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Essay Word Count Watch

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    On assessed university essays, do the word counts typically have a margin of error? And are footnotes included within the word count?
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    In my experience it was 10% either way. With regards to if footnotes are counted - it depended on the individual lecturer. Most of the time they were included.

    Just drop a quick email to your lecturer to get an answer.
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    Again, though it was +/- 10%, but as said above, check with lecturer over footnotes?
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    10% seems about right for going over the word count. On the other hand, one lecturor told me 100-200 words over for a 2500-3000 word essay; they were more concerned with it being under to be honest.

    As far as I'm aware they don't count the words for footnote references. Would seem absurd to me if they did.

    If you plan to put in some extra historical information in the footnotes (i.e. stuff that is less directly related to the flow of your essay; or direction to works which expand on issues you've raised) then you'd be best consulting with your lecturor beforehand.

    A lecturor of mine suggested I start including such historical extras in my footnotes, and when I raised the issue with him that this would push me somewhat over my already strained limit, he didn't seem to care. Similarly, I did it for an essay which I was already 10% over the word limit and it was clear it didn't adversely affect the mark.

    Regardless, you should ask your lecturor/tutor, as what goes for one won't necessarily for another.
 
 
 
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