Have you tried reaching your toes? If you have, then you know the taste of a real struggle. Those damn toes are so close and yet so frustratingly distant. You must have Gumby’s flexibility to reach the lower digits. The same applies to a consequential and difficult task of reaching a word count for a college essay. It seems that you are almost there, but something prevents you from meeting the desired page limit. In this regard, it’s not unlike the “sit-and-reach” test you had in school. However, whereas the latter is an inconsequential assessment of your muscle movement range, the former matters a lot. Often, the ability to stretch your paper will help you get a passing grade in college, and it is not a small matter.

Having spoked with experienced students, we have discovered and gathered in one place many neat tricks for stretching a word count. Read them to forget about your linguistic flexibility problem.

How to Make a Paper Look Longer with The Period Trick

There are many ways to make your essay seem longer than it really is. Let’s start with the period trick. Instead of inflating your paper with words, you can do it with punctuation. By increasing the size of periods in your paper, you will easily and noticeably balloon it. The coolest thing about this trick is that your professor won’t be able to tell the difference between normal periods and their well-nourished brethren. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the Edit section of your word processor’s menu;
  2. Select the Find and Replace function;
  3. Enter a normal 12-sized period in the Find box;
  4. Enter a 14-sized period in the Replace with box;
  5. Click the Replace All button.
  6. Click OK.

Voila! Your paper now seems longer.

How to Make an Essay Appear Longer with Formatting Tricks

These formatting tips work equally well on Google Docs and Microsoft Word. By using them, you will be able to double the length of your paper without adding a single word.

  1. Pick a larger font. All too often, professors do not specify which font you are allowed to use. That’s your golden opportunity! Select a bulkier font such as Arial, Cambria, or Bangla Sangam MN. If, however, paper writing instructions call for Times New Roman, you can choose a similarly looking yet more voluminous Bookman Old Style font. A caveat is due: don’t overdo by selecting Arial Black, Lucida Handwriting, or other equally massive fonts.
  2. Adjust the font size. This trick is as easy as it is obvious. Most essay instructions mention 12 pt. font. Try adjusting the essay font to slightly larger 12.1, 12.3, or even 12.5. These adjustments are small enough to go unnoticed by your vigilant professor. If you are bold enough, you can go for 13 pt. font; however, ensure that your instructor wears an inch-thick glasses first.
  3. Increase the spacing. This trick requires lots of audacity and fingers crossing because its results are somewhat conspicuous. To beef up your paper, try increasing the spacing ever so slightly. If the instructions call for single or double spacing add .1 to their size. To this end, open Format menu and click the Paragraph option. Then, go to Line Spacing and select Multiple. Once there, type 1.1 or 2.1 into the box.
  4. Increase the bottom margin. By making the bottom margin larger, you’ll make your essay seem larger. Go to the Format menu and select the Document section. In the Bottom box, enter 1.25. The margin increase might be too noticeable. If you don’t like the result, try 1.15 or 1.2 margins to make the manipulation less obvious.
  5. Increase the character spacing. Expand the distance between words in your essay to give it some length. It can be done in the Font menu. Once there, select the Advanced submenu and go to the Spacing options. Then, choose Expand and enter 1.5 into the box.
  6. Beef up the essay’s header. Include seemingly useful information into the header to enlarge it. It can be your and instructor’s names, the date, the course title and code number, your email, student ID, etc. The more information you add, the beefier your essay will be.
  7. Paginate a footer. All you have to do is to click the Insert and select the Page Numbers option. In the Position sub-menu click Bottom of Page. This action will add a footer with page numbers at the bottom of a page.
  8. Adjust the title. Place it on a separate line below the header and bold it. It also helps to enlarge its font to at least 14 pt. Furthermore, increase the space between the header, title, and the first paragraph of your essay.
  9. Spell out numerals. This trick is actually a requirement in formal writing: spell out numbers lower than ten.
  10. Expand contractions. This one is also a requirement: write out contractions. For example, instead of writing it’s or can’t, go for it is and cannot.

Ways to Make Essays Longer While Writing

There is a lot that can be done to inflate your essay after its finished, but it is better to start earlier. Balloon the essay while writing by using the following techniques:

  • Add examples. Provide examples to strengthen your creative ideas and increase the word count. Offer your readers more than one example in each case but do not turn your essay into a Wikipedia page.
  • Add quotations. Quotations are also fairly effective in buttressing your arguments and expanding a word count. After adding quotations, don’t forget to cite your sources on the reference page.
  • Use transitional words and phrases. Words such as therefore, likewise, as well as, not to mention, and by the same token among others will quickly increase the size of your essay.
  • Add statistics. Any argumentative or persuasive essay can be bettered and lengthened by adding solid statistics. Throw in reliable data points to increase a word count and your chances of receiving a top grade.