About Page Header

Who Are You?

I’m Ian Sheddan, a graduate student at Drexel University Online who is currently pursuing a Master in Library and Information Science degree.

What’s This Site All About?

Back in September, shortly into my first term of grad school, I realized that I was going to be doing an absurd amount of writing. Since I’m completing my degree entirely online, any sort of verbal communications that I would have had in a more traditional classroom or lab setting has been replaced with written words.

A little more than halfway through this first term, I thought it might be cool to see how many words I had written so far. I was shocked at the number I calculated and randomly thought I’d try comparing it to the word counts of some of the world’s most well known books. In a matter of a few weeks, I had written over half the number of words found in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451!

I began wondering, with 26,000+ words already under my belt, how many words would I end-up writing by the end of the term? This question quickly led me to latching onto the idea of keeping a running total of the number of words I would be writing in order to earn my degree.

This site displays this running total and gives me an opportunity to have some fun with the number, be it through seeing how it stacks-up to the word counts of famous books, converting it into seconds and determining how many days it equates to, or anything and everything in between!

Ah, A Personal Project!

As someone who is a fan of random personal projects (take, for instance, my year-long 5x5 video projects from 2010 and 2012), this simple idea of counting the words I wrote and finding interesting equivalents, comparisons, etc. sounded like a fun new project to tackle. If you know me personally, you know how much my brain loves focusing on random, creative endeavors such as this.

How's the Total Calculated?

Currently, I’m expecting to complete my program of study in December. At that time, I’ll have completed five, 11 week terms that were comprised of three classes each. I’ve used this as the basis of how to keep track of my running word count total.

Within a spreadsheet file, each of my five terms has its own sheet with the three courses I’m taking/took listed. Within each course, word counts are listed and classified into one of three categories: discussion board posts, submitted assignments, and emails to instructors. I wanted to keep track of any words that might impact my final grade, be it directly or indirectly, and, so far, these categories are doing the trick.

The actual word count is determined in one of two ways. On a weekly basis, I copy and paste the text from my discussion board posts and emails to my instructors into a Google document; I then use the built-in word count tool and add the number to my spreadsheet. As for submitted assignments, I use the word count feature in whichever program I utilized to complete the assignment. Each application seems to handle word counts differently, but I’m really trying to keep things as consistent as possible without creating unnecessary additional work for myself.

Where’s the Spreadsheet?

At this point, I’ve decided not to include a public link to my spreadsheet, though I'm willing to share it with just about anyone that wants to see it. If you’re one of those people, please contact me.

What's the 'By the Numbers' Page?

With every update to the main word count, I’ll be updating the By the Numbers page. I’m having a bit of fun with this page, using my running total to create a hodgepodge of randomness based around this singular number.

Most of the information found on the page is either counted and calculated by me and/or discoverable online. I try to make sure the info is accurate even though my math skills are a bit rusty and word counts of different types of materials and media are always a bit hairy. It’s all meant to be fun, but please let me know if you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right!

How Frequent Are Updates?

I’m not locking myself into any specific update schedule, though I do hope to update things at least two or three times a month the end of each term.

How Old is this Site?

This site was launched the day before my third term began on April 2, 2017.

Anything Else?

I’m what you might call a “perfectionist.” If there was a switch that I could flick to turn-off this personality trait, I would definitely flick-if-off more often than not.

I felt the need to mention this here because I know for a fact that my running word count total isn’t indicative of what someone in the same program would need to write to be successful. While I’m striving to graduate with the highest possible GPA that I can, it’s safe to say that I could do so without writing a novel’s worth of words each term. Now, if only that was possible for me to do!

Lastly, this site is in no way scientific or in any way associated with the university of which I am a student. Again, this site is a personal project and should not be viewed as anything but.


This site is a personal project of Ian Sheddan’s, a grad student keeping a running total of how many words he writes to complete his MSLIS degree at Drexel University Online.

