Word Count for Dissertation?

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Ghost of Hxx
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If there is a word limit of 6000, would it make it a difference if it was a few hundred words less?

i.e. Is there a general rule of say if it's over 10% less you may get marked down?
On 4000 at the moment and I can't see get getting over 5500 and I worried I'll get marked down for that.
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Ghost of Hxx
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A Mysterious Lord
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There's usually a 10% UPPER margin, not sure about under the word count though. Common sense would say it'll be fine as some people can explain a lot in a small amount of words whereas some people aren't as frugal so obviously universities set word counts with this in mind.
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Chwirkytheappleboy
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6000 word dissertation? Lucky you.

Just pad it out... elaborate points using verbose descriptions etc. 500 words is less than a page, it wouldn't be too hard to fill
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Lexi99
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For ours we had a maximum of 10,000, i.e. we couldnt go over at all but there was no minimum so i think you'll be fine. (Unless you do have a minimum of course)
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hobnob
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(Original post by Ghost of Hxx)
If there is a word limit of 6000, would it make it a difference if it was a few hundred words less?

i.e. Is there a general rule of say if it's over 10% less you may get marked down?
On 4000 at the moment and I can't see get getting over 5500 and I worried I'll get marked down for that.
Even if there isn't an automatic penalty, you should avoid going so much under the word limit if at all possible. Unless your work is brilliantly concise and genuinely says everything that can be said on the matter in 10% fewer words, it will be counted against you that you didn't use those extra words to cover more ground.
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Ghost of Hxx
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I've still got a few days to put down more.
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Liv1204
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I think partly it depends what the method/topic is, which is why some unis don't give a minimum word count for FYPs/dissertations (e.g. if your method is very complex it will require a much higher word count than a very simple method).

I've just handed in my Final Year Project which had a max. word count of 6,000, and mine is 4,900. Can't say if it will get a good mark yet, but on the parts that my supervisor looked at there were no major issues. I've always had a tendency to write 'very short, concise essays' as soon as I have no word count though, so it works out for me like that.

Saying that, as hobnob said, try to avoid it if at all possible - don't run the risk of missing out something important that you could have discussed/evaluated further. Good luck!
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DancinBallerina
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6, 000 word dissertation? JEEZE, I wish mine was the much. 10, 864 was mine!

Good luck with the rest of it though
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Ghost of Hxx
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(Original post by DancinBallerina)
6, 000 word dissertation? JEEZE, I wish mine was the much. 10, 864 was mine!

Good luck with the rest of it though
Ha, thanks. It's not as good as it sounds though. It's a project, I had to prepare meals for participants and wait for them to eat for about 6 weeks. 9-11, 5-7 every weekday for 6 weeks

I'd probably find a dissertation harder though. Once the data and results are done, the write up is fairly straightforward.
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Ghost of Hxx
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(Original post by Liv1204)
I think partly it depends what the method/topic is, which is why some unis don't give a minimum word count for FYPs/dissertations (e.g. if your method is very complex it will require a much higher word count than a very simple method).

I've just handed in my Final Year Project which had a max. word count of 6,000, and mine is 4,900. Can't say if it will get a good mark yet, but on the parts that my supervisor looked at there were no major issues. I've always had a tendency to write 'very short, concise essays' as soon as I have no word count though, so it works out for me like that.

Saying that, as hobnob said, try to avoid it if at all possible - don't run the risk of missing out something important that you could have discussed/evaluated further. Good luck!
4,900. Are you not worried about that? I guess it depends on the complexity of the project. If the method and results are fairly straightforward I guess that would take the word count down a lot.
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EssexDan86
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#12
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6000 word dissertation? That's just a long essay! My MSc dissy is a whopping 15,000
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username196545
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I would hate a 6000 word disso, why is everyone saying the OP was lucky?

Mine was 10-12k, and I wrote well over 15,000 and had to cut riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ight down (to around 13,100 with 10% upper limit being 13,200 obviously).

Had to cut out a section on palingenesis and the core definition of Fascism; broke my heart. :sad:
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Liv1204
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(Original post by Ghost of Hxx)
4,900. Are you not worried about that? I guess it depends on the complexity of the project. If the method and results are fairly straightforward I guess that would take the word count down a lot.
I was worried about it for a while, but not really now (plus, our Student Advisor was telling me that when she did her dissertation it was a max. word count of 10,000, she did 6,000 and still did really well, so it's more quality than quantity). But yeah, our results were pretty straightforward so that was pretty short because a lot of it involved tables.

I think it's probably partly different too with Final Year Projects/dissertations, it's probably harder sometimes to write more with FYPs because there's not so much of a literature review sometimes (and our topic was reasonably new in literature, which probably makes it even easier for it to be shorter!). I was a bit worried that my Discussion was too short, but my supervisor also said that some discussions are quite short, so I'd prefer quality of quantity.

It's just a balance really I think. It has to be a balance because whilst you don't want it to be too short, if you try to make it longer by adding or rambling about things which aren't so relevant or which you don't explain well enough, it's potentially going to end up averaging out as a lower mark than if you've got a shorter but consistently high quality of work (if that makes sense).
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Ghost of Hxx
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(Original post by Liv1204)
I was worried about it for a while, but not really now (plus, our Student Advisor was telling me that when she did her dissertation it was a max. word count of 10,000, she did 6,000 and still did really well, so it's more quality than quantity). But yeah, our results were pretty straightforward so that was pretty short because a lot of it involved tables.

I think it's probably partly different too with Final Year Projects/dissertations, it's probably harder sometimes to write more with FYPs because there's not so much of a literature review sometimes (and our topic was reasonably new in literature, which probably makes it even easier for it to be shorter!). I was a bit worried that my Discussion was too short, but my supervisor also said that some discussions are quite short, so I'd prefer quality of quantity.

It's just a balance really I think. It has to be a balance because whilst you don't want it to be too short, if you try to make it longer by adding or rambling about things which aren't so relevant or which you don't explain well enough, it's potentially going to end up averaging out as a lower mark than if you've got a shorter but consistently high quality of work (if that makes sense).
Ha, thanks. Feeling better about it now. I'll try and add more but it's mostly adding to the literature review which will just be more of what I've put rather than anything new. How long is your discussion?
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Liv1204
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(Original post by Ghost of Hxx)
Ha, thanks. Feeling better about it now. I'll try and add more but it's mostly adding to the literature review which will just be more of what I've put rather than anything new. How long is your discussion?
Yeah, just try and expand on it as much as you can - use examples, make sure it's explained as clearly as possible, evaluations/counter-examples etc.

My discussion is 842 words. So a bit short! But there really wasn't a whole lot to discuss! Just a summary of the results, a few limitations and then the potential implications. But hey, handed in now, so I'll find out next month!
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hannah_dru
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Mine was 6,000 words (and to those saying it's lucky it depends on your topic. With my transcripts I produced myself it would've been 10,000 words had they not gone in the appendix) and we had a limit of +/- 10%. I'd watch if you're going to pad it out because it can be quite obvious in some cases that that's what you've tried to do and you ran out of ideas.
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A Mysterious Lord
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#18
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And my trump card - 26,232 words

Lower limit 14,000, upper limit 30,000. Absolute torture.
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Welsh_insomniac
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#19
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My undergrad dissertation was 10,500ish but including my appendices (transcripts etc.) it came to about 16,000. Usually you get a plus/minus 10% but I woul definitely check with your tutor.
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Blueflare
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Usually it's a 10% margin.
For my History dissertation we could do anything between 8,000 and 12,000 though. I think mine got to 11,800 in the end, which surprised me because I usually write very concisely as well.
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