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Essay Extender

A word processor feature that would make automatically make an essay longer
  [vote for,

(Be nice, as this is my first post)

While this could be difficult, it certainly would be possible. If you have a long essay (or anything else) that you want to shorten, you can click Tools and AutoSummarize on Microsoft Word. I'm sure other word processors have similar functions. With this program, simply tell it what percent of the document you want, and it attempts to take the take the most important parts of the document. Seriously, try it. It's usually prettty good. An essay extender, however, would build off of this concept, but work backwards. Now if you have to make a 2 page essay a 4 page essay, just tell it how long you want it! While that seems impossible, hear me out. First of all, it would have three different ways of extending, going least to most effective, however easiest to hardest to implement. The first would be simple. By reformating the title, header, margins, and spaces between each letter, it could try to squeeze out another page or two. However, no teacher would really be fooled by this. The second would be somewhat more intuitive. It would use that Auto Summarize feature mentioned before, however, if it wants to extend 25%, for example, instead of summarize to 25%, it would take the 25% that was summarized (hopefully the most important parts), and use simple algorithms to reverse or otherwise modify the structures of the sentences. It would then find places in which some of the key words used in that sentecne were repeated, and insert the scrambled original sentence there, or any other way it could find where it is appropriate (suggestions are welcome). This would still seem a little redundant, however. The final method is the real magic. It would scan for the most important phrases, ala Auto Summarize, then take some of the key words and short word combinations that are repeated in different ways throughout those and the rest of the essay. Obviously blocking out words like "The" and taking the more unique concepts to that particular essay, it would go onto the internet and search through a database of raw facts (perhaps something like Everything2.com except more comprehensive and intellectual). This could be that particular programs database, or perhaps it could just search randomly. Once it finds something, it will find the important facts of that data (more autosummarizing, perhaps), randomize the structure (like method 2), and insert it into random sections of the essay. In this way, it could insert backup information to support relevant parts of the essay.

The program could use any or all of the algorithms, depending on user preference and the length necessary. In terms of the third option, users would have the option of having it scramble the source (like above), or have it quote the source on that topic. Either way, it would automatically add all sources to the bibliography, dependant upon how you want it to be cited.

Concerning whether the the third method should crawl the internet randomly or search one central database, the central database would be easier to find some direct facts and observations, as this would be its intended purpose. However, each essay still has to be unique, or else it is clearly copied from this source. Therefore, the database could have a randomizing factor, in which depending on something arbitrary such as the IP address, it would find facts from a different set within the database, which would contain some facts and not others to mantain some individuality. It could be possible to have everyone who writes an essay and gets lengthening from this source to in turn upload there own essay, and have facts from that essay torrented around to other essays. However, factual evidence from people who would actually NEED an essay extender could be sketchy at best.

While I personally don't feel the need for such a program, and an it could be considered unethical, you must admit this would be very interesting technology.

catboy17, Feb 29 2004

Everything2 http://www.everything2.com/
Great site. An example of a database choc full of info, although not always the most scholarly. [catboy17, Oct 04 2004]

Word 2004 to Pioneer AutoUnsummarize Feature http://www.bbspot.c...utounsummarize.html
Already not baked. [Acme, Oct 04 2004]


       Obviously baked as it must have been used to create this post?
theircompetitor, Feb 29 2004

       I had to write my own essays*. I fail to see why the students of today should be able to get away with such a thing as this. It's good for you.   

       *or at least I had to copy them from someone in the year above.
hazel, Feb 29 2004

       best writing lesson I ever got was "omit needless words"
theircompetitor, Feb 29 2004

       Nice link [Acme], I was sure I had seen this before.
Laughs Last, Feb 29 2004

       You can also make your essays longer by using more paragraph breaks.
normzone, Feb 29 2004

       D'oh! I hate it when people go back in time and steal my half baked ideas...
catboy17, Feb 29 2004

       It is the worst thing that can happen here.
Laughs Last, Feb 29 2004

       //D'oh! I hate it when people go back in time and steal my half baked ideas...//   

       But it tells us that time travel is possible :)
theircompetitor, Feb 29 2004

       :) Touché, but this is a conversation for another post, I presume.
catboy17, Feb 29 2004

       "Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyperverbosity and prolixity."
Detly, Mar 01 2004


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