Great Research Paper Guides

How to Increase Word Count: Making Your Paper Longer

Having done your research and invested a substantial amount of time, you may feel frustrated if your paper falls short of the prescribed word count. fortunately, there are many approaches to making your paper longer. 

Here, we’ll look at some tips on how to increase word count without compromising the quality of your arguments. Note that this article will avoid the common methods of spamming often recommended as means to lengthen a paper. 

How to extend paper length: things to avoid

Often, students may resort to unethical approaches in a bid to increase their paper length. Although these approaches may help you reach the recommended page count and word length, they might dilute your arguments, resulting in low scores. 

Some of the things to avoid as you lengthen your paper include:

  1. Formatting your work with larger spacing and font than what was recommended in the instructions. 
  2. Stuffing your paper with filler words 
  3. Adding unnecessary information that does not relate to the topic
  4. Extending the size of commas and periods in your paper
  5. Reducing paper margins to squeeze the words to occupy more pages than they would have under the standard format
  6. Increasing the spacing between words
  7. Increasing the font size of the items within the footer and header of your paper
  8. Don’t add extra words and phrases as this makes your essay harder to read

Although these approaches may get you to your intended page count, they often portray laziness. Also, these shortcuts to extending your word count may result in the loss of credits due to formatting and structural issues. 

Ways to make a paper longer

Here are some methods on how to lengthen a paper without the harsh consequences of the aforementioned shortcuts. 

  1. Adding quotes to your work

If you had compressed a quote in a section of your paper, consider extending the quote to better capture the idea you were making an argument for. This allows you to build a stronger argument and extend your word count without resorting to filler words. 

Note that block quotes exceeding four lines are edited as a separate paragraph and enclosed in quotation marks. Also, be keen to add proper in-text citations to avoid plagiarism claims.

  1. Perform further research on the topic

Before you get used to writing academic essays, you may find that your outline was limiting in arguments and thus a bit short of your prescribed word count. 

After writing your paper, we recommend that you develop a reverse outline detailing how your ideas appear within your paper. This will allow you to identify the ideas that need to be extended further and also to identify the gaps that could be addressed for a stronger argument. 

Alternatively, seek editing services for suggestions on the wanting arguments that could be developed better in your paper. 

  1. Write out numbers in words

This is a common approach on how to extend word count. Besides adhering to the formal format of academic writing, writing numbers in words extend your word count without complicating your work for the reader. 

  1. Spell out contractions

Like the former, this is a common way how to make a research paper longer. Contraptions such as don’t and can’t are not only shunned in academic writing but also limit your word count by merging two words. 

Splitting these contraptions into individual words allows you to extend your word count and also avoid penalties that would have come from using contraptions. 

  1. Transitional phrases

Although transitional phrases do not add much to the final word tally, they can help you add some words to the final tally. Besides extending the length of your paper, transitional phrases lead your reader through your paper, making your arguments easier to follow. 

Final take

We hope that these techniques on how to make your paper longer came in handy to lengthen your essay. Also, note that academic papers are not fixed on a specific word count. many tutors allow you to go below or exceed the word count by 5% of the total word count. 

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the tips for selecting an academic topic to overcome issues relating to the word count. if you need help, feel free to consult our expert team for guidance on your academic journey.

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