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Time spent on Sample paper

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I spent two months drafting it, and then another two-three weeks revising it. Hope that helps! I can send you my sample if you want. I could use a second opinion. (Of course, I would look at your sample too, if you'd want that.)

Edited by lukasodb

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This is tough to answer accurately, but I spent a month drafting it, and two months revising it for about an additional five drafts. I'm doing a 1-year masters right now in England and it's also my term paper, so I had more ways of finding what I can improve (since I had faculty reading it anyways). In terms of total hours, I'd say anywhere from 300-400?

 

(If anyone wants to exchange samples, let me know)

Edited by Prose

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My writing sample was an originally a seminar paper for epistemology that I first submitted in March of this year, and I submitted around 3 drafts of it for that class. I was working with my professor with the intent to produce a writing sample. I began research on the topic in January, and since then, I have submitted around 5 drafts of revisions to various professors. Each professor provided slightly different comments for improvement, but they were all fairly unified in identifying the problem areas and suggesting how I could make some of my arguments more defensible. I would say that I have probably spent around 6 or 7 months on my writing sample with about 8 official revisions. It looks professional now, and it's fairly easy to read, and the arguments are commensurate with my training, so although I know it could be better, I am sufficiently content with it.

Edited by The_Last_Thylacine

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I spent about a semester doing the initial writeup, then pretty much built it up from scratch again over two months. 

@lukasodb and others, I'd be happy to look at your sample (my ethics is more meta-ethics but maybe it's still of some use if your sample's in the area)

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Built mine from scratch since my undergrad papers were utterly irrelevant to my intended study. Three months in total. Pushed out the first, 16 page draft after about 4 weeks of reading, writing, and developing the contours of my argument. Spent another 7 weeks editing, fleshing out, revising through what amounted to about 6 substantively different drafts, ending in a 20 pager not counting the bibliography. All in all, I've probably sunk about 80-100 hours in this thing. 

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It took me two years to understand what to write, which took me only three days to type. However, I was shut-out last year, so I guess you can say had a lot of time to think. I don't want to wax all poetic, but I believe that In a way all writing is ecstatic. It must be something writes you. 

Edited by markovka

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I took about two months to draft it and then another month and a half to edit, edit, edit it and I'm still not completely satisfied

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Probably a year and a half. I don't have any idea how many hours.

Edited by bluwe

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Mine was a final paper for a seminar. Then I spent the last five months editing, re-writing, editing etc. I spent about 20 hours a week on it easily. So, I guess 200-250 hours or more in just the writing and editing part in the last 5 months. The research probably AT LEAST half that time. 

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On 12/9/2018 at 4:49 PM, goldenstardust11 said:

Lol I spent about a year thinking about it and a year writing and revising (I'm a wreck. Term paper season kills me).

Are you coming from a B.A or M.A program?

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Posted (edited)

My sample is really short - 14 pages. My professor who was so graciously helping on this took loads of fluff out, since lots of it was me struggling to make a single point. 
It, however, has been marinating for more than a year. It was first conceived in Fall 2017, and I've been paying varying amounts of attention to it as my commitment to grad school wavered. However, ain't no pressure like having people you respect look at your paper and give you feedback last minute to get you back up and running again!

tl;dr probably 100h. 40 of which were in the last month, and the other 60 carelessly dispersed across more than a year.

Edited by xinnabon

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I submitted my rough draft at my first application deadline, and kept revising it as subsequent application deadlines loomed, with the result that every school (or many of them) got a different writing sample. Ironically, my one acceptance was the school with the earliest deadline. Would not recommend this method, but I like telling the story.

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5 hours ago, Rose-Colored Beetle said:

I submitted my rough draft at my first application deadline, and kept revising it as subsequent application deadlines loomed, with the result that every school (or many of them) got a different writing sample. Ironically, my one acceptance was the school with the earliest deadline. Would not recommend this method, but I like telling the story.

Wow that is interesting and lucky. What school did you end up going to?

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:19 AM, Rose-Colored Beetle said:

I submitted my rough draft at my first application deadline, and kept revising it as subsequent application deadlines loomed, with the result that every school (or many of them) got a different writing sample. Ironically, my one acceptance was the school with the earliest deadline. Would not recommend this method, but I like telling the story.

I did something similar, but I suspect my revisions were not very noticeable. On December 21st, one especially well-known professor very generously agreed to help me improve my writing sample after I had already received comments from three of my other professors. His comments were mostly small suggestions, but nonetheless, the December 31st iteration of my writing sample incorporates these suggestions for improvement, and thus varies slightly from previous versions, though it is hardly a palimpsest. Honestly, I just wrote this response because I wanted to use the word "palimpsest." 

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36 minutes ago, The_Last_Thylacine said:

I did something similar, but I suspect my revisions were not very noticeable. On December 21st, one especially well-known professor very generously agreed to help me improve my writing sample after I had already received comments from three of my other professors. His comments were mostly small suggestions, but nonetheless, the December 31st iteration of my writing sample incorporates these suggestions for improvement, and thus varies slightly from previous versions, though it is hardly a palimpsest. Honestly, I just wrote this response because I wanted to use the word "palimpsest." 

i was about to call you out for saying palimpsest before you showed what an honorable person you are by beating me to it

you're the ne plus ultra of good men

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9 hours ago, The_Last_Thylacine said:

Rose-Colored Beetle went to Fordham.

Indeed. I applied to 4 MAs and 4 PhDs. Fordham was my only PhD acceptance, which worked great, since it was probably my best option to begin with.

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On 12/7/2018 at 11:27 AM, UndergradDad said:

How much time (total hours) is everyone spending (or have spent) on drafting then revising their sample papers? How many rounds of revisions?

Just trying to get an idea.

Thanks!

I also attend Fordham. I applied to a bunch of programs and Fordham was the only PhD that accepted me (though UNC had me on one of their 'hidden waitlists' until April 13th, and then rejected me). I wrote 5 different drafts of my writing sample, and most of the people who helped me with it were actually not from my own department. Some very kind grad students and professors from other schools took the time to aid me with revising, rewriting, etc because my mentor was on sabbatical and unreachable. I highly recommend creating an academic twitter for this purpose: there's a huge philosophy community on there, and I got a lot of help/advice from people on that platform as I was applying. These are connections I've still maintained beyond app season!

Edited by soproperlybasic

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As an undergrad, I thought it best to write a senior honors thesis in order to produce a good writing sample. Took about 6 months. Met with my advisor every other week to sometimes every week for about 2 hours to discuss material and my paper. Complete length is around 45 pages. Topic is on posthumous harm in the philosophy of death. To stay in the recommended length of around 15-20 pages for a writing sample, I indicated on the document which sections to read, totalling around 20 pages. 

Several hours, several "I don't think this argument works." 

Oscillating confidence in it, mostly positive though. We'll see if rubbing David Hume's toe actually brings some good luck. 

 

Edited by DoodleBob

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