After a long caffeine-fueled evening that has stretched into the wee hours of the morning, you’ve finally written the conclusion of your essay. All the loose ends are tied up and you’ve explained everything you could. But wait. Your essay you’ve so “carefully” crafted in one night is not the lengthy 10 pages that your professor assigned but just a measly 9 ½ pages. What is one to do? Come up with actual, relevant content? Nonsense. What a foolish idea. How could your sleep-deprived brain possibly come up with something of value to add after exhausting all your critical analysis powers? It was even a miracle those first 9 pages came about. Don’t be distressed though. Some clever manipulation of spacing and font sizes is all you need to push you over the page minimum that you need to so desperately reach.
Playing with font size: Bigger is always better
Increasing the font size is child’s play. Surely we’ve all tried to increase to increase the font to 13 pt. Times New Roman only to find it grotesquely large and obviously not the 12 pt. prescribed in the assignment. Especially if you are submitting via Bcourses, it’ll only be too obvious what you’re up to. There is a more subtle way, though, that is essentially undetectable in a hard copy and on Bcourses. Just increase the size of the commas and the periods. Hit command + f and search for commas or periods. They should all be highlighted and ready for you to increase their font size. We know. It’s a revelation. Be warned, though. One is wont to be overzealous in cases of desperation like this. Only increase the size to 14 pt. Perhaps, 16 pt. if you’re a risk taker, but don’t you dare try to go anything above that. You don’t want your professor thinking you punctuate your sentences with bullet points instead of periods.
Spacing: Expand those margins
We’ve all had those times where we’ve accidentally forgotten to decrease the margins from 1.5 to 1 so as to abide by the strict rules of MLA format. There were no reprimandations then, so why would there be some now? If you’re still worried about being caught, don’t. Just add on a small fraction of space to the top and bottom. Those will be less noticeable than if you added it to the side. Feeling particularly frenzied? How about adding space in between characters? An infinitesimal of space is added, so it’s virtually imperceptible to the untrained eye. That space, however, multiplies quickly if you think about how many hundreds of words and characters are packed in only a couple of pages of material. If you’re feeling especially mischievous, you can also change your double-spaced paper into 2.1 spaced one. Maximum length with minimal effort.
Quotes, adjectives and adverbs. Oh, my!
This is the most time-consuming option, so obviously it should be a last-ditch effort only to be attempted if you need a considerable amount added to your paper. But copying down some extra quotes to further emphasize a point you already made is do-able in even the most braindead states. Another way to add words? Dear frantic student, please get acquainted with your new friends, adjectives and adverbs. Sprinkle them throughout your essay to add a touch of grandiloquence and pretension and a whole lot of length. Forsaking as many pronouns and acronyms as possible is also excellent idea. Originally, they seem like they’re helping you through minimizing keystrokes and keeping those fingers nimble, but not in cases like these. JFK is now John Fitzgerald Kennedy. You can’t just assume people know that, of course. Even if you’ve referenced him 10 times before in your essay.
Image Source: Tim Riley under Creative Commons
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