Word Lengths

In writing to a prescribed brief and set length, the arts of rigour and concision are developed. These are valuable transferable skills. Details of the required word length for each assignment can be found in the module delivery guide. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they meet the requirements regarding word length. Policy on over-length work:

  • Students must declare an exact word count when submitting written assessments. Deliberately misrepresenting the length of an assessment will be treated as an act of dishonesty and will be noted as a disciplinary offence on the student’s record.
  • There are no penalties for under-length work. Work that is significantly under-length is likely to be self-penalising.
  • The penalties for over-length work specified below apply to all assessments for which there is a word limit, including postgraduate dissertations.
  • For assessments with a word limit of 1000 words or more there is a grace interval of 100 words. Students will not be penalised for exceeding the stated word count by 100 words. If a student exceeds the word limit by more than 100 words, the grace interval should be subtracted from the total word count before calculating the penalty to be applied (see 8).
  • For assessments with a word limit of less than 1000 words there is no grace interval. In these cases any piece of work which exceeds the word count should be subject to the penalties set out below.
  • The penalties for over-length work are as follows:

Up to 10% over-length: Deduction of 10 percentage points from the mark.

11-20% over-length: Deduction of 20 percentage points from the mark.

21-50% over-length: Mark will be capped at pass level (40% at Levels 4-6; 50% at Level 7).

More than 50% over-length: A mark of zero will be given.

  • In cases where the work is 50% over-length or less, if the application of a penalty for exceeding the word limit would reduce the mark of an assignment which would otherwise pass to a mark below pass level, then the mark for the assignment should instead be capped at pass level.
  • The above penalties are calculated after subtracting the grace interval (where this applies) if the student has exceeded the word count by more than 100 words. For example, in the case of an assessment with a word limit of 1000 words, a piece of work which is 100 words over the limit should receive no penalty because it is within the grace interval, but for pieces of work between 101 and 200 words over-length 10 percentage points should be deducted from the mark (1,101-1,200 minus the 100 word grace interval is equivalent to 1001-1100 words, i.e. up to 10% over-length).

9. The table below gives further examples of penalties to be applied:

 

10. The word limit on assessments includes all the main text including sub-headings, tables, and all referencing.

11. The word limit excludes the essay title, bibliography, graphs and images, and declarations. The word limit also excludes appendices. Appendices should only contain supporting material relevant to the main body of the assessed work and must not contain any additional analysis or argument.

Further information can be found in the following link: dur.ac.uk/common.awards/assessment.

Latest blog posts

A farewell to Dr Justin Stratis

This spring is the last one Trinity will have to explore the Stratisphere, linking Bonhoeffer to 80’s action hero MacGyver while trying to figure out who makes the best chicken wings. After 9 years with us, our much-loved Dr Justin Stratis, Director of Postgraduate Research and Tutor in Christian Doctrine, moves to Canada this summer to join Wycliffe College in Toronto as their new Professor of […]

An interview with Donna Lazenby

We got Sean and Donna in the room to have a chat so we could get to know Donna a little better as she started with us this week.

Come and see for yourself

I took this photo of a small sapling in late March 2019 when my wife Ruth & I travelled down from West London for her interview here at Trinity. Ruth had yet to do her BAP but it was booked in for August and we realised it would have been difficult to sort everything out […]

Helen Collins on the Talking Theology podcast

Helen Collins our tutor in Practical Theology and Director of Formation, was recently a guest on Cranmer Hall’s “Talking Theology” podcast. Hear her speak on “How Does Scripture Speak Into Everyday Life?” This is how they describe the episode: How do we connect scripture with living faithfully in the world? What are the habits that help the […]