Word Limit

Word LimitYes. I know there are word limit for essays, and perhaps for certain competition entries in which you have to write a shot paragraph of crap, or even an ‘SMS’ – but for a research paper? Indeed. Students are already deprive of voicing their views loud enough and here comes someone by the surname ‘Ng’, announcing that there will be a word limit imposed on the research paper than students are doing. Failing to abide by it will result in penalty that involves the reduction of marks and this indirectly torments the student mentally for it is his intellect that dicates the amount of stuff he write and it should not be the teacher. For a research paper, one should only be limited by the existing ‘literature’ or studies on the topic, and not the amount of words.

Other limiting factors could be the time given to complete the research, the standard or expectations of the student, the broadness of the research topic chosen, but never the word limit of the paper itself. Why on earth must one attempt to cut down on what he is supposed to write in a research? When I was doing my PhD, our research should involve intensive studies of the selected topic and the more the findings, the better, though you might have to account for more deviations. Anyway, by limiting the amount of words allowed in a research paper – regardless of it being a scientific or humanities one, teacher/educators are sending out the wrong message to potential great researchers. The attitude of a good researcher should be to probe, the deeper the better, and more intensive.

Limiting the amount of words is forcing the students or should I say potential leader in the field of scientific or social science research, the mentor is actually preventing the student from going more in-depth in the study. This would inevitably result in sluggishness on the part of the student: thinking that once he reached the word limit, he has completed the study. Or worst, he may end up cutting away all the important parts, even to the extent of compromising depth just to satisfy the word limit. Whoever who imposed the limit, do you think this is worth it?

I am sure you have done your Masters and I am clear that there is no word limit imposed for that. Let me ask you, if there’s a word limit, won’t you have failed the paper, given your lousy English? Haven’t you forget that you need to write a paragraph to express the same idea as others who can do the same in a sentence. You are so lousy in your English that ‘Plus’ is ‘Prus’ to you. So who are you to dictate the number of words student write in their research? As one of the first animal who majored human psychology, I can understand the kind of mental torture that such ‘limitations’ have of the students. I am sure they are going to state in their ‘Limitations’ portion of the paper: “Due to restriction in the amount of words I can write, I am unable to present any further findings of the research in this research paper”.


  1. the word limit is expendable for some teachers… e.g. Mr. Chng once promised me that he would close an eye if I overshot by about a thousand or so.

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