Spell out numbers less than ten. For example, spell out one and two instead of using the numerals. This will not only make your essay longer, but it will also look more professional since it is a requirement in formal writing.
Write out contractions. Write out contractions wherever possible to increase the length of your essay. For instance, instead of using “it’s,” write, “it is," or instead of using "can't," write, "cannot." It will also make your essay appear more formal.
Minimize pronouns. Wherever possible, use specific names instead of pronouns. For example, instead of writing “they,” write, “Angela, Mark, and Tony.” However, use pronouns when writing out names becomes too wordy. Wordiness can detract from the readability and quality of your paper.
- Additionally, if you are quoting or paraphrasing research or literature, make sure to cite it properly. Citations can add extra length to a paper as well.
Ensure that each paragraph has a topic and a concluding sentence. Introduce the paragraph with a topic sentence. This sentence should state your argument. Provide supporting evidence. Then conclude the paragraph by summarizing the points you just made, or by restating your opinion.
- However, try to avoid being descriptive when it is unnecessary since this may cause your paper to appear embellished or sound verbose.
Draw out your conclusion. Conclusions don't have to be limited to one paragraph. Start your conclusion with a paragraph that simply summarizes your paper. Add a second paragraph that makes a final point about your thesis and how it can be applied to contexts outside of your paper.
The word count for a page will vary depending on font size and type, margin size, and spacing elements (single/double space, blank lines, subheadings, graphics).
For a page with 1 inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, and minimal spacing elements, a good rule of thumb is 500 words for a single spaced page and 250 words for a double spaced page. Using this as an example, a 3-4 page double spaced paper is 750-1000 words, and a 7 page double spaced paper would be 1750 words.
Assignments often specify a research paper or essay length in terms of words, rather than pages - a paper of 750-1000 words or a paper of 1500-1750 words. This way a student's paper will still meet their instructor's length expectations, regardless of varying font size, margin size, or use spacing elements.
When viewing an electronic version of a student paper in MicroSoft Word, the exact word count can be easily determined. Some research assignments require students to include the word count of their paper.
Also, clarify with your instructor whether the words on the title page, abstract (if used), and reference list count toward the expected word/page count.