How to Increase Word Count in Essay

One of the worst feelings you can have as a student is when you finish writing an essay, only to realize that you are well below the minimum word count. You may attempt to tackle this issue by rewriting the essay sentences or adding filler words to increase the word count. While the strategies may help you reach the word limit, they weaken your essay instead of enriching it.

Most students don’t know the best way to increase the word count in an essay while making every word count (pardon the pun). Luckily for you, we have outlined 7 smart hacks that you can use to increase word count and also highlighted some mistakes to avoid. Read on to see the tools and techniques for expanding an essay!

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Life Hacks to Increase Your Word Count in an Essay Without Sacrificing the Quality of Your Work

Identify additional sources

The more research you do, the more fodder you get for your essay. Extra sources are easy ways of making your essay arguments stronger. You can use more than one source to substantiate your argument as long as it adds a new idea or perspective. So, find new journals, online articles, research studies, and books that will give you quality content to add to your essay.

Add examples

Including examples in an essay helps you write more clearly and put forth a strong point. Apart from that, examples increase word count. You can add examples to reinstate an argument, explain information that is not common, draw differences, or even highlight a concept. They also demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic. Still, ensure the examples are relatable, authentic, and relevant to the topic. Don’t overwhelm your essay with too many examples.

Add supporting quotations

If you haven’t already added quotations in your essay, you can add a few from experts in the field to support your points. You can also increase the length of existing quotes by adding sentences before or after them. As add-ons to your essay, quotations offer facts that back up your main idea while increasing your word count in an essay. However, quotations should not exceed 10% of the overall length of the essay.

Use diagrams and tables

Why have a text-heavy essay when you can add illustrations to make it meatier and longer? While footnotes and bibliographies don’t add to the word count, tables and diagrams add to the count when they appear in the main body of the essay. So use relevant items to demonstrate important points and add extra information to your paper. For example, in an essay topic that involves the use of statistics, you can include a statistical table with information that would interest the reader.

Address different viewpoints

You can use this strategy to increase your word count while improving the quality of your arguments. Presenting alternative views to the one already discussed in your essay gives you a chance to explain why you believe your conclusion is superior. Addressing different viewpoints also shows that you have considered a range of different opinions while coming to your conclusion. In the end, opposing views make your paper longer and stronger.

Expand your introduction and conclusion paragraphs

Let’s say you have done most of the things suggested above, but you’re still short of a few hundred words. You can decide to expand your introduction and conclusion. The two paragraphs are typically less critical, so you can get away with padding them out a little. The hacks you can use to expand your introduction include adding anecdotes, personal experiences, and details about your motivation for exploring the topic. In the conclusion, you can add sentences that remind the reader why the essay’s argument matters.

Ask an expert for help

Sometimes, it’s difficult to objectively identify gaps in our own essays. In such cases, getting editing help from essay writing services can help you expand your word count without compromising the quality of your paper. The online writing services work with expert writers with years of experience in academic writing. A professional will identify what’s unclear, areas that need more explanation, relevant sources to add, or write your paper from scratch. CustomWritings is an all-in-one essay writing service with 18+ years of experience in the market. They deal with 80+ disciplines at all academic levels and find the best-matching writer for every student.

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How Not to Increase Word Count in an Essay

Using filler and fluff words

Adding meaningless words to fill more pages only distracts from your main point and confuses the reader. Fillers are long and complex sentences that add the word count without adding any particular value. Fluff words are unnecessary details, such as your personal opinion and flowery text. Such an essay will bore the reader. Instead, write short and clear sentences.

Playing with fonts and spacing

You may think that increasing the font size from 12 to 14 or spacing makes it longer but don’t try it. The strategy will not get you anywhere. Also, you will not get away with using the period trick, in which you replace all periods with one of a larger font size. The professor will notice, and it will not end well for you.

Quoting without context

This is another serious academic mistake. Quoting so many references out of context to increase the length of your paper is like digging yourself a hole. Too many inappropriate quotes discredit your essay since they minimize your original arguments and divert from the main idea of the essay. After spending a lot of time researching and adding irrelevant quotations, you’ll end up with lots of distracting content.

Voice and tone

Passive voice makes sentences longer, but active voice makes an essay sharper and easy to understand. Don’t change your essay to include passive voice as a way of increasing the word count because it sacrifices the quality of your writing. Also, maintain a formal tone by avoiding informal language in pursuit of longer sentences.

Mindless paraphrasing

This is another bad strategy for increasing the word count in an essay. It involves repeating the same content in different paragraphs as if the professor will not notice. Spewing similar content in different words will not help you ace your course.

Spelling out numbers

This is another age-old trick that some students still use to make an essay longer. For example, instead of writing 5,100, you spell out five thousand one hundred in words. This is not a good idea either. The golden rule says that you can spell out numbers from 1 to 10, but more significant numbers should be in numerals.


An even worse hack for expanding the word count of your essay is to plagiarize from other people’s essays or research works. It doesn’t matter if the essay topic is the same. It’s a lazy and quick way to fail a grade. So, avoid copy-pasting other people’s ideas. If you have to add a quotation, ensure you cite it correctly. Learn how to paraphrase a paragraph without plagiarizing.

Keep It Long and Relevant!

You shouldn’t add just any words to an essay to meet the required word count. A skillful writer finds interesting and correct ways of balancing essay length and essay quality. The dos and don’ts mentioned in this article will set you on your way to crafting a high-quality essay that reaches the word limit.