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WildeThing last won the day on January 22

WildeThing had the most liked content!

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About WildeThing

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    2019 Fall
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  1. If you can reduce your paper to 10 pages (perhaps placing it in context with a preface), I would do that. There is something to be said for respecting limits. Perhaps submitting 20 pages won’t lead to a straight rejection, but I don’t think committees would appreciate it either (could be interpreted as giving them extra work, as laziness, or worse, inability to write concisely or even an inability to judge the quality of your own work). That said, I would send your best work always.
  2. I don’t know but I would respect all limits. Some places state their limits as word OR page limit, which would mean you were fine. However, if your word limit is over but page limit it is probably a margin/spacing issue. I would always look to stay in the lower side of limits since committees go through many applications and the longer it is the less likely it is actually read in full.
  3. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I thought the same thing and I have posts up here complaining about people’s optimism, but time does what times does.
  4. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Also, just a note for those who are new to the process. Getting shut-out sucks, and you will doubt everything about yourself as a candidate. But you survive and there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I say this from very recent experiences (fingers crossed it doesn't repeat though).
  5. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    If you guys think this is stressful wait until late January when some schools (never yours) start notifying and results start popping like popcorn in the microwave.
  6. You will find arguments on both sides and it’s impossible to really know what is best. Standard practice is to name 2-3 faculty who you could work with, as 1 might be too few. In adding more you need to be careful because: a. SoPs have word limits and the more you try to fit in, the less you can properly discuss everything (or have to remoce other things to make room), b. If you talk about different interests it might come off as if you’re not really invested in your project or that you’re just trying to name-drop your way in, c. Faculty know their own work better than you do, anyone you mention you need to make sure you describe accurately or it could have an adverse effect, d. The more faculty you mention the more likely you are to mention someone who doesn’t connect with your project and so might reject it, or mention someone the reader doesn’t get along with. There are counterarguments to all of these and in some cases the opposite might be true. I have mentioned many faculty in one app and maybe just two in another, and there’s no way to know which way is better. That said, all my faculty have been related to my project (some due to methodology, others textual expertise, some both). I have found some faculty that would be great for some other things I’m interested in. E.g. I’m an African-Americanist but also really like 1940-1960 European theatre, so in some schools I saw scholars working on Beckett or Brecht and that was awesome but I didn’t include them because it has nothing to do with my main project. No maybe showing breadth is good but I have been encouraged to make myself easily classifiable, to make what scholar I want to be clear to the committee. So I didn’t mention those scholars, especially because I hardly had room to mention everything I wanted anyway (and common sense says that if you can make your SoP shorter rather than longer you should).
  7. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    On Northwestern, I have received multiple emails from Nathan Mead about missing LoRs, so they are very much on top of things. If you have 2 they will proceed with the review process. On NYU, last year one of my writers did not submit by the deadline and I called them and they said not to worry, that she should send it as soon as possible but the portal doesn’t have a hard close (same thing with Berkeley btw). Edit: Hard close at the deadline, they might at a later date.
  8. I highly doubt it, honestly. You can try but I doubt it will work.
  9. WildeThing

    Should you send ALL GRE scores?

    I had a similar question as I took the GRE twice, scoring nearly 10 percentile points lower in the quant the second time but nearly 10 higher and more than 10 higher in the other two. I actually sent both to some schools at first because I didn’t know if my scores would be better or not, but since I only send my better verbals. I asked someone who helps with applications and they said that the ‘improvement’ narrative probably doesn’t come up. Ultimately, from my understanding GRE scores are more important than we’d like to think, but are certainly less important than everything else. I would send my best scores and keep my fingers crossed. Quant is certainly less important for English programs, but the degree to which it does matter, if it does indeed matter, will vary by school.
  10. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Cheers, Warelin!
  11. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I have officially submitted all my apps. Waiting on professors to submit their letters, first deadline up on Saturday. Fingers crossed. Good luck to everyone.
  12. WildeThing

    Retake the GREs?

    As other posts and even admissions site will tell you, GREs aren't everything. From my understanding they are mostly used to weed out candidates with very low scores. To what degree are GREs actually relevant is debatable, but they are certainly secondary to fit and ability (as represented by your SoP, LoRs, WS and grades). I personally got 161, 155 and 4.0 the first time I took the test. I retook it and got 165, 153, 4.5. I applied to about 17 of the top schools in English and Comp Lit and was rejected by every single one. I am not retaking it this time around because I don't think it's worth my time as it is unlikely I will improve my score and I think it's probably good enough to not be discarded out of hand. However, who knows. People have been accepted with worse scores and rejected with better ones. Whether YOU should retake will depend on how much time you have (and your general ability in exam situations), how confident you are in your other materials, and what schools you're applying to (without getting into questions of affordability). I don't think your scores make you a compelling candidate (in a vacuum), nor do I think they will make committees question you. Your other materials will be more relevant, IMO.
  13. I would be shocked if they actually read writing samples except for when they reach the final choices. My understanding is that they read the first paragraph or two and then skim the rest and maybe read the conclusion. In my experience 15-20 is the norm, anything less I find restrictive and anything more is unnecessary. Note that some places, like NYU I believe, state something along the lines of "maximum 20-25", which on a first glance might look like 20 is a minimum but it is not.
  14. I'd say go with the stronger letter. If you have a good relationship with this person you can bring up these concerns or discuss what sort of things you imagined he could include in his letter, to guide him towards establishing your critical theory background. That said, I don't know if that's necessary. Faculty will discuss YOU and know what programs you are applying to and what is or isn't relevant. While their background is important, they are talking about YOU. If your work with this professor was also in another field, then maybe it would be a tougher choice, but if you studied critical theory I think you should be fine.

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