I'm 2.1k words over my dissertation limit Watch

PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by Vennccc)
I literally have about 6 sections under my literature review, then discussion and interviews that also take a long of words, or i mean quotes from the interviewees, which i can't make shorter since they all support a point im trying to make and i am really not repeating myself, since every section discussess different problem related to my topic
You seem very resistant to cutting it down. I know it's difficult when you've taken a lot of time over something, but you need to be brutal and self-critical. Does you lit review really need all 6 sections? Could a few be shortened or sections combined?

When there's a limit, we are never able to discuss all that we want to in an ideal world, so you have to compromise.
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ltsmith
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(Original post by Vennccc)
I literally have about 6 sections under my literature review, then discussion and interviews that also take a long of words, or i mean quotes from the interviewees, which i can't make shorter since they all support a point im trying to make and i am really not repeating myself, since every section discussess different problem related to my topic
you can always reduce things.

look at this dude, he did a 1 page PhD dissertation in medical sciences

https://www.huffpost.com/author/dr-p...w?guccounter=1
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gjd800
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Pick something and bin it. You can put a footnote in saying you wanted to discuss x but could not manage it in the space available. I could have written 300k for my PhD thesis but you compromise and cut it down to under 100 because that is part of the deal.
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mnot
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(Original post by Vennccc)
Would i get marked a lot even though everything i've said is relevant? It doesn't say anything about it on my uni
Speak to your Supervisor, I agreed with the Uni i could go over i ended up with 17.1K words and it was accepted. But I had spoken to my supervisor & module convenor 7/8 weeks before the deadline.

If not try and shrink it down, maybe move some less important detail into the appendix, normally 10% over is acceptable which would be 11K...
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Acsel
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(Original post by Vennccc)
Would i get marked a lot even though everything i've said is relevant? It doesn't say anything about it on my uni
I'd wager if it doesn't say anything then you're not looking for guidance hard enough. I'm yet to see a uni that doesn't have some sort of guidance on word counts, although how strictly they're enforced is another matter. Students can and do get away with breaching word count restrictions, but doing so shouldn't be given as general advice. It's going to depend on the uni, the course and probably the exact person marking your work.

As others have said, you're going to have to try and cut it down. No matter how condensed someone thinks their work is, it can always be condensed further. But failing that, start looking to see if there are ways around the word count. For example you mention having interviews, check to see if the appendix counts towards your word count. If it doesn't stick the interview content in the appendix and only reference the specific parts needed in your main text. If you're absolutely unable to cut any more words out, then start looking at which pieces of evidence you could outright cut. No matter how important it all may seem, some of it will be more important than others. If you've got the time, it's worth stepping back and not reading it for a few days; many people also say having a printed copy to read through helps.

Worst case scenario is you don't cut any out and get penalised for it. It'll either be viewed as you not being capable of condensing your work down, or poor planning that caused you to do too much in the first place.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I'm sorry, but this is total nonsense. 'most people reading them won't read the vast majority'?! What in earth are you talking about? Do you think a final year undergrad dissertation is skim-read during a lunchtime or something? Do you think that they only read a few of them, and stick a finger in the air to guess the grade for the others?
(Original post by gjd800)
Nonsense.

I would fail a diss that was 2k over the limit, and so would everyone else in my dept.
Considering I'm the PhD student that checks through them before they're submitted and is responsible for a good few people getting high 70s, low 80s in their disses, I'm the one who knows what they're talking about.

Your abstract, introduction, methodology, conclusion and future work will be read thoroughly. The rest of it will be read fairly lightly unless the person reading it is particularly interested in a certain result.

Maybe it's not what you want to hear but it's not wrong, at least in any department I've worked at or with.

Any department which actually uses the word limit as the phrase would imply is completely stabbing themselves in the foot. In reality you will lose marks for not being concise enough, and honestly I tend to see this issue in shorter dissertations rather than longer ones because the writers are trying to get close to the limit, you won't or shouldn't get punished for writing too much. At least at any department where the academics actually care about their dissertation students. The word count out for effort/impact in is just far too variable to enforce a limit so harshly.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Considering I'm the PhD student that checks through them before they're submitted and is responsible for a good few people getting high 70s, low 80s in their disses, I'm the one who knows what they're talking about.

