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WildeThing

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WildeThing last won the day on May 6

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About WildeThing

  • Rank
    Macchiato

Profile Information

  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD in English (Literature)

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  1. The question is whether this is worth the time and dedication (and money), as admissions prep is a bit of a zero sum game. Studying for the subject test will take time away from other things (including the important but seldom discussed act of resting) and you have to figure out if it balances out. I don’t think it is necessary but it’s true that if you do very well it could play in your favor. That said, showing dedication and expertise is something you can with your SoP and WS, and if it’s not apparent there I don’t know how much a good score will help you. The question for committees will be why someone interested in dedicating their professional career in English did not specialize in it when given the chance (especially since you say you prefer History, which would raise a red flag for me). The SoP or recs where you can address that. Basically, I think a great test result could help, but it won’t make you an equivalent candidate to an English major and your SoP will be your most significant component.
  2. In my experience a conference can cost you up to 800+ when you take everything into account. Even without flight costs there are costs you will have to bear and generally I’d avise against doing to any conference without funding, unless it’s so close that the costs are negligible. I don’t think conference matter much at this stage in your career. I’ve been going to some since undergrad and the experience is definitely nice, but I don’t think it’s particularly useful for you right now. If you WANT to go and CAN go then go ahead, but this is unlikely to have much effect on your academic career in any predictable way (there’s always a chance you run into someone who has similar interests and you connect, etc.). I’d say that grad conferences are generally less prestigious than general conferences.
  3. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I’d say courses in my area are offered less frequently, but the question then is which to choose. In my undergrad we didn’t have elective courses at all so this is a new experience for me.
  4. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    My department has added 3 new courses in the vicinity of my area but I have been told by another grad student that I am unlikely to be allowed to audit an additional course. Still no idea what to do.
  5. Most departments will be pretty strong in American lit as a broad field because it encompasses so much.
  6. I remember there have been people in the past with interests in SF, so have a search through this subforum. As for fit, there’s no guide. Ask around, see what reputation places have, see where specialists apply to on these forums, see hiring trends by departments, check profiles to see which specialties are represented, what courses are offered historically, does the department state anything on the website, etc. Or, find scholars with similar interests through conference abstracts, journal articles, publications and see where they work/where they did their PhD (if recent). It’s one of the tougher parts of applying and the more specialized your field the harder (though sometimes easier) it can be.
  7. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Thanks, we will be assigned an advisor in August so we’ll have to wait on that one. As for the orals, that’s a tough question because whose to say what topics will offered in semester 4, or what my topics will be. Technically none of the courses offered now are actually in what would make my oral lists. It’s just tough all around. In a great way though, I’ve had semesters where none of my classes were appealing in the slightest so this is much better.
  8. I’ve done L2 teaching at the university, high school and after school levels and I found that the degree to which they’re different or the same depends on your teaching style. It’s all quite relative but generally I’d say that adults require a different approach than teens, though I dunno what exactly made you miserable so it’s hard to gauge.
  9. There’s a debate going on about whether a PhD in English will prepare you for anything in particular. I guess the question for you is what you want to spend your life doing, and if teaching at university (assuming you manage to, it’s a tough profession to get into) and doing research don’t appeal to you, maybe a PhD isn’t the best way to spend your time. As for publishing, I dunno enough about the field so i dunno if an MS will help you beyond what your MA will.
  10. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    My department has just added a new course that I would love to take so I’m really stressing out about which courses to pick. It really is a privileged predicament, but it’s hard to pick what is the best course of action. There are 3 courses that would be perfect for me but don’t fulfill any requirements, a great course that would fulfill a requirement but is ostensibly offered every year, a great course but in another department, and then 1-3 courses that would fill requirements but aren’t my fields (though seeing as I have to take some at some point, some would be as good as it gets within those fields). No idea how to play this. Go for pure indulgence? Play it safe with requirements? This without taking into account that maybe I could take 4 classes since there’s no teaching, or audit a course. Or that maybe some of the requirements will be waived. Or that maybe I should limit my courseload since I’ll have to adapt to the area and help my wife (who doesn’t speak the language fluently and has never lived away from home) settle. Or taking into account the question of should you use the first year to branch out or delve into your area? Establish connections with potential supervisors or get to know other faculty? I know that ultimately any choice will be a good one, but it would be so awesome to know every single course to be offered forever and make a perfect plan.
  11. WildeThing

    Academic Writing Samples

    Don’t submit as is. It’s possible they won’t notice or care, but why run the risk of being rejected for something so small? Following instructions is a part of graduate work, so I’d avoid raising red flags wherever possible. Whether one or two will depend on if two are even allowed. Nevertheless, even if they are, I would recommend expanding one. Most graduate courses have you submit a final paper of 15-20 pages. Showing an ability to do that is helpful, as weaving convincing arguments together is an important skill (though synthesizing is also an important skill).
  12. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to do a syllabus/notes sharing deal on here, assuming that sort of thing is allowed (by universities, not sure if course contents are protected).
  13. It's standard not to have your full transcripts and grades when applying. It won't be held against you. If you think your grades will improve your odds as they will be better, then I guess trying to include them is better, but whether you will be able to will depend on deadlines (some schools allow you to input fall grades after you submit the application). As for qualifications, I would assume that English is not necessarily literature, but I would ask for clarification. A quick email to the point shouldn't garner snarky responses usually, though make sure you read the website and FAQs as if the question is answered there it's just a waste of time.
  14. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I'm not sure yet because we can't register for course until later in the summer, but right now I'm thinking about Contemporary Af-Am Fiction, Multiethnic American Fiction, and Feminist Theory. There's also a very interesting Black Lit and Culture course in the History department which would be great. Honestly, I'm having a hard time deciding whether to take all the courses I'm interested in and satisfy the requirements later or divide it equally. Is anyone else anxious about this? For instance, I have three requirements and there are some good courses I could take now that would satisfy them, but I also really want to take courses in my field. If I put them off, perhaps the required courses won't be as interesting (or they might be MORE interesting), and perhaps later there won't be any courses in my field (or there will be amazing ones and I'll have to pass to take another course). I'd love to get a 4 year course plan so I can make efficient choices. Gonna wait until I know what books I'll need for my courses and take those, plus anything that seems like it might be useful for them. If there's room, I'll take some for general reading, especially if they're hard to find in libaries and such, or have notes I could use. I'm planning on just gradually taking more and more and asking people who come and visit to bring some when they come. Since there's still time until I have to work on thesis/comps, I can wait with my core texts.
  15. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I’ve got my housing down, waiting for my visa and other administrative stuff. Excited to register for classes already and get all the final which will hopefully be soon.
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