Word Length and Excess Word Penalties

The ANU College of Law requires students to strictly adhere to set word lengths. Penalties will be applied where those strict word limits are exceeded.

The following word count policy is in place for all ANU College of Law courses, excepting LAWS4300 Supervised Research Paper and LAWS8301 Graduate Research Unit.

The method of calculation of word length for assessment pieces in all LAWS coded courses (excepting LAWS4300 Supervised Research Paper and LAWS8301 Graduate Research Unit) is as follows:

Unless a statement of means of assessment provides otherwise, the word length must be calculated by the student using a word processing program applied to the text (which includes headings). The bibliography and footnotes will not be counted, and substantive material (other than references and citations) in the footnotes will not be assessed. Appendices will be treated as part of the text unless they merely reproduce primary materials for the aid of the examiners.

The course convenor may require that the word length be recorded on each page, as well as the total which is required to be recorded at the end of the assignment or elsewhere.

Unless a Convenor provides advice to the contrary in the Class Summary, the following (default) excess word penalty shall apply: the mark which is awarded initially will be reduced by half the proportion by which the word limit has been exceeded, eg if the word limit is 2,000 words, and the paper submitted is 3,000 words long, then the initial mark would be reduced by 25% of that mark.