Doll Tearsheet

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About Doll Tearsheet

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  1. No problem. It was distracting but somehow we got through it. As for your comment about nothing that for advice, the thing is that I already knew that, and all the professors I asked for advice were into their tenure and had completed PhD programs, so it wasn't helpful even in that minimal sense (haha).
  2. @GreenEyedTrombonist Marvellous. I will reach out, and any others that express interest, when I'm ready with a draft. Should you be busy when that time comes, then I would understand of course.
  3. I've got some great replies here, I've read all this advice and am taking it to heart for sure, since much of it seems spot-on. The only thing I can say at this point is this: As I go on to do my research over the next few months/year, I was wondering if anyone here would be interested in seeing a draft of what I write (again probably a few months later) and potentially giving some feedback? Figured I'd ask to see if anyone might be interested, and then when the time comes around I can send a private message on these forums. I do have 3 professors at my school who would read it, but outside of those three, I don't have anyone else to send it for any feedback, so I figured the more the merrier if possible.
  4. Thank you, no hard feelings at all
  5. @EmmaJava "The thread isn't derailed when the relevant post to the OP was largely to do with precisely this issue." This doesn't have anything to do with my topic. To be honest If you are a true "fellow academic" of his, then you would care more about discussing research strategies and research philosophy than sounding off on unrelated tangents...but anyway, here's hoping we can move past that unnecessary discussion.
  6. Yes, I have read many articles throughout the years both out of curiosity and in courses, though I don't do it daily. I found them helpful at the level of teaching me what language to use and some potential key "moves" to make. They're useful but every thesis is distinct and has its own concerns and needs for decisions about structure and language, so they're a bit limited in how much they can help. As for your suggestion The Craft of Research, I will definitely check that out. I've also been recommended the research book They Say/I Say but I find it a bit general for my needs. Your book suggestion seems to have the added benefit of being written by a well respected scholar in literary studies.
  7. @EmmaJava - Wow. I didn't know the Professor/Dr. distinction was that contentious. I called everyone at my college either Dr. or Professor (usually professor when I had a strange subconscious vibe that they preferred "professor"). Now that I think about it, I referred to all the adjuncts as Professor too (other students along with me). In fact, I distinctly remember one guy getting a little uncomfortable about me calling him "Dr" when he didn't end up finishing with his PhD (boy that was a slightly awkward conversation), but he seemed to accept all the students calling him "professor" even though he was an adjunct without a PhD. As to the part of your post about research...that's interesting. I will try that sometime, just going hog-wild in the library. The professor that recommended that advice to me, it seems like his idea of a fun evening is reading journal articles on JSTOR. In his own research, that seems to have been his strategy. He once also told me that he strongly recommended at least 20 hours of time a week to be devoted to research to produce something quality, for probably a few months (based on his experience). Looking back on it, he was pretty hardcore and intellectual, but his advice is probably correct.
  8. Thank you. I do agree that there is a possibility of miscommunication with that professor, as he may be a particularly bad communicator, socially speaking. However I do believe he has high expectations for students, including me, so he may have actually been serious now that I think about it. (He once recommended to me to read twenty full-length books associated with a narrow field and advised me that would lead, potentially, to a publishable paper). I will take your advice. So far, I've been free-reading a bunch of topics that pique my interest and writing down my ideas. Hoping a topic will catch fire with me, and then I'll investigate it further, then hopefully write about it (in the order you recommended).
  9. One of my favorite professors, my adviser, would always tell me that if I wanted to do research (like for a writing sample) and write about a literary author as the primary focus of my essay, I should read all the important critical literature of that author as well as full-length books. Basically his expectation seemed like I should be very well-versed in the secondary literature, and also be very aware of how I'm contributing/interacting with it. Are his expectations unrealistic or...? I find myself getting stuck in a vicious circle: I can't write until I know enough secondary literature and how my argument contributes to it, but then once I read enough, I become too paralyzed to write and have trouble presenting all those complex ideas.
  10. I recently graduated from an undergrad university where there wasn't a strong focus on research. Currently, I'm out of school and working on a writing sample to apply to graduate level. I'm fairly well read in my interests, but my problem is that I'm terrible at formulating completely original thoughts about texts, and then writing a 20+ page essay, all the while interacting with other scholars/commentators and interlacing their commentary with my own. Many times I believe I have uncovered a promising research topic to explore, only to give up because I start doubting myself. I had some fairly talented professors at my school (who isn't that has a Ph.D?), and they gave me some advice - all of which I listen to and remember to this day - but it still feels like I'm missing something. As well, I've been told I'm a good writer by professors, unprompted, who have graded my papers. However, I don't really feel that way, nor like I'm in as much control as I want when I write. I get the basic idea behind research and have read many academic papers, but right now I guess I just suck at actually writing it all out myself. My biggest problem is probably with structure. I want to get better. Any advice?
  11. Advice for Comp Lit application

    I have a question of my own, figured I'd ask it here. If I want to apply in Comp. Lit but my undergrad major was English Literature, would I still be able to? How does that work? I know a good bit of French, and in my opinion I can handle work at that level in French, but I recall one of my professors (who graduated from a comp lit program) telling me that I need to prove I can handle reading literature in another language that level, not just highly advanced language classes that had literature in that language. Basically, if I submitted an academic essay in French as a W.S would that prove my competence along with my classes? Just really curious about that. Basically, can I apply with only an English B.A?
  12. Making myself a better candidate

    Take me with a grain of salt too because I haven't applied yet, and the fact that there's always differing perspectives on the application process. But from my conversations and understanding, the SOP is written in plain language and answers key questions (why you, how prepared are you, etc) with compelling reasons, while the WS is supposed to show your best writing ability at a professional level of scholarship. In that sense, I understand the roles as reversed: the SOP is not the showhorse, but the WS is.
  13. Yes it is required. If you don't have access to databases, can you go to the local library? Not only should the WS have scholarly sources, but it should also try to appear original and connected to current literary debates on some level. (The latter is especially true of the PHD level)
  14. How does one even "borrow" from a SOP? They are so individualized that it may be actually impossible. The SOP is not supposed to be some creative genius type of work. It is very simple in theory. The hard part is explaining why you by using your own individual experiences, which is literally impossible for anyone else to have.