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Word Count Question

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Word Count Question

Postby MommyEnterprises » Sun May 25, 2008 5:34 pm

When putting a total at the end of an article for the word count, would you include the title in this total?
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Postby TorontoCarol » Mon May 26, 2008 3:09 pm

Hi Stefani, I always include the title in the word count when I ghost write. It never occurred to me not to. When I submit to ezine articles I do as well and they've never said anything.
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Postby MommyEnterprises » Mon May 26, 2008 4:59 pm

thanks
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Postby DebGallardo » Wed May 28, 2008 3:21 am

Stefani,

I don't know about online, but for Writer's Digest competitions and fiction submissions, the word count does not include the title. One reason is, the title is likely to be changed by an editor, so the word count won't change regardless of the title.

Hope this helps.

Deb
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Postby Kit Singleton » Wed May 28, 2008 5:53 am

For what it's worth, I don't count the title either.
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Postby Mel » Wed May 28, 2008 9:30 am

I don't include the title in the count either. When you submit using the online directory forms, they count the body separate from the title so that's how I've always done it.
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word count

Postby auntiej » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:04 pm

Personally i do include a title in the word count because it is words i have typed. I always think of the total needing to include title. :)
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Word counts revisited

Postby DebGallardo » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:03 am

The industry standard for word counts is NOT to include the title. The reason is that traditional publishers often change the title, thus throwing off the word count if the title were included.

It's not how many words you TYPE, it's how many words the actual article contains. The title is not considered part of the article content. It's a separate entity.

Think of it as a web page which has a <head> section -- this would be your title, and a <body> section -- this would be the article itself. Publishers want to know how many words are in the body of your article. The number of words in the title is irrelevant.

Hope this clarifies everything.

Deb
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Postby tam2005 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:06 pm

I never include my title in my article word count.
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Postby doc333 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:06 am

I don't include the title in word count and I make sure each article body is at least 500 words. 500 words is the minimum requirement for most directories these days
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Word Count, Words and More

Postby DebGallardo » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:31 pm

I just copied this from ezinearticles.com's Editorial Guidelines:

Must be a minimum of 250 words and no more than 5,000 words. For us, an ideal article size is 400-750 words.


Of course 500 words falls right in the middle of their "ideal article size," but the sad reality of today's online environment is that people's attention spans are shrinking and they don't want to read long articles. I expect the article length will, over time, continue to shrink, based on trends.

500 words, for now, is a very safe bet. A word of warning, however:

As word counts shrink, it's more important than ever that every word do its job. None of us deliberately sets out to write shallow articles. But it's all too easy, when writing as we speak, to use more words than necessary or to include clichés. So when we start talking about word counts, you can't, for example, just quit writing when you get to 500 words. I'm sure we ALL know that, in theory. But execution is something else.

I'm not suggesting writing tersely, either, just to save words. Good articles will show some personality and MUST be interesting or no one will read them.

BUT, 500 words or so allows no room for empty phrases or wordy sentences that could be edited shorter -- not if you want to deliver quality content. But on the other side of the coin, you don't want to be so short that your topic isn't covered adequately.

The best tip I can give you is to plan what you want to say with a sketch of an outline, even if it's just a list of the points you want to cover. Make sure your topic is small enough to accommodate the 500-word +/- length. If you find yourself getting close to 1000 words, it's time to re-think, refine and refocus your topic. That, or break it down into part I, part II, etc. (although EZA doesn't recommend you do that, as people may not get your articles in the order you wrote them).

I'm surprised that people are still debating the topic of whether or not to include the title. The industry standard is NOT to include the title in the count. Writing guidelines state the same thing. It may not be as much of an issue where article length is flexible, as with article directories.

BUT I assure you that if you try for publication with online or offline magazines, newsletters and newspapers, they have their rules, and they are sticklers about them. Magazines want an EXACT word count and they do NOT want your title and name included in that count. I've been submitting to offline publishers for over 20 years. Trust me on this one. *grin*
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Postby onlineleben » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:42 am

I always treat the title seperatly. When starting out with an article, I first write the article and when that is finished, I work on getting the headline (title) right. The additional 8-12 words you have in your title are not important when it comes to word count (imho) - what counts is content and how you pull in your readers to read your article.
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