, I want to suggest something for people to try with their writing assignments: Drop the word count requirement, just once, as an experiment, and see what happens.
I’m sure many of you have similar experiences with setting word minimums or ranges and having students turn in work which seems to suddenly wrap up once the minimum is reached, whether or not the piece of writing itself is “complete.” This was most pronounced in my creative writing courses where I used to set a floor of 2500 words for their “full-length” stories, and a piece would be moving along nicely, building tension and developing story and character before some deus ex machina would drop the hammer between 25 words.
Other issues crop up, like the essay that seems to wander endlessly into the distance, but this is a real writing problem, not an artificial one created by an essentially arbitrary rule.
I could say more, but I’m at right about 1000 words, so I’ll just stop.
Rather than downloading apps or simply hoping for the best and submitting work anyway, you can simply copy and paste your work into this word counter.
Make your commute as productive as possible by using this word counter to check documents, making sure they’re good to go by the time you get to work or school.
When I first eliminated length requirements, I was scared.
What if students started turning in paragraphs when I expected pages, pointing out that I didn’t have a minimum word count, so they had fulfilled the assignment, hadn’t they? The image of students as calculating operators looking to circumvent the need to do the actual work is largely mythical, at least when you give them work they believe worth doing. I also made sure I took a couple of other steps.
For anyone who hasn’t installed Microsoft Word, an online word counter is where you can go to check how many words or characters are in a text.
This is a quick and efficient way of checking you meet requirements for essays or papers, without needing to download or pay for any programmes onto your computer.