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hj2012 last won the day on June 24 2014

hj2012 had the most liked content!

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  1. Is this a personal statement (which usually asks students to discuss their life experience, diversity, etc) or a statement of purpose? Assuming it is the latter, it may be helpful to think of the SOP as a cover letter for a job. No fluff about your childhood dreams, your burning desire to study literature, or a cutesy hook. Instead, be straightforward and professional because SOPs, like cover letters, are formulaic by nature. They start with a declaration of intent that succinctly describes your research and keywords, moves into your literary training and notable accomplishments, explains why your past experience undergirds your present research interests, and aligns your future goals with the strengths of the program under question. The ability to write a compelling narrative account of your research program and scholarly development is an important skill you'll use again and again in grant applications, self-evaluation portfolios, and of course, on the job market. It is the "highlight reel" that, like a good cover letter, convinces the reader they want to know more about the applicant and actually spend the time to peruse the writing sample. Hope this helps. (Note: there may be more flexibility in terms of MA program SOPs - this advice is geared toward PhD program admissions.)
  2. There's U Mass Amherst and Northeastern and, depending on his willingness to travel further from Boston, other New York area schools (CUNY, NYU, Fordham, Stony Brook, etc).
  3. Non-fiction programs - especially full-residency programs with stipends - are absolutely not receiving fewer applications than PhD programs. Wisconsin-Madison's numbers are not outliers. Creative nonfiction programs are extremely competitive, as the opportunity to have 3 years to work on a book project is very compelling even to professional journalists, editors, and writers. For example, I have a friend who recently transitioned from a full-time job as an investigative reporter to an MFA program with far less prestige than the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She has years of experience, an excellent portfolio, and is represented by a great agency in NYC. This is your competition. Therefore, MFA non-fiction programs are a poor "back-up" choice to the PhD. In fact, considering the competitiveness of fully funded MFAs, you might want to conceive of it as the other way around! Beyond admissions statistics, however, it might behoove you to think carefully about what your overall aims are, as @Warelin also suggested. Grad school is a means to an end, and my concern is that you seem to want to enter graduate school for the sake of it, which is not the best plan of action. If you want to be a literary scholar, commit to PhD programs, even if it means multiple application seasons (which, by the way, is not rare!). If you ultimately dream about being a nonfiction writer, commit to improving your craft and your CV, and ditch the PhD apps - they won't help you get there.
  4. How's your Chinese/Japanese? Depending on your interests, those languages might be just as important / worth getting a head start on. Viki has a new "learn mode" for Korean dramas that is helpful for improving listening / word recognition. I like lang-8.com, which is a multi-language blogging platform: you write blog posts in Korean (or whatever other language you want to learn), and native speakers correct the post for you. It's really helpful, since there's a feedback mechanism for improvement. Is there a Sejong Institute or other Korean teaching school nearby? They often offer night classes. From my understanding the level of instruction is not that high, but it might be worth looking into just to keep yourself from forgetting.
  5. The general consensus among my grad students friends at conferences like ASA is that "cut offs"are quite common - enough so that you should take the GRE very seriously. One reason for this is that graduate student funding often comes from a competitive university-wide pool, where GRE scores are an important factor in comparing students across disparate fields. At other universities, the graduate division or office of graduate education has to approve students admitted by departments, where again GRE scores are an important metric. And finally, there is already a surfeit of excellent applicants with thoughtful, careful, and exciting applications, so it doesn't make sense to risk admitting a student with sub-par scores that might be uncompetitive for funding, especially this day and age. On the bright side: above a certain threshold, I don't think getting a higher score helps you all that much. I would think a combined score of >310 would be safe for most AMST programs, with the V score being the more important.
  6. Are you primarily hoping to get a job as a data analyst or data researcher? If so, I don't see a Sociology master's as the best entry point to those jobs. You'd probably be better off looking at data science or information master's programs. For a relatively unskilled applicant, the best way to get experience is to apply for internships or to find opportunities through your university (e.g. as a work-study or as a research assistant). You might also consider the field(s) that you would like to eventually work in. If you're hoping to enter the non-profit world, for example, you might look into working, interning, or volunteering with a local org to show that you have experience in the field, more generally speaking.
