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Found 42 results

  1. Hello everyone ! I am an international student, applying to PhD program in Biological and biomedical sciences in USA. I would like to ask about " Writing samples", what are they? I have a master degree thesis, is it suitable to post? Should I post" the introduction, aim of the work, materials and methods, results and discussion" parts? Should i include references or not? Also, can anyone provide me with "samples" of relevant "writing samples" ? Thanks a lot
  2. Advice on Editing MA Report

    So 1 of my programs asks for the entire MA thesis while another asks for the abstract and one or more chapters. I was planning to use my dissertation as the basis of all my writing samples, but two of the samples require much shorter lengths. One requires 15-20 pages and the other "no more than 30." My MA report is 154 pages (including references and appendices; probably ~100 pages of actual report content) at 1.5x spacing. Any ideas on how to reduce it down? Should I include a link to the full report as part of my submission? The report sections are: Abstract Introduction Contextual Information Research Design and Methodology Findings and Insights (longest section at 34 pages) Deliverable Design and Presentation Reflections
  3. Hi everyone, For some of the programs I'm applying to, a "diversity statement" or "personal statement" is required in addition to the standard Statement of Purpose. However, for schools that only ask for the Statement of Purpose, there is a field where I can attach additional documents. Would it be wise to provide a diversity statement to a school that isn't asking for it? Similarly, if a school is not asking for a writing sample, what are your opinions on providing one in the space to upload supplemental files? Basically, long question short is: to what extent should you/should you not upload supplemental files not specifically requested? Could it ever hurt to provide more? Thanks!
  4. So - a few questions regarding the writing sample: should I include an abstract? Currently I am using APA style, with end notes -- keep?
  5. Font Size on WS Opinions

    The standard at my college was size 12 font for any paper, unless otherwise specified. None of my applications specify font size, though it is obvious they want a reasonable size. I was wondering if it would be unreasonable to change the font size to 11? My WS is about 20 pages over the average limit, and changing the font size gets me to about 10 pages over the average limit. Edit: Using Times New Roman.
  6. I'm slogging through my W.S. rewrite and have realized that my usual tricks aren't getting me where I'd like to go - so, instead of moping around, I figured I'd shoot a message out to you all. Are there any useful techniques you use when re-approaching work? Any weird habits that work really well? I'm struggling with revising without starting something new - I've had the wonderful (but also horrible) experience of discovering work written on the stuff I'm working on that was written AFTER I'd produced this paper. As such, I'd like to reorient and incorporate this scholarship, but I also don't want to end up writing an entirely new paper in response to it. I'm also focusing too much on details; instead of moving forward with larger revisions (like paragraph argument-flow & sentence-level corrections ), I'm trapped by single words. It's probably procrastination manifesting as a dogged pursuit of a synonym for the word "aim," but it's been 3 days and I gotta move past the "ew, ugh, why did I write tHiS, I canNOT lEt tHiS mONstRosity ExIsT?!" feeling and just get on with it. Me and my stitched-together monster of a paper would appreciate any and all tricks y'all have. and thanks in advance!
  7. I’m currently applying to Ph.D. programs and I’m seeking advice regarding writing samples. For context: About half of the programs to which I’ll be applying are Philosophy Ph.D. programs and the remainder of which are either English Ph.D. programs or some combination of the two (e.g., Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at Ohio State Uni). My background is a Bachelor’s in English Literature with a minor in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Critical and Cultural Theory. My question is: for literature program applications, if my Master’s work focused predominantly on media studies and involved virtually no material from a specific literary epoch or period but rather focused on philosophical and theoretical works, would it be better to submit as my writing sample an undergraduate essay focused primarily on literature (to display my abilities in this field), a Master's level essay that hints toward the literary application but does not engage in close readings, or a Master's level work that better represents my intended areas of study at the Ph.D. level but does not emphasize my abilities in traditional literary study? (Another issue is that my best literary works composed during my undergraduate career were independent research projects or for graduate courses and are much longer than max. writing sample lengths and may perhaps be the most difficult to reduce to any succinct excerpt.) I’m struggling to decide if my best Master’s essay on Critical Theory, which is also my starting point for my intended Ph.D. dissertation topic, would be overlooked by English programs due to the lack of traditional literary engagement even though the English programs to which I am applying are fairly open-minded regarding the definition of “literature.” Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide!
  8. Hi, all – I apologize in advance if any of my questions are glaringly obvious, but I require gradcafe wisdom on submitting a multimedia essay to PhD programs in English literature and similar disciplines like cultural/media studies. As a point of reference, my essay examines the ideological edifice of two Steve Bannon documentaries, Torchbearer and Generation Zero, and draws on the theoretical framework of S. Žižek's The Sublime Object of Ideology. Such analysis requires that I embed clips from either film as textual evidence, and the platform I decided upon was WordPress, buying my own domain to give a little autonomy to the project. To start, how do different PhD programs deal with this type of submission? I'm sure disciplines like media studies have pretty clear-cut protocol for what I'm describing, but I'm not sure how English literature programs might differ, if at all, but they're my main point of interest here, so it'd help to receive as much knowledge as I can on the subject. Further, might there be an advantage to briefly describing relevant scenes in my essay, as Žižek so often does, in lieu of embedded clips? On the one hand, this move would streamline the complication by maintaining a purely textual essay; on the other hand, I can't possibly imagine paraphrasing a literary text, e.g. Ulysses, for an entire paper without losing rhetorical effect on some demonstrative level. (Good grief, I never thought I would ever align Joyce and Bannon in a metaphorical capacity – I think I may need an ice-cold shower, or perhaps a holy water blessing from Dr. Buck Mulligan himself.) If you're so inclined, I also have a few less-pressing questions: 1) Preferentially, is WordPress the best platform for a multimedia essay such as mine? 2) How does one formalize your page-count with embedded videos, or does this ultimately not matter as much as word-count when submitting to programs? 3) Submitted multimedia essays should preclude peripheral or paratextual content, like expository "About" tabs, right? Thanks everyone!
  9. Hi, all – I apologize in advance if any of my questions are glaringly obvious, but I require gradcafe wisdom on submitting a multimedia essay to PhD programs in English literature and similar disciplines like cultural/media studies. As a point of reference, my essay examines the ideological edifice of two Steve Bannon documentaries, Torchbearer and Generation Zero, and draws on the theoretical framework of S. Žižek's The Sublime Object of Ideology. Such analysis requires that I embed clips from either film as textual evidence, and the platform I decided upon was WordPress, buying my own domain to give a little autonomy to the project. To start, how do different PhD programs deal with this type of submission? I'm sure disciplines like media studies have pretty clear-cut protocol for what I'm describing, but I'm not sure how English literature programs might differ, if at all, but they're my main point of interest here, so it'd help to receive as much knowledge as I can on the subject. Further, might there be an advantage to briefly describing relevant scenes in my essay, as Žižek so often does, in lieu of embedded clips? On the one hand, this move would streamline the complication by maintaining a purely textual essay; on the other hand, I can't possibly imagine paraphrasing a literary text, e.g. Ulysses, for an entire paper without losing rhetorical effect on some demonstrative level. (Good grief, I never thought I would ever align Joyce and Bannon in a metaphorical capacity – I think I may need an ice-cold shower, or perhaps a holy water blessing from Dr. Buck Mulligan himself.) If you're so inclined, I also have a few less-pressing questions: 1) Preferentially, is WordPress the best platform for a multimedia essay such as mine? 2) How does one formalize your page-count with embedded videos, or does this ultimately not matter as much as word-count when submitting to programs? 3) Submitted multimedia essays should preclude peripheral or paratextual content, like expository "About" tabs, right? Thanks everyone!
  10. Hello all! I'm new here, so apologies if there are already too many discussions on this topic. It appears I've fallen down the rabbit hole and have read (dozens?) of everyone's posts and replies, but I still have questions. Everyone seems very friendly and helpful, so thanks in advance for that! To be honest, I'm freaking out a bit about applying for English PhD programs for Fall 2018... I've wanted to apply to these programs for some time now, but finally got the courage to do something about it after being out of college for two years. It's not being in the actual programs or even job prospects that worries me but getting in as I'm sure it worries everyone else... I will also apply to a few Masters programs as "backup." So for those who have been accepted into such programs or anyone with knowledge on the subject, what do you feel was/is the greatest factor in acceptance? GRE? Writing sample? Combination of both? I'm basically treating my studies for the GRE as a full-time job right now so I can ace it and will worry more about the writing sample closer to application season. I know most programs say they look at your application holistically (and especially the SOP and WS), but I'm just looking for some honest feedback from people who have actually experienced this. It appears even though schools may say the GRE is never the sole factor that it is an extremely important one since the average scores are pretty high. Thoughts? Thank you all in advance! I look forward to becoming active on here.
  11. One of the universities that I'm applying to says that the writing sample should be 15-20 pages but no longer than 5000 words. This makes no sense because 5000 words is approximately 15 pages and most of my MA papers are still between 15-20 pages but longer than 5000 words. Should I strictly adhere to the 5000 word requirement or allow myself to submit a longer paper as long as it is within the 15-20 page limit? I emailed the department asking for a clarification about this and received no reply so I'm looking to my fellow gradcafe people for advice. That same university says that BOTH MA students and PhD students should submit a 500 word Statement of Purpose, which once again makes no sense for a PhD when every other university asks for a 1000 word one. Finally, I had another question about length requirements for the writing sample: If the writing sample is supposed to be no more than 20 pages, does this include the Works Cited? Can I still submit a paper than is 20 pages in length but has a 2 page Works Cited (making the document 22 pages in total)? Thanks in advance for the help!
  12. Hi all! Just registered here, so I"ll introduce myself. My name is Molly and I'm hoping to apply for general linguistics PhD programs this coming fall, 2017. I graduated from Williams in 2014 and did a sort of "create-your-own" major within the liberal arts curriculum. Williams lost its linguistics department right before I matriculated, so I ended up combining classes in cogsci, computer science, English lit, philosophy, German and Arabic to approximate a linguistics major. It was somewhat of a survey of theories of language across disciplines. I was able to take one introductory ling class at Williams (and actually became the TA for it) and then took a few masters-level ling classes when I studied abroad in Dublin. My GPA hovers around a 3.5, but is higher in junior/senior year and within my major. Now I'm hoping to study theoretical/generative linguistics, syntax, psycholinguistics and rhetoric. I've been aware for a while that I'll probably have to be ready to defend my readiness for a PhD given this self-designed major. This I plan to accomplish by preparing a killer statement of purpose and writing sample. My main concern is the writing sample. Coming from a liberal arts background, especially with no linguistics department, I had very little opportunity to do any serious research. My best papers from undergrad are theoretical explorations from English/philosophy, and don't have solid research underpinnings. I have a few linguistics papers from my time abroad, but they're nowhere near the quality of my papers done at my home school. I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of attempting a linguistics research paper on my own. Given my background, do you think it will be important for me to demonstrate my ability to do research by writing a new paper, or do you think it would be OK to rework a more theoretical paper I did in undergrad? Thanks so much!
  13. Submitting extract as a writing sample

    The program I'm applying to requires a writing sample of no more than 2000 words. However, the graduate website says that longer pieces are acceptable as long as a section of 2000 words is clearly highlighted. I'd like to go with the latter option - I have a 7000-word paper that I consider to be my strongest work.But I'm wondering what is the acceptable way to set apart an extract of the required length. Should it be in bold, or should I use a different font? Or would it be better simply to submit an extract with a cover note, rather than submit a longer work in its entirety? I'd be grateful for any advice!
  14. Writing Samples

    Hi Grad Cafe! I was hoping some of you could point me in the direction of writing samples that have been submitted with philosophy grad school applications. I'm curious about the quality of successful writing samples. I know what published work looks like, but I have no idea what high quality undergraduate work looks like.
  15. Writing Sample Template

    Does anyone have a writing sample that they can share on the forum? Or a template that has worked well for you? Thanks! I'm applying for admission into an MA program in Religion Studies, Sept 2017. The application deadline is the 15th and the current sample I have isn't very "academic", so if you have an academic one you can share, I'd appreciate it so much!!! Thank you! Ps. I've been out of school for a few years and working full-time in startups. Going back to school now and am a little rusty with the academic style of writing.
  16. Writing sample format

    Might be obvious questions but I'm applying to PhD programs for political science and was wondering if the writings samples should be single or double spaced, or 1.5? Thanks in advance!
  17. Hi all, I'm applying for Communication PhD programs and am well within the page limits for my writing sample. Should I add an abstract or cover page? I haven't seen other people do this, and wasn't planning on it because I thought I'd have a hard time staying within the limit. Thanks!
  18. Alright guys, I'm just finishing up my application for a PhD program (at 5 am on December 1st, because I'm the worst), and I'm having a problem. So, three days ago I was on the application site and I saw that they want a writing sample that's 20-25 pages. I was kind of blindsided by this, because I had compiled a list of the programs I was applying to and all of their deadlines and application specifics. Well for this program, I had 15-20 pages down. My writing sample was only about 13 and a half pages, and I knew I'd have to buff it up. I was just planning on adding in a conclusion and fluffing out a few paragraphs. Suddenly, I had to 'fluff' 6 new pages. I wasn't able to do it. So, I am going to submit it with just the 15 (14 and a half). Do you think this is an automatic rejection? Should I email them and explain? (I think that's a bad idea, but if it helps, I'd consider it) Hope your applications are going well and you didn't screw up like I did.
  19. Hey all, I am applying to a series of Religious Studies grad programs, and in several of them have indicated an interest in pursuing 'North American Religion'-type concentrations (out of Christianity, Judaism, Theology, Ancient Religions, etc.), but does that mean the writing sample necessarily has to be in the same area of concentration? I ask because I have some thesis chapters on Jewish emancipation in Germany on hand that I think could be, easily enough, edited into very strong writing samples. Whereas the thesis chapters that pertain more directly to religion in North America are far longer and more difficult to edit into writing sample format. Both options are very relevant to Religious Studies, but I worry about presenting writing that doesn't match up with my intended concentration. On the other hand, intended concentrations are purely informal, and I am fairly sure graduate students don't even formally select them until after the first few semesters or so. And it seems relevant to show breadth. Any ideas?
  20. Does anyone have any opinions/strategies on how to manage different writing sample requirements between schools? Posters here generally seem to talk about their writing sample in a way that implies they have only one. Is this what people usually do? Go with the shortest length and submit that for all applications? Or do people do light editing? In my case I have some schools requiring 15 pages max, some requiring 30 max, and some with a range of 15-20 or 20-25. I'm thinking I'll have one main writing sample of about 22-23 pages( and do some meddling with margins/spacing/font to get it down to 20 where I must) then have another strict 15 page/5000 word version. Thoughts?
  21. First time posting on here, so if I commit some type of taboo, sorry. I plan on applying to rhet/comp programs this fall, and I've been working on preparing my materials and such. My issue is deciding what to do for my writing sample. I have a 34 page piece that I am heavily attached to, and I really want to use it for my rhet/comp apps. I believe it shows my skills and my individuality the most out of all my papers, but the issue is the length. Most of the programs I am looking at applying to have a requirement.limit around 15 pages. I've been trying to find a way to cut it down, but I'm starting to realize that there is no way to revise that much out of the paper and maintain its original concepts and argument. I was told at some point that I could just take the first fifteen pages and state that it was an excerpt from a larger piece, but that seems like I might be shooting myself in the foot. Has anyone done this before? Is it something programs would accept? Basically, do I choose the piece that represents my writing (meaning either cut it down and suffer or submit an excerpt and risk it) or do I choose a piece that is a standard research paper with less personality?
  22. TASK: Universities should require students to take courses only within those fields they are interested in studying. Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position. RESPONSE: While it may be beneficial in some ways to have students focus on their studies of interests at a University, the overall effect on the students would not meet their needs to "live," let alone amply succeed in today's society due to ever-changing demands of of our world. By restricting one's studies in higher education to one focus, the student would not be a well-rounded individual, which could serve detrimental when a related situation arises, as well as forces the assumption that the student would not be interested in any other field but one. In these two cases, following such a claim would ultimatley result to be costly to both the students and the world. In today's society, the needs of the people change daily, with no particular forewarning. In order for the needs to be better attended to, a variety of specialties need to be ready and accessible with experts in all types of fields. If higher education limited the field of study for a student to just one, the education for such individuals would also limit their opportunity in the world. For example, if a student were to only take courses in public health, he or she would not only need to take courses focused on public health theories, research and progress; to propoerly apply this field in the world, the student must simultaneously know the sociological trends in society as well as the various economic effects in the political and occupational world. Without such knowledge to tie basic public health studies, the conclutions and solutions to be made would not be well constructed and insuffient to tend to the public health issues, which would be financially costly for an unstable area of expertise. Individuals specializing in one field would not be able to adapt to other situations well due to their lack of being well-rounded, thus lacking their opportunity to succeed in their career. In conclusion, it may help drive one's career to have a focus in a specialty, but as long as their education is well-rounded. The world's demand are growing and malleable, which proves the need to be versatile in many disciplines of study, for the sake of the future. Limiting one's education is limiting the world's opprtunity to thrive and to live.
