Word Count Issues (tips?)

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croggs
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 pm

Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby croggs » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:25 pm

Hey guys!

Sorry I've got one more LRW plea for tips/advice. I feel decent about having a grasp on the assignment. However, I can't help but feel I'll leave out something important if I have to meet the word count limit. I've been assured this is not the case.

I am a relatively verbose person, and this was a major concern with me coming into the class. Does anyone have any general tips for limiting your word count?

I know sometimes words like "that" can simply be filler. But, I feel like I could be overlooking some common problems.

Can anyone think of some main issues you've noticed with people being to verbose? Any words you see as strictly filler or phrases you can think of that can be shortened?

I know that's its probably tough to give general advice, but I'd appreciate the attempt.

Any book recommendations that help are welcome too.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by croggs on Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kahechsof
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby kahechsof » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:26 pm

Taking out 25% at the end is the funnest part of LRW.

kaiser
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby kaiser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:29 pm

Rephrase sentences over and over until you find shorter forms. There is always a way to cut stuff out. The more active your language, the fewer words you will end up using. Avoid all "throat-clearing" phrases that serve no actual purpose. Every word should accomplish something, so don't waste a single one.

croggs
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 pm

Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby croggs » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:39 pm

kaiser wrote:Rephrase sentences over and over until you find shorter forms. There is always a way to cut stuff out. The more active your language, the fewer words you will end up using. Avoid all "throat-clearing" phrases that serve no actual purpose. Every word should accomplish something, so don't waste a single one.


Yeah I've definitely been trying to do this. It's time consuming (I know, it's law school ha). I don't have a problem doing it, I just want to make sure I'm not missing a couple of easy fixes that people have noticed.

Thanks for the input!

kaiser
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby kaiser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:40 pm

croggs wrote:
kaiser wrote:Rephrase sentences over and over until you find shorter forms. There is always a way to cut stuff out. The more active your language, the fewer words you will end up using. Avoid all "throat-clearing" phrases that serve no actual purpose. Every word should accomplish something, so don't waste a single one.


Yeah I've definitely been trying to do this. It's time consuming (I know, it's law school ha). I don't have a problem doing it, I just want to make sure I'm not missing a couple of easy fixes that people have noticed.

Thanks for the input!


How about cutting out string citations and making them much shorter? The length of citations isn't really that important in LRW as long as you cite the key sources. This was the case in my class, where the prof would continually tell us not to go crazy with long cites. See if some of your cites can be shortened.

croggs
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 pm

Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby croggs » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:03 pm

kaiser wrote:
croggs wrote:
kaiser wrote:Rephrase sentences over and over until you find shorter forms. There is always a way to cut stuff out. The more active your language, the fewer words you will end up using. Avoid all "throat-clearing" phrases that serve no actual purpose. Every word should accomplish something, so don't waste a single one.


Yeah I've definitely been trying to do this. It's time consuming (I know, it's law school ha). I don't have a problem doing it, I just want to make sure I'm not missing a couple of easy fixes that people have noticed.

Thanks for the input!


How about cutting out string citations and making them much shorter? The length of citations isn't really that important in LRW as long as you cite the key sources. This was the case in my class, where the prof would continually tell us not to go crazy with long cites. See if some of your cites can be shortened.


Citing isn't an issue. After the full issue, I can just use "Id." for the first assignment. Thanks, again though.

rawrab
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby rawrab » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:02 pm

I have the opposite problem. My memo has a limit of 4 pages. I wrote 3 1/2. Is that enough? Should I write up to 4?

kaiser
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby kaiser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:58 pm

rawrab wrote:I have the opposite problem. My memo has a limit of 4 pages. I wrote 3 1/2. Is that enough? Should I write up to 4?


You are thinking in too much of an undergraduate mindset. You really don't get minimums in law school. You are typically only provided with a maximum. In this game, brevity is a virtue. If you can do the same thing in 3 and 1/2 pages as you can do in 4, then why would you add to it just for the sake of memo length?

rawrab
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby rawrab » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:59 pm

You are thinking in too much of an undergraduate mindset. You really don't get minimums in law school. You are typically only provided with a maximum. In this game, brevity is a virtue. If you can do the same thing in 3 and 1/2 pages as you can do in 4, then why would you add to it just for the sake of memo length?


makes sense, I feel better now. I just asked because I honestly have no idea. I guess I'm just lucky that I am not a very wordy person.