  7. At least for most interdisciplinary programs (American studies, cultural studies, etc) and English depts, I wouldn't bother with the multimedia essay unless you have an explicit invitation to do so. My advice would be to provide relevant stills for close analysis and enough textual contextualization so that the reader can follow along. Briefly describing the film is probably a good idea. Scholars of Joyce can assume that their audience has read Ulysses. The same can't be said for your subject material. In any case, the ability to succinctly summarize a cultural text while drawing out the features cogent to your analysis is a good skill to showcase, especially if you plan on studying a "less canonical" body of work. Just my $.02.
  8. In general, I think any work experience before starting a professional master's degree is a good idea, especially in the field that you want to work in. You'll have the chance to develop "real life" skills and learn more about a career that you might be interested in pursuing in the future. It'll also help when you try to get a job after the master's program, since many higher ed positions want folks with at least some work experience. Another thing to keep in mind: if you can get a job at USF post-graduation (working admissions, etc), I have friends who were able to get steep discounts on their master's degrees there. You might consider finding a FT job and working toward the MA on the side.
  9. Do you intend on having a career in secondary education? If so, you may find that a more specialized MA in education leadership, curriculum writing, special education, etc might open more doors. For example, I know that in the state of New York there is a list of "approved areas" to be eligible for certain kinds of promotions and opportunities. There's also the question of networking: a professional master's program is a way to meet people in your field and make the right connections. If your intention is to enter public education, you will likely get more of that as an alumni of, say, Teachers College than a history MA program at NYU. Just a thought.
  10. If you're open to non-English programs you might look into Ethnic Studies/American Studies (e.g. American Culture at Michigan, Ethnic Studies at Berkeley) as well.
  11. Hey - this was discussed about 10 pages back in this thread if you want to go and see what others have said. That said, I don't think that this is disqualifying at all, as it's not something that is unmanageable or would necessarily prevent you from completing the grant. During my ETA we had an (informal) support group to talk about depression and anxiety (which can be exacerbated by the challenges of living in a totally different culture). Because of the silences around mental health, it's often easy to imagine that we're the only ones struggling. But I think this is really quite common, and anecdotally, didn't seem to stop people from receiving medical clearance.
  12. Are you talking specifically about MBA programs? If so, you might get more responses from an MBA specific forum, as there aren't that many MBA applicants on this particular site. It's also somewhat difficult giving you advice without knowing what your goals are. Why do you want an advanced degree? What is your ideal career?
  13. Is literature confined to written text? There's also an argument for a more capacious definition of "literature" as such that might include, for example, the vibrant world of ASL literature. The inclusion of ASL literature raises fascinating and urgent questions about epistemological categories, performance and embodiment, technology and translation -- debates that continue to enrich literary and cultural studies, in my opinion.
  14. Sure, but OP says their research area is disability studies, for which ASL is absolutely useful. From the experiences I've heard from folks working on deaf cultures or disability studies who struggled to get ASL accepted for a language requirement, it seems that part of the reason why departments don't see ASL as a viable research tool is precisely because they don't really think of it as a language.
  15. Obligatory "not an anthropologist," but I might have some insight on your research interests and target schools: 1. Are you fluent in Japanese (or whatever language(s) you might need for your dissertation)? That would be one obvious place to focus your attention. From casual observation, a good number of students seem to go from area studies MAs to anthro PhD programs, if you feel you need more academic preparation. 2. That's great you're doing JET! I'd approach your time abroad from the perspective of a field researcher: get into the habit of keeping a diary/notes, seek out opportunities to interact with a variety of people, and see if you can volunteer or intern in sites and spaces that intrigue you. 3. Considering the lower GPA, I would retake the GRE. 4. If you have not already, familiarize yourself with prominent anthropologists at the nexus of your interests (Ong, Tsing, Miyazaki, etc). See if their theoretical approaches excite you. If not, you might consider other fields: sociology, I/O psychology, perhaps organizational management programs located in business schools. Feel free to PM me as well!