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illcounsel last won the day on March 24

illcounsel had the most liked content!

About illcounsel

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    M.A/Ph.D. in English Literature

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  1. I would say get as close to the requirement as you can. The program that I am attending in the fall had a 20-25 page requirement on their website. I submitted a piece that was 15 pages, the best section from my undergrad thesis. So, some programs may not really care as long as the writing is strong and unique.
  2. I don't think this is the case actually. Of the 10-15 funded (U.S) MA programs that I know about, all of them have a PhD option as well.
  3. I can't really speak to the differences in applications, but there are two very important factors to consider about UK Programs. 1) Funding - As far as I know, UK programs generally are not funded. Meaning, you are paying for school on top of rent, supplies, food, etc. The U.S. has many funded MA Literature programs which not only make it so that you don't pay to go to school, but also get paid to teach/T.A. I am attending one of these programs in the fall, so if you have more questions about funded MA programs, let me know. 2) Program Length - Generally, MA programs in the U.K. are one year. This may seem appealing because it shortens the time you are in school, but if you want to continue on to a PhD. it can make things much more difficult. Letters of Recommendation are a HUGE part of the application process. If you go to a 1 year program, that starts in September, it basically means that you only have 1-3 months to forge meaningful relationships with your letter writers vs. 1 year+ in 2 year programs. Also, UK letters generally are a little less personal and enthusiastic than US letters. My advice is that you apply to a mix of PhD. and U.S. MA programs. You may wish to apply to some UK programs too, but know the cons of doing so. Just my opinions of course. Let me know if you want any follow-up!
  4. What are you going to do with your time before school starts?!
  5. In my opinion, it is not worth taking the time or money to sit for the GRE again. The GRE is not super-scored, so the admissions committee would most likely only look at your most recent score. I had basically the same score as you (163 V, 150Q, and 3.5AW) and was advised by my mentors that retaking the test was not worth it. The GRE is one of the least important parts of your application package. Schools that still require the test (many schools have moved away from this) will not weigh it as heavily as a writing sample or LOR.
  6. You can see a spreadsheet in this thread (tab over to see MA programs): .
  7. I submitted a 15 page WS (a section of my undergrad thesis) to the program I am attending in the fall which had a 20-25 page requirement on the website. However, this was after substantial, substantial revision and editing. I truly felt like it was the best I could possibly write at the time. I would suggest that you take a few months rewriting the paper you feel most excites you and best fits your interests. For example, if you want to study Early Modern literature, don't submit a sample on modern Irish lit. If, after many rounds of editing and reworking, you feel that you have your best work, submit it. I would imagine it would be more than 8 pages by then.
  8. If you have any more questions, you can post them in the Literature forum or message me directly!
  9. OmG!!!!!! I've tried to get used to reading 1-3 hours a day in preparation for school. I am sure the amount of reading will still blindside me though!!!!
  10. In addition to this, I have also had great success emailing scholars to ask for PDF's of a specific article of theirs. If you explain your situation and your interest in their work, it usually comes off great. I have done this a handful of times, mostly with scholars earlier in their career. Plus, if gives you a chance to network a small amount with these folks. Someone feel free to add to this or correct me if they think this is a faux pas!
  11. It's so awesome that your professor reached out so far ahead of time!!!! That is so exciting. What are some of the highlights of the reading list?
  12. From what I have gathered from the English forum on here, I would say about 10-12 is an average amount. It is also important to note that there is no such thing as a "safety" school like there is in undergrad schools. ANY English PhD program is hard to get into, so you want to have a variety of schools that fit your research interests. Fit is one of the most important things that an admissions committee looks at. If you have the most stellar grades and GRE scores, but don't mesh well will the department (I.E. you study Early Modern literature and they have few faculty in the field), they will pass on you. I have seen many friends get rejected from schools in the 10-50 range, but get into a few top 10 programs because their interests overlapped nicely with faculty in that school's department. It is also worth noting you may want to add a few MA programs into your mix. There are a handful of fully-funded English MA programs around the country at great institutions. I chose to apply to 5 MA programs and 4 PhD programs. This is because I want to go to a top 10 school in my field. While I did not get into the PhD programs (all at top schools), I did get into all 5 MA programs. This will give me a chance to strengthen my profile, refine my research interests, get published/present at conferences. My MA program has placed students into PhD programs in all the schools that I applied to. Hope this helps!
  13. I would love to know what the readings for this class look like !
  14. A real thing to think about is letters of recommendation. If your MA institution is different than where you did your undergrad, you will only have a few short months to develop meaningful relationships with your professors. While it can be done, you will have to work hard to make sure you can get quality letters written. It might be worth waiting another cycle to have stronger letters and a (hopefully) high MA GPA.
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