Your abstract, introduction, methodology, conclusion and future work will be read thoroughly. The rest of it will be read fairly lightly unless the person reading it is particularly interested in a certain result.

Maybe it's not what you want to hear but it's not wrong, at least in any department I've worked at or with.

Any department which actually uses the word limit as the phrase would imply is completely stabbing themselves in the foot. In reality you will lose marks for not being concise enough, and honestly I tend to see this issue in shorter dissertations rather than longer ones because the writers are trying to get close to the limit, you won't or shouldn't get punished for writing too much. At least at any department where the academics actually care about their dissertation students. The word count out for effort/impact in is just far too variable to enforce a limit so harshly.This is a crock of crap.
You are the only person here who seems to believe that 'word counts are irrelevant'.

I think that says everything. By the way, you might 'prepare' them for marking (whatever that means), but gjd800 actually marks them.

'Word counts are irrelevant' is, as a phrase, a crock of crap. It doesn't help the OP, or anyone else reading this who might think that they can just ignore the rules on submitting their dissertation and write to their heart's content. This is why getting things like this right is important.

If you have concrete evidence, not anecdote, that a specific course at a specific university allows you to go 50% or more over the word limit without penalty, such as you have repeatedly suggested here, please post a clear link to the course and regulations here. I'll happily accept I'm wrong, in that specific case, if you can do so. And I'm sure, as a CA, that you will be only to happy to evidence your claims so as to give them greater weight and authority.
Last edited by Reality Check; 1 week ago
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gjd800
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Considering I'm the PhD student that checks through them before they're submitted and is responsible for a good few people getting high 70s, low 80s in their disses, I'm the one who knows what they're talking about.

Your abstract, introduction, methodology, conclusion and future work will be read thoroughly. The rest of it will be read fairly lightly unless the person reading it is particularly interested in a certain result.

Maybe it's not what you want to hear but it's not wrong, at least in any department I've worked at or with.

Any department which actually uses the word limit as the phrase would imply is completely stabbing themselves in the foot. In reality you will lose marks for not being concise enough, and honestly I tend to see this issue in shorter dissertations rather than longer ones because the writers are trying to get close to the limit, you won't or shouldn't get punished for writing too much. At least at any department where the academics actually care about their dissertation students. The word count out for effort/impact in is just far too variable to enforce a limit so harshly.
Hahaha


I am a PhD holder that designs, runs, and marks the courses (at multiple institutions). See ya later.
Last edited by gjd800; 1 week ago
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ClarkieL
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Some courses allow you to write 10% over your word limit but not all of themMarkers are not meant to read beyond the word limit or it’s unfair - it’d be like you having extra time in exam
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Cluck1519
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I'm sorry, but this is total nonsense. 'most people reading them won't read the vast majority'?! What in earth are you talking about? Do you think a final year undergrad dissertation is skim-read during a lunchtime or something? Do you think that they only read a few of them, and stick a finger in the air to guess the grade for the others?
I’ve tried to rate your last two comments positively using the thumbs up sign but system won’t let me rate you again. You’re talking SO much sense. Going so much over a word limit will lead to penalties and the dissertation is likely to lose a grade for being overly long. I helped a family member reduce theirs this year as they were over wordy. Theirs read beautifully but too long-winded so some of the “beautiful phrases” were cut short to remove hundreds of words. I’ll get my rewards in heaven!! Lol!! Could see a lucrative business in offering to read and edit essays and dissertations without reducing or changing the meanings of sentences. 🤣🤣
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Vennccc
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#31
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I ended up with 10.3k words as adviced by my supervisor i hope i wont get penalised (the limit was 9k+10% above)
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Cluck1519)
I’ve tried to rate your last two comments positively using the thumbs up sign but system won’t let me rate you again. You’re talking SO much sense. Going so much over a word limit will lead to penalties and the dissertation is likely to lose a grade for being overly long. I helped a family member reduce theirs this year as they were over wordy. Theirs read beautifully but too long-winded so some of the “beautiful phrases” were cut short to remove hundreds of words. I’ll get my rewards in heaven!! Lol!! Could see a lucrative business in offering to read and edit essays and dissertations without reducing or changing the meanings of sentences. 🤣🤣
:lol: absolutely - some people seem to find editing an impossible task.
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