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About karamazov

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  • Interests
    19th century American lit, American realism and naturalism, 19th century Russian literature, literature and philosophy, literature and ethics
  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    English Lit

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  1. Do discursive endnotes count towards page limits? I'm moving some pieces of my 15 page writing sample into the notes, which will shorten the actual paper's length. The paper will overall still be 15 pages long if the endnotes are included, but it will sit at something more like 13 or 14 pages without them. Will this be an issue for schools that want writing samples between 15 and 20 pages? Will the total length of 15 pages including endnotes be okay with adcomms, or do they only include the content of the paper itself in that 15-20 page range?
  2. @Warelin @Bumblebea Thank you both so much for the information and advice! I really appreciate it.
  3. Could you possibly elaborate a bit on this? Besides Penn State and Boston U, which other schools tend to favor BA-only applicants?
  4. Can the fact that people on an admissions committee know/have worked with/have studied with a letter writer benefit an applicant? My main undergraduate adviser, who will also be writing one of my letters, earned his doctorate from my top choice program, graduated with a man who is now the director of graduate admissions at another of my top choices, and seems to be in touch professionally with a number of my POIs. Could I possibly hope that this might do some good for my application? I know the WS and SoP hold the most weight, but could adcomms' familiarity with a letter writer make any difference? Does anyone have experience with this?
  5. Is anyone familiar with the etiquette of applying to two departments at one school? For instance, if I'm interested in both an English department and a comparative literature department at a certain university, can I apply to both departments? Can I use the same writing sample and a slightly altered version of the same statement of purpose, or is that considered bad taste? Both departments seem to be great fits for me, and given the considerable overlap between the faculty in the two departments (joint appointments, affiliated faculty, etc.), being able to study in either department would be a dream. Applying to both would provide two possible avenues through which I could work with those scholars, but I don't know if doing so would be a faux pas, and actually hurt my chances of acceptance to either department. Thoughts?
  6. Thank you so much for this. I'll keep this in mind while working on my applications, and I'll try not to let my anxiety swallow me whole.
  7. I'm applying as a senior in undergrad, and I'm a bit nervous about competing for spots in phD programs against those who already have an MA in hand. I feel like I've read somewhere on this forum that some programs hold BA-only students to slightly different standards than their MA counterparts. Does anyone have insight to share on this? If the two groups were held to the same standards, wouldn't those with master's degrees almost invariably have the upper hand? Given the dismal acceptance rates to phD programs, I know departments will only accept applicants they believe to be the most capable of completing the program, those whose research questions are productive and well defined, etc. Since students who have an MA have had more time to pursue their scholarly interests, define their research questions, and prepare for a phD program, I almost can't fathom how a BA-only applicant could compete. I'm applying to both MA and phD programs, so even if I don't get any phD offers this cycle, I'm hopeful for the chance to attend an MA program, but I would love to hear anything you all have to say on the topic.
  8. That makes a lot of sense. I hadn't thought about that before. Thank you! I'll probably wait to see if I'm accepted before contacting them. Thanks again for the response.
  9. Is anyone here familiar with how exactly a tuition "supplement" differs from a tuition waiver? While I understand a graduate program's guarantee of a tuition waiver to mean that the student does not pay the university's tuition, I'm not sure if a "supplement" equates to this or not. The program (University of SC - Columbia) does note that they offer stipends, which suggests that tuition would be covered*, but they also say students receive in-state tuition status, which doesn't seem relevant unless that cost actually needs to be paid out of pocket. Does anyone have experience with this? I know that funding packages offered by public schools, especially those with lower rankings, can be lackluster compared to those of shiny, upper-tier private schools, but the lack of even a tuition waiver seems a bit much. I would also think they wouldn't advertise the want of such basic funding on the program's FAQ. But, then again, their mention of in-state tuition status suggests tuition might be at least partially covered by the student. Should I contact the department about this or should I not concern myself too much about it until I actually have an acceptance (with, presumably, a more explicit funding package) in hand? Thanks in advance. *If the department offers money to the grad student in the form of a stipend, I would assume that the tuition payment is covered. If a student gets a stipend but not a tuition waiver, their stipend money would just go toward paying tuition, anyway, so why would the university give them money that will just be returned in the form of tuition?
  10. Hi, everyone! I'll be applying to both MA and phD programs this fall. I'm a late nineteenth century Americanist with particular interests in the overlap between American literature and continental philosophy, the relationship between Russian and American realism, and the influence of the Civil War on the development of American realism and naturalism. I've been working on adapting a paper I wrote for an upper division English course to use as my WS, but I have yet to start on my SoP. I took the GRE for the first time a few weeks ago, but I might take it again in August. A couple of my top choices still require the subject test, so I'll need to take that, as well. I'm a bit concerned that my interests might be too "comparative" to be appealing to an English department (vs. a comp lit dept). I have managed to find some scholars in English departments whose interests relate to my own, but it took some digging. These scholars are few and far between, though, so I'm not sure how that's going to affect my application. I'm looking forward to talking to you all about this process over the next 6+ months!
  11. @illcounsel Thank you for the advice! I'll definitely put some more thought into whether or not I really want to retake it.
  12. When I took the GRE for the first time last week, I felt good about the first essay, but I choked on the second. I froze up and barely got two paragraphs written before time ran out. I knew this would almost certainly ruin my AW score, and I was right: 3.5 AW. I am pretty sure I'm going to retake in order to boost that score since I know I can do better, but I'm actually content with my 164 V and 151 Q. If either of these two scores were to go down the next time I take the test, would admissions committees consider my highest scores on each test, or will they only look at my most recent scores? I feel like I should retake, but I'm nervous about not pulling off the V and Q scores a second time and admissions committees only seeing the lower scores (but the higher AW).
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