Word count when turning in papers

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by tiki7719, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 2, 2009

    Hi All!

    When you have your students turn in typed papers, do you have them turn in a sheet that shows the word count?

    I was just wondering as I am still in college (graduate in August!! YES!!) and some of my classmates increase the size of the periods in Microsoft Word to lengthen their papers. They increase the size of the periods from 12 to 14.5 font and it is not noticeable at all.

    So, we had an 8 page paper due (dbl. spaced) and they typed 6 pages, increased the size of the periods and it turned to 8. If you have more periods in your papers (due to quoting), then it lengthens it more.

    Any problems with this?
     
  2.  
  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    97

    Jun 2, 2009

    Yes - it's called cheating. At the very least, it's disingenuous.

    High school students are generally not that creative - they'll turn in a paper in 13 or 14 point font. I can eyeball Times New Roman 12 with one-inch margins from across the room, so they don't get away with it.
     
  4. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 2, 2009

    I thought TNR with 12 point font and 1" margins was standard? Thats what all my college professors required.

    What do you use as the margin/font requirement?
     
  5. laddpa

    laddpa Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 2, 2009

    There are a thousand tricks in the book to make a paper look longer than it is. If a student is going to use such a trick, he or she will probably just tweak the word count as well.

    The best way around it is to do what tiki suggested, and specify a standard format.
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 2, 2009

    My answer to the ever popular "how long should my essay be" is "long enough to fulfill the requirements of the assignment." I never give assignment "lengths" to my high schoolers because IMO they work towards the length instead of fulfilling the requirements of the assignment. I think you will also have difficultly with grading because their first comment will be "but I have 10 slides like you said." So, when I assign projects or essays, I give very clear instructions/requirements and provide rubrics. Part of my instructions for most essays do include a properly constructed thesis statement with three distinct areas to be discussed. My students are then graded on whether they meet the requirements and not a length.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 2, 2009

    INTeacher, we treat this the exact same way. (I've noticed that a lot about us lately).

    It makes me crazy when students ask "how long?" They eventually learn not to ask and instead look over the rubric I provided.

    To the OP, if a kid is going to cheat, he will probably not be accurate in his word count either. I am not going to count words. And, while electronic submission may let me use MSWord's word count ... paper length isn't something I assign a grade.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 2, 2009

    ps. for essays, I do have format guidelines of double-space, 12 point TNR, 1 inch margins all around ... I figure this is a good rule of thumb for those that go on to college and it keeps those frilly fonts from showing up that slows down my reading just enough to be annoying.
     
  9. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 2, 2009

    Do I sound grumpy today in my posts?
    Not meaning to be.
    :)
     
  10. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 2, 2009

    What is it they say about great minds . . . . . :whistle:
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    97

    Jun 2, 2009

    It is - what I meant to say was that I can tell when they try to slip a larger font or margins past me. ;)
     
  12. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 3, 2009

    I just played with the size of periods, and all that does (ultimately) is increase the spacing to make "room" for the larger font on those periods. At first glance it's hard to notice, but if a teacher or professor had 10-15 essays all together, it would be instantly obvious that the spacing on paper with larger periods was different (and thus actually larger than the traditional double spacing).
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jun 3, 2009

    OK, you English teachers, I have a question...we have an English teacher (whose philosophy I do NOT agree with, across the board, but I don't get paid to be her boss, so whatever) who gives writing assignments, and basically a large part of her grading-no rubric, ever-is based on the Fleisch-Kinkaid level in MS Word. That's part of the directions-write an essay that has a writing level of <one level above the grade level i.e. 9th graders have to produce an essay at a 10.0 level> about <whatever>. That's it. It makes me crazy.

    So of course, you can probably guess what the kids do. That leveling is based mostly on sentence length, so they just go in and either "forget" periods, or reword sentences to make the most complex of complex. Ugh!

    What do you think?
     
  14. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jun 3, 2009

    In undergraduate they don't seem to enforce the format requirements much at all. In grad school everything MUST be formatted to APA or MLA standards. Typically it's 12 point font, double spaced lines and runs about 250 to 300 words per page. (BTW...I absolutely hate that formatting, it's ugly and doesn't make for easy to spot breaks or transitions when you're skimming back through it to find something.)

    That said, I never had a professor gripe about the length of any of my papers. As long as you communicate your point and substantiate your positions with appropriate references they won't nitpick.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kelster95,
  2. rpan
Total: 290 (members: 2, guests: 256, robots: 32)
test