My essay is 400 words UNDER THE WORD LIMIT. Am i going to fail? Watch

username1039383
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My very first psychology assignment is due tomorrow and its supposed to be 1500 words but I only have 1120 words down.I honestly can't think of ANYTHING ELSE to add to my essay. Its my very first assignment and I only started on saturday (after procrastinating for so long). I'm ill too which makes it more difficult. I know its almost 400 words under the limit. What should I do?
I really don't want to fail/get a really bad grade. My tutor (i presume shes the one whos going to mark it) is very friendly but idk if she'll understand
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Olderandwiser23
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Nah. I once handed in an essay with a 1500 word limit but only wrote 902. I got 88% not about quantity it's quality
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username1039383
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(Original post by Olderandwiser23)
Nah. I once handed in an essay with a 1500 word limit but only wrote 902. I got 88% not about quantity it's quality
Wow really???
You have no idea how relieved your post made me
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Olderandwiser23
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(Original post by Secretnerd123)
Wow really???
You have no idea how relieved your post made me

Yes really. Make sure what you write is good and the referencing is correct. That's all that matters
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Nymthae
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(Original post by Olderandwiser23)
Yes really. Make sure what you write is good and the referencing is correct. That's all that matters

(Original post by Secretnerd123)
Wow really???
You have no idea how relieved your post made me
You need to check with your tutor usually. In this instance, it's probably not going to be held against you, but i've been in the situation where if you're more than 10% under, or over, then you get marks knocked off, and more marks for every 5% after that or something. Can't remember entirely... I decided it was best sticking to the limit. Word limits are usually reasonably strict for assessed pieces of work, and i'm guessing this is just a bit of an introductory task to get you going so it should be fine. It may be documented in your course handbook what they do with pieces outside of the word limit(s).
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Historiana
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(Original post by Secretnerd123)
...
Every degree is hard. You won't be the first or last person to claim that their degree is hard. If you want sympathy, you're probably not going to find much here because you're not endearing yourself to those you're asking for help.

As a rule, never submit anything that is more than 10% below a word limit. The limit is there for a reason, if you're under it significantly then you're either going to give the impression that you didn't make sufficient effort, that you rushed it or that you didn't understand the topic. At my UG university, every 5% you were under would lose you 5% in marks. Don't get into the habit of letting yourself go seriously under or over on any assignment.
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gr8wizard10
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Nope, it's a limit not a benchmark. That being said, I would write more.
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HeavyTeddy
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Generally, 400 words under the deadline is pushing it. At my university you would be penalised for underwriting.

If you can't think of new arguments, perhaps think of ways to add to the points you already have. Look for more evidence to back up your claims; synthesis of literature and relating it your arguments will get you marks. Alternatively, think about the shortcomings of your arguments, and try challenging those criticisms and explain why they don't hinder your argument or perhaps they do? You'll be demonstrating that you can evaluate, an important skill.

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Joinedup
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.What time tomorrow?

you should probably sleep on it and waffle up another 2-300 words tomorrow.

(I say waffle - but don't make it look too obvious, is there an another opinion on the subject that differs from the ones you've already used?)
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Fission_Mailed
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The best essay I ever wrote was 800 words under the limit (2200 of 3000). I was worried about it being so short, but we were never told that there was a penalty for going under and as such there was no problem. If I actually understand the subject my writing becomes very concise as I don't feel the need to waffle on and fill space.
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JamesTheCool
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(Original post by Historiana)
Every degree is hard. You won't be the first or last person to claim that their degree is hard.
Not strictly true. Yes, the subject material of degrees in general are of a high level, but not every subject is nuclear physics. The mark scheme for BA subjects are much more lenient than you'd think, so much so that getting a 2:1 in an assignment is actually a piece of piss when you put your mind to it. This is coming from me and I have very average intelligence.

The last essay I handed in was 600 words under the limit (out of 2000 words) and I got a 2:1. And what I wrote was mostly crap too. Obviously don't make a habit of doing that, but don't think failure is imminent just because of something like that. Just answering the question is essentially a guaranteed pass. I wish I realised earlier just how lenient the mark schemes actually are... probably would've saved a year's worth of anxiety and stress.

I'd go as far as saying that degrees are easier than A-Levels because you're given highly relevant reading material to make notes from (as long as you do it). To get the highest marks in A-Level exams, it's often assumed that you have some sort of further knowledge which the revision guide never provides. At university you have access to that further knowledge and are even told where to find it.
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gutenberg
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400 words is a lot to be under for a 1500 word assignment; if it was a 3000 or 4000 paper I'd say yes it's fine. The general rule at most universities seems to be no more than 10% over or under; can you push it up even to 1350? Even just add in one or two more quotations for example, to bulk it out? We've all heard the stories of people who handed in assignments that were massively over or under the word count, but generally it's better to try and stay within the 10% parameter - the lecturer has chosen 1500 words as the length for a reason.
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username1039383
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Best advice from you too
I'll def take what you both said on noard. Its due at 5pm so still have a bit of time to add to it
(Original post by gutenberg)
400 words is a lot to be under for a 1500 word assignment; if it was a 3000 or 4000 paper I'd say yes it's fine. The general rule at most universities seems to be no more than 10% over or under; can you push it up even to 1350? Even just add in one or two more quotations for example, to bulk it out? We've all heard the stories of people who handed in assignments that were massively over or under the word count, but generally it's better to try and stay within the 10% parameter - the lecturer has chosen 1500 words as the length for a reason.

(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
Generally, 400 words under the deadline is pushing it. At my university you would be penalised for underwriting.

