The Word Count.

Essays and reports generally come with a word-count.

A teacher will often allow a student to go 10% over or under a word-count limit. Other times there may be a strict limit to this word-count.

You may loose marks if the essay or report is too short or too long.

It is important to have a clear understanding of the expected word-count. If it is unclear, a student should ask their teacher.

The nightmare scenario;

Students sometimes write away and go on and on until they feel finally satisfied that they have answered the question, only to find that they are 500 words over the limit on a 2000 word essay.

I have done this and yep, I felt like a complete idiot ;-) .

How to avoid this

I believe this can be avoided by using the techniques of “Essay Balance”, “Essay Weighting” and “Summary Methods”.

These are explained in the following sections.

The use of appendices.

I recommend that students ask their teacher if appendices are included in the word-count. Sometimes teachers will allow you to put tables and charts into the appendix. Often these are not included in the word-count.