Saturday, December 03, 2005

Maxing the Word Count

Not that anyone's asking, but here's how I got my word count more than 10% above the target maximum:

  1. The word counter made me want to add words just so people would see a change. I'd start writing just to add a hundred words and wind up writing 500 or more.
  2. Quotes: I'd look through the file where I'd dropped quotes and excerpts from my research reading, pull out something punchy, drop it in the paper, summarize it and write about how it applied to my topic.
  3. Informal writing: I'd write like I was talking to myself out loud. Then later go back and turn the unprofessional stuff into professional stuff. Example: "I'm no federal court judge, just a third year law student, but it looks to me like they're ignoring the first three prongs of this test and only looking at the 'nature of the question'" became: "It appears from this reasoning that it is only the nature of the question that determines the standard of review for the Federal Court." [Note: I made sure I used highlighting when I did this so the text would jump off the screen at me. You might not lose marks for calling a judge an f-ing idiot, but it would be embarrassing.]

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