Do Professors check word count?

Do Professors check word count?

Academic essays and assignments are part of your regular college and university. You get a lot of assignments regarding your curriculum. While you need to give a lot of assignments to your professors, there are many other things that you need to keep in mind while writing it. One such thing is the given word limit of it. The common question that most of the students have is if the professor will check out the word count or not.

Quick Takeaways

  • Most of the professors will look at your word count to make sure that you have given the project the correct word limit.
  • If your professor has strictly given you a word limit, then you should get strict with it.
  • Your professors generally give you a word limit to see how much information you can add within a specific word limit.

However, you must read till the end to get a better understanding of if the professor will check the word count or not.

Do Professors check word count?

If they give you an assignment asking you to complete it within a specific range of the word count, then of course you need to complete it. As far as your professors are concerned, they will check the word count of your assignment. They need to see if you have done the work properly or not. They can check the word limit in many ways.

There are many word counter apps that they can use to check. The most common is Microsoft Word itself. Your professors can easily check the word count of your assignment. Another tool that they may use is Turnitin to check your word count.

Can Turnitin check the word count?

As mentioned above, Yes Turnitin helps your professors to check the word limit. It uses a similar algorithm for calculating word count as Microsoft Word uses. Though it does not calculate the word count in the footnotes or endnotes. 

Can professors see the word count on canvas?

In 2021 new changes were created within the canvas. One such change occurred with the feature called Speedgrader. This feature helps your professor to check the word limit of the assignment that you submit. When you submit the assignment via canvas, the word limit of your assignment is displayed on the speed grade.

How far under a word count is acceptable?

This totally depends upon the type of instruction you get from your professors. If your professor has strictly given you a word limit, then you should get strict with it. If not, then you can keep a variation of 10%. Suppose the word limit of your assignment is 1000. You can keep your word limit for the assignment between 900 – 1100. Also, note that sometimes your professor may give you a word limit of up to 1000. This generally means that you can not go beyond 1000 words.

Why do your professors give you a word limit?

Your professors generally give you a word limit to see how much information you can add within a specific word limit. The more important thing that they want to see is if you are adding relevant information to reach the required word limit or just adding unnecessary information just to complete your word limit. Another reason is that it also helps to develop your writing skills. You get the knowledge of how to add the necessary information within a limit of words. Further, if you have shared the assignment on Canvas or any other LMS platform, your professor will look after your word limit as well.

What if you write less than the given word limit?

If you think that writing less than the given word limit in your assignments will get your assignment submitted, then you are wrong. Writing fewer words than mentioned may get you into big trouble and also reject your submission. The grades you get on your assignments are also reflected in your final result. Therefore, you must write within the given limit for your assignment. You must complete the assignments properly as they may talk about you in front of the teachers and incomplete assignments may result in a negative result.

What happens if you don’t meet the word count at university?

When you are writing academic essays or a thesis, you must keep them within the word limit. This is equally important because most universities have strict guidelines. Your essays may also get rejected because of not writing within the word limit given to you. Every university has its own rules and therefore you must check whether they are that much strict with the word limit or not. If there is no such strict guideline, you can extend or decrease the word limit by 10%.

How many marks will you lose for going over the word count?

When you are writing your assignments you would not want to deduct even a single mark especially when you are working hard on them. Writing above or below the given word limit will definitely lose some of the marks. If your college/school is strict with your word limit then there are chances of losing marks according to the word limit exceeded or decreased.

For example, you may lose 5% or 10% of your marks for exceeding 10% of your word limit. This will totally depend upon the policies of your institution. Therefore, you must go through the regulations of your institutions properly before writing the assignment. 

Does the title count in the word limit?

No, the words of your title are not added to your word limit. Though the titles of all the subheadings and titles are added. This is because they are a part of your content. However, one thing that you need to make sure of is that you do not include the words in your references. Also if you have added any infographic, then also no word is counted in your essay. However, the number of words added in the tables and the charts are calculated among the word limit given to you.


Your professors will definitely check the word count of your assignment if they have specified it for your assignments. You must not write exceeding the word limit especially when you have strict guidelines from your professors. This may result in losing your marks or getting rejected for submission. Though if your colleges do not have such strict guidelines then you can exceed or decrease up to 10% of your word limit. 

William Christie

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