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Found 59 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. Hey everyone, I am a Ph.D. student in philosophy in Iran. I have been concentrated on Kant' Transcendental Idealism and applied to some Ph.D. programs last year. But I wasn't successful, just wait-listed in one university (UIC) and rejected from others. I wrote my writing sample on two-aspect vs. two-world interpretation of Kant's idealism and tried to show their flaws. I was mainly concentrated on Allison's and Guyer's works and also cited some more recent commentators such as Alias, Gardner, Stang, etc. I think the main reason for being rejected is my writing sample. Therefore, I have planned to improve it and try for the next year's cycle. I think the main problems with my writing are as follows: First and more important is that I couldn't revise it very much. This is because professors in Iran cannot help us with writing a journal-quality writing rather than some general advice. So, I don't have detailed feedback on my paper to revise and improve it. I got some comments from some Kant scholars, but it seems to be insufficient. I wasn't completely acquainted with more recent works. I need some advice to find and read more recent discussions on Kant's idealism. There are many articles exactly on this topic and some related topics such as Conceptualism. I need a strategy to read these works according to their priority. I will be really appreciated if anyone can help me with these issues. Particularly, if anyone can take a look at my writing sample and help me revise it. My writing can be found attached. Best, Paper - v2 - New.docx
  3. Hello all, I have two questions for you today. Some background: I am a senior studying Art & Business applying for PhDs and Master's programs in Art History. I am also a visual artist and I have a not-too-shabby exhibition history. My exhibition history is on my CV because up until now, I've been using the document to apply for calls for art. Should I keep it on the version of my CV I'll be submitting to grad schools? I reference my art-making briefly in connection to my coursework in my SOPs. I'm just not sure if it will work for or against me on my CV. Does anyone have any related experience with this? Also, I'm not finding specifications about whether my writing sample should be single or double-spaced. What's the standard practice for this? TIA!
  4. Hi Everyone! I'm applying to English/ Comp & Rhet programs for fall 2019. For my writing sample, I'm submitting a section of my Master's thesis and I'm wondering how to format it. Do I keep the cover page of my thesis so they know it's from a longer work? do I title it instead? Do I put my name?? for my SoP, I'm putting just my name and Statement of Purpose in the header--should I do this for the writing sample as well? I appreciate any insight--I've been out of school for several years and have no one to turn to for advice on small matters like these. Thank you!!
  5. tgcdn

    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.
  6. Hi, I am drafting up a writing sample for English literature and wondered if it is okay to have some large chunks of explanatory notes at the end. The paper is originally from my MA thesis and I do not want to waste the literary review I did for it. My fear is that the professors reading through the writing sample will not bother to read the end note :S
  7. Hello, I had a couple of general questions about the writing sample requirements for PhD programs for philosophy. I know that the requirements can vary due to program, but in general I wanted to know if I should count the bibliography in the word count or page count of my writing sample. I was also wondering if a cover page and abstract are typically needed for writing samples, and if those also should be considered. I will most likely contact each of my schools about this in the near future, but I wanted to get an idea of what people had done in the past! Thank you for the information.
  8. I'm applying to philosophy MA programs. I got my BA in philosophy in 2005, and my JD in 2011. I have not written on philosophy since college, and have not retained any old college papers. I've been practicing appellate law (very research and writing intensive) for the past 5 years. Some schools say to submit my best writing, regardless of subject matter. Others say to submit a philosophical writing sample. Will a good legal writing sample give me a shot, or will it be disregarded?
  9. Hello everyone, Just some quick background. Long story short, I went to college for undergrad full time up until my first semester senior year. Due to personal reasons, I left to take a 2 year break. I went back in Fall 2017 to finish up my requirements and graduated in December. I am planing to apply to graduate school in the next 1-2 years. The school that I am definitely interested in requires a writing sample that is 15-20 pages long from undergraduate work. I have a sample that meets the length requirement. However, it was written about 3 years ago and my writing has evolved since then. I don't have any other recent samples (the final classes that I took were in French and Math). So, I would like to edit the paper that I do have. I was considering reaching out to students in the English department at my local hometown college for assistance in editing my writing sample to make it application ready. Since it is a lengthy paper, I figured that I would likely need to pay said editor for their help. I am not a current student, So I am not eligible to use my alma mater's writing center. Has anybody ever gone this route before? Does anyone have other suggestions for help with getting my paper edited? Does anyone know what a fair price might be for someone to edit a 20 page (about 6,000 words) paper for graduate school admissions? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
  10. If anybody is willing to share the writing sample that got them into a good grad program and GPA/GRE scores, I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance.
  11. Hi All! So I had my interview at Chapman and was feeling confident about it until they emailed me a writing sample (I had to return within 15 minutes). I'm pretty confident with my writing, however, this was on a specific topic that I was not overly familiar with (even though I have completed 33 units of CSD classes). In addition to that, I felt like the information they were asking for was very vague. Any one else feel like this after the writing sample? Do you think a poor sample will prevent an acceptance? Thanks!
  12. So one of my PhD applications requires 2x2000 words for a writing sample. I'm planning to submit a short essay (~1600 words) I wrote for an MSc class for one, but we won't get feedback or grades until the middle of January, which is when this application is due, and I don't currently have anyone to ask to review it. I hadn't officially studied anthropology before starting the program I'm currently in, and I'm a little worried that my arguments will sound simplistic, or stupid, or both. So if anyone is bored enough to want to read it, please let me know Thanks!
