When you have to write an essay, there’s usually a required word count you have to compose. It’s not a problem when your topic is exciting, and sources are inexhaustible. Most of the time you need to write an essay on an issue that a) is boring; b) what the hell one can say about it at all.
If you are lucky to have a topic case like that, it’s OK if you’ve run out of ideas on the second page. Result: you’ve written all you had in mind and more, but your essay still doesn’t match the required volume. Well, any writing process has its circle of life, and an insufficiency of words is its integral stage. The next everybody-wants-to-get-there stage is a word redundancy. It is hard to believe, but this second stage is even more agonizing and takes almost as much time as getting through the first one. One fine day you'll also get there, but for now, you need to focus on making your text grow in scope.
There are two primary ways to convince your professor that your essay meets the volume requirements. The first way is to expand your paper content to fill up your essay with the needed amount of words. Plain and simple: need more words - add them. As for a second way, I wouldn’t honestly say that there is any second way because it is rather a kind of a visual fraud. But for those desperate who don’t have any other option, I’ll outline technical ways to make your essay look longer.
Let’s get down to the business.
How to make your essay longer with words
If you decided to increase the word count of your paper, you have two options. The first one is a fair but the most time-consuming way of doing it. When you realize that your essay doesn’t meet the volume requirements, you either expand your topic or deepen your research to gain some new information to describe. I call it a Jedi way.
Another option is to water down your text a bit. What I mean is adding more words without adding any informativity. Basically, the word windiness is the eighth deadly sin for any writer, but still, the way out when you’ve written down everything you could, but it is still not enough. This is what I call a trickster’s way, and although it is not something I’m proud of, I’ve become a master of this technique. And yes, I’ll share the tricks with you. But I’m going to start from the noble methods of expanding your text. Notice, that it is the only one that can contribute to the content of your paper.
Making essay longer: a Jedi way
- Make sure you’ve written everything you could. First of all, you need to read carefully what you’ve already have written. Analyze the structure of your narrative. Is something missing? Maybe you can add one more argument or expand those that you’ve already provided? Think!
- Make your topic broader. It is a risky but sometimes the only technique to compose an essay of a required scope. So if you feel that there is nothing more to say on a topic that you’ve chosen, think of the reasonable ways to widen it. It’s OK to contact your professor and ask for her/his advice on this one.
- Do more research. Yes, I know that essay isn’t a 30-page term paper on African-Americans segregation, and you aren’t obliged to fulfill any complex topic analysis and background search. Still, you have to give your professor at least something coherent. If you see that you’ve used all the sources you had and have described all the results, then keep digging. Look for some alternative points of view or factual information. Statistics, charts, case studies - anything goes.
- Illustrate your points with examples and citations. Think of an example for each argument you provide. If nothing comes up, do a research, ask a friend. Besides, you can use at least one juicy quote to support your statements. It can serve not only for expanding your text but as an excellent essay hook to catch your reader’s attention. Quoting is one of the rhetoric methods to prove the point, so what are you waiting for? Google the hell of it!
And that’s it. There is no other honest way to increase the number of words in your essay. Everything said below are tips on how to twist your professor around your finger.
Caution! The tips below can turn you into eternal writing bluffer!
Making essay longer: a trickster's way
A hawk-eyed professor will surely notice your efforts to increase the amount a text volume artificially. But you always can respond that it is a part of your writing style (a poor one, yes, but still). So, what to do:
- Restate paragraph’s first sentence at the end of it. If possible, take opening sentence idea or concept and explain it in other words. Each of your paragraphs has a core idea, so don’t be afraid to be wordy while explaining it. If you cannot do so, rewrite the first sentence and place it at the end of the paragraph. This will add a couple of more words to the count.
- Do not use contractions. Since it is academic writing, using contractions is not required, and avoiding it also adds a few characters to the total equation. As a senior student, you will be prohibited to use contractions anyway, therefore start training right now.
- Spell out numbers lower than four. In case your essay is heavy with numerical data and digits, write down all the one hundred sixty-five figures as words. Don’t spell out one, two, and three as your professor will see that you’re desperate, so adopt such approach only when truly pressed into a corner.
- Use vivid adjectives with more letters to them. In academic essay writing, synonymic rows are a thing to use quite often. To increase word count, use really luscious adjectives as much as you can. However, using more than five in a row will make your mark lower.
