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In English essays..does the word count include quotes?

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    • Thread Starter

    I've just finished a coursework essay and it's suppose to be 1000 words but I've done 1500. I'm finding it really difficult to cut but when I minus the count of quotes it ends up being 1050 words. Is this acceptable or not?

    No, it counts quotes, just not if they're footnoted.

    it counts quotes.. but i don't think it matters TOO much if you're slightly over the word count... it didn't with my essays anyway.

    Is this English Lit. with OCR?
    If so, the word count doesn't include quotes. We were also told that we could go 100 words above or below, but I would strongly advise that you double-check this with your teacher.

    Generally, in my experience of English Lit essays (school and two different Universities, briefly, heh), the word count isn't supposed to include quotes. Otherwise, you can write a 500 word essay and go overkill on massive quotes . So yeah, most likely it'll be 1000 words minus quotes and, like someone said, usually there's a "10% rule", you can go 10% over or under the word count, i.e. a 1000 word essay should be 900 - 1100 words, a 3000 word essay should be 2700 - 3300, and so on.

    But yeah, check with your specific department, just to be sure.
    • Thread Starter

    I suppose checking with my teacher would be the best option..I was just hoping to finish this weekend!
    Thank you everyone
    I'm doing AS English Lit with AQA.

    If it's coursework going over the word count by more than 30 words could possibly lose you points. I had to cut down an essay a lot and you have to be very strict with it, even though you might be quite sentimental with your work, like I was lol. Take out anything that really doesn't matter and perhaps extends a point more than necessary. A lot of sentences can also be rearranged and shortened. And I'm very sure that quotations do count, as we have to integrate them into sentences themselves, rather than letting them sit alone.

    generally they do, but they rarely check unless you're obviously way over, so change the font, size and margins, I'm always about 500-800 words over but its never affected me

    AQA English Literature is the same course that I'm on, my teacher told us today that the word count does include the quotes, but not the bibliography. However we have 1500 words? You should check with your teacher in any case.

    Sorry to drag this up, but thought it was better than starting a whole new thread.

    I'm doing A2 OCR English Literature on the old specification (i.e. NOT the new one as of 2008). My coursework is 3116 words at the moment, but if I subtract quotes it's 2737 words.

    I'm not sure whether to exclude the quotes from my word count or not - I've tried asking my english teachers but (typically) they have no idea and are unlikely to work it out.

    I've looked at the specification on the exam board site and it doesn't mention anything about excluding quotes, just that it MUST be under 3000, so I've got a horrible feeling I'm going to have to cut it down even more...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Hi folks,

    Usually, everything, bar the title and reference list is included in a word count. Yes, this includes quotes...but we often recommend that quotes do not exceed 10% of the word count. To be honest, your aim is for understanding, thus unless you've got a particularly juicy quote....then paraphrase.
    I've just joined this forum from 'downunder'....and it's great to see such a vibrant community of learners.

    Best wishes


    Hey I'm in the same situation as you.I'm doing A2 OCR. My English Literature teacher used to be an examiner and she says that you should exclude quotes and footnotes in the final word count of 3000 words. She makes us do a word count with quotes and then a word count without quotes, so you aren't over the limit.


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