The Student Room Group

not meeting the word count

i dont know how people go over the word count because i struggle with just trying to get near it
i try my best and never go below 10% off the word count but for my last word count it was 2000 words but i only got 1774 and im worried i will either fail or get penalised because of it does anyone know ??
Original post by Anonymous #1
i dont know how people go over the word count because i struggle with just trying to get near it
i try my best and never go below 10% off the word count but for my last word count it was 2000 words but i only got 1774 and im worried i will either fail or get penalised because of it does anyone know ??

Hi there!

I'm sure that many students will understand the struggle of reaching the word count, it can be quite tricky sometimes! I hope you are not feeling too panicked.

On my course at university (York St John), we have the policy where we have to be within 10% of the word count. This means that if I am below a certain word count or above, then my mark will be penalised (usually capped). They have a word count for a purpose so you should always try to reach it. If I were in your position and at the time needed 6 extra words to be within the word count then I would have tried to fit them in somewhere. Obviously every university will approach things slightly differently so you could ask a tutor what the rules are around this.

To try and increase my word count I like to do all of my reading before beginning writing the assignment, and finding research from all the different areas that I need to look into. I don't start writing until I feel that I have researched enough to comfortably know what direction my essay would be written in. My uni said that as a general guide, you should be using at least one reference per 100 words in the assignment. It's much better in my opinion to have written too much and work on cutting it down than at the end of writing trying to find more things to talk about.

I don't think you would fail for a shorter word count, but it has to be mentioned that the reason they ask you to write 2000 words is because your essay should be in depth enough to sufficiently cover 2000 words worth of research.

I wish you the best of luck with your future assignments and hope that helped!

Rachel- YSJ student rep
Original post by Anonymous #1
i dont know how people go over the word count because i struggle with just trying to get near it
i try my best and never go below 10% off the word count but for my last word count it was 2000 words but i only got 1774 and im worried i will either fail or get penalised because of it does anyone know ??

Hi!

This can be a real struggle for everyone so you're definitely not alone! Honestly, a very annoying answer for you but I'd recommend messaging your lecturer or personal tutor. They might be able to point you in a direction of what you could talk about more depending on how strict they are with how much they can help students. Or at the very least they'll be able to fully clarify the amount of marks you will loose - as Rachel said this is normally capped but it's good to check.

For trying to increase your word count I'd recommend writing down the points you've made as bullet points so you can see clearly what you have covered and whether anything has been left out. If you feel like you've covered everything then I'd do more research on a couple of the points and see if there are relevant places where you can add in more information.

I hope this might help a little! If you have any more questions please feel free to ask!

- Jessica
2nd year, Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence)
Reply 3
Original post by Rachel_ysj
Hi there!

I'm sure that many students will understand the struggle of reaching the word count, it can be quite tricky sometimes! I hope you are not feeling too panicked.

On my course at university (York St John), we have the policy where we have to be within 10% of the word count. This means that if I am below a certain word count or above, then my mark will be penalised (usually capped). They have a word count for a purpose so you should always try to reach it. If I were in your position and at the time needed 6 extra words to be within the word count then I would have tried to fit them in somewhere. Obviously every university will approach things slightly differently so you could ask a tutor what the rules are around this.

To try and increase my word count I like to do all of my reading before beginning writing the assignment, and finding research from all the different areas that I need to look into. I don't start writing until I feel that I have researched enough to comfortably know what direction my essay would be written in. My uni said that as a general guide, you should be using at least one reference per 100 words in the assignment. It's much better in my opinion to have written too much and work on cutting it down than at the end of writing trying to find more things to talk about.

I don't think you would fail for a shorter word count, but it has to be mentioned that the reason they ask you to write 2000 words is because your essay should be in depth enough to sufficiently cover 2000 words worth of research.

I wish you the best of luck with your future assignments and hope that helped!

Rachel- YSJ student rep

honestly i did try to meet the word count but i was running out of time and was at 1500 words so i rushed the last 200 words and wrote right until a minute before it was due but thank you for your advice !
Reply 4
They won't fail you because you haven't met the wordcount (usually, anyway), but essays that do not meet the wordcount are usually lower quality than those that do, and so might generally be receive comparatively poor marks..
Original post by Anonymous #1
i dont know how people go over the word count because i struggle with just trying to get near it
i try my best and never go below 10% off the word count but for my last word count it was 2000 words but i only got 1774 and im worried i will either fail or get penalised because of it does anyone know ??

Hi there,

I struggled with this a lot in the first year but have found that it's most helpful to use any remaining word count to reiterate the points made in the essay to add clarity. Have you received any feedback yet? You can use this to see what you need to include more of.

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by Anonymous #1
i dont know how people go over the word count because i struggle with just trying to get near it
i try my best and never go below 10% off the word count but for my last word count it was 2000 words but i only got 1774 and im worried i will either fail or get penalised because of it does anyone know ??

Hi there!

Trying to meet the word count for assignments can be a universal experience for some students, and I know that I sometimes struggled as a student when I was writing an essay on a topic that I was not 100% confident on.

Going forward, like other reps have mentioned, I would do as much research and secondary reading as possible. As a prior English Lit student, I found that doing as much research as possible helped shaped my response to an essay that I was working on. From there, I planned my response and inserted my secondary material roughly where I wanted to include it in the main body. This definitely helps with the word count, but be cautious in not letting other critics speak for you!

Additionally, I would recommend speaking to your tutors if you ever find yourself struggling. They could advise you on what to include or steer you in the right direction if you are struggling. You could always send them a draft if they are happy to look over it before submission!

I hope this helps and good luck with any future assignments :smile:

Estelle
Graduate Advocate
(edited 2 months ago)

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