- Act as a wordsmith. Where a normal person would’ve written ‘I like this painting a lot,' a wordsmith would’ve rather used ‘This splendid masterpiece of modern art touches upon my deepest emotions thanks to its delicate, gentle brushstrokes and master’s spectacular attention to the tiniest details.’ Give vent to your inner composer, write on a grand scale!
- Write down your stream of thoughts. Try to take a topic you are writing on personally. Elaborate your own attitude to the thing you write about and then set your mind free to express everything you can say on the topic. Include your associations and childhood memories.
- Expand the lead-in words to phrases. I’m just going to provide you with a list for it.
Words and phrases to make your essay longer
Such words as ‘on’ and ‘about’ you can replace by the phrases:
In regards to ...
With reference to ...
On the topic of ...
Regarding the idea (that) ...
Considering the issue of ...
Peculiar details concerning the subject ...
Ways to expand your ‘because’:
Due to the fact that ...
Because of a fact that ...
For the reason that ...
In light of the fact that ...
Considering the fact that ...
A reasonable way to explain it is that …
In order to
For the purpose of
To make it possible
For the sake of
In the interest of
Time-pointers are your Eldorado of extra words:
At the present time ...
At the point of time ...
According to the current state of affairs ...
At a present situation ...
According to the situation that has developed as of today ...
For as long as I can remember
At all times
Forever and ever
On the occasion of
At the very moment when
The day the situation occurred
In the final analysis
Considering all the aforementioned arguments
After all is said and done
With regard to all said above
So, to sum up all the statements pointed out above (See? See?!), I want to ask you not to run mad after these stretching phrases. Don’t turn your text into a garbage bin.
Desperate ways to make your essay look longer
Before I start pointing out the technical ways to fool your professor, I want to warn you one more time. These are the obvious ways to cheat. Your lecturers and tutors read dozens of essays every day. They have a good eye on formatting details, and unless they had an eye surgery the day before reading your essay, they would notice the fraud.
So, in case you’ve run out of any decent ideas to fill up your essay with words till the needed count, and there is nothing left to add to it, there is a trick. You can make it appear longer as a result of smart formatting. Here’s a list of gimmicks you can grab and run:
- Format your heading giving each element its own line.
- Think of an extended title for your paper.
- Use line breaks.
- Use slightly bigger line spacing (like 2.25 instead of 2).
- Choose larger letter spacing.
- If allowed, make keywords or even entire sentences in bold.
Period trick and plays with font to make essay look longer
The first coming into mind, an obvious, a bold way to visually expand your essay is to pick a slightly bigger font. In any case, don’t make it bigger on more than 1 pt. Slightly means a little bit! Like 17pt instead of 16pt.
On the screenshot is an example of how your essay will look like if you change a font from 11 pt to 12. On this fragment, it seems not like a big difference. But if you have at least 500 words essay, this trick will help you to make your essay one-page quarter longer.
I’ve checked the so called period trick a couple of times and, in my opinion, it doesn’t work at all. What am talking about? The thing is that some students believe that if you replace the periods in your text with the periods of a bigger font, it will make help your opus seem longer. Well, it won’t.
How to change the size of margins on Google docs
One more trick to use when you have reached the bottom of your despair is increasing the margins of your document. It is easy to do in any version of Word (1997-2013), but it is a bit confusing on Google docs. What you need to do is to find and add-ons option. Here:
Then press ‘Get add-ons’ button. You’ll see the window with add-ons available for installing. So find the one that is called Page Layout Tool. Here you are! Now you can keep cheating with the margins of your paper even on Google docs!
As well as with the font changing, the key to a successful trick with margins is to remember the limits.
If you have read this guide till the final thoughts, you are probably in a big eternal-essay-writing trouble. But at this point, I have nothing more to tell you except to relax. If you have two more hours to make your essay longer with words, you will definitely cope with a task. If not, you can always use one of my formatting tips and hope for better.
In my turn, I hope that you will heed the pieces of advice I gave you between the lines. The main of them - don’t rely on lazy methods of extending your writing. Excuse my somewhat lecturing tone, but it all is for your sake.
P.S. If you want to see more living examples of artificial increasing of the text content, carefully revise this article. I had to use a whole bunch of techniques I’d told you about to make this article look more respectable. But let it be our little secret, ok?