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ashiepoo72 last won the day on November 14

ashiepoo72 had the most liked content!

About ashiepoo72

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    Cup o' Joe

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  1. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    In my experience, adcomms read the statement of purpose and the writing sample very closely. Even profs outside my field commented on my writing sample after I was admitted. My impression was that they read the statement first and if they thought it was really good, the application was still “live” and then they moved on to the sample. Of course, different people will put more weight on different aspects of the application so it’s hard to say what your adcomms will do.
  2. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Agree with @elx and @Sigaba, write the review on a book by a historian so you can explicitly engage with the historiography in which that historian intervenes. The committee wants to see how well you do that, in addition to your ability to summarize the argument and critique the book. As an aside for posterity, and not as a criticism of @potsupotsu (I'm sure you're an excellent reviewer!!): do not strawman historians' arguments in lit reviews, be it in a book review or an article or your dissertation. Our discipline is a small pond, our subfields even smaller ponds, and people tend to know the gist of prominent scholars' arguments in their prominent books. They also tend to be friends or at least friendly acquaintances, and if you try to get a knock-out punch by strawmanning an argument, it's not a good look. I've been knocked down a peg for accidentally doing this early in my MA, thankfully by a supportive professor who realized I was just a novice, but I've seen worse happen to others further along in their grad careers.
  3. ashiepoo72

    Will these GRE scores hurt my case?

    Your GRE is fine. You should focus on your SOP and writing sample. Unless your GPA and GRE are below whatever numbers programs set for auto-rejection (below 3.0-3.5 GPA is usually what websites say, and anyone with 80th percentile and above on GRE verbal shouldn't worry), the written material is absolutely what makes or breaks an application.
  4. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    This is such great advice! I'm going to add that everyone needs to develop an awareness of mistakes that are grievous vs those that are not. This is really hard for each of us to differentiate because we are so invested in our own work and careers, which is understandable, but think about the things you would tell your friends and colleagues not to stress about and apply them to you. In the bibliography of my writing sample, I didn't properly alphabetize two sources, freaked out and lamented my imminent rejection to a professor. He laughed and told me no one would even notice, and if they did they wouldn't care. DON'T fill yourselves with anxiety over minor errors. The wait is hard enough as it is, and minor errors will crop up throughout your entire academic career.
  5. ashiepoo72

    Deadline for Recommendation Letters

    I want to second this. I've basically spent this entire quarter on grants and fellowships, and so have all my colleagues and many of my professors. This may account for why certain programs are lenient about recommendations for prospective students. I was lucky in my application year and in grad school to have recommenders who always submit on time, but sometimes I need to send several reminders (couched in updates about my research, grant awards, or other things I'd want to email them about anyway). My advice to anyone with deadlines looming is to not be afraid to email or meet with professors to remind them. Don't harass them, obviously, but I've found in most instances where a prof who promised you a letter is pushing the deadline, they simply forgot because they're super busy. They know how important your applications are to you and won't hate you for gentle nudges.
  6. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    @historygeek keep in mind the personal statement is about triumph, not just struggle. You can certainly mention overcoming stuff (this helps explain dips in grades or time off), but you also include honors, awards, volunteer positions, relevant employment etc to show you're well rounded. I can relate to wanting to include something about the immigrant women in your family, as first gen American myself. If you feel a cultural connection, you should definitely bring it up! I think I opened my PS with a line about baking traditional bread with my grandma. If it resonates with you, include it. I recommend very deliberate outlining for the PS because it's incredibly hard to write a coherent statement with personal vignettes otherwise. You got this!
  7. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    @andnothing, this is (probably) going to be an unpopular piece of advice, but I would contact the programs and ask if one of your letters can be from an employer. As an anecdote, my MA program wanted 2 recs, I had one from a professor with whom I closely worked, but I was a lackluster undergrad and didn't form relationships with other profs. I did, however, work in a teaching capacity and asked my boss to write my 2nd letter. Long story short, I got in, did well and am now a happy PhD candidate (side note to meh undergrads like me: you can overcome your mediocre record!) Obviously not all programs will be cool with this, but that's why you ask them. My caveat: this is viable if you work/volunteer in an area somewhat related to history/research/teaching and have a boss who'd support you.
  8. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Cutting down is the worst...but also a useful skill. My suggestions are to viciously cut out adjectives and fix any passive voice. Also, determine if you have multiple paragraphs proving the same thing and cut/condense them into one paragraph. I often find myself writing paragraph after paragraph to show how much evidence I found for one strand of my argument, rather than picking the best evidence and writing one tightly-knit paragraph. I actually ended up cutting out an entire section of my writing sample because it was weaker than the other two. Yes, that was painful as hell, but your instinct to be ruthless is spot on. Best of luck!
  9. ashiepoo72

