As to meeting the length requirement for your essay, the struggle is real. Many students are often wondering how to make their essays longer and get a good grade too. Think it’s impossible? Well, then we will try to convince you otherwise! Here, you will learn how to make an essay longer the smart way. We don’t cover the “sneaky” methods that involve font size and margin manipulations because they can lead to a reduced assessment result. Hence, we recommend sticking to our list of paper lengthening strategies because only a high-quality essay can secure you a high grade.
Note: Any formatting changes can lower your score if 1) you must use APA, MLA, or other styles; 2) you submit your essay as a file but not as a physical copy, so it’s easy to check the margins, font size, etc.
Here’s a list of smart ways to lengthen your paper:
- Reread your task instructions
- Revise the outline
- Add more examples
- Include quotes
- Expand your intro and ending
- Add transitions
- Check the paragraph structure
- Use longer words and phrases
- Ask your tutor
Most things from that list require time, but they don’t affect the essay’s quality. The formatting tricks might be a faster way of increasing the page count, however many of them will get your grade reduced if spotted. Our paper lengthening techniques revolve around the content because it’s the only approach that can guarantee a good grade.
How to Make Your Paper Longer in a Smart Way
The methods described below are the way to go. Some of them are less time-consuming, and some might take a while, but they all have one thing in common — quality. If you use them to make a paper longer, you won’t have to worry about your professor “noticing something.” Pick what fits your essay or combine different lengthening methods — it’s your call.
Go back and reread your assignment sheet
First, you should reread your task. When doing so, create a checklist of what must be included and tick every point that’s already in your essay. Check your prompt or a rubric and ask yourself:
- Did I cover every question from the task?
- Did I support all my claims by evidence?
- Did I give enough background information?
- Did I meet all other requirements apart from length?
If you have doubts about one or more questions, edit your paper respectively. Each point from this list can potentially allow you to add more details and extend your essay.
Look at your outline to spot possible content gaps
To write long essays, you should draft a detailed outline beforehand. If you don’t have it, create one based on what you wrote. A well-organized outline can help you spot logical gaps in your essay or parts that need more elaboration. By patching these holes, you’ll make your writing longer and better content-wise.
For instance, you might have a lengthy paragraph that covers more than one main idea. In such a case, breaking it in two and presenting each major point separately is the most beneficial move to both add more words to your essay and enhance its structure.
Add more supporting examples to your claims or ideas
Another way of making an essay longer is to give more examples to back your arguments or ideas. Check every statement you made to see if all the supporting examples are sufficient. If some evidence doesn’t sound convincing enough, you should look for more research on the topic and include it. As a result, you can lengthen your essay and reinforce the arguments.
Besides adding examples supporting your point of view, you can also include those reflecting other standpoints. That will also help you raise the word count and provide your reader with a better perspective on the topic.
Include quotes from credible sources
Are you explicitly forbidden to use quotes? No? Then add a few! But, you must be careful not to overuse them and end up with an essay that’s 80% quotations because it won’t be your opinion anymore. A few quotes from experts can both increase the length of your paper and strengthen your statement or idea. Also, avoid filler quotations making no sense within the context of your assignment.
Note: Make sure you’re using the right format when inserting quotes. For that purpose, you can use one of the free citation generators available online.
Make your introduction and conclusion longer
Your introduction and conclusion must be shorter than body paragraphs. Keep that in mind when expanding these sections and make sure they are still smaller than your essay’s central part.
Note: Read more about essay length in our article — How Long Should an Essay Be?
There are several ways to expand an introduction:
- Give more background information
- Use a longer hook (statistics, quote, etc.)
- Extend your thesis statement
As for the conclusion, check if you touched upon all your main points. If you didn’t, you should revise this section by adding the missing elements and thus making the essay longer.
Add transition words and phrases for coherence
You need transitions in your text to have a better logical flow. But, overusing them will make your paper wordy, so add them wisely. Consider words and phrases like:
- For instance
- On the other hand
- In other words
- In the same way, etc.
See this article for more examples — Transition Words
Check the structure of your paragraphs
Based on the assignment type (narrative, expository, etc.), your paragraph composition will vary. Yet, an essay usually contains several basic components:
- A topic sentence — the chief idea of the paragraph
- Evidence that supports that main idea
- Transition sentence that concludes your paragraph
Glance through your body section to see if something from this list is missing. Before you know it, your essay will become longer.
Note: You can read more about body paragraphs and their structure here — How to Write an Essay.
Use longer versions of phrases and words
If you went through all methods above and still couldn’t stretch your essay to that word count minimum, you can try replacing words with their longer equivalents.
“Because” can become “due to the fact that,” and “decide” can transform into “make a decision.” This is not exactly the best way to go because longer phrases might be redundant. But, it’s still better than risking by using that “period trick” or fiddling with margins. You’ll be surprised at how many words can be replaced with longer phrases.
Ask your tutor or somebody else for help
Can’t lengthen an essay even after trying all those techniques? There’s still one more thing you can do: ask for help. You tutor can give you insightful advice on what parts of your essay are lacking detail or need further elaboration. You can also ask your friend or parents to read your paper. A fresh look from aside can spot flaws in your writing and potentially help you build up the word count higher.
In conclusion, we would like to recommend against using any formatting alterations. Yes, a bigger font or spacing can make your paper appear longer but at the expense of content quality. Also, all these tricks are known well among professors and teachers, so you are risking a substantial grade reduction.