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Everything posted by Tigla

  1. @webbks I personally think that is too broad. I have been drafting my own SOP and working with a couple colleagues with their own versions. The common critique we keep getting from our professors is that we are not citing enough theory and using it in our explanation of our intended topic. For instance, I kept describing development theory and the historiography surrounding the field, but I continuously failed to mention post-modernism, post-colonialism, modernization theory, institutional economic theory, or convention economic history. Without giving at least a passing remark to these theories, my topic seemed detached from the actual historiography, despite my depth of knowledge. In your paragraph, I would ask you the following questions (hopefully to help you tighten it up a bit). Have other historians attempted such a research project? If yes, why and how do you differ from them? Which theories and schools of thought will help you form your ideas? Can you fluently speak Italian and Russian? If not, are you learning the languages? Why are you choosing the twentieth century? Granted, you might not be able to answer all of the questions, but being able to answer some of them shows a level of understanding and competence which the SOP needs to demonstrate.
  2. Yes. I'm in the process of publishing an old paper after I saw a CfP on a listserv. I knew I had a paper that fit the description, and after a bit of tweaking and editing, it was accepted into the review process for publishing. I would keep all your papers handy and saved in some fashion, whether that be digital or paper is up to you. You never know when your old work will finally pay off.
  3. Hello all, This is my second time through the cycle, and as usual, I'm having some problems with the SOP. Right now, I think I will benefit most from someone reading it over and commenting on it. I can keep trying to edit it, but I don't see the point when I have tightened up the SOP and have what I want to say in it. So, if anyone is interested in doing a quick read through, please comment then I will PM you the document. Thank you in advance.
  4. I would agree with everyone here by saying that positions in academia are rough all over the world. Here in Germany, a lot of professors are being asked to take on larger workloads and increasing asked to fund their own research. However, there is a plus with the current way in which PhDs are taught. Most PhD programs make students take a major field and then either one or two minor fields. In addition, you have to learn at least 1 foreign language; although most need 2 languages. With these skills and expertise in several areas, applying outside academia is starting to become a common trend, at least in Europe. Recent PhD graduates have been employed by NGOs, supranational organizations, government organizations, and even companies which need translators, as well as expertise in specific regions. My suggestion is to keep yourself open to a position in any field. Academia is shrinking, but the private and government sectors are slightly opening to historians who can sell themselves, their work and their skills.
  5. My experience (second time through the cycle) is to leave out anything that is irrelevant. You have about a page or two to explain your life/academic career and why a graduate degree is the next step for you. Personally, I would leave out anything from high school, unless it truly shaped you and changed your career path. If not, then it is fine to make a passing remark (no more than a sentence) and move into your time as an undergraduate. Ultimately, it is your decision and you need to tell your story in your own special and creative way.
  6. Thank you all for the advice. You are really making me think this over. The reason I'm having some trouble deciding, whether to take the GRE again or not, is because my professors here in Germany are telling me not to do it. I have several published articles and book reviews, I'm almost fluent in German and I'm working on Russian, too. The professors (they studied in the USA about 5 years ago) are saying that with those other qualifications and a two-year old GRE, the scores should be overlooked. Granted, this is coming from German professors, but they have me re-thinking about taking it again. It is one of those dilemmas, whether all the other supporting documents outweigh an old GRE score. Honestly, thank you though. I'll be reaching out to a professor in the States to get his take on the situation.
  7. The GRE is mostly a means to weed out unserious candidates (at least that is what I continuously hear from my professors). I would not worry too much because you have practical experience in the field which you want to study. That is a major plus for any application. The one thing I would watch out for is the TOEFL. Language seems to be the one thing that gets everyone, so I would focus on nailing the TOEFL and the other aspects of your application, rather than retaking the GRE. Best of luck in the cycle!
  8. Unfortunately, I cannot access the doc files. Can you PM me the text? I'll be happy to give you some help.
  9. Hi all, Verbal - 152 / Quantitative - 152 / Writing - 5 The question that is rattling around my head is whether I should re-take the GRE. I took the test two years ago and scored okay, but not the greatest. I'm planning on applying to PhD programs in history. I have been doing my Master's abroad in Germany and plan to complete it next summer. I think the test scores will not hurt me too much, but they will definitely not do me any favors when applying. Do any of you see a problem with using these scores or should I really consider re-taking the god awful GRE?
  10. Hi all, I'm making my go at PhDs this round. Last year, I got into a Master's program in Germany for Global History and I plan to finish by August 2018. I'll be making an attempt at getting into post-war Germany / Cold War history. I have a couple topics I am playing with, but they all revolve around the idea of "Germany in the World," institution based economic history and complicating both the theological and ideological driven history written about the Cold War. As for the universities, I have them sorta narrowed down based on whether it will be a national history or global history degree. My top universities in the USA (at the moment) are Columbia, UNC, and Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, I'm looking at University of Birmingham, Cambridge, and London School of Economics in the UK. I have about another 8 or so, but these will get further cut down as the process of reaching out to professors begins this summer/fall. Best of luck to everyone this cycle!
  11. Funding is a bit rough for Americans, at the moment. I have gone through the process with the DAAD and Deutschlandstipendium twice (both rejections), and several political parties. First, your German has to be almost fluent. You will have an interview about your application, research project, goals for studying in Germany, and future plans. Second, and unfortunately, the funding targets for the federal government has shifted towards Asia and Africa, which makes the limited scholarships designated for North America even more competitive. Finally, you can only work a maximum of 20 hours a week during the semester as a student in Germany. Despite the negatives, you have one massive plus. You are a native English speaker! Throughout my program, I have been teaching English and doing some English editing for fellow students. If you can carve out a niche, you will find plenty of work that can sustain you. Another bonus would be having some German skills (at least B1). If you have both language skills, then finding work will be easier, but still fairly difficult. Sorry if I sound a bit pessimistic, but the past couple years have jaded me a bit about funding for foreigners in Germany.
  12. Hi Sarah, Depending on your level of German, you may not have anywhere near enough time to work a full-time job plus study German through the DAAD. Most programs and courses through the DAAD are a full-time job (between 35 and 40 hours a week) worth of studying, memorizing, and practicing. However, depending on the scholarship you receive, the DAAD may fund you to move to Germany and study German before your coursework begins. As for the passing criteria, it again depends (I know I'm a broken record) on the scholarship, language of your program (English or German), level of program (BA, MA, PhD), etc. I recommend reaching out to the DAAD and asking them these questions. They will be able to help you more and will understand the intricacies of your scholarship.
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