How to Lengthen an Essay or Research Paper

Last Updated: 27 August 2021

how to increase the length of an essay

Students rush to use essay, paragraph, or verbose generators because they sometimes do not know how to make an essay longer. Primarily, every college or university student fears deadlines. And when a paper is rushed, chances of meating the appropriate word count within the short deadline reduce unless you are a fast and accurate essay writer.

Knowing how long your essay is supposed to determine whether or not you will write good college papers. Furthermore, it also helps you meet the length requirements, sometimes + or – 10% of the recommended word count. For example, this means that if your essay is to be written in a standard double-spaced 2500 words, you can submit an essay with 2250 words and score the best grade.

Meeting the recommended length when writing a college paper portrays to your instructor that you followed the instructions. Although it is somehow easy to use run-on sentences, fillers, and verbose, there are actually working and proven tricks you can use to make your college paper longer when you have run out of ideas or time. These tricks are the key focus of this guide.

Why can one fail to meet the length requirement?

Failing to meet the length requirement occurs for various reasons, including:

When this mystery befalls you, you can be the most troubled soul in academia. However, we are about to outline different ways you can professionally boost your essay length. Our guide will equip you with skills, tips, and tricks that have always worked so that you can compose an essay that meets the word count for the best grades.

Tips and Tricks (that really work) to Make Essays Longer

There are many ways to make your essay longer. You can opt to increase the font size, which will outrightly be detected or use large margins or follow these steps and write the greatest essay.

Have an essay outline

The number one killer of full pages is lack of adequate preparation. Outlining your essay helps you plan what number of words to use in each section of your paper. For instance, you can allocate 10% of the word count to the introduction, 10% to the conclusion, and the remaining 80% to the body paragraphs. It is easier to meet the word count with the outline determining the number of words to use in every section.

You can further break it down to the number of body paragraphs and how many words each of the paragraphs will contain. Try doing this and see if you will meet the length requirements without worrying about how to increase the length.

Reverse outlining, where you go through the paper and create a second outline based on what is in it, also helps reorganize the pages and develop ideas in areas with shallow points. For example, it can help break down sentences into paragraphs or develop examples as necessary.

Use Examples when writing

If you are wondering if examples can lengthen your essay, well, yes, they can! When writing an essay, you make claims. If you find out that the claims you made are not supported with relevant examples, elaborate on the claims using examples. Paint a clear picture of your claim to your reader. Sometimes researching further helps to develop strong examples. Examples not only make your arguments stronger, but they can also lengthen your paper.

Use Quotation

Any well-researched paper includes quotes. However, the quotes have to be contextual, relevant, and well-cited.  It is therefore easy to add an extra argument, support an argument, or resist an idea using quotes as a means of increasing the length of an essay.  

However, you should ensure that you use quotations sparingly. Using direct quotes from other writers is a great way to spice up your paper. Nevertheless, you need to limit yourself to how many times you use the long direct quotes.

Note that too much use of quotes can exaggerate your essay and bloat your ideas. Therefore, as you include the quotes, format them correctly as well.

Review your introduction and conclusion

As you begin writing your paper, you will notice some evolution in your ideas. You will realize that you have new points or facts when editing the body of your paper. However, if you are not keen to review your introduction and conclusion, these points might only float in the body. Therefore, you need to check both the introduction and conclusion of your paper so that your reader captures all the necessary facts in your essay by reading any of the two.

Should you realize that your introduction and conclusion are below 10% each of the word count, work towards expanding ideas and introducing previously omitted concepts. If any major points are missing in your intro and conclusion but are in the body, re-write the conclusion and introduction.

Hire a professional writer

When you have written your research paper, term paper, or essay and run out of ideas to the point that you are blank on what to add, it is time to hire a professional editor or proofreader. In many cases, this is where the essay checkers/graders come in handy.

A professional will read the instructions, the rubric, and what you have written. They can then truncate the unwanted parts and replace them with content that supports your thesis statement or meets your topic requirements.

A professional can also paraphrase your paper better if you had written too much beyond the required length. The professional can ensure that each paragraph contains one idea, evidence from scholarly sources, and appropriate examples. They will revamp your topic and conclusion sentences and introduce transition words to make your essay sound scholarly.

You are writing essays or term papers for someone already knowledgeable about the subject – a professor, tutor, or instructor. Therefore, you need to provide thorough arguments and counterarguments, including evidence, facts, and statistics. Then, when someone assesses your paper, they can point out some omissions you subjectively ignored.

Write your paper as you cite

One mistake that most students make, which makes them end up with less word count for their essays, is writing and citing later. Instead, when you research, plan, and write, you can write as you insert the relevant citations.

For instance, if you are writing an APA research paper, citing helps you contextually place the parenthetical citations. You can quote an author indirectly (According to Author Y….), easily without making mistakes when done later.

Failure to cite as you write might lead to misplacements and omissions of in-text citations, which can affect the word count of your essay.

Maintain one idea per paragraph

If you maintain one idea per paragraph, you can write a robust topic sentence and support it with facts in the body of the paragraph before writing your concluding sentence for the paragraph.

Maintaining one idea per paragraph also helps you to expound on ideas through elaborating meanings, giving examples, and illustrating ideas. Moreover, you can support the arguments and refute the arguments based on different authors. Besides, you can later add in-text citations to pin your arguments on a scholarly ground.

Review your arguments and counterarguments

If you notice that your essay is shorter than it should, you can review the major arguments and counterarguments. In addition, there are chances that you can refine the arguments by giving examples, using a quotation, using citations, or expanding the ideas.

When you have a well-structured essay or research paper, it is easy to review, expand, and elongate arguments and counterarguments.

Expound on areas/concepts that are not clear

With the outline at hand, you can walk through the process of writing an essay or research paper and identify areas that need polishing or retouching. For instance, if you are writing a nursing essay about community health promotion and notice that you left a theory, say the theory of planned behavior, it is now time to include it in the outline and essay to make it worthwhile.

Having a glance at your outline can help you figure out the area that you abandoned. You can then work out these areas to make them add to your essay's rigor, relevance, and quality. Look at the major arguments, the supporting facts and evidence, and the conclusions, then make necessary changes.

Again, if you find concepts that can be separated into different larger paragraphs, separate and develop each on its own paragraph. Use relevant data, transitions, and essay phrases for each paragraph to lengthen your word count.

Things to avoid when elongating your essay

The goal is to lengthen your research paper, term paper, or essay without breaking the academic writing rules. Therefore, there are certain taboos that you need not fall prey to. Overcome the temptation, by any chance, of doing these things in the name of increasing the word count of your essay to meet the length requirements:

  1. Never spell out numbers in your essay. When using editors such as Grammarly, you might be tempted to change the numbers to words. Resist this temptation as it might cost you grades.
  2. Never expand the spacing between the lines and characters.
  3. Do not bloat the header
  4. Do not use fonts other than the recommended fonts and font size
  5. Do not expand the margins of your essay
  6. Do not make commas and periods larger font size than the rest of the paper
  7. Never add images or charts in the body if they can go to the appendix section
  8. Never include too many quotes in your essay than the recommended number

These are crafty ways to make a paper longer that might soon cost you a grade. Many websites have outlined the tricks, but they can be why you get a warning or, worst, a poor grade. Do not try the methods above. You do not want to harm your reputation or become the laughing stock in class.

Parting Shot

If all these tricks have yielded nothing to this end, you are probably struggling with making an essay longer. Unfortunately, no tool can do it for you either. Instead, you need to hire our essay writers to fix your paper based on the instructions.

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