If it takes you a lot of time and nerves to reach the necessary word count of your essay or any other writing, you shouldn’t expect this problem to magically disappear with the course of time as you become more experienced. Gaining experience is, of course, a sure way to proficiency in any trade, but in this case, you don’t need to wait for it, because all the relevant knowledge is already described. We already know how to extend an essay and what not to do, and we are eager to share the information on how to lengthen an essay.
As a matter of fact, there is a lot of possible details that you can add to your work to increase not only its volume but also its content value. Here is how to add words to an essay without sacrificing the quality of its content:
Plan your work in advance
The most certain way to have the needed volume of your paper is to create a detailed outline beforehand, so you know exactly what each paragraph will be about and how long it will be in advance. This approach has proven to be effective for small five-paragraph essays and for dissertations alike, so you don’t need to trouble yourself over how to make a paper longer.
If you don’t know what else to put in your essay and how to make an essay longer word count, the most logical thing to do is to look for more information that you can put there. Research some more to find some extra information or food for thought – this is a sure way how to make an essay longer.
Look at examples of similar papers
You can look at what other people wrote when given the same assignment as you. Look at how they have successfully reached the needed word count and kept their essays interesting to read. This will surely give you some ideas on how to make your essay longer.
Add relevant quotes
Obviously, you cannot base your academic paper on your own opinion alone. You need to substantiate any claim you make with references to authoritative experts in your field of knowledge. You can not only inform your reader about what these authors had to say on the topic, but also quote them in full. Not only is this a great way how to make an essay longer word count, but to give your writing even more credibility.
Don’t overload your text with unnecessary wording
When you face the lack of word count, you are tempted to add some words to it just for the sake of it. This superficial and ineffective approach on how to make your essay longer usually takes two forms:
By fluff we don’t mean something cute. Here, it means adding unnecessary words just for the sake of reaching the assigned word count. This happens when one just sits down to writing without a concrete plan of action or any ideas on what to write about. This way how to make an essay longer may get you the necessary word count, but it will never secure you a good grade because fluff makes your essay harder to read. It annoys your reader (your teacher) and decreases their overall impression of your writing, which, in turn, influences your grade not in the way that you would want.
“Purple Prose” is the term that writing scholars use to describe sentences and passages overwhelmed with details and descriptions in the form of excessive adjectives, auxiliary constructions, etc. Just like the fluff, it is indeed a way how to add words to an essay, but not the kind that can make it an exciting read or get you a good grade at school. Adding an extra description does serve a purpose and make the text more pleasant to read, but when you do it all over the text, this effect is lost.
Don’t play with fonts and spacing
This idea becomes especially tempting when you are assigned to write a particular number of pages, not words. You can set a larger font, you can use double spacing instead of 1.5, you can make your margins a little bigger than they should be. Here is why this idea on how to make a paper longer is a bad one:
your teacher is not a fool, and your fraud will be spotted instantly, resulting in your grade being decreased or your paper being rejected altogether;
you are missing out on an opportunity how to extend an essay by adding value to its content.
Several Ideas on How to Lengthen an Essay
There is a neat little trick – you spell all the numbers instead of using digits, at least numbers smaller than ten. Not only is it a great and subtle way how to lengthen your essay, but it also makes your writing look more formal and professional.
Similarly, you can avoid using any contractions – for example, “doesn’t” is one word, but “does not” is two. And, just like the previous instance, it makes your writing more pleasant to look at.
Another way how to write a long paper is to decipher and spell out all abbreviations. For example, you write “the United Kingdom” instead of “the UK” or “National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA)” instead of just “NASA.”
If you mention a person or a character, try to refer to them by their full names more often than by personal pronouns. Not only will it help you how to write long essays, but it will also help your reader avoid any confusion that can be caused by unclear antecedents.
It is true that in academic writing, you are strongly recommended to avoid any emotional language. This does not necessarily mean, however, that you cannot use certain means to inspire emotion with your writing. The most obvious way how to achieve this and how to make essay longer along the way is to use descriptions. Since you cannot convey your emotions directly, you can describe someone else’s emotions. For example, “John watched the sunrise” is both smaller and bleaker than “Exhilarated with joy, John was watching the sun rising up again, leaving ever less room for the darkness to cover.” However, we should remind you to be careful with descriptions, not to fall into the purple prose.
Another favorite trick how to write a long paper among many authors who know how to write long essays is to pick the lengthier synonyms over shorter ones. Having a rich vocabulary, you surely can describe the same thing with more than one word or phrase to choose from, so why not choose the longer ones.
Finally, throughout your writing process, you should keep asking yourself not only what you can do to understand how to make an essay longer and preserve its value as you do so, but also how, where, and when you do it.
So, you are well aware of the little tricks that writers use to make their writing more voluminous. It may still be unclear how you can put these tips into practice, though. For example, you want to use longer synonyms over shorter ones, but you don't feel so confident that your vocabulary is extensive enough. It may seem obvious to some, but not to everybody, that you can expand your vocabulary on the go as you are writing your essay and struggling how to make essay longer by looking up words in the synonym dictionary or just by looking up synonyms for some words in Google. It is also not obvious that you may look for synonyms not only to some selected words and terms but even to those words of which you are confident. Actually, you might as well try and synonymize every word.
We realize that it may sound a bit confusing, so here is an example:
Suppose you are writing a process essay and your topic is "how to change a light bulb." Even if you have changed dozens of light bulbs in your life, you may have difficulties describing the process in 500 words, let alone 5 pages.
Any manual on how to write an essay will suggest that once you have a topic, you should do research. In our time, Google is the most popular and the most obvious research method. So, what do you google in this case? "Light bulb," "how to change a light bulb," what's next? These searches will not give you enough material how to make your essay longer. You need to get a little more creative in your research an approach the issue from several viewpoints, such as:
How many kinds of light bulbs are there out there? Which ones last longer, so you need to change them less often? Are they all equally easy to change?
Should you always rely on yourself to do this or are there instances when it is better to call an electrician? What are these instances? Have there ever been casualties relating to the process of changing light bulbs?
These are just a few examples of not only how you can lengthen an essay on this topic, but also make it much more exciting and important!
Well, we have already answered that - Google is everyone's first most obvious source of information on anything these days, even on how to make an essay longer. However, you need to be a hipster to like the old school ways that certainly do pertain quite some charm to them - such as getting out of the comfort of your crib and going to a library to find the information you need in books.
Most of us are used to solving problems on the go. This is how we do it most often. However, this particular problem is easy to foresee, and - hence - it is easy to be prepared for it in advance. As we have already mentioned, creating a detailed outline will save you a great deal of nerves, and you won't have to think about what else to throw into your essay and how to make an essay longer to make it long enough, hectically, as the deadline draws nigh. In other words, the answer to "when" is "as early as possible." That is, think about the major points that you would like to discuss in your paper as soon as you have your topic. If you are to write a small five-paragraph essay, this list of major points might as well be enough for an outline of your essay and a plan of your work on it. However, the more voluminous your paper is, the more fundamental should your work on an outline be, and it gets even more critical not to waste time and get down to it straight ahead.