Is a Longer Essay Always Better?

This question is actually pretty easy to answer – Is a longer essay always better? The short answer is – only if it’s expected! If the assignment specifies a 4-5 page essay and yours is 7 pages, your teacher won’t appreciate it at all. In fact you may get docked marks because you didn’t adhere to the assignment’s guidelines. A longer essay is only better if it still fits within the assignment requirements.

There are other ways you can make your essay better, if length is not one of them. When you follow these techniques you should be able to increase the quality of your essays.

  • Make sure you write a succinct opening. Your introduction should be a condensed version of your essay which is an overview.
  • To be an effective essay it must be strong and well-supported.
  • Start early and don’t skimp on effort.
  • Read other essays. Read both the good and the bad ones so you know what you need to do in yours to make it a good one.
  • Don’t skimp on work. Just do it. Shun self-pity and get the A you deserve.
  • Less is more. More words can’t save a bad essay or make it any better. It just makes a bad essay longer which is double bad. Omit words that are unnecessary.
  • Your essay must be proofread before handing it in.
  • Use a spellchecker but remember it doesn’t catch everything.
  • Don’t use slang. It doesn’t belong in a good essay.
  • Make the assignment the opportunity that it is and resist thinking of it as a crisis

After you’ve put a lot of effort into writing your essay but it’s too long according to the guidelines in the assignment, you’ll have to chop out some parts of it to make it fit. Don’t even think of overloading your instructor with a longer essay than he or she asked for. Remember, they have to read a lot of essays. If other students can say it in 3 pages, you can rest assured your teacher doesn’t want to read your 7 pages!

A man names Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “Everything that can be said can be said clearly.” That should be the motto of your essay. Simplicity and clarity. It doesn’t mean you write an empty essay full of fluff and cluttered words. It means just the opposite. Every word should have a purpose and the meaning should be crystal clear.

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