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kalvano
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby kalvano » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:07 pm

1) Write paper.
2) Put paper aside for a day.
3) Go back over paper with a red pen. You'll be surprised at what you catch.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:14 am

kalvano wrote:1) Write paper.
2) Put paper aside for a day.
3) Go back over paper with a red pen. You'll be surprised at what you catch.


This really should be something every high school students make a habit of doing already.

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rdcws000
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby rdcws000 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:59 am

croggs wrote:Hey guys!

Sorry I've got one more LRW plea for tips/advice. I feel decent about having a grasp on the assignment. However, I can't help but feel I'll leave out something important if I have to meet the word count limit. I've been assured this is not the case.
I am a relatively verbose person, and this was a major concern with me coming into the class. Does anyone have any general tips for limiting your word count?

I know sometimes words like "that" can simply be filler. But, I feel like I could be overlooking some common problems.
Can anyone think of some main issues you've noticed with people being to verbose? Any words you see as strictly filler or phrases you can think of that can be shortened?

I know that's its probably tough to give general advice, but I'd appreciate the attempt.
Any book recommendations that help are welcome too.
Thanks in advance!


Cut out sentences that don't add value. I have struggled with this issue as well, but I'm working on it.

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tstyler98
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby tstyler98 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:15 am

rawrab wrote:I have the opposite problem. My memo has a limit of 4 pages. I wrote 3 1/2. Is that enough? Should I write up to 4?


My professor gave out extra points if you came in under the limit.

youarereadingthis
Posts: 101
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby youarereadingthis » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:57 am

rdcws000 wrote:
croggs wrote:Hey guys!

Sorry I've got one more LRW plea for tips/advice. I feel decent about having a grasp on the assignment. However, I can't help but feel I'll leave out something important if I have to meet the word count limit. I've been assured this is not the case.
I am a relatively verbose person, and this was a major concern with me coming into the class. Does anyone have any general tips for limiting your word count?

I know sometimes words like "that" can simply be filler. But, I feel like I could be overlooking some common problems.
Can anyone think of some main issues you've noticed with people being to verbose? Any words you see as strictly filler or phrases you can think of that can be shortened?

I know that's its probably tough to give general advice, but I'd appreciate the attempt.
Any book recommendations that help are welcome too.
Thanks in advance!


Cut out sentences that don't add value. I have struggled with this issue as well, but I'm working on it.



rdcws000 wasn't being obnoxious here. My most constructive criticism would be that I didn't even want to finish reading your first post because you did not need all that text. Edit that shit down as if to an audience that is not interested in anything you have to say.

Good luck!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:07 pm

Verbosity suggests that you may not fully understand the relevant issues so you resort to including extraneous information hoping to include all, or most, pertinent material. This is not uncommon for young lawyers to regurgitate everything that they have learned on a particular subject area; unfortunately, however, this tends to produce weak & unfocused writings. My best guess, therefore, is that your weakness is not verbosity, but, rather, a lack of confidence due to inexperience & a lack of understanding of the dispositive issues.

croggs
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 pm

Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby croggs » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:24 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Verbosity suggests that you may not fully understand the relevant issues so you resort to including extraneous information hoping to include all, or most, pertinent material. This is not uncommon for young lawyers to regurgitate everything that they have learned on a particular subject area; unfortunately, however, this tends to produce weak & unfocused writings. My best guess, therefore, is that your weakness is not verbosity, but, rather, a lack of confidence due to inexperience & a lack of understanding of the dispositive issues.


You are definitely right to an extent. I probably included some unnecessary facts, but I think trying to elaborate on the meanings and qualifying my comparisons got me in trouble. I was worried about being conclusory, but I think there's some leniency there given our samples.

I definitely plan on spending more time reading the cases, determining the direction, and organizing my analysis more on assignment 2.

Thanks for the tips!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:39 pm

Without reading the writing, it is hard to offer editing suggestions on your writing style & content.

croggs
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 pm

Re: Word Count Issues (tips?)

Postby croggs » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:21 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Without reading the writing, it is hard to offer editing suggestions on your writing style & content.


I understand. Unfortunately, assignment 1 (rewrite) is going into our assignment 2, so I can't post anything specific. I am definitely feeling better now than before, though.




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