Writing essays with a long word count can be a tricky task for many students, especially if they find the topic boring. After hours of struggling, students feel like they’ve hit the wall – and they haven’t even gotten to the middle of the essay! If you’re familiar with this situation – don’t worry, it happens to even the most experienced writers. When you think about expanding an essay, you often imagine longer phrases and unnecessary transitions. In reality, they only make your essay worse, and professors hate them. The following hacks will make your essay not only longer but also better.

Improving your essay-writing: General hacks

Before looking at some practical actions, let’s have a look at the root of the problem. Ask yourself: Why am I struggling with long essays? Students find various reasons:  they may have trouble finding the right words or enough confidence in their writing. Some even turn to a professional essay writing service, like EssayHave, to help them write their papers. Here are some general tips that can make your writing process more pleasant and achievable:

  • Read more. This tip has nothing to do with essay writing, but it can massively help you express your thoughts better. Reading diverse literature expands your vocabulary and shows how writing can be a fascinating thing. With regular reading, you’ll notice how putting your thoughts on paper is no longer as difficult and daunting.
  • Do more everyday writing. Academic essays are no pleasant task: strict structure, weird topics, and overwhelming size are what you’ll have to face once in a while. But at its core, essays are just like any other writing – the ability to be concise and informative in your thoughts and arguments. If you’ve ever written a diary, you’re on the right track: keep practicing and let the thoughts flow on paper!
  • Remove any distractions. Concentrating your thoughts fully on the topic is essential. That essay is never finished if you are surrounded by other things that you can do or think about. Procrastination is an obvious solution to long and boring essays, so keep your phone away and find a spot where the only focus is your writing.

Finding motivation: Three things to do

Be more informed on your topic. One of the reasons students get overwhelmed by longer essays is that they don’t have enough information. They will often stop halfway through, feeling that they have nothing meaningful left to write. If this ever happened to you, then writing is not necessarily the problem here. Take a step back and do a little more research: you’re likely to find new arguments and ideas that will help you keep going.

Get excited about the topic. Yes, some topics are hard to get excited about. But even the most boring ones will probably have something of interest to you. Ask questions about the topic that relate to your personal experiences and make you learn something new. For a different perspective, look for interesting online resources that have passionate speakers. You will appreciate a fresh look at the topic and an engaging format, while the speakers might spread their interest to you!

Write your thoughts right away. If you feel like you’ve already written your best paragraphs and the essay is still far from done, try freewriting. Freewriting is an excellent technique that is widely used in academic circles to find inspiration for longer word counts. Write everything that comes to your mind about the topic, and don’t worry about getting it wrong: you’ll have plenty of time to polish your work. Freewriting is also helpful if you have writer’s anxiety – worrying about getting every word and phrase perfect.

Quantity and quality: Best tips

When making your essay longer, you should never sacrifice the quality. In other words, it’s the depth of your information that increases the word count, not unnecessary or unrelated ideas and phrases. To enrich your essay, there are a few structural moments that you can keep in mind:

  • Returning to your prompt or topic: While some prompts are too vague to return to, there is a great chance that your instructor will assign you a task with at least a few points to cover. When you’re feeling stumped, take a step back and revisit the key questions. You may find some small points or “why/why not?” questions that you left unanswered. If you think you’ve touched on everything, ask yourself: Am I persuaded by my own answer to this question? If not, what can I do to improve it?
  • Elaborating on your arguments: The best thing you can do to improve your ideas or answers is to give them more color. When writing your arguments, support them with detailed explanations of why the reader should believe you. Take this example: Many parents oppose video games because of their negative effects on health. You can easily add more details: Video games are disliked by many parents because excessive playing can lead to both physical and mental health problems, such as social anxiety or vision loss. The second sentence is both longer and richer, and you can then support each point with further explanation or evidence.
  • Adding quotes: Speaking about evidence, nothing supports your argument better than a quote from a reliable source. Remember that reliable sources usually include peer-reviewed and scholarly articles and books. When adding quotes, make sure it’s appropriate to your argument, supporting your exact idea. And don’t forget to mix them with personal reflections and paraphrases: too many quotes are a sign of a weak argument.
  • Make use of outlines: If you plan your writing in advance, you’ll pay equal attention to every point that needs answering. Count the exact words that you will need for each part of the essay. You can even break down body paragraphs, planning how much you’ll need to describe the argument, give it an explanation, and support it with evidence. Outlines make longer essays feel less overwhelming, and you will know exactly how much you need to do in each section.

Finishing touches: Two great hacks

After you finished all parts of the essay – introduction, body, and conclusion – take another look at your introduction. There’s a good chance you haven’t changed it since you started your paper. Now that you have more arguments and deeper explanations, you can notice where your introduction lacks clarity or details.

You are now set: all you have left to do is proofread your essay. The editing and proofreading process can also add to your word count if you pay enough attention to what you’ve written. Make sure that your paper flows well, and if some shorter sentences stand out – add a little more detail.

Summing up

Adding length to your essay is hard when you already feel like you gave it your all. Reading more literature and practicing casual writing will help you make the process smoother. If the topic feels too boring, look for a different perspective that inspires interest. Never stop with your argument: write detailed explanations and support them with quotes. You can follow these hacks to nail longer word counts: essay writing shouldn’t be a challenge!