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How to Make an Essay Appear Longer Than It Is
Last Updated: January 31, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 12 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,749,331 times.
You are writing a paper and the deadline is approaching, but you are nowhere near the page limit. Many students find themselves in this position. Luckily for you, you can lengthen your paper by using a few tricks. Increasing the font size, adding a lengthy header, and manipulating the spacing between lines are just a few strategies you can use to make your essay appear longer. However, be aware that breaking your teacher’s guidelines may result in a lower grade.
Playing with the Font
- Don’t pick a very large font like Arial Black or Lucida Handwriting. Your teacher will notice that you are trying to make your essay longer by choosing a larger font.
Manipulating Spacing and Margins
- If the increase is too noticeable, then try 1.15 or 1.1 instead.
- Because all documents are left justified, avoid increasing the left margin. Adjusting the left margin will produce a noticeable change that your teacher will detect.
Adjusting the Header and Footer
Expanding the Content
- Additionally, if you are quoting or paraphrasing research or literature, make sure to cite it properly. Citations can add extra length to a paper as well.
- Expand your introductory paragraph with an attention-getting statement to hook the reader in.
- However, try to avoid being descriptive when it is unnecessary since this may cause your paper to appear embellished or sound verbose.
- Copy and paste your paper into a new document. Make these changes to the new document. Then compare and contrast the document with the changes to the original document. Remove any adjustments that seem obvious. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Use a thesaurus to find longer synonyms to use in place of shorter ones. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Spell out abbreviations; for example, write out “United States" instead of using "US." ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Be aware that breaking your teacher’s guidelines may be considered cheating, which may result in a lower grade or even a zero. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 9 Not Helpful 1
- Don't be redundant. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.paperhelp.org/blog/how-to-make-a-paper-longer.html
- ↑ https://www.jakebinstein.com/blog/how-to-make-an-essay-look-longer/
- ↑ https://studentshare.org/study-guides/how-to-make-your-essay-look-longer
- ↑ http://www.seventeen.com/life/school/advice/a27491/tricks-you-try-to-make-your-school-paper-longer/
- ↑ https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-make-paper-longer-793288
About This Article
To make an essay appear longer than it is, pick a font that's slightly larger than Times New Roman, like Arial, Courier New, or Cambria. If you're required to use 12-point font, try increase the font to 12.1 or 12.2 to gain some extra length without the font looking noticeably larger. Then, press on Control and the F key at the same time to activate the find and replace function, and replace all of the commas and periods with 14-point font. If the essay still isn't long enough, increase the line spacing by 0.1 or 0.2 and make the right margin 0.1-0.2 inches larger. For tips on adjusting the header and footer or adding more content to your essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Writing Tips / How to Make an Essay Longer the Smart Way
How to Make an Essay Longer the Smart Way
Meeting an essay’s required page or word count can sometimes be a struggle, especially if you’re juggling multiple papers or exams. In a pinch, students often rely on tricks like increasing margin size or making their font slightly bigger. Though these tricks do increase page length, there are easier (and smarter) ways to write a longer, high-quality essay. Making a paper meet minimum word or page counts doesn’t have to be an agonizing process—you can add length while also adding clarity and depth.
Here are 10 tips on how you can write a longer and a smarter essay, even if the deadline is fast approaching:
Tip #1: Look Back at Your Prompt/Rubric/etc.
If you’ve been provided a comprehensive prompt or rubric for an essay, read it, and read it again. Think about the following:
- Did you answer all of the questions in the prompt?
- Did you provide supporting evidence to back up whatever claims you made?
- Did you leave out any information that might increase the reader’s understanding of your argument?
- Did you meet all requirements (besides length) for the paper?
If the answer isn’t a decisive “yes” to every question on this list, go back and revise.
Tip #2: Go Back Through Your Introduction and Conclusion
Often times, ideas evolve while writing a paper. If the first thing you wrote was the introduction, go back and reread the first paragraph. You might decide that you left out key information that aids the reader in understanding your argument. When looking back on the conclusion, make sure you’ve both summarized the main points within the essay and provided your reader with a solution to consider. If you don’t feel you’ve done this, go back through and revise the paper.
Tip #3: Have Someone Proofread Your Essay
Even if you’re short on time ask a friend, sibling, or parent to read through your paper, specifically noting any points they find confusing. Then, go back and revise the parts that were unclear, adding in more information to provide readers with further clarity. You have a more comprehensive understanding of what you’re writing about than your reader, so having someone else look over your paper can be a helpful way to ensure that you haven’t missed any important details.
Tip #4: Use Quotations
Chances are, you have already used quotes in your paper. Quotations are a great way to enhance your argument while also driving up a paper’s word count, but don’t add quotes just for the sake of doing so. If you’re short on words, read through your source materials again to see if you’ve missed any valuable quotes. You can also do a little more research to see if there are any other sources you can add to provide the reader with more evidence toward your argument. Longer quotes aren’t necessarily better, but if you’re really in a bind, you might want to lengthen some of the quotes that are already included.
Tip #5: Review Your Outline
Did you make an outline to plan the essay when you first started? Go back through that initial outline and make sure you’ve hit all of your intended points. It’s possible that you’ve left out an important piece of your argument that would both increase page count and make for a better essay.
Tip #6: Include More Transitional Phrases
Graders often look for traditional words linking sentences to each other, like “therefore,” “even though”, and “on the other hand.” Read through your essay and make sure the sentences flow smoothly into each other. If they don’t, go back and add in transitional phrases like the ones listed above. Your writing will be easier to read, and you’ll get closer to the minimum page requirement in the process.
Tip #7: Read Your Paper Out Loud
This might sound like a silly tip, but when you read your paper out loud, you become increasingly aware of any grammatical or syntactical issues. When you rephrase sentences to fix these, you might end up increasing the paper length a bit. In the process of reading out loud, you also might realize that you didn’t include sufficient details within a particular paragraph. If that’s the case, go back in and add more to increase length.
Tip #8: Take a Break From Your Essay
You’ve probably been staring at your computer screen for hours, hoping words will magically pop into your head. Take a break. Eat a snack, go for a walk, or talk to a friend on the phone. You’ll come back to the essay with a fresh perspective after some time away, and you might have new ideas after you’ve had time away from your paper.
Tip #9: Ask Your Instructor for Help
Most teachers, teaching assistants, and professors are willing to look over papers for students before the final submission date. If there is still time, ask if you can make an appointment to go over your paper or head over to office hours. Your instructor might offer tips on how to better answer the prompt, and this in turn may also increase the word count of the paper.
Tip #10: Use multiple examples to back up your argument
If you’ve only used one source or anecdote to explain a given point, find a second source to provide additional evidence for the reader. This method will help drive up a paper’s word count while also providing further support for your argument.
Although hitting a minimum page count can sometimes be challenging, you can do it the smart way by increasing the information you provide to the reader—there’s no reason to resort to tricks like increasing line spacing or font size. If you’re really in a bind at the last minute, you might want to break up some of your paragraphs. This increases length while also making text more manageable for a reader. But after going through the tips on this list, your paper should be adequate in length without you having to even consider spacing.
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To make your essay appear longer, try increasing the font size to 12.1, 12.3, or 12.5. See which adjustment makes the biggest difference without being too noticeable.  3 Increase the size of periods and commas. Hold down control+F on your keyboard. This is the find/replace function. Select all the 12 pt. periods and commas.
You need to make these paragraphs longer and your page count will naturally increase. The best paragraphs should be 4 – 7 sentences long. If you’ve got a 1, 2 or 3 sentence paragraph, make sure you go back through it. What new points can you include to make your paragraph better? Maybe you can: