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shepardn7

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  1. Trust me, at least at this point in time, the score you get is not half-graded by a computer rater. Here is the info from the GRE site: "For the Analytical Writing section, each essay receives a score from two trained readers, using a six-point holistic scale. In holistic scoring, readers are trained to assign scores on the basis of the overall quality of an essay in response to the assigned task. If the two assigned scores differ by more than one point on the scale, the discrepancy is adjudicated by a third GRE reader. Otherwise, the scores from the two readings of an essay are aver
  2. This is definitely wrong! I once met someone who graded GRE essays. Real people do read them (many from academia, as I think to read them you do have to have taught college courses with a writing component). I would imagine that they get bored quickly. I would advise against this approach and just try to write a good essay (sentence variety and all), honestly.
  3. The ETS site has links to "benchmarks" (one essay to represent each grade) with commentary: http://www.ets.org/gre/general/scores/how/issue/ http://www.ets.org/gre/general/scores/how/argument Also, here is a informational booklet meant for faculty that has real essays with assigned scores (but no commentary): http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/gre_0809_How_to_Interpret_and_Use_AW_Scores.pdf
  4. The USC school of Arts and Letters just received a huge "gift" from a generous donor: $200 million dollars, to be allocated only to humanities programs. No science (not even social science), no sports stadiums--just liberal arts. This means every humanities program at USC, including the history doctoral program, will be getting a huge sum of money. Not sure what they'll do with it, but it's coming to them. I suspect they will use the money to persuade at least one prominent scholar to come to the program.... The "Princeton" name might carry you overseas, yes, but I wouldn't put too much sto
  5. While "pedigree" will always carry a slight bit of weight in these situations (whether applying to school or applying to jobs), I think the fact that your MA is fully funded might be more important than the name of school at which you received it. That is, some schools with rather prestigious Ph.D programs seem to give students little to no funding to attend their MA programs, and I think that your full waiver/stipend at the less prestigious MA will look better than an unfunded MA from Harvard (even though there are certain benefits a prestigious school might provide, such as access to certain
  6. It's probably best to go to the school with the better English dept (and specifically the one with the most respected scholars in your area), but I know you applied to creative writing Ph.D programs, not traditional programs, which are a whole different arena. There is no US News ranking for them and likely never will be. Seth Abramson maintains a blog (http://creative-writ...2.blogspot.com/) with very "loose" rankings based on his own limited data of where people applied, but that's pretty much it; you should take them with a huge grain of salt. I would just go to the place in a preferred loc
  7. Oh, it's not a big deal! Sometimes tone doesn't come across well on the Internet, especially when one is in disagreement, etc.
  8. I'm not trying to be judgy. I don't care what personal decisions people make because it's not really my business. I just can't imagine paying 100K for a Columbia MA in English (or MFA, for that matter), and when I try to put myself in those shoes, I do literally feel a little queasy. Debt is terrifying, and I am legitimately curious what situations would make that amount of debt worth it. I think it's interesting that someone dinged me a red mark just for asking the question--why? Why do people feel this is the best decision for them? I'm not trying to be a jerk, really.
  9. I have no stake in this debate, but those statistics prove absolutely nothing about the quality of the literary scholarship being produced by students and alums. Many mathematicians received verbal scores above 695 and received As in both science and humanities courses, too. Instead, you might want to direct people to, say, published papers by Columbia MA students and grads. This left me dumbstruck. I simply do not understand why you made the decision you did. The thought of it kind of makes me nauseous, actually. Why in the world?
  10. Yes, this is basically it. I don't know what test you guys took, but I took a test like this. Studying didn't really help. Honestly, I think studying the facts and Nortons for three months allowed me to pick up something like, I don't know, 3-5 questions? I could have gone in there without studying. In fact, I scored ten points less on the real test than I did on my first practice test, which I took before studying. And I had been doing better on my other practice tests after a fair amount of studying, too -- it's just that the particular test I took favored ETS-style reading comp questions ov
  11. I am also waitlisted at my one and only choice. Feeling pretty dead inside. My friend in the program says I have hope -- that all it takes is one person to drop, and that at least one person inevitably goes elsewhere. But there are only three spots for incoming students, so I am not holding my breath.
  12. Congrats! I'd probably still go to Minn if I were in your position, but the two years of fellowship is indeed tempting.
  13. It sounds as if you don't know what you want to do. You shouldn't just go to grad school because you want to go back to school. You should feel driven towards it because it's either a passion or necessary step in your particular career path (or both). Like, my MFA in creative writing was not a waste of time (or money, as it was fully-funded) because I want to be a writer and am serious about being a writer -- writing defines my life. It was also a necessary step in my desired career path: the MFA qualifies me for certain fellowships, and to teach at the university level in the field. What do y
  14. Congrats. I'm sure your writing sample was much better than you thought. Trust me, no one gets into a school like that without a strong writing sample. I don't think that "strong" means "publishable"--it just means that the sample shows great potential for your future scholarly work.
  15. Does Ziggs only show you data from the time you make your profile, or does it show you anything from beforehand? Now seems too late to make an account, since all the Googlng will already have been done.
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