8 Tips And Tricks On How To Make An Essay Longer
Essay writing is a tough business and after “deadline: Monday”, we reckon “word count” are likely the two of the most haunting words for any student at university.
Homes for Students is all about making your life easier, so we’ve done the hard work for you by researching eight ways to make that essay big, well…long, bold, and beautiful.
The best part? You can write a boss essay all from the comfort of your own student accommodation with spacious study desks and study areas – hurrah!
1. Read, read, and then read again.
Our top tip, and often the only difference between a good essay and a great essay, is how many times it has been re-read.
Picture this: you’ve finished your work and rushing to hand it in as quickly as possible. You don’t read it, but manically try and upload your essay to meet your deadline…
But STOP! Please, we implore you: ALWAYS make time to proofread your paper. A simple proof ensures you don’t lose easy marks for misspelt source names or having a missing comma that can totally change your argument.
After you’ve read it on screen, make sure you print it and read your essay on paper. We guarantee you will be shocked at how many errors you notice after you’ve printed a hard copy.
Another great tip for checking for spelling and grammar is to read your paper from the end to the beginning line by line. Taking each sentence out of context in this manner means you focus on its content. This way, you’re also less likely to skim over words and potential errors.
The better you know your essay, the easier it is to find places to add those vital extra words.
Any properly researched paper will include quotations so you’ll be very familiar with the concept already.
A quotation is a useful way of adding valuable extra words whilst also helping support your argument by highlighting other clever people that think just like you!
Be careful though- try not to overuse quotations in an essay because there is a fine line between a well-sourced and evidenced paper versus a collection of other people’s thoughts. Make sure you leave some room for your own ideas as well.
One last thing, always make sure your quotations are correctly sourced and referenced.
Along with quotations, paraphrasing is your best friend for extending your word count and supporting your arguments.
By paraphrasing quotations and other source material, whilst also referencing the original source, you’re demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the topic.
4. Review your Introduction
Once you’ve finished your essay, we know the last thing you want to do is go right back to the beginning.
Having said this, the importance of your introduction cannot be ignored. It needs to set out your overarching theories and points of view that are going to be discussed in the paper along with the structure your essay will follow.
It is common for theories to change whilst writing so once you’ve finished, always re-visit your introduction to make sure it reflects the final content.
It should always link with your conclusion and ideally, your introduction will forecast the questions that are then neatly answered at the end of the essay.
Most importantly, your introduction is the first impression your readers get, and just like in real life, a slick first meeting can help you leave a lasting impression.
5. Remember the purpose of the conclusion
Much like your introduction, the conclusion is a key opportunity to make a lasting impact on your reader.
As the hypothesis is the key idea within your essay, you should always begin your conclusion by reiterating your hypothesis from your introduction.
Reiterating the question in a concise manner reminds your reader what the purpose of the essay was.
Your conclusion should also include the key supporting arguments raised within the body of the essay.
If you’re having trouble identifying these, read back through each section and try to summarise what each paragraph is attempting to state.
You should always remember that the purpose of your conclusion is not just to summarise what came before, it’s also to pull all the strands of your argument together in one cohesive final closing argument.
6. Remove contractions
This is a general rule for all formal writing not just essays- always avoid using contractions when writing your academic papers unless quoting someone.
Using “we’ve found” instead of “we have found” will mean your essay sounds colloquial and will undermine the otherwise amazing content.
If you are able to include headings – DO IT! These wondrous words have multiple benefits.
Well thought-out headings can make the information within your essay easier to organise as well as provide structure whilst writing.
These are also super easy additional words for those of you floating in and around your word count. Headings can also be beneficial for your reader as they show them the formal layout of your essay.
8. Do the reading and make a plan
Sorry to break it to you, but essay writing requires reading and there’s no life hack for this!
Before you consider starting, you must have a plan for what you think it’s going to look like.
Ultimately, the only way to do this properly is to do the reading. A starting point is to check the footnotes and the references of the studies that match your subject area, as these will help you find further articles and material.
Once you’ve got the material, narrow down the key arguments and establish a thesis with a proper argument.
Essay writing is a part of uni life so make the most of them. They give you the opportunity to show off how much you know and your passion for the topic, so don’t approach them with too much negativity!