How to Include a Word Count in Your Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

Including a word count in your essay may seem like a small detail, but it’s an important part of meeting your assignment’s requirements. Luckily, it’s a simple process that can be accomplished in just a few steps. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to add that word count with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: Including a Word Count in an Essay

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about why you might need to include a word count in your essay. Sometimes, your teacher or professor will ask for this to make sure you’re meeting the length requirements for the assignment. Plus, it shows that you’re following directions and paying attention to detail.

Step 1: Finish Writing Your Essay

Complete your essay before you worry about the word count.

After you’ve finished writing your essay, you’ll have the final word count that you need to include. This is important because if you add the word count before you’re done, you might end up with the wrong number.

Step 2: Use a Word Processor’s Word Count Feature

Locate and use the word count tool in your word processor to find out the total number of words in your essay.

Most word processors, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, have a built-in feature that automatically counts the words in your document. This is the easiest and most accurate way to find your word count.

Step 3: Place the Word Count at the End of Your Essay

Type out the word count at the end of your essay, usually after the conclusion.

Once you have your word count, you’ll need to decide where to place it in your essay. The standard practice is to include it at the end of your document, typically after the conclusion section.

After completing these steps, your essay will have the required word count clearly displayed. This not only meets the assignment’s guidelines but also gives a professional touch to your work.

Tips for Including a Word Count in an Essay

  • Always double-check the word count to ensure accuracy.
  • Include the word count on the same page as your essay, not on a separate page.
  • If your teacher has specific instructions on where to place the word count, follow them.
  • Don’t include the title page, headers, footers, or bibliography in your word count unless instructed.
  • Use the word count feature periodically as you write to keep track of your essay’s length.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I include the word count in the header or footer?

No, the word count should be included in the main body of your essay, typically at the end.

Including the word count in the main body makes it easily visible to the reader and ensures it’s seen as part of the essay’s content.

Should the word count be bolded or in a different font?

The word count does not need to be bolded or in a different font, but it should be clear and easy to find.

Keeping the word count in the same font as your essay maintains consistency and prevents it from being distracting.

What if my essay is under or over the word count?

If your essay does not meet the required word count, you may need to add more content or edit for brevity.

Always aim to meet the word count requirements as closely as possible, as this is often a key component of the assignment.

Can I include the word count in the middle of my essay?

It’s best to include the word count at the end of your essay to avoid disrupting the flow of your writing.

Placing the word count at the end maintains the structure of your essay and keeps the focus on the content.

What if my word processor doesn’t have a word count feature?

If your word processor lacks a word count feature, you can use online tools or manually count the words.

Online tools can provide an accurate word count, but if you’re counting manually, be thorough to avoid mistakes.


  1. Finish writing your essay.
  2. Use your word processor’s word count feature.
  3. Place the word count at the end of your essay.


Including a word count in your essay is a breeze once you know the steps. It boils down to finishing your essay, utilizing your word processor’s tool, and placing the count where it’s easily found. This simple act of including a word count not only ensures you’re meeting the requirements but also adds a professional touch to your work. While it might seem like a minor detail, it’s one that can have a big impact on how your essay is received. So, the next time you’re asked to include a word count, you’ll know exactly what to do. Remember, attention to detail can make all the difference in your writing. Now go ahead and hit that word count target like a pro!

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