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Struggling with word counts in essays. Watch

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    So I am an older student on an access to HE course readying myself for university. I have never had to stick to a word count before and I am struggling quite a bit. Does anyone have any tips for me on how to keep my word count down? The particular essay I am working on does not including referencing in the word count. Only my own work is included. My essay is for English, literary analysis at 1500. I have 10% leeway yet I have found I am way over and all my points within the essay are important. I have tried to shorten sentences and remove repeated points. I feel I can cut down more but don’t know how without removing anything important. Thanks in advance.
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    What I used to do was write the full essay and then once I was finished and happy with it I would read through it several times and cut out any useless/unnecessary information and shorten sentences that could be shortened to lower it down to the word count. Another thing you can do is go on thesaurus.com and type in phrases in your essay to see if they can be shortened to fewer words. I think this works better than trying to keep to the word count as you go along because it disrupts your flow. Just write the full essay naturally and worry about word count after.

    EDIT: You will find that you may have to cut out some important stuff too I know it's frustrating but you can't write about everything. Decide which of the important points is the least important and cut it. Alternatively, instead of having a whole paragraph about it you could try and link it in with another of your important points as this will save words as you're just briefly mentioning it rather than going into a lot of detail. That shows that you have researched that information but just couldn't fit it in the essay in too much detail and it gives the reader something else to think about rather than being spoon fed all the information.
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    Thanks. That’s really helpful. I’ll give it a try and see if it helps. My essay is complete so I am ready to try this step. Hopefully I get it down enough to be able to hand it in after half term without any problems. ☺️
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    (Original post by Claireables)
    Thanks. That’s really helpful. I’ll give it a try and see if it helps. My essay is complete so I am ready to try this step. Hopefully I get it down enough to be able to hand it in after half term without any problems. ☺️
    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Claireables)
    So I am an older student on an access to HE course readying myself for university. I have never had to stick to a word count before and I am struggling quite a bit. Does anyone have any tips for me on how to keep my word count down? The particular essay I am working on does not including referencing in the word count. Only my own work is included. My essay is for English, literary analysis at 1500. I have 10% leeway yet I have found I am way over and all my points within the essay are important. I have tried to shorten sentences and remove repeated points. I feel I can cut down more but don’t know how without removing anything important. Thanks in advance.
    Sounds like you cant see the wood for the trees.

    The way I do it is to do a detailed plan and split it into mini essays.

    1500 words
    100 for introduction
    150-200 for conclusion

    c 5 paragraphs of 250 each

    If you plan it as mini essays an hit the small targets, then its tighter and the numbers will add up. Go back to your plan and just make the important points. Just takes practice.
 
 
 
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