Motivation and emotion/Assessment/Chapter/Word count

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If you are having difficulties complying with the word count guidelines, some general suggestions/options in this situation are:

  1. Reduce the amount of introductory material (e.g., summarise and provide links to more dedicated resources such as other book chapters and/or Wikipedia pages) so that the chapter concentrates on the main topic (i.e., directly answers the question in the sub-title)
  2. Reduce the breadth of coverage (e.g., focus on the top 2 or 3 theories)
  3. Reduce the depth of coverage (e.g., avoid overly indepth coverage of specific topics)
  4. Remove weasel words - a lot of sentences can be shortened and improved.
  5. Be more selective about the citations and references (i.e., only include the top/best ones)
  6. Renegotiate the topic so that it is more specific (i.e., less territory to cover)
  7. Put some content into subpages (which don’t count in the overall word count, but also doesn’t count for marking purposes)

Remember, it is possible to write a top-quality chapter within the word count limit - see examples from previous years. Almost always, chapters can be significantly improved in the process of reducing the word count.

External links[edit | edit source]

  1. 16 tips on how to reduce word counts and write concisely (
  2. How to kill a word (
  3. How to weed out weasel words for stronger writing (