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Word limits on essays.

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Melchior
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#1

Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:17 PM

Okay, this is bullsh*t. I do diligent research, interpret it and then write out the paper. I've met all of the criteria; answered every question. And I'm only half way to meeting the word limit! Now I have to insert long, superfluous quotes and pad out the sentences with needless adjectives and parenthetical statements. Can someone please tell me what the reasoning is behind me having to do this? Because I really feel like I'm just being penalised for being more concise than my peers. Can someone please tell me why this arbitrary practise persists? I have to turn my succinct, easy to read paper in to a mess of redundant language, and bury all the crucial information under an avalanche of useless, barely relevant facts.

 

f*ck


The Real Gav
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#2

Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:22 PM Edited by The Real Gav, 16 September 2013 - 06:23 PM.

Unfortunately, any school system will demand it. You need to structure your essays well, group relevant information together and then pad it out in between with lots of side information which you can go into a more detailed analysis on. Remember to try not to repeat yourself in the conclusions too much though, this is something I have a lot of trouble with any of my English essays. Do quotes count towards your word limit? 


epoxi
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#3

Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:26 PM Edited by epoxi, 16 September 2013 - 06:28 PM.

If you really feel you have said everything you think is relevant, I don't see why you should have to stretch to the limit.

I hate writing lots, and for many assignments I have written significantly less than others, but often got higher marks than those same people. Any good marker will see past the quantity and focus on the quality.

Think of it from a teacher/professor's perspective: you have 150 papers to mark, would you rather see:
a) A short but concise essay
or
b) The same content spread out over double the pages and double words?

I think any reasonable person would go with (a).

Otter
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#4

Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:29 PM

What's the paper on? Are you sure there's nothing that could use a little more examination or explanation?


gtaxpert
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#5

Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:37 PM

Then do more research. Explain a lot of stuff related to the subjects you are discussing that does not necessarily contribute to the main point you are trying to make. Problem solved. Maybe you'll be lucky and stumble upon new information that is relevant to the main point in your article.

 

Word counts are limiting creatively but are needed to make every paper comparable to the papers other students made. Maybe in some ideal school system everybody could write about whatever they found interesting with the amount of words they find fitting, but current school systems are more authoritarian than that.


Melchior
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#6

Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:38 PM

If you really feel you have said everything you think is relevant, I don't see why you should have to stretch to the limit.

I hate writing lots, and for many assignments I have written significantly less than others, but often got higher marks than those same people. Any good marker will see past the quantity and focus on the quality.

Think of it from a teacher/professor's perspective: you have 150 papers to mark, would you rather see:
a) A short but concise essay
or
b) The same content spread out over double the pages and double words?

I think any reasonable person would go with (a).

The thing is- and I'm not being funny- half of all teachers out there are good at what they do and will accept that you've demonstrated your competence regardless of arbitrary criteria, where as the other half loves any excuse to throw a paper back at a student and you have no way of knowing which one will mark your assignment.


Dale Nixon
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#7

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:33 PM

Well, you just typed out a post that could be summarised in one sentence yet you used a lot more than that. I think you're doing a pretty good job already with the inclusion of needless and pointless words.

Carry on.


Melchior
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#8

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:38 PM

Otter and gtaxpert: thing is, I've already met 100% of the criteria. I could find more to say, but then I have to trawl through more sources when I could just pad it out and I have other assignments to do and I want to kick back, so padding it out seems more attractive, I can do it mindlessly while I listen to music. My point is that I shouldn't have to do it, they asked me a question and I f*cking answered it.

 

Also, and I'm sorry for tooting my own horn, but I'm very, very concise. It's a talent of mine. Another student would have already met the word limit with this information.


fgcarva1
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#9

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:38 PM

I have the complete opposite opinion of you on this. Not sure if you're in High School or what, but in my University we deal with maximum word limits (Maximum X words) and it really frustrates me because I always write too much. f*ck, in a 20-page paper I end up with 25 pages so I have to delete 5 pages without affecting the structure of the text, or any of the research.

 

Be glad you can "add random quotes" because it's a lot easier than spending hours deleting sh*t.


Melchior
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#10

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:41 PM

I think you're doing a pretty good job already with the inclusion of needless and pointless words.

Yeah, it was intentional. We call it a joke. 


