Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Writing by the Numbers

It's been a nice long holiday break, but now it's time to get serious. The deadline for applications for a Very Important Fellowship are next week, as is the deadline for abstracts for a Very Important Conference. This fellowship application has necessitated the writing from scratch of yet another version of my dissertation proposal. The original was 25 pages, another fellowship required 5 pages, and this one requires 12-15. I love this business we call academia.

Want to know some statistics about the dissertation chapter I am sending in?

Words: 18389
Characters: 96687
Paragraphs: 211
Sentences: 786

On average, I have 4.6 sentences per paragraph, 23 words per sentence, and 5.1 characters per word. Plus, Microsoft Word thinks that my chapter is at a 12th grade reading level. I'm not sure what to make of that. I'm not going to tell you what percentage of my sentences are in what the program thinks is a passive voice, because that would be showing weakness.

It is a scary thought that in writing this one chapter, I have pressed the keys on my keyboard almost 100,000 times.

1 comment:

Doug Gentry said...

wow - 23 words per sentence! Gotta love academia.