As a college student, you will be required to write college essays in different topics. The length of an essay is one of the most important components of any writing. Professors usually give indications of how long they expect each paper to be, and it is included as part of the grading system. Writing an essay in the required length shows that you did your research well and found enough evidence to present in your argument. It also shows that you read and fulfilled the length requirements.
Sometimes, meeting the required word count for an essay can be a challenge, especially if you are juggling several papers at the same time. Because you cannot hand in a paper that does not meet the required page count, students often rely on risky tricks to make the paper appear longer, like increasing the margin size and expanding the font size. While these methods can make the paper appear longer, there are other easier and smarter ways to increase the length of essays while adding to your paper's depth and clarity.
Here are smart ways of making an essay longer.
Assess the rubric/essay prompt
By the time you are writing an essay, you have probably gone through the prompts severally. Each essay comes with a comprehensive rubric that needs to be followed for an essay to be complete. If you notice that your essay does not meet the required page count, you can go back to the essay prompt and check that you have addressed all the required areas.
From the rubric, check if:
- You answered all the questions asked
- You provide all the evidence required for all the claims you made
- You left out any information that may be important to the essay and may help the reader to understand your argument better.
- You met all the requirements, besides the required length.
You can add the information you left out after going through the rubric. This will increase the length of your essay.
Go back to your introduction and conclusion.
Most of the time, ideas evolve as you write a paper. The introduction is often the first part of any essay you write. Thats why its advisable to learn how to write a good research paper introduction. Go back and read your introduction. Most of the time, you will find that your introduction is missing key information you included in the paragraph's body. Adding this information will help the reader understand the essay more.
When looking back at a conclusion to an essay, ensure you have completely summarized all key points in your essay and offered your reader with a conclusive solution worth considering. If you feel that your conclusion does not offer this, you can go back and rewrite it to include all key points.
Adjusting your introduction and conclusion will ultimately increase the length of an essay.
Describe your ideas
Descriptive writing is one of the best ways to improve your essay's length while improving your work quality. In descriptive writing, you can describe concepts and explain ideas in detail. This improves the reader’s understanding of your points and gives the work more depth.
Ensure you describe your thoughts the best way you can to illustrate your point. You should paint a picture in the reader’s mind that best helps them to understand the writing. While this may not always be possible for every essay, having this hack in mind can make writing long essays easier.
Make use of transitional phrases.
Transitional phrases are some of the smartest ways to increasing the length of your essay. These words are used to connect sentences and ideas throughout your paper. Not only can transitional phrases lengthen a paper, but they also help the reader to follow your thoughts easily. Use these phrases to ensure the sentences flow naturally throughout the paper.
Your professor also looks out for the use of transitional phrases when marking your essay. When used to make clear and concise writing, sentences throughout the paper are linked together to create s well-structured narrative.
Some transitions phrases include:
|If||In the event that|
|Until||until such a time|
|By||By means of|
|Because||In light of the fact that|
|Can||Have the ability to|
|About||With regards to|
|Always||At all times|
|Twice||On two separate occasions|
|Although||In spite of the fact that|
All these are transition phrases that can be placed strategically within your essay to make it longer.
Use of quotations
If your work is well researched, it is likely that you have used a few quotes. Even so, a few more quotes can be added to an essay as extra evidence or a way of strengthening your argument. When using quotations, you need to ensure that you do not overload your essay with them. Only use them to spice up the paper while meeting the page count guidelines.
Strategically using quotations in your work shows that you took the time to research and find points and references to solidify your standpoint. Ensure you format the quotes appropriately and ensure you cite your sources.
Reviewing your outline
For most people, an outline is only used when structuring an essay when preparing to write it. However, your outline can be an ideal place to check if you are looking to make your paper slightly longer. Taking a second look at your outline can present ideas for more points worth covering in your essay. It can also present ideas on how to clarify or expound on existing points, ultimately increasing the essay's length.
Sometimes, some long paragraphs can be broken down to include new ideas. Breaking the paragraphs into smaller ideas helps you to explain your argument better while increasing the word count.
Include statistical evidence
Numbers in an essay can be powerful tools that can be used to support your claims and persuade your reader more. When looking to lengthen your essay, look for sentences and facts that can be supported with statistical data. The most important part is to ensure that the data you present is relevant to your essay and that it adds value.
The statistics you present should be easy to interpret or come with a detailed interpretation in a language the reader can understand. Ensure the data is from credible sources, and remember to cite your work.
Format your paragraphs
An essay is made up of paragraphs that should offer a unified reading experience. The same way an essay comprises of an introduction, body, and conclusion, your paragraphs should also be made up of three key elements:
- The leading sentence introducing your point
- Supporting sentences to strengthen your argument
- Concluding sentence, to sum up a paragraph
When looking to make your essay longer, check and add the relevant parts of each paragraph.
Avoid the use of contractions.
Contractions include shortened words like can't for cannot and isn’t for is not. While contractions are commonly used and ideal for speeches and informal writing like blogs, it is best to avoid the use of these words when writing academic work. The only exception is when quoting something that includes contractions.
While avoiding the use of contractions may seem like a minor idea, using the longer versions of these words can help to prolong your essay and meet the word count.
What not to do to make your essay longer
Sometimes, students are tempted to use some desperate measures to make their essays longer. Your professor has read and marked hundreds of essays in their years of work and can spot foul wordplay no matter how well you try to hide it.
Playing with spacing and fonts.
Academic writing comes with strict spacing and font guidelines to be followed by students. Some students think it wise to increase the font to 14 instead of 12, and use larger fonts or increase the line spacing. While these will make your essay longer, it may cost you scoring points.
Using the full stop trick
Also referred to as the period trick, some students make the period larger by changing the font size. All professors know about this trick and are always looking out for it.
Spelling out numbers
This is an age-old trick used where students spell out the numbers as opposed to using the numerical figures. The golden rule of writing essays dictates that the only numbers that can be spelt out are those that range from one to ten. Larger numbers should always be written in figures.
Unless it is specified in the writing guidelines, avoid the mistake of spelling out numbers as a way of increasing the word count, and lengthening your essay.
Investing your time to write an essay only to realize you do not have enough material to meet the page count requirements is never a good feeling. With the steps highlighted above, any student is guaranteed to have an easier time meeting the page count and word expectations for any essay. This ensures you always deliver essays that meet the required guidelines without resorting to cunning ways. If you already have an essay which does not meet the word count, you can always consult a paper writing service to help you lengthen it professionally.