Word Count.


Evan Starr, Staff Writer

Why is word count on essays a thing?

When an English teacher explains an essay, what is always the last guideline we students have to achieve? A word limit.

“This essay must be 1000 words.”

This is teaching students how to write the wrong way. Instead of trying to write a good quality essay that students are proud of, the only thing they think about is “How many words am I at?”

Ask yourself, what is the first thing you look at when finished writing an essay for English. Yeah, how many words it is — not if the essay is cohesive and flows correctly. All you think about is the word count and if it meets the teachers guidelines. I know I used to.

The problem is that teachers are teaching kids how to write the wrong way. If you only have 500 words on a 700 word essay over “why friendship is a good thing,” so be it. Kids are spending hours and hours of time just to stretch out their essay a couple hundred more words. Changing phrases like “strong as an ox” to “strong as an ox on steroids” and “cool as a cucumber” to “cool as a cucumber in a refrigerator.” Kids start to add sentences that feel tacked on and over explain things to the point where it is way over the top, and in turn creates a bad essay.

Kids need to worry more on how well their essay is written and not slap 1000 words on a piece of paper and call it a day.

Teachers need to either: (A) get rid of word limits all together; or (B) push across that the word count is just a guideline what a quality essay should be around and that it is okay if you are a few words short.

I no longer care if I am 100 words short; I feel that if I write the essay good enough the word count won’t matter. Because in writing, it is quality over quantity.

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