Do Tables Count Word Count Dissertation

Ph.D. What exactly counts in the word limit?

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03-Sep-13, 18:46

edited about 3 seconds later

posted about 5 years ago

Footnotes? Intro? Appendices? Are we allowed an extra 5% over the word limit?

A year ago, when I discussed the matter with my supervisor, he had calmed me down saying that nobody's going to do a word count. I will have to have another word with her now, just because I need to be extra-careful with these things.

03-Sep-13, 18:58

edited about 23 seconds later

posted about 5 years ago

Rules vary by institution. Your university registry should be able to clarify things.

But generally the word count includes main text (including intro) and footnotes. But not bibliography or appendices.

And you should not go over the upper limit at all. It would just be giving your examiners an excuse for problems.

03-Sep-13, 21:27

edited about 4 minutes later

by Pineapple30

posted about 5 years ago

Hi Marasp,

Best of luck with your submission. It IS possible to pass (and graduate!) after this ordeal!

Agree with Bilbo. Check the rules on word limits within your department and university and follow to the letter.

My word count covered the abstract and my thesis chapters/main text. Content pages, references and appendices excluded from the word count.

With my resubmission I ensured to submit a report within the word limit as that was one of their important corrections/recommendations. I wasn't going to risk failing for exceeding the word limit.

Whilst they were checking my resubmission draft, my internal examiner requested an overall word count before they released their decision on minor corrections verdict. I was literally just under 100,000 words, so I guess they wanted to check.

Don't risk it Marasp! Ensure to follow the uni guidelines very closely.

Strangely, my department and university changed the guidelines on word limits after I graduated, including stricter rules on word limits and clearer guidance. Coincidence? I think not! ;)

posted about 5 years ago

To add to Pineapple's comments, 100,000 is normal as a limit though I've suspicions of limits of 80,000 at some places (I think Durham frowns upon theses of greater than 80,000). Check with your own Universitiy's regulations.

The limit was imposed to prevent the mega-theses of years gone by, where candidates would generate documents of hundreds and thousands of words that were a nightmare to examine.

Word will have a word count facility on the Review menu or tab, which will give you an approximate value and this should be good enough to ensure the word count limit is not exceeded. Aim at 500 lower (i.e. 99,500) to account for any margin of error in the word count function.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)

P.S. As an aside, the largest ever thesis was by a Bruce Williams, "Archaeology and Historical Problems of the Second Intermediate Period", The University of Chicago, 1975. The manuscript covered xxxi + 2143 pages, including 598 figures, 95 tables, and 11 maps. There is no known institution these days that would accept a document of that size.

04-Sep-13, 20:53

posted about 5 years ago

Thank you all. I made sure I know what is included; my limit is 80.000 words. I have about 5.000 extra but supervisor says they would make a nice appendix (appendix does not count in the word limit). I will also turn a few pages into tables as requested by the examiners and I should be under the word limit. I am getting there.

Also, just a few words to those who are resubmitting. It actually looks more frightening than it is. When I sat down and did the work, I re-found my enthusiasm about the thesis. Now I even enjoy doing the corrections because I know that I improve my work.

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by Chelsea Lee

Dear Style Expert,

What words count toward the word count in an APA Style paper? Am I supposed to count the title page, abstract, citations, and reference list? Are there minimums or maximums for the word count of a sentence or paragraph? How many words should go in the whole paper? Help me!

—Wordy William

Dear Wordy,

Counting the number of words in an APA Style paper is easy: Count all the words in the entire paper to get the total word count. That includes the title page, abstract, main text, quotations, headings, citations, footnotes, reference list, tables, figure captions, and appendices—everything. This gives an accurate representation of the overall length of your paper and saves you from having to perform elaborate calculations just to know whether your paper is too long, too short, or just right. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to count the words in your paper.

There is also no set minimum or maximum number of words allowed in a sentence or paragraph. Sentences and paragraphs of any length are technically allowed. However, there are still reasons to avoid very short or very long sentences and paragraphs that have nothing to do with arbitrary word counts. Very short sentences might be abrupt or choppy, and very long sentences might get confusing. Paragraphs shorter than two or three sentences might seem incomplete, and paragraphs longer than a page might contain too many ideas at once. Use very short or long sentences and paragraphs only when warranted by the information being presented.

The word count limit for an entire paper will be set by the journal to which you are submitting your work or by your professor for a university assignment. Limits vary widely and are dependent on the nature of the article you are writing—for example, a brief report will be short but a dissertation quite long.

The word count limit for the abstract is also set by the publisher or professor; abstract word limits vary from journal to journal and typically range from 150 to 250 words (for student assignments, the limit is typically 250 words as well).

If you’ve got other questions about word counts for your particular assignment, your professor or publisher will probably be the best resource for you. Leave any other questions or comments below.

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