creating an outline, ensure it has a thesis. A thesis is the overall point an essay is trying to argue. Your job in writing the essay will be to expand the thesis. If you do not have a thesis, you will discuss issues that don’t connect to your research topic. Straying from the topic is often a common reason students end up with more than the desired number of words. A clear thesis, on the other hand, will ensure that you don’t have to worry about writing too many words. You will always tie your ideas back to the thesis and will not find yourself talking about unnecessary issues.

Focus on Important Points

Not everything you unearth during your research will help you develop your essay. You should ensure that your essay primarily focuses on important points and ideas rather than throwing in any point you meet in your research. If you are writing an essay about a challenge you faced in your life and how you overcame it, the person reading the essay is interested in the specific challenge and how you overcame it. Ensure your points focus on this main idea and avoid straying into other stories unimportant to the experience. Don’t give too much background in your essay because you will spend a lot of words talking about issues that are not too important to the assignment. Cut the non-essential information and focus on the points that bring your essay to life. Present your discussion without taking up too much space.

Get Rid of Repetition

Repetitive statements inflate a paper but don’t add value to it; you should review the repetitions and eradicate them to stick to your word limit. There is no point in having words that don’t contribute anything to your essay when you can cut them out and remain with the ones focused on helping develop your story and developing a better understanding of what you wish to convey to the reader.

Present a Counterview

If you have discussed all the important points in your essay but have not reached the word count, you should consider adding a counterview. The counterview opposes your opinion on the topic. Adding a counterview will not confuse the reader but will help tell the story from the other side. After adding your counterview, critique it and highlight why the point is invalid. This strategy ensures that you provide both perspectives on the topic and solidify your decision. It’s also a brilliant strategy for reaching the word count if you run low on words.

Monitor the Word Count as You Write

Many word processing programs allow you to track the number of words you've written as you go. If you use MS Word, the number of words gets highlighted at the bottom left-hand corner. When writing, keep an eye on the number of words you have already written and whether it fits into the plan of your outline.

Final Thoughts

Writing an essay can sometimes be challenging if the topic is too narrow or wide; you might find yourself going above the word count or failing to reach it. This challenge can be easily addressed by creating a solid outline with a good thesis. These two will act as a guide to keep you from straying into issues unrelated to your topic of discussion. Ensure you stay on the important points and avoid any potential repetition, as repeated phrases don’t add value to an essay. Finally, use the word count feature in your word processing software to monitor how many words you write.

Post comment