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History EE - Any Tips for Reducing the Word Count by 1,000 wds.?

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So I'm assuming the majority of people writing and editing their EE's right now aren't having too much trouble reducing the word count, but I'm an over-writer. It might be the English Lit HL influencing me too much, or the fact that I'm really enthusiastic about my EE topic, or maybe just the fact that I get emotionally-attached to words, but I'm having a lot of problems reducing my word count without damaging my argument. As it stands, my word count is 4,943 words (including headers, the title, etc. so that might be 100 words max, though I'm pretty certain they're included in the word count) and I have no idea what to do. If anyone has faced this problem before, or may know of some way I could significantly reduce the word count, it would be phenomenally appreciated!

Any questions, concerns, or needs for clarification are freely welcomed.

Kind regards,

A frantic IB student

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Hey there!

I know the pain of cutting your word count, had to do quite a lot of that in my own EE. There were arguments that I considered as important that I wasn't able to include, even.

Firstly, you want to attempt finding words that can be abbreviated. For instance, The Soviet Union can be shortened to USSR, The People's Republic of China can be shortened to PRC, United States of America to USA, etc. Remember to put the abbreviation in brackets after the first mention of the entity. For instance:

As Professor James Kylan asserts in his journal article Communism and Capitalism: Two Evils, The Soviet Union (henceforth USSR) never truly recovered from Stalin's policies.

(Note: This is a fictional reference, and does probably not exist)

Secondly, you should look at your sentences. Are there adjectives you can remove (adjectives are in most cases redundant, and furthermore it makes your essay more prone to bias)? Can you rephrase the sentence into a more concise sentence? Do you use more words than necessary? Consider these two sentences:

(1) Stalin's horrendous policies can be understood to have a gruesome nature because, unlike Lenin and Trotsky, Stalin was a cynical bastard who liked to kill poor bastards that had not done anything wrong in the first case, which is completely preposterous.

(2) Stalin's policies may be understood as inhumane, as many innocent people were killed during his regime.

Whereas the first sentence is full of irrelevant and subjective comments, the second goes to the very core of the first sentence, is much more concise and without any irrelevance, assuming that both sentences attempt to describe how Stalin's policies may be understood by some people.

Thirdly, make sure that everything you mention is relevant to the argument, and that the argument answers the research question. If anything's irrelevant, cut it.

Fourthly, get some of your friends (who are not afraid of giving negative as well as positive comments) to read through and to note what they found redundant, overly complex or too wordy. Sometimes, it is hard to see what is redundant when you have written the text itself, and it is always good to have a second opinion on these matters.

Fifthly, leave the essay a few days, and return to it later on. A longer break is often essential for a person to be properly able to go through his or her own essay and to properly critique his or her own work.

As for what counts and doesn't count for the word count, the EE guide should make this pretty clear. You could also see this post: http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/25606-word-counts/?p=198092

Good luck!

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@andsoshewrote you beat me to it! I was just going to ask how to take of words of my EE :D Unfortunately I'm in the same situation with 1,000 words too many ...
and @alefal thanks for the awesome tips :D They are much needed ^^

Edited by Erasmusrasmus
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