  23. Philosophy MA Writing Sample - Foreign Language

    Hello, I am going to be applying to philosophy MA programs this coming spring, and had a question about writing samples that I couldn't find addressed in any past threads. Some background about my particular situation is below, but since this seems like a question that others might have as well, I'd like to try and phrase the question more generally: If your writing sample deals substantially with a philosophical figure or figures whose works are in a language other than English, would it be expected that any references to his/her/their writings be from the original texts rather than translations? In other words, if I am submitting a writing sample on (say) Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, would it be expected that I 1.) know German, and 2.) am basing my analysis on the original German text rather than on a translation? As far as my particular background, in case it is helpful: I went to a relatively small Midwestern college and graduated several years ago with majors other than philosophy and a 3.9 GPA. Since that time, I have been working in the corporate world. My intent is to use the MA program as a stepping-stone into a philosophy PhD program. My interests are primarily in post-war French philosophy and Marx, so I would be targeting continental-oriented programs. As far as my writing sample, given that I did not major in philosophy, I do not have any substantial philosophy papers from my undergraduate days that I would like to submit as part of an MA application. After kicking around several ideas for a topic, I have come upon an idea to write a paper comparing, contrasting, and evaluating two different interpretations of Marx (Gilles Deleuze's and Felix Guttari's in Anti-Oedipus and Moishe Postone's in Time, Labor, and Social Domination). The first of those books is in French and the other in English. What prompted this particular question is that while I do speak French and can work from the original text of Anti-Oedipus, I do not know German and so any use of textual support from Marx would have to be based on translations. Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide!
  24. TASK: SuperCorp recently moved its headquarters to Corporateville. The recent surge in the number of homeowners in Corporateville proves that Corporateville is a superior place to live than Middlesburg, the home of SuperCorp's current headquarters. Moreover, Middleburg is a predominately urban area and according to an employee survey, SuperCorp has determined that its workers prefer to live in an area that is not urban. Finally, Corporateville has lower taxes than Middlesburg, making it not only a safer place to work but also a cheaper one. Therefore, Supercorp clearly made the best decision. Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted. RESPONSE: While the claim makes a mediocre attempt of proving that Corporateville is the best location for its headquarters, the presumptions of the increase in homeowners rsiding in Corporateville; the conclusion that its employees do not like living in an urban area, thus they would prefer to live in Corporateville; and the cost of living in Corpoateville is cheaper than its original location in Middlesburg have gaps in each of its points. The assumption that the high amount of homeowners in Corporateville makes the area "superior" does not have much to substantiate itself. A question that arises with this piece of information is the background of the area itself, in terms of living quality. While there may be a high amount of homeowners in the area, there may be other reasons why these people would choose to reside in the area that may not support that Corporateville is superior. An example may be that Corporateville may be located in a deserted area, far from any necessary resources, such as grocery stores, which would then presume this area would be a high cost residency than a "cheap" place to live due to the amount of gasoline, and other costs of living, that would be needed to travel or transport to other locations. Other factors, such as the area's socioeconomic status, has more of an impact that the claim leads on. Even though the business' employees have surveyed that they would prefer to live in a non-urban area, the claim fails to provide further information as to where the employees would rather live, as there are more than one form of residential areas, such as suburban or rural forms of living. The claims states very little about the employees' alternate and directly assumes that the type of area Corporateville is would be the employees' choice of environment. Complementing the argument made in the previous paragraph, little has been distinguished to support the type of living in Corporateville, other than it is supposedly urban and that there is a high number of homeowners in the area. Technically, by definition, the great presence of homes in a residential area would be more considered to be a suburban type area, and if the company's employees had answered a question in its survey about their alternative form of living, this point may have been proven should their choice be suburban area. The points made to support that Corporateville is the superior location for its business were made with little to no evidence to substantiate its case. More information about the employee survey or on the socioeconomic status of the area would help the claim be more clearly articulated and present a much stronger argument than it currently presents.
  25. I am a recent engineering graduate in India, and I've been thinking about applying to computational linguistics master's programmes in the US. Some of these universities ask for a sample of academic work/writing sample. My problem is that I haven't done much writing, except for a long essay related to sociology/ancient Indian literature in an elective class. I decided to write something on my own in linguistics for applications, because I haven't taken any classes in linguistics at all (except for a couple of MOOCs) and this is the only way I can show them that I know (at least some) stuff. I wrote about the unique features of Indian languages, in terms of their usage, orthography, grammar and pragmatics, that present difficulties in developing rules for machine translation (MT) involving them. I wrote about three languages that I know, and a couple of techniques used in some papers on the topic. Now I don't really know if this is acceptable, because it doesn't have a thesis statement or any particular argument, except that MT is not all that easy (yeah I know give me a medal). I mean it's like a glorified wiki article - is this in any way acceptable?