    Statement of Purpose and Plaigarism

    My thoughts are this: Editing down is hard, especially for long-winded academics. However, learning to do it is essential to your career and writing clarity. Most of what academics write aren't book-length projects in terms of raw numbers. Grant applications, tenure reviews, articles, book reviews etc will be the bulk of your writing. Even as a grad student, I've written dozens of grant applications and only one dissertation chapter thus far. I'm confused as to why editing down correlates with potential plagiarism in your view. Normally, being more concise is about distilling your ideas. If you're agreeing with another scholar, say something like "along a similar vein as Amazing Historian" or "my work agrees with Cool Professor's analysis of Trendy Topic in XYZ ways." Check out ProWritingAid if you want to cut out useless words that are taking up space in your SOP. If you can't produce an SOP in your own words within the word limits, I don't think grad school is for you. Like others have said, there are no new ideas...but if you're questioning if you may be plagiarizing, my sense is you likely are or are balancing atop a knife's edge.
  10. ashiepoo72

    GRE Scores for History PhD programs

    Back in ancient times when I applied, UCSB and a few other programs I can't recall wanted at least 80th percentile across the board for funding purposes. So my guess is programs struggling to fund everyone (primarily at public universities) will want to see certain scores so grad students have a better shot at getting university fellowships etc. Pretty sure OP is above this threshold and has nothing to worry about, but I figured I'd share for posterity.
  11. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    It's ok, I'm fluent in Americanist! I don't disagree with you, and I think you can find a balance between proceeding quickly through coursework and making sure some/most of the classes you take are specifically beneficial to your dissertation. The impression I got from advanced grads is there are people who significantly slow down their progress to get all the classes they want, and that's just not smart imo. Besides, some of the most helpful classes I've taken were happy accidents: not on my initial "plan," but chosen purely so I could advance. Also, it should be a meme that grad students can make any subject relate to their dissertation...or maybe that's just my desperate attempt to always have something to say
  12. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    This. This. This. I wish I could upvote this a dozen times. I went into grad school with what I thought was an iron-clad plan to be ABD at the end of my 3rd year (as is custom in my program). In the first quarter, roadblocks appeared. Professors who were going to teach didn't, my minor field plans went to shit, etc. I know people who had similar issues and they ended up languishing, not reaching ABD on time, which anyone can tell you really slows your research down. I had a moment of being upset, like I needed to make my naive dream of grad school a reality no matter what. An advanced grad student straight up told me "screw the class you wanted, take the class that's available and can fill a requirement" and that I needed to have the mindset of "jump the hurdles as quickly and efficiently as possible." Basically older grads drilled in my head that the whole point of grad school isn't the classes and requirements that lead to ABD, but being ABD itself. Current grads can tell you about known pitfalls, what to avoid, what to run toward etc. Without the really good advice of advanced grad students in my program, I wouldn't have completed coursework and comps on time. I cannot stress enough how helpful talking to people have gone through a program's motions is (and it keeps being helpful at every stage of your graduate career).
  13. ashiepoo72

    Fulbright 2019-2020

    I just made one for anyone who's interested https://join.slack.com/t/fulbright2019-2020/shared_invite/enQtNDU4NTc3MTg3MTA4LTY0YjI2NTNiODM4MWE0NDA2YmYyZDJkNjg2YzhhMjEzYTEyYThlMDIyNzQwMjM2ODQzYzBmNzU0ZWRjNzA1ZWY
  14. ashiepoo72

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I would second all of Sigaba's excellent advice. My advice to all prospective grad students is to deeply research departments so you can make the best case as to why you fit the program and it fits you. This includes POIs (in history and sister disciplines), department strengths (ex: Professor X's strength in oral history, Professor Y's focus on interdisciplinarity, Professor Z's interest in transnational history), materials in the university or local libraries/archives, etc. I just want to add that you should look at top historians in your field as well as elite programs. Davis has a great placement record and a ridiculously strong cohort of 19th century historians (Ari Kelman and Louis Warren both recently won the Bancroft, we have Rachel St. John and Greg Downs who are both well respected, Lisa Materson and Eric Rauchway straddle 19th/20th century, Justin Leroy's work is amazing and Sally McKee has moved into researching 19th century). Of course it's not Harvard, but my point is to look closely at subfields at respected departments in addition to elite programs. Caveat always being: cut any program with an abysmal placement record from your list.
  15. ashiepoo72

    Emailing Graduate Students

    I emailed a few grad students at POIs' recommendations and even spoke to a few over the phone. They were the most helpful conversations I had--who else can provide better info on your potential adviser, campus culture and funding opportunities? I can say that, as a grad student who remembers the stress of application season, I'd be happy to receive cold emails.

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