Page Last Updated: June 24, 2017

By the Numbers

180,933 Words Header Image

As of September 24, a little while after my summer term of electives wrapped up, I have written two hundred thirty-three thousand, five hundred twenty words toward earning my MSLIS degree. Only one term left to go!

233,520 is an even number. It is also an abundant, a harshad, and a composite number. It has a total of eighty divisors and is composed of five distinct prime numbers multiplied together (24 x 3 x 5 x 7 x 139).

It would take you about 1 day, 8 hours, and 26 minutes to count from 1 to 233,520.

The background hex color code for this box is #233520

If I had written a novel that had 233,520 words, here are a handful of well known books that would be shorter in word length:

Author Book Word Count
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 198,227
Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment 211,591
Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay 216,020
John Steinbeck East of Eden 225,395
Current Word Count 233,520

233,520 is a rather popular number in hardware stores. For example, WP233520 is the part number for a small metal thrust washer used in various Whirlpool laundry appliances, while 233520-M is sometimes the SKU number associated with a set of fancy silver vintage mercury glass cabinet knobs from India. Milwaukee Tool even sells a tool holster that has a category number of 2335-20.

  • Written in scientific notation, 233,520 is 2.3352 x 105
  • 233,520 is written as 1110010000001100002 in binary
  • The square root of 233,520 is 483.2390712681

A cube with a volume of 233,520 cubic inches would be around 5.1 feet tall.

233,520 seconds is equal to 2 days, 16 hours, and 52 minutes.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. As someone that has been challenged by mental health issues his whole life, I’ve always been drawn to books, particularly YA ones, that discuss these complex issues. Below are three such works that I adore, have rated five stars on Goodreads, and have yet to mention on this site. If you read these incredible novels, you’d have read just 4,378 words shy of 233,520!

  • ★★★★★ It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini | 80,289 words
  • ★★★★★ Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan | 74,277 words
  • ★★★★★ Mosquitoland by David Arnold | 74,576 words

Finally, after fully completing four terms, here are percentages representing how the 233,520 words I’ve written break down across each of them:

Term Courses Percentage
Fall 2016 INFO 515, INFO 520 & INFO 552 21.63%
Winter 2017 INFO 522, INFO 530 & INFO 683 27.91%
Spring 2017 INFO 521, INFO 560 & INFO 640 27.94%
Summer 2017 INFO 605, INFO 660 & INFO 665 22.52%

« 180,933 Words  |  Posted: Sept. 12, 2017

By the Numbers

180,933 Words Header Image

As of June 24, during the weekend before the start of my fourth grad school term, I have written one hundred eighty thousand, nine hundred thirty-three words toward earning my MSLIS degree.

A deficient, odd composite number, 180,933 is composed of three distinct prime numbers (3, 41, and 1,471) multiplied together and has eight divisors (1, 3, 41, 123, 1,471, 4,413, 60,311, and 180,933).

180,933 seconds is equal to 2 days, 2 hours, 15 minutes, 33 seconds.

The square root of 180,933 is 425.3621986025 while the cubed root of it is 56.5595477331. 180,933 written in scientific notation is 1809.33 x 102.

If I had written a novel with 180,933 words, here's how it would rank among a handful of famous books with similar lengths:

Author Book Word Count
Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls 174,106
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible 177,679
Current Word Count 180,933
Charles Dickens Great Expectations 183,349
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre 183,858

Photo #180933 on PicsofCelebrities.com is of actress Randy Graff. Perhaps one day she might want to purchase a waterfront condo in Vero Beach, FL. If so, property num. 180933 is available. Maybe she could decorate a guest bedroom with a Tinkerbell quote, like quote #180933 on QuoteAddicts, but I bet she has better taste than that.

