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How to Make Your Term Paper Longer

Category : Blog

An interesting question that often crosses the mind of every student is, “how can I make my term paper longer?” In truth, while not necessarily the easiest method, but certainly the best, is to conduct additional research and add facts or material to your paper until it is the correct length. Perhaps adding an additional point, supporting fact or argument can help you get your paper to the length defined by your teacher or professor.

There are additional methods for lengthening a paper as well, some of which are legitimate while others will prove screamingly obvious that you did not have enough material in your paper to reach the required length. Let’s examine some of the methods students attempt to use to make a term paper longer.

Using larger font: The use of larger font to enlarge titles or to enlarge long stretches of text is one of the main ways students attempt to stretch a paper. Unfortunately, this is extremely obvious when viewing the paper, whether it is printed or viewed within a word processing program. Even if you only enlarge the text by a half point, which is indeed possible if you click on the font size box in Microsoft Word and enter the size in manually, a teacher is going to know the student made an effort to take up space on the paper. If viewing the paper within the Word Processing program, the teacher can check the font size as well.

Do not use contractions: Whenever you write an academic paper, you should refrain from using contractions like “don’t,” “wouldn’t,” “can’t,” and “it’s.” The use of contractions in academic paper is actually not recommended, so you should spell out everything without the missing letters and apostrophes as such: “Do not,” “would not,” “cannot,” and “it is.” This technique is actually a legitimate means of lengthening your paper, at least to a small degree.

Oversize line spacing: When you go into Microsoft Word’s paragraph formatting options, you will see a section that allows you to change the spacing of the lines in your paper. Typically, academic papers are double spaced, and it will be obvious if the spaces are wider than they should be. Some students attempt to set the font size above or over double spacing. The insertion of line breaks is another obvious method that you are attempting to stretch your paper.

Using a non-standard font: An academic paper is one created in Times Roman font size 12. If the student uses a different and larger font it can stretch the paper’s length, but it then deviates from the academic standard. It’s extremely evident that a student is trying to stretch the paper when straying from the use of a traditional font.

Adjusting the margins: Another clearly evident measure students use to try and stretch a paper’s length visually is to adjust the margins of the paper. The acceptable margins for an academic paper are 1” all the way around the paper. Some students attempt to change the margins to 1.25”, 1.5”, or even 2” around, but the visual difference is striking making the student’s efforts apparent.

Excessive use of block quotes:  The overuse of quotes is yet another apparent measure students use to create a paper length that looks deceivingly acceptable. However, too many quotes can actually trigger plagiarism software used by some teachers to indicate that too much of the paper’s writing is not original content. Ultimately, it is always best to add quality content to the paper instead of trying to extend the paper visually.