PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

How to Finish That Paper

Ok. So you’ve spent the last six hours writing that ten page final paper for your Comparative Literature class, only to realize that, in fact, you’ve written just under nine pages… What’s a sleep-deprived undergrad to do? Well, you could write more and reach the page requirement, but that might result in adding fluff to a concise paper, ruining your master work. You could just hand it in as is, but, to me at least, there is a lingering sensation of inadequacy and failure if I don’t fulfull the requirements of the assignment. So, what are your options? There are quite a few things you can do to lengthen your paper, all without writing anymore about the thematic similarities between Gothic and Victorian works. The Bwog at Columbia posted a useful idea a few days ago that would save you writers a lot of time.

If you’re writing a paper and need another page or two but have nothing more to say (surely, we can all relate!), you should bump up all the periods to size 14 font. It’s impossible to tell (on the page or printed out) if the paper is double-spaced, and it results in an extra page of text. Right before our eyes, the history paper of a friend grew from 7 to eight and a half pages. It was breathtaking.

To be fair, the length of your original paper determines how many additional pages are created (Really, I suppose, it’s how many periods you use. The ellipsis is your friend…). If you don’t want to go through your paper highlighting period by period, use the “Find” function to find all the periods in your paper. Make sure you have Word highlight all of them.

Then, while they’re highlighted, change the font from 12 to 14. It works wonders

If you don’t want to use that helpful trick, there are a few other things you can do after the jump.

While your prof might have wanted size twelve font, do you think he’ll be able to tell the difference between size twelve and say, size twelve and a half? Can you?

The benefits from this approach should not be underestimated.

For those old-timers out there, the tried and true magical shrinking margin trick is the classic standby. For those purists who only change the borders of their work to achieve the desired lengthening effect, may I suggest changing not only the side margins, but the bottom one as well? To do this, simply go to “Format” and then click on “Document”. This box should appear:

Note the bottom margin default is 1″. Making it larger will move more of your work on to the next sheet of paper. You can safely change this up to 1.5″ before it starts to look altered. The effect of this change will appear minimal initially, but as you write more, the net gain in pages will be significant.

I don’t recommend using more than one of these tricks at the same time because your paper will begin to look awkward. Also, if you find that you need to use more than one of these tactics to reach your page goals, maybe you should get your lazy ass back to writing.

For those dogooders that went over your page limit, you can do the opposite of everything suggested above to get back in your professor’s good graces. He definitely doesn’t want to read fifteen pages when he asked for twelve, especially when he has to grade 100 other papers.

If anyone has any other helpful ideas for paper lengthening, comment below.

About the Author

Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

Comments

More by Eli

Senior Writes Final Column

Senior columns, with all their melodrama and platitudes, usually leave me eye-rolling and shaking my head with a vigor usually reserved for study abroad blog posts. But, as I graduate a week from today, I figured I should give it a go myself. Rather than discuss the origins of Onward State like Evan,  I’d just like to briefly thank a few individuals who have defined my Penn State experience.

Speakers Released, Collective “Who?” Uttered

Onward Debates: Private State University

Athletics

North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend