Essays are a regular assignment in both high school and college. Aside from gauging a student’s knowledge about a subject, essays also show analytical and organizational skills, and the ability to express oneself. These skills are often necessary for further life improvement (education, work, or personal instances in life), which is why teachers often assign essays.
In college, however, one big difficulty that students face is the essay’s length. Depending on the subject, essays may range from 500 to 5000 words. Although a student may have an idea of what to say, extending the length can be difficult. Many find themselves adding unnecessary words that just distract or confuse the reader.
Thankfully, there are ways to lengthen your essay properly.
- Check the prompt one more time
A common mistake is to miss out on a requirement for the essay, which is why the answer falls short of the required number of words and why many receive a low grade. A quick look will allow you to lengthen the essay while ensuring you hit the mark.
But whether or not you hit the word count after your initial draft, it pays to check the question one more time to make sure nothing was missed.
- Share examples
Sharing an example is a good way to make your essay longer and make things clearer for your reader. While some reasons are clear cut, other reasons need an example to paint a better picture of what you would like to say. And if it is a complex issue, you may need two different examples so that all is understood.
- Add facts and expert quotes
A nice way to lengthen your paper, while making it sound more “professional,” is to include facts and expert quotes. Facts and figures tell the reader that not everything you are saying is based on opinion alone. And if the data shared is quite recent, it may further strengthen the impact on your reader.
Quotes from experts in the field also give more weight to your paper. In the Introduction, words from experts may excite your readers about what they are about to see. In the Body, such quotes help strengthen your analysis as what you share is backed by experts. In the Conclusion, a well-placed quote can drive home the point of what you want to share.
- Outline in reverse
Another way to see where your essay needs further lengthening is to outline in reverse. Once the first draft is done, you should outline what your essay currently looks like. By doing so, you might notice which areas were not fully expounded on so that you can add some more.
You might also see parts of your essay that have too many ideas that were placed together. Break them up so that you can have an additional paragraph where you can add more ideas and examples to make your paper longer.
It can be stressful to find out that your essay still falls short of the expected word requirement. So consider the helpful pointers above to add both value and length to your essay.