  13. Hello, I have a question regarding word and page count guidelines. Some Statement of Purpose guidelines say to keep it under 500 words, but people on this forum have indicated that it is not necessary to strictly adhere to these restrictions. Some program websites have also gone out of their way to say it is not a strict cutoff, while others don't specify. The same applies for word/page counts on writing samples. If this is the case, what would you say the limit is? For example, for a 500 limit, is 600 too far over the threshold? 700? 800? I typically follow the rules provided, so I automatically don't feel extremely comfortable submitting anything over 500 in this case. My current letter as stands is ~700 words and I am not eager to cut any of it down any further, but I am also hesitant to submit something ~40% larger than requested. Thanks!
  14. 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.
  15. Hi Guys, I'm going to apply in an European MA program in Continental Philosophy. Someone can show me some examples of WS and PS (SoP) related to this area? Thanks for the replies, Stefano
  16. Hi, all Since we've started the application process (I know some have already applied and many of us are likely preparing this week to begin), we are all (I assume) done with any and all WS/SOP major revisions and are focused now on polishing (that is, at least, where I am in this whole thing.) While I sometimes feel like my tweaking is good, I also have a sense that it is not really necessary - while my SOP and WS could, of course, be "better" and definitely different, they are what they are at this point and I'm largely proud of them, regardless of outcome. So, how do you all determine when "good enough is good enough"?
  17. Hi! So some of the programs I'm applying to are asking for a writing sample. I'm pretty bad at writing, so the two options I have are an article submission (accepted, not yet published) and my honors thesis proposal. I would rather share the article but I'm the second author on it. Can I still submit it as a writing sample and just point out which parts are mine?
  18. 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!
  19. Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum. I'm currently in the process of applying for PhD programs in political science. I'm in my senior year. My senior honors thesis will not be complete by the time I have graduate applications due. Howeer, I do have a paper that was published in an undergraduate politics journal that is pretty good. I have polished it up, and I think it will communicate my ability to write well and carry out research in the field. However, it's about 5-7 pages too long for most programs. So, I'm thinking I will have to cut it down. I was thinking of taking out the literature review section (4 pages), in addition to overall cutting. My thinking is that such a section's function is to provide context for the research. I imagine most graduate committee members will be just fine reading the paper without the literature review. Any thoughts on this? Advice? Thank you for the help!
  20. Hey, I've seen some threads on bibliographies and writing samples. Most of my schools do not specify the inclusion of a bilblio. Literally one mentions it in the form of "20-25 double-spaced pages, including any bibliography or notes." My question is, for shorter writing samples what's the deal?? I have a school with a 12-15 page limit and my biblio is 5 pages. With the 20 page samples, I feel okay doing my full biblio, but not with this one. Any suggestions/similar concerns?
  21. I've been researching/gathering data from this forum and elsewhere on what exactly makes for a successful writing sample, since most agree that if there is a single most important part of the application, it is the writing sample. I'd like to give my thoughts and see what others think, especially from people who have been through the process, and especially especially from those who have had success. They are in no particular order and are far from exhaustive. First observation, it seems to me many of the "successful samples" interact in some way with a unique, modern philosophical issue. Many of the less successful examples do not have this quality. That isn't to say that one can't write on Hume or Aristotle and be successful (quite the contrary), but it seems that those who do also relate their work to something with contemporary relevance. Secondly, successful samples are by and large decidedly analytic. Many unsuccessful samples are musing, setting up vague (but maybe still plausible) premises and meandering their way through different possibilities to a conclusion. None of it is exactly clearly the case. That is to say, its hard to make any pronouncements one way or another about the validity of the arguments within, since they are perhaps plausibly true but not clearly true. Sorry continental friends, but to be fair, I am not continental myself and am not looking at many samples from schools with continental specialties. Though I don't think this is simply related to the analytic-continental distinction; many papers, even from the "analytic tradition," suffer from vague ruminations about esoteric topics. Thirdly, and related to the last point, successful samples are by and large negative. That is to say, they argue against rather than for. I think this is simply due to how much easier it is to prove something is false than prove it is true. Lastly, and this is definitely subjective, but successful samples are interesting. And by interesting, I do not mean novel, unorthodox, or about popular topics. I mean they grip the reader by making them invested in the arguments success, which presupposes that the reader thinks the argument even can be successful (or that there is an argument at all, don't take this for granted). So I suppose my main take away is that common denominators of successful papers are that they clearly set out realistic goals, are hyper focused, and make arguments that can easily be shown to be objectively (not empirically, obviously) true or false given their validity. If true, it seems helpful, because it gives us good advice that, without the preceding background information, is not immediately obvious. For example, it seems one would be more likely to succeed with a paper (and don't read too much into these examples, I certainly haven't put enough thought into them to be worth it) critiquing reductionism with Kripke than a paper trying to synthesize Aristotle's and Leibniz's ideas about a First Cause. The main exception to this would be departmental fit/specialty, but I'm simply trying to be as general as possible. Thoughts?
  22. 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
  23. So - a few questions regarding the writing sample: should I include an abstract? Currently I am using APA style, with end notes -- keep?
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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