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I am more of a fiction writer, so writing essays or nonfiction doesn't come as naturally to me. The need does occasionally arise, however. I normally wouldn't have much trouble with it, except that the topics for my current essays are... different than usual.

I am supposed to write an essay on a specific discipline (focus, consistency, etc.). This topic doesn't leave much room for deviations or opinions, so I'm having trouble making the essay longer than a few paragraphs. I am using a fairly simple outline (definitions, uses, examples, etc.).

Question: How can I add to the essay with useful information?

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    By reading what scholars have to say on the matter and citing and discussing them. – user5645 Apr 9 '15 at 6:17
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There are two approaches available to you:

Write everything you know and be happy with the length. There is value in concise accurate summaries.

Learn more. the joke is that experts keep learning more and more about less and less until they know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing. There is a core truth here. I could without much effort write a one page summary of flathead screws. If I bothered to do the research I could write a book about the thread pitch of flathead screws. (believe it or not, this was affected by the french revolution. History is fascinating.) If length is an issue you can always learn more.

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I assume you are a student. If you are a college student, you should use your school's library. Get in contact with the reference librarian. Ask him or her to help you find materials on the topic you're writing. Hopefully your school has an online database. Ask the reference librarian about that, too. An online database usually will have a myriad of peer review journals on different subjects.

Find articles on your subject. Jot down notes of what you will like to include in your essay from the sources you read. Make your notes structured from your thesis statement to conclusion, so your entire essay will be well structured; you can transitions through the different facts you use to back your thesis statement more efficiently this way.

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