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  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. Hi all, I'm going to get some opinions/advice on how to approach the writing sample. I'm applying for PhD programs and the writing sample is optional, but I feel like it's a great chance to show my technical writing skills. They'll get a sense of my writing in general from personal history statements and statements of purpose, but I want to demonstrate my research writing ability. The problem is that I have few examples ready to go. I did an independent research project, but it wasn't released as a paper - only a presentation. I did a fair amount of writing for it (IRB application, etc.) but nothing that makes for an easy to submit paper. There's also no length requirement (minimum or maximum). Should I pull together the pieces I have and turn it into some sort of research summary? What are other people submitting? How long should it be? Google has given me answers ranging from "800-1000 words" to "no more than 15-20 pages." Reaching out to schools has only yielded answers along the lines of "something that you feel represents you well," which is still super vague.
  3. Hi all, I'm going to get some opinions/advice on how to approach the writing sample. I'm applying for PhD programs and the writing sample is optional, but I feel like it's a great chance to show my technical writing skills. They'll get a sense of my writing in general from personal history statements and statements of purpose, but I want to demonstrate my research writing abilities as they stand. The problem is that I have few examples ready to go. I did an independent research project, but it wasn't released as a paper - only a presentation. I did a fair amount of writing for it (IRB application, etc.) but nothing that makes for an easy to submit paper. There's also no length requirement (minimum or maximum). Should I pull together the pieces I have and turn it into some sort of research summary? What are other people submitting? How long should it be? Googling at this problem has given me answers that range from "800-1000 words" to "no more than 15-20 pages." I'm starting to get frustrated. When I reach out to the schools, the most I've gotten back is "something you feel represents your writing abilities" which is, again, incredibly vague. Edit: Apologies if this is the wrong forum. I thought I put this in the writing sample forum rather than the psychology one, and now I don't believe I can delete it. I'd still value any insight folks may have, but otherwise please disregard! Thank you!
  4. Hey guys, I hope you are doing well this season! I am an international applicant and I have just submitted two application for comp. lit. Unfortunately, when I reviewed my application materials (I wish I didn't!!) I realized that I forgot to delete one subtitle of my first chapter(1.1 xxx), in which I was intended to make it a integrated chapter without any sub-sector; and of course, that extra sub-title doesn't appear in the content!! I am so frustrated right now, I can't believe I did this!😭 I have looked through many threads about mistakes or typos in application material, some suggests that since making mistakes is what everyone does, so there is no need to worry about that. But I am not sure if having an extra subtitle is way more serious than I imagined. Would you please give me some suggestions on whether should I contact the department and ask for the possibility of substituting a corrected version of my ws for the wrong one? Thank you so much!
  5. I'm considering applying to a MA program and from there to a PhD. Will probably focus on applied ethics in the areas of bioethics or AI. The writing sample is one of the most important parts of an application. I wanted to get some pointers on where I could find examples of successful writing samples for grad programs, so I can get a better sense of what my sample will need to be. I've looked at some journals for undergrad publications, which may go on to get repurposed as writing samples, but haven't found many writing samples specifically. Alternatively, you could just send me yours! If you are or were an MA philosophy student, and you wouldn't mind sending your writing sample, I'd certainly appreciate it if you could DM me a link or file. You can of course anonymize the paper if you prefer. A few things I'd request to be included are: Which program(s) you were accepted to with this writing sample (school name and whether it was MA or PhD). MA preferred as I'm leaning towards an MA first. When you applied Any comments you can provide on how you got feedback on your writing sample before submitting it Not to get greedy, but if you'd like to throw in your statement of purpose too, that would greatly help! At this stage, I'm just trying to get a good sense of what the whole end package of an application tends to look like. Many thanks for any pointers you can give!
  6. If anyone can give their input on this, I'd really appreciate it! So here are the WS requirements for each one of my 12 schools that I'm applying to: 15-20 pages 25 pages (minimum) One or two writing samples 12-20 double-spaced pages 15-25 pages No more than 25 pages 15-25 double-spaced pages (including notes) Two examples of academic writing (8-20 pages) Two samples (15-20 pages) 15-20 pages Around 20 pages 10-20 pages As you can tell, the average is around 20 pages for most of the schools. I'm using my master's thesis which is about 50 pages (not including preliminary pages and bibliography). I have been able to cut it down to about 30 pages. I noticed that when I changed the margins to 0.5 all the way around, it went down to about 27 pages. I was wondering if I changed the margins it would be okay. There's not a whole lot about the WS requirements on the applications pages of these schools, so I don't see why it wouldn't be okay. Also, I know papers in MLA style are double-spaced, but if there is no mention of that, would single-space be acceptable? All in all, I may just email all the schools and specifically ask them these questions, but I wanted to ask everyone on here first. Thanks! 🙂
  7. Hello everyone! I'm planning to apply to doctoral programs in counseling psychology in the fall and am currently looking into some programs. I noticed on UCSB's website that they have a writing sample requirement. But, when I looked more into it, all they say regarding this requirement is: The writing sample is based on your research experience; either research on the job, a research project, or a class paper. There is no length limit, but should be substantial enough to show yourself to be competitive. Faculty are looking for strong writing skills and place more emphasis on the context of the paper than the content. Applicants are not exempt from submitting a writing sample if they do not have one that is related to research in some way. All applicants must submit a sample. Your application will not be reviewed without one. Would anyone be able to tell me what exactly this means? This description itself is vague and I doubt they want me to submit an autobiography of my research and lab experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. 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!!
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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"?
  23. 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?
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
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