10/2/16 | 14:52 While I was writing up my notes for this topic, my handwriting got less and less legible as time went by and the amount I cared about it decreased massively. The inconsistencies in the set up get me every time I look at these too. I’ll be starting chem at uni very soon, so hopefully my old notes might become useful eventually! 

We’ve all been there before. Staying up into the early hours of the morning, trying to complete that essay you’ve left until the night before it’s due, you reach that euphoric moment of completion, only to glance at the word count and be bombarded with anguish. Somehow in your haze of  too much caffeine, 3am tears, and zero cares, you have to cut out a chunk of your essay to reach the word limit. Have no fear! Here are a few simple tricks to reducing your word count so you can meet that dastardly word limit without having to rewrite whole sections of your essay. 

Plan and structure your essay before writing it
Pre-planning and structuring your essay will not only give your essay a clear voice and a more coherent argument, it can also help in reducing your word count before you start writing! Spending 15 minutes creating an essay plan will ensure you address your argument’s main points without straying and writing about irrelevant ideas. You could even set yourself a word limit for each paragraph depending on it’s content and significance to your argument. 

Use gerunds
Gerunds, -ing verbs, are an easy way to reduce your word count, simply by rewriting a few sentences to remove unnecessary words. Consider the following:

He ran towards the car and quickly gulped down his coffee. (10 words)
Running towards the car, he quickly gulped down his coffee. (9 words)

Delete adverbs
Using adverbs can, at times, be an insult to the reader, and adds unnecessary words to an essay. The redundancy of those (majority) -ly verb modifiers can be tryingWhen I’ve finished an essay, I always ctrl+f search -ly and decide which ones need the cut. Let’s look at that example again:

Running towards the car, he quickly gulped down his coffee. (9 words)
Running towards the car, he gulped down his coffee. (8 words)

By definition, the act of gulping is to swallow quickly. Why waste your precious word count for an unneeded word? Alternatively, write actively by removing an adverb and replacing it with another verb!

The window shook loudly. (4 words)
The window rattled. (3 words)

Keep in mind some adverbs may be necessary if they provide important information!

Delete ‘that’
I had a family member who refused to read over any of my work until I had gone through and deleted every unnecessary ‘that’ I could find. Often, it’s such a superfluous word that you could almost strike it from the English language. Now reread the previous sentence without ‘that’. You’ll be surprised how often you use it!. Ensure you read the sentence you’re removing the word from; it’s not always useless

Delete auxiliary verbs
I’ll admit to finding this difficult, deleting ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘might’, ‘should’, and the like. Deleting these unnecessary verbs both reduces word count and also gives your writing more strength and authority! While useful for expressing tentativeness, you shouldn’t be tentative in arguing your point. For example:

Many may have been negatively impacted by the Great Depression. (10 words)
Many were negatively impacted by the Great Depression. (8 words)

Replace phrases with words
Some phrases become fixed in our writing, using long strings of words instead of simply one. There’s no set rule for this, it just comes with reading through your work. Google can be your friend here!

On the other hand… (4 words)
Conversely(1 word)

These are the ways I most commonly use to lower my word count, but there are definitely a lot more out there! Hopefully they can help you too! Feel free to message me if you’d like!

anonymous asked:

*curtsies* Duke, I want to attend a certain university, but my parents seem to want to send me to a community college to save money, which I understand. How do I deal with the boredom I'll face there and the snobbery I'll have to deal with when I tell classmates/others where I'm headed? It sounds petty...I know, but I feel like you'd understand?

*Curtsies* It’s not petty at all! It’s really hard to have people ask where you’re going to school and have to give them an alma mater you’re not really proud of. It sounds petty–and a lot of people will scoff and say you’re lucky to be going to college at all, this is one of those scenarios where you kind of can’t win–but those are people who clearly just who don’t understand how important the quality of your education is to you. (That being said, you can still get a great education at a community college.)  But yeah, I totally get this, because I did it for four years. I didn’t go to the caliber of school I wanted to go to because I couldn’t afford it. And you know what? I find that if you straight up tell people that it shuts them up pretty quickly. Going to a school that’s less prestigious because you don’t want to be $200,000 in debt when you graduate isn’t embarrassing. You’re being smart about your future and your family’s well-being and people who can’t respect that aren’t worth your time.


100 Days of Productivity: 3/100

Same place, same things.
Today is been a day full of study. I’m on my way to finish the revision on my History of Architecture’s notes and I’m very happy about it! I also have done one of my favourite things to do when study: a time line! It’s very colourful and it helps me a lot since I have to study a very looong period of time. This afternoon I wanted to go out for a nice walk in the park but it’s started to rain so my plan got cancelled. Always positive!

My Essentials for Long Days in the Library: 

  1. 13″ Apple MacBook Air. 
  2. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones.
  3. Muji 0.38 Black Ink Pens.
  4. Toshiba 2TB Portable Hard Drive.
  5. Bullet Journal (Moleskine Black Squared Notebook)
  6. Plenty of food and water - and, of course, coffee.

Hey Guys, Leicester University has invited me to take a course with them! They participate in Future Learn; an Online platform that a shares diverse selection of classes from distinct universities around the world. 

I have listed a couple of FREE Courses ( and their beginning dates) from different categories that seemed interesting. There are more courses than i have listed please see Future Learn’s page

Each course has it’s own requirements; if you are interested in a course you should click the link and check if you are within the requisites, Many classes are beginner level so no previous experience is needed.  Most courses last from 4-8 weeks and require anything from 2-3 hours weekly. 

REMEMBER FREE HIGHER EDUCATION (although it shouldn’t be)IS A PRIVILEGE, take advantage! IT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Certificates are available….These courses are great for resumes and for furthering your career!  IT’S EASY TO SIGN UP and you don’t have to go through a hassle! 

***The courses that are in italic are the courses i will be participating in!


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