How far under maximum words in Humanities?


I'm having a panic about word count. I'm quite considerably under the maximum, which is 75,000. There is no guidance about minimum but I think I'm going to end up with 55,000. The guidelines say that the maximum isn't a target, and that examiners will like focused prose much better than waffle... but 20,000 under seems like a lot.

Any thoughts? I'm in the Humanities. Oh, and I have 22 days left until submission (and I'm only at 50,000 words right now)


I think that's fine. Someone at my uni submitted with 29000 when the minimum was 30000 and he still passed, but that is in the sciences. Maximum at my uni is 80000.

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Not necessarilly mate. Fella had a 100K max; submitted c. 80,000; passed viva outright last month. Modern history bod. I.e: it's what you say, not how long it takes you to say it!


Seriously?! Loving you guys right now!!! I was worrying SO much.

The writing is pretty good I think... so....short, but polished is what I'm going with!

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Yeah seriously. Can you ask any of your sups off the record- or anyone else in the research div?


I don't know exactly how many words, because I did mine in latex, but it was really short, 165 pages with lots of images graphs and tables included. I estimate it was 50k (maximum 100k). Possibly in social sciences :) passed with minor.

People who write more than 80k have a strategy: bore the examiners to death, make them lose the will to live, become suicidal etc :)

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*Laughs out loud*

That could backfire of course... "R&R, bring it back to us when we don't need the proplus" ;)


And I also figured, if it's short I might get a viva before Christmas ;)


ps sup doesn't seem too bothered about its shortness so far, though she's been seeing it in parts... she does know it's not the longest...


At my university history wanted 80-100,000 words for a thesis. There's no way as I was nearing the end I was going to to reach 80K. I was assured by my supervisor that quality counted over quantity. Other academics said the same, though one advised I bulk out my thesis with electronic appendices of the databases I had built, put in a CD inserted at the back. My final thesis was about 70K. I passed with minor typo corrections. It was not a problem.

Clearly this isn't quite the same as your situation, because you don't have a stated minimum to miss. But it may provide some comfort.

Good luck with the final stages!


A friend of mine submitted at 50,000 words, and her thesis won an award!


It really is what you say, rather than how much. My max was 100,000, but my thesis came in around 70-75,000 with no quibbles from my examiners. Good luck!