If you can't think of new arguments, perhaps think of ways to add to the points you already have. Look for more evidence to back up your claims; synthesis of literature and relating it your arguments will get you marks. Alternatively, think about the shortcomings of your arguments, and try challenging those criticisms and explain why they don't hinder your argument or perhaps they do? You'll be demonstrating that you can evaluate, an important skill.

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Champagne Supernova
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As others have said, a +/-10% is really what you should be aiming for (between 1350 and 1650). Being 400 words down on only a 1500 word piece really is pushing it and it's likely you'd penalised in some way (you wouldn't fail). As it's your first assignment, really use this to get into the habit of being able to consistently be around the word count mark.

There must be plenty of ways to increase your count and at the same time improve your essay. The lecturer/seminar leader wouldn't set the count there if they thought nobody would reach it. Is there an argument or point that could be better backed up/argued/proved? Scour relevant literature for the right quote/piece of information. "This point is further strengthened when considering what X says in their book," or something along those lines. Lob in a quote and explaining why that strengthens your argument is an easy way to add words. :yy:
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by Secretnerd123)
My very first psychology assignment is due tomorrow and its supposed to be 1500 words but I only have 1120 words down.I honestly can't think of ANYTHING ELSE to add to my essay. Its my very first assignment and I only started on saturday (after procrastinating for so long). I'm ill too which makes it more difficult. I know its almost 400 words under the limit. What should I do?
I really don't want to fail/get a really bad grade. My tutor (i presume shes the one whos going to mark it) is very friendly but idk if she'll understand
Most universities allow around 10% leway on the word limit- which in this case would be 1350 words. 200 words really isn't that much to add. Go back through your essay and see if there are any places where extra explanation would add to things, or you can describe a study/theory in a bit more detail. You really don't need to think of further arguments to make to add on a couple of 100 words.

If you've got time, you could try to find another study/piece of supporting evidence for a particular point. By the time you've described that and added it to your argument, you'll probably be hitting the word limit.

Try not to panic though, it's unlikely you'd be failed for just being under the word limit. It's your first assignment, so the marking probably isn't going to be very harsh. It's meant to be a learning experience, and I'm sure whoever marks it will be able to explain where you can add more content.
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dean01234
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I agree with the quality over quantity thing, but if you are drastically under the word count, the chances are that you haven't gone into enough critical analysis or you haven't covered areas which the lecturers are expecting you to talk about. You wont fail for being under the word count by so much but it might not be the best grade.
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minimarshmallow
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I agree with what most people are saying on the +/- 10% thing, but I also did a psychology degree and at my university at least (Lancaster) you were given a maximum word count, and you could be as far under as you wanted, as long as you thought you'd covered everything.
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username1039383
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(Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
Most universities allow around 10% leway on the word limit- which in this case would be 1350 words. 200 words really isn't that much to add. Go back through your essay and see if there are any places where extra explanation would add to things, or you can describe a study/theory in a bit more detail. You really don't need to think of further arguments to make to add on a couple of 100 words.

If you've got time, you could try to find another study/piece of supporting evidence for a particular point. By the time you've described that and added it to your argument, you'll probably be hitting the word limit.

Try not to panic though, it's unlikely you'd be failed for just being under the word limit. It's your first assignment, so the marking probably isn't going to be very harsh. It's meant to be a learning experience, and I'm sure whoever marks it will be able to explain where you can add more content.
(Original post by Champagne Supernova)
As others have said, a +/-10% is really what you should be aiming for (between 1350 and 1650). Being 400 words down on only a 1500 word piece really is pushing it and it's likely you'd penalised in some way (you wouldn't fail). As it's your first assignment, really use this to get into the habit of being able to consistently be around the word count mark.

There must be plenty of ways to increase your count and at the same time improve your essay. The lecturer/seminar leader wouldn't set the count there if they thought nobody would reach it. Is there an argument or point that could be better backed up/argued/proved? Scour relevant literature for the right quote/piece of information. "This point is further strengthened when considering what X says in their book," or something along those lines. Lob in a quote and explaining why that strengthens your argument is an easy way to add words. :yy:
(Original post by gutenberg)
400 words is a lot to be under for a 1500 word assignment; if it was a 3000 or 4000 paper I'd say yes it's fine. The general rule at most universities seems to be no more than 10% over or under; can you push it up even to 1350? Even just add in one or two more quotations for example, to bulk it out? We've all heard the stories of people who handed in assignments that were massively over or under the word count, but generally it's better to try and stay within the 10% parameter - the lecturer has chosen 1500 words as the length for a reason.
(Original post by HeavyTeddy)
Generally, 400 words under the deadline is pushing it. At my university you would be penalised for underwriting.

If you can't think of new arguments, perhaps think of ways to add to the points you already have. Look for more evidence to back up your claims; synthesis of literature and relating it your arguments will get you marks. Alternatively, think about the shortcomings of your arguments, and try challenging those criticisms and explain why they don't hinder your argument or perhaps they do? You'll be demonstrating that you can evaluate, an important skill.

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I managed to make the essay 1465 words and submitted it now
woohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooo
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by Secretnerd123)
I managed to make the essay 1465 words and submitted it now
woohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooo
Well done

Remember that first year is all about improving from your mistakes, so learn from this and maybe allow yourself more time for your next assignment
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gutenberg
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(Original post by Secretnerd123)
I managed to make the essay 1465 words and submitted it now
woohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooo
Well done And I echo what SlowlorisIncognito said: your first assignment doesn't have to be perfect, in fact it probably won't be. But as long as you learn from & build on it to get better for subsequent ones!
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