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Good GPA with Limited Research Experience?



Hi guys! I’m applying to grad school this fall for next year (Fall 2019). Any advice is appreciated. I realize that no one can tell my chances, but I am curious about my chances based on some things. 

My major is currently English Literature, Language, and Criticism and my concentration is Linguistics. My school isn't heavily linguistics based and the field falls under the English department.  I did discover my passion for linguistics a little late in my college career. I'm currently ending my junior year this spring and I discovered my love of linguistics in the second semester of my sophomore year. 

I currently have a 4.0 GPA and just received an undergraduate research fellowship for my senior year (2018-2019). Unfortunately, I won't be finished with my research project for the fellowship until Spring 2019 so I wouldn't be able to submit that as a sample. I am thinking of doing an Independent Tutorial this fall and perhaps using whatever comes of that.

My top schools for a PhD in Linguistics (particularly sociolinguistics) are the University of Chicago, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, U of WA, and U of Rochester. 

However, I don’t think I’ve written an amazing research paper for any of my Linguistics courses that would be good enough to submit as part of an application.

I also haven’t taken the GRE yet but I plan to this summer. 

Any thoughts on how a mediocre paper would look with a (so-far) perfect GPA for these schools? 

Edited by gls2814
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I'm a history major, so obviously I'm not incredibly in tune with what is required for your program, but I've always been told that your writing sample (at least in history) is most always a deciding factor. 

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You could consider taking the research paper that you already have and rework it over the summer to submit for your application. I edited one of my writing samples before applying just to make sure it was properly cited and fully coherent. 

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