Have you ever been assigned an essay with a certain number of words to discover that you can’t write enough text to fill the required space? At the university, students are often confronted with this situation for various reasons:
- You missed a lesson that covers that;
- is a class you haven’t paid much attention to;
- You have just received a subject about which little or no credible information is available.
Anyway, you’re wondering: I can’t do that. How can I extend my essay? Is there a way to extend the duration of my process? In this guide you will find some good tips and tricks to help you write your text with the right number of words.
How to lengthen an essay: 3 Hacking test in preparation phase
Good planning and preparation is important for all academic work, but it only becomes really important when you don’t know how to get the required length of the text. Forget what you’ve probably already heard – you can’t just blow up your word count by adding extra fillers after you’ve written (although it does help to some extent). You need to approach your assignment strategically – that way you will be much less likely to be read by your teacher.
1. Drawing up a plan
Your essay may be a few pages shorter than it should be, simply because you forgot to mention certain points. If you notice that something is wrong, re-entering this information may require too many changes to be practical. The solution is to make a plan: Write what you are going to say in the introduction, the body paragraphs and the conclusion, the points you are going to raise and how you are going to support them.
2. Preparation of several offers
Quotations are one of the simplest and most legitimate ways to blow up some words. However, it is often difficult to integrate them into the text without rewriting large chunks. It is best to read ahead, choose a few relevant quotes and indicate where you want to include them in your plan. So you can access it if you need to. But don’t exaggerate – quote others to boost your own ideas, but make sure your essay is mostly your own. Think about some of the ways you can quote in your essay:
|How do I enter a quote?||Example|
|Use of I/O||When people think about their vocation, they tend to remember the words of André Gide, who said that it is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.|
|Use ellipses to shorten the quotation.||In the words of Marilyn Monroe: Life is what you do. Whatever you do, sometimes you ruin it, it’s a universal truth. But the good thing is that you…. you try to persevere and you always, always believe in yourself…. Keep your chin up and above all: Keep laughing, because life is beautiful and there are so many reasons to laugh.|
|Fragments of a paraphrase||As Chen and Kaplan’s research indicates, parenting practices are related to the child’s behavior and the child has adapted his or her behavior to his or her parenting style. (2001, p.45).|
3. Find relevant examples
Use examples to support any point that not only lengthens your writing, but also shows that you have done your research and know what you are talking about. If you want to be convincing, make a lot of examples beforehand. Feel free to use text, images, photos, diagrams and many other examples to support your arguments and add content to your text.
Words and sentences: 4 Ways to make your Essay longer when writing
Now that you’ve finished prescribing, let’s take a look at the words, phrases and constructions you can use to write.
1) Enter the transition words and phrases in
These are words and sentences used to connect two ideas, for example B. at the end and beginning of a paragraph. Here are a few examples:
- That’s why;
- I’ll tell you;
- Like this;
- Like this;
- Same thing;
- With this in mind;
- In other words;
- In summary;
- Oh, by the way;
- and a lot more – you get the idea.
Use them as much as you can, but again: Don’t exaggerate – if you start each sentence with Other Words…. your essay will look awkward.
2) Structure of your paragraphs
The sections of the academic and school essays are generally constructed with a typical structure:
- Proposed topic ;
- It comes down to it;
- Supporting evidence ;
- Argument (optional) ;
This does not mean that all your paragraphs should be written this way. So you still have to think about the format that best suits your work.
3) Use more words than necessary
After hearing for so long about the benefits of brevity, this advice may seem strange. However, if you have nothing substantial to say, you will have to use extra words to extend the essay. Here are a few ways to prevent this from becoming too obvious:
- Use constructions to be. For example, don’t write that he’s a quick learner. Try to turn it into He’s a quick learner;
- Replace verbs with nouns. For example, he made a decision that…. instead of deciding;
- Add descriptions. For example, as a replacement for Il finally arrived after a three-day journey through the desolate landscape;
- Replace pronouns. For example, replace them with him and his subordinates;
- Add additional adverbs and adjectives. While most good writers claim that adverbs can be removed from any sentence without losing anything, softening your literary style is the least of your worries right now. You can strengthen most sentences by adding one or two adverbs.
- Exclude the table of contents. Make sure you avoid contractions at all costs. They will help you to increase the number of words in your essay and make your research more formal.
This is another relatively legitimate way of creating words out of nothing, as abbreviations are not usually intended to be used in formal academic texts. It is therefore rare that you will receive bonus points for increasing your word count.
Effective ways to expand an essay: Last step
If you’ve used all of the above strategies, but are still a few paragraphs or even a few pages short to reach the required length, then it’s time for a creative review. Here are some ideas on how to expand your process:
Check if something can be developed on the following.
Read the essay again and see if you can add something to it. For example, the point you mention could be presented in more detail. Or a large paragraph that introduces more than one idea – it can make a lot of sense to split it into several smaller paragraphs and be more careful with the wording.
View your note
Do it carefully and make sure you don’t run out of words because you know the text too well. It’s only because you read it too often that you can overlook certain points. Are you sure you have answered all the questions in sufficient detail? Maybe you need more information to substantiate your arguments?
See if you can find your points.
Re-read the essay and ask yourself: Is there an argument against me and my points? Did I leave holes? No matter how good your arguments are, there will always be people with different points of view. Try to put yourself in their shoes, write down what they will probably say to prove you wrong, and add extra content to your essay to provide counter-arguments for this confrontation. This not only increases your word count, but it’s also a good way to see if you’ve covered all your bases.
Avoid obvious tricks
There are many ways to make the paper longer. Some are suggested, others are easy to find online. Most of them only work if you want to get a certain number of pages instead of a number of words, because they don’t change the number of words, but manipulate the formatting. Don’t think you’re too smart to find out – students have been using these tricks for decades, and your teacher has seen them hundreds of times. Don’t use them – they’re ridiculously obvious (especially when used in combination) and can do more damage to your reputation than a poorly written essay.
6 NO when writing an essay:
- NO spelling of numbers (e.g. 5 instead of 5).
- DO NOT make every point and comma 14pt
- NO extension of borders
- NO font size adjustment (e.g. up to 12.5 pt for 12 pt).
- No swelling of the head
- NO extension of the line and character spacing.
You must understand that even the techniques we have recommended here are not good stylistic practices. It is generally accepted that good writing is clear, concise and accurate. Ideally, every word and every sentence in your essay should have a purpose.
However, there are situations in which it is not only impossible to maintain this perfect style, but also to meet the requirements of the number of words. Use the practices described in this guide sparingly if there is no other option.
If you use them in a particular test, avoid overdoing it: Your teachers are not stupid and will recognize your manipulations, even if they are not useless. The question is not whether they’ve noticed it, but whether they’ve let it go. Don’t exaggerate these practices and everything will be fine.
Author: Patricia Jenkins
Patricia Jenkins is a writing consultant for international students who need quick writing assistance. On her blog Patricia shares useful tips on productivity, writing, research and links. Sometimes hesitant to talk about the subject, Patricia shares her personal experiences with lively humour and healthy irony.
View all posts by Patricia Jenkins
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