6.11 Calculating Your Word Count

You are responsible for including an accurate word-count on the cover sheet for each piece of work you submit. Failure to be honest in this respect will itself be penalized under the University’s cheating and plagiarism regulations.

The word count specified for assessments will include footnotes, quotations and in-line references, but exclude the bibliography and appendices. The exception to this are modules taught within History; please see the History Subject Handbook for their guidelines. 

Some assessment tasks ask for diagrams, tables, maps, and/or visual images which are either placed together in an appendix or placed at appropriate points in the essay. These are normally labelled, for instance as Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc. Such visual material should be clearly captioned; the captions do not count towards the overall word count. Unless module handbooks or departmental guidance explicitly allow otherwise, appendices should not normally contain writing other than captions or writing that is integral to diagrams, etc.: in other words, an appendix is not the place to argue a point. 

Academic staff will check the declared word count on the cover sheet against the word limit specified for that assessment; where the word count exceeds the specified word limit, the appropriate penalty will be applied.

Where academic staff suspect that you have not declared the word count honestly, and that the piece of work is over the specified limit, staff will ask the Humanities Education Team to check the word count in order to determine the appropriate penalty to be administered.