  • The Roman numeral for 180,933 is CLXXXCMXXXIII
  • In binary, 180,933 is written as 1011000010110001012
  • 180,933's hexadecimal translation is 0x2c2c5

Last weekend, I experienced my second Firefly Music Festival. One of my favorite performances from my four days in The Woodlands of Dover, DE was Twenty One Pilot’s set on Friday night. I've never been a huge fan of theirs, but their 90 minute set blew my f’n mind. Pretending that they sang everything word-for-word without any extra commentary, they'd have sung 7,884 words. To have sung 180,933 words, they would have needed to perform their set at least 23 times.

The background hex color code for this box is #180933

Since June is Pride Month, the following books all have a main character who just so happens to be gay. You could read the three works, each of which I’ve read and rated with four or more stars on Goodreads, and still not have read 180,933 words. You’d have read 175,679 words, just over 97% of my running total, though!

  • ★★★★★ Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | 60,965 words
  • ★★★★ The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle | 58,923 words
  • ★★★★★ Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley | 55,802 words

Finally, after three fully completed terms, here are percentages representing how the 180,933 words I’ve written break down across each of them:

Term Courses Percentage
Fall 2016 INFO 515, INFO 520 & INFO 552 27.91%
Winter 2017 INFO 522, INFO 530 & INFO 683 36.03%
Spring 2017 INFO 521, INFO 560 & INFO 640 36.06%

« 115,693 Words  |  Posted: June 24, 2017  |  233,520 Words »

By the Numbers

115,693 Words Header Image

As of April 2, one day before starting my third grad school term, I have written one hundred fifteen thousand, six hundred ninety-three words toward earning my MSLIS degree.

115,693 is both a prime number and a deficient number. 1.15693 × 105 is how the number would look if written in scientific notation while 111000011111011012 is its binary translation.

If I had written a novel with 115,693 words, here's how it would rank among a handful of famous books with similar lengths:

Author Book Word Count
Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird 100,388
J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 107,253
Henry David Thoreau Walden 114,634
Current Word Count 115,693
Stephenie Meyer Twilight 118,975
Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice 122,685
Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities 135,420

In California, lawyer #115693 was disbarred. With all of their free time, they could take a vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama and stay in VRBO listing #115693, a “super sharp” gulf-front condo. If they wanted to start a new career, they could work for Zoro in Buffalo Grove, IL selling Value Brand rivets, one of which is identified with Mfr #115693.

115,693 seconds is equal to 1 day, 8 hours, 8 minutes, and 13 seconds.

The square root of 115,693 is 340.1367372101 and the sum of two squares (2432 and 2382) is equal to 115,693.

I’ve had the following songs in heavy rotation lately. Together, the word count of the ten songs' lyrics total 3,394. You would need to listen to a playlist of these songs roughly 34 times, which would take just over 22 hours, to hear 115,693 words.

  • Lorde — Green Light (427 words)
  • Betty Who — Mama Say (367 words)
  • alt-J — In Cold Blood (183 words)
  • For Forever from Dear Evan Hansen (382 words)
  • Origin of Love from Hedwig & the Angry Inch (511 words)
  • Middle Kids — Edge of Town (346 words)
  • Portugal. The Man — Feel It Still (341 words)
  • Cold War Kids — Love is Mystical (321 words)
  • Zedd & Alessia Cara — Stay (303 words)
  • Future Islands — Ran (213 words)

You could read the three works I’ve listed below, three books that I’ve read and rated with three or more stars on Goodreads, and still not have read 115,693 words. You’d have read 113,931 words, roughly 98.5% of my running total, though!

  • ★★★★★ The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | 62,376 words
  • ★★★ The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket | 29,139 words
  • ★★★ The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary | 22,416 words

Lastly, here are percentages representing how the 115,693 words I’ve written break down between my two fully completed terms:

Term Courses Percentage
Fall 2016 INFO 515, INFO 520 & INFO 552 43.65%
Winter 2017 INFO 522, INFO 530 & INFO 683 56.35%

Posted: April 2, 2017  |  180,933 Words »