Word Count Theory

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Faculty policy on word limits in assignments (excludes students on taught post-graduate courses validated by St George’s, University of London) 1. Word limits in assignments A maximum word limit is set for most assignments. Students are advised that when this is stated, they should ensure that any work submitted does not exceed this limit. Work which exceeds word limits will be penalised. For some courses students are required to submit an electronic copy of the assignment at the same time as a paper copy, where this is not a requirement and only a paper copy is submitted students should retain an electronic copy of any assignment submitted. Where there is concern that word limits have been exceeded or inaccurately entered, students will be required to submit their work electronically. 2. What “words” should be counted? The word count is defined as any words included in the text of the assignment (counted electronically by your word processing programme). All words should be counted in the main body, including references in brackets. 3. What “words” should not be counted? The reference list, appendices, assignment title & the abstract (if applicable) 4. Failure to provide word count Students are required to state the word count on the front sheet of any assignment they submit. Failure to state the number of words used on the Front Sheet will result in a 5% penalty being applied. This means 5 marks out of 100 will be deducted FROM the mark awarded for the assignment. For example, assuming that the assignment is marked out of 100, then, if the agreed mark was 75%, 5 marks will need to be deducted reducing the mark to 70% (75 - 5). The same penalty applies regardless of agreed mark, for example if a mark of 34% is agreed then the final mark awarded following penalty would be 29% (34 - 5) 5.
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