The Student Room Group

Worried about being under word count.

My first essay is due tomorrow and I'm 500 words under the word count (1500). I've been struggling with this essay and I've struggled to add any more information in as I feel like I've mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned.

If I submit my essay now what would happen because I'm under the word count? I'm worried.
Reply 1
It depends on the assessment criteria. But 500 out of 1500 is a big chunk (if you were 10% under it would be only 150 words short). What is likely is that you will be submitting an essay that is underworked throughout - what use could those 500 words be put to? Taking into account the usually permitted 10% under, you need to find 350 words. Can you fnd some quotes to drop in, and can you extend your introduction and conclusion?
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by trs200101
My first essay is due tomorrow and I'm 500 words under the word count (1500). I've been struggling with this essay and I've struggled to add any more information in as I feel like I've mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned.

If I submit my essay now what would happen because I'm under the word count? I'm worried.

Hi @trs200101,

I know at for my degree you can be 10% above or below the word count.

Maybe check in the assessment criteria if it mentions the word count or if you have more leeway. I would also if the assessment criteria is available use that and your assignment brief to check what you have wrote and then what they are asking of you as you could potentially be missing some information. As sometimes you can think you are done however you may have missed a key point out.

I would recommend maybe messaging any of your course mates and seeing how they have done with this word count if they are under as well or maybe try and discuss the topics you have addressed and see if this sparks any ideas on what else you can add.

Hope that helps!

Rebecca
3rd Year Geoenvironmental Hazards Student
Original post by trs200101
My first essay is due tomorrow and I'm 500 words under the word count (1500). I've been struggling with this essay and I've struggled to add any more information in as I feel like I've mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned.

If I submit my essay now what would happen because I'm under the word count? I'm worried.

Hi there, I think it may be useful for you to refer to your assessment criteria (there should be a guidance document for your course that tells you how essays are marked.)

Here are somethings that you may need to consider in your essay:

Counterarguments- and how you can argue against these

Evidence that supports your points

Contextual information: social, historical, political

It would really depend on what type of essay this is, I would echo the advice above, reaching out to your peers can be helpful.


Hope this helps.
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by trs200101
My first essay is due tomorrow and I'm 500 words under the word count (1500). I've been struggling with this essay and I've struggled to add any more information in as I feel like I've mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned.

If I submit my essay now what would happen because I'm under the word count? I'm worried.

Hi there!

I'm sorry to hear that you have been struggling to meet the word count for your assignment; you definitely won't be alone in that regard!

Others have suggested great advice, so I want to emphasize this!

Include quotes from secondary material that you have gathered. If you have not done enough reading, quickly skim for some more!

Talk about context and its significance for what you are writing about

Using your conclusion to open up another discussion; counterarguing


Additionally, like others have said, speak with course mates on their progress and what they have included thus far. Try and at least get to 10% below the word count to avoid affecting your grade as much as possible. Try and use this advice going forward, also.

I hope this helps :smile:

Estelle
Graduate Advocate
Original post by trs200101
My first essay is due tomorrow and I'm 500 words under the word count (1500). I've been struggling with this essay and I've struggled to add any more information in as I feel like I've mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned.

If I submit my essay now what would happen because I'm under the word count? I'm worried.

Hiya @trs200101 !

My best advice for meeting word counts is to make sure you have a good structure going. Have you got a good introduction that rephrases your question and explains any case studies you'll be referring to later on in the essay? Have you got a good conclusion that summarises everything you've spoken about but doesn't offer up any new information? Does every single paragraph start with a good quality topic sentence? These are easy ways to get more words in and you can't lose any marks by expanding on ideas you've already said. Most essays have a 10% over or under word count leeway so in your case you'd only be allowed to be 150 words under or over. I would suggest going back to the drawing board and adding in more bits and pieces here and there. Even things so simple like splitting up conjunctions helps squeeze more words in. You could also add in other case study that's relevant to the question. You won't lose marks by adding more relevant content, you may lose some by not having enough content.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Hi there,

Everyone has shared great advice so I'll add a few short tips.

Make sure you have a short but informative introduction (provide definitions of certain terms or phrases, explain what is going to be discussed in this essay).

Remember about providing examples in your paragraphs. This is where you can add multiple quotes or mention case studies which will help you reach the word count.

Additionally, counter-arguments are always great and demonstrate a unique perspective in your essay.

Lastly, a precise conclusion where you summarize all of your points, arguments, examples and references will be helpful.

At first, a 1500 word essay will feel like a lot, but don't worry. Eventually you'll be writing 3000 word assignments with ease.

I hope I managed to help!

Best of luck,
Melanie
LSBU Rep
Hello,

From my personal experience, writing an essay with a word count can be quite daunting (over or under the word count )

One of my teachers told me to think about an essay like questions and answers rather than a full block of text. This way you would be able to meet the aims of the essay and answer all the questions controlling the world count. 🙂

To add words, use resources and quotations, to remove text, paraphrase or rephrase.

Best of Luck,
Haya- MBBS 5
Original post by trs200101
My first essay is due tomorrow and I'm 500 words under the word count (1500). I've been struggling with this essay and I've struggled to add any more information in as I feel like I've mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned.

If I submit my essay now what would happen because I'm under the word count? I'm worried.

Although this varies by university and department it's unlikely you would be directly penalised for being under the word count. More likely it would be that an essay significantly "underweight" would just not score as well as it would develop an argument as extensively and consistently and provide the necessary depth in addressing the topic. As noted above, 500 words out of 1500 is a very significant shortfall - it's one third of the expected length!

Obviously you will have submitted it now and hopefully had feedback (or get it soon), but in general I would say if you find yourself running out of steam at that point in an essay it's probably good to take a break for a day or two and then come back with fresh eyes, as it's very likely there is more you can say but you're just "at capacity" and can't develop that further material at the time. It may also be prudent in that time to do further reading around the topic or revisit the readings you've done and consider alternate approaches/interpretations/etc. You might find some new material which provides fresh perspectives with lots of potential for things to write that way!

Of course you may also find that it's still a bit hard to go further - you may want to then look at your approach to the essay and consider if there are alternatives that would work better. Although obviously you probably would ideally want to identify this and pick a productive one to begin with sometimes you might just start off on one track and realise it's a false start and pick another angle!

Quick Reply

Latest