Dale Nixon
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#11

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:43 PM

 

I think you're doing a pretty good job already with the inclusion of needless and pointless words.

Yeah, it was intentional. We call it a joke. 

I guess some people just aren't funny.


Lazyboy.
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#12

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:57 PM Edited by LazyboyEight, 16 September 2013 - 07:57 PM.

well since you got equal chance of having either type of person mark it, you're 50/50.
 
you can either pad it out, and perhaps get marked down by someone who prefers shorter essays, or you can just keep it as it is and be in the other half.
 
the latter takes less effort so naturally that's what i'd go for.

Otter
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#13

Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:39 PM

Otter and gtaxpert: thing is, I've already met 100% of the criteria.

 

 

Well, no, you haven't. :p

 

If there's no possible way to flap your lips about the subject, then add an additional page or two about why you think you're being penalized.


Melchior
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#14

Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:19 PM

 

Otter and gtaxpert: thing is, I've already met 100% of the criteria.

 

 

Well, no, you haven't. :p

 

The word limit is a condition, not a criteria, so I win that one.  :evilgrin:


Melchior
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#15

Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:25 PM

 

 

I think you're doing a pretty good job already with the inclusion of needless and pointless words.

Yeah, it was intentional. We call it a joke. 

I guess some people just aren't funny.

 

And I guess some people are abrasive twits who have long since overstayed their welcome on this forum. Not naming any names.


Otter
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#16

Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:39 PM

 

 

Otter and gtaxpert: thing is, I've already met 100% of the criteria.

 

 

Well, no, you haven't. :p

 

The word limit is a condition, not a criteria, so I win that one.  :evilgrin:

 

 

I hope the paper is about about pedantry and synonyms. :p


lil weasel
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#17

Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:42 AM

[...] Can someone please tell me what the reasoning is behind me having to do this? Because I really feel like I'm just being penalised for being more concise than my peers. Can someone please tell me why this arbitrary practise persists? I have to turn my succinct, easy to read paper in to a mess of redundant language, and bury all the crucial information under an avalanche of useless, barely relevant facts.

It's training for working with/for the Governments. How to say something and bury it in garble to make it look like it was worth the costs of the report.


Irviding
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#18

Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:23 AM

I usually have to cut the word count down in my papers, not add more. Don't be afraid to say the same thing 3x but with different words and maybe a different citation. 


Shyabang Shyabang
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#19

Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:38 AM

I have the complete opposite opinion of you on this. Not sure if you're in High School or what, but in my University we deal with maximum word limits (Maximum X words) and it really frustrates me because I always write too much. f*ck, in a 20-page paper I end up with 25 pages so I have to delete 5 pages without affecting the structure of the text, or any of the research.

 

Be glad you can "add random quotes" because it's a lot easier than spending hours deleting sh*t.

I have the same situation. I consider it as training for a job that requires it. Editors will add or shorten an article. Shortening an essay is effective at getting one's point across to the readers who are new to the subject. Long essays will exhaust those readers, and trying to get in so much information quickly could make them forget a lot of the details. Most people will see an ad and then ignore it soon afterwards, especially billboards by a highway. So getting the point across with few (large) words as much as possible is a tactic used in modern advertisements. A magazine editor might shorten or add more to give the article a finishing touch. Or they just might want to fit an article in just one or two pages with a large photo attached. Or maybe our professor is just tired of reading so many essays, especially ones that give off a this-is-such-a-boring-topic-to-type vibe.

 

I guess teachers make their students type longer essays to encourage their student to research more.


Dale Nixon
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#20

Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:48 AM

 

 

 

I think you're doing a pretty good job already with the inclusion of needless and pointless words.

Yeah, it was intentional. We call it a joke. 

I guess some people just aren't funny.

 

And I guess some people are abrasive twits who have long since overstayed their welcome on this forum. Not naming any names.

 

Don't feel so attacked and offended, sugar. How do you know I wasn't talking about myself?


RoadRunner71
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#21

Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:55 AM

Uh... I hate word limits. Or I don't reach it or I surpass it. Personally what I do is to resort to redundant sentences with unnecessary cultured expressions and terms. And it actually works.

 

Unfortunately, in the last years I've lost a big part of my writting ability which, frankly, was quite good, so I find kind of harder to do the previous mentioned  :/





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