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25 minutes ago, itme said:

@meghan_sparkleI would like to echo this from @olivetree and others! It sounds like you are having an amazing cycle! It's almost too good to be true! Congrats!

Since you are in a place of privilege, (acceptances from all the top schools you have applied to thus far) and have nothing to lose, perhaps you would be willing to pay it forward so to speak and give us some specific insight regarding your interests, academic background, writing sample etc.! It would be so helpful for the rest of us.

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting, so apologies if so, but calm down, dude. Her sharing specific details about herself and her application are not really going to help you with yours, and her doing so would not really be "paying it forward" as you so put it. 

 

I feel like there's more to say, but as I may be misinterpreting it, I'll leave it at that.

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3 hours ago, Rrandle101 said:

Got in at Buffalo with a pretty nice stipend considering the living cost in that area, congrats to all the other admits from today and especially to anyone who got their first acceptance! Good luck to everyone going into the next week of February.

Congrats! I also got accepted to Buffalo today...by some miracle. My acceptance process was identical: generic email, multi-page attachment on the site, etc. etc. Good luck to all other applicants!

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2 hours ago, Straparlare said:

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting, so apologies if so, but calm down, dude. Her sharing specific details about herself and her application are not really going to help you with yours, and her doing so would not really be "paying it forward" as you so put it. 

 

I feel like there's more to say, but as I may be misinterpreting it, I'll leave it at that.

Yes. Please. Take it easy, guys! The specifics in this case are specific to her. I understand that this is a difficult time for the rest of us, but this hounding is uncalled for. 
 

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6 hours ago, Straparlare said:

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting, so apologies if so, but calm down, dude. Her sharing specific details about herself and her application are not really going to help you with yours, and her doing so would not really be "paying it forward" as you so put it. 

 

I feel like there's more to say, but as I may be misinterpreting it, I'll leave it at that.

Eek thank you!

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I'm deeply relieved to contribute to this board after receiving acceptances from both Yale and Georgetown (MA)! I got my Yale acceptance an hour before I started a Friday night double shift. As a bartender, I get asked about 900 times a day how I'm doing or how my day has been and since Dec 15, I have wanted to say "I spent a sh*t load of money to put my future in the hands of several strangers and am currently waiting to receive judgment on an application I have spent years and hundreds of hours developing, and now I'm just waiting on the confirmation that I'm a full POS. What can I get you?" One of my friends yelled to the whole bar that I had gotten into Yale and everyone clapped and I didn't cry so...Today was a good day.

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9 minutes ago, MichelleObama said:

I'm deeply relieved to contribute to this board after receiving acceptances from both Yale and Georgetown (MA)! I got my Yale acceptance an hour before I started a Friday night double shift. As a bartender, I get asked about 900 times a day how I'm doing or how my day has been and since Dec 15, I have wanted to say "I spent a sh*t load of money to put my future in the hands of several strangers and am currently waiting to receive judgment on an application I have spent years and hundreds of hours developing, and now I'm just waiting on the confirmation that I'm a full POS. What can I get you?" One of my friends yelled to the whole bar that I had gotten into Yale and everyone clapped and I didn't cry so...Today was a good day.

Out of reactions for the day but this is so wonderful to hear. A hearty congratulations to you!

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10 hours ago, olivetree said:

I’d love to hear both what you did to try to look impressive and also what schools indicated were strong elements of your app! I’m also curious about your research interests—if they’re particularly of the zeitgeist and therefore interesting-sounding, or areas that are super well established already within academia. 

From everything I felt going in and all of the replies I've had so far, what set me apart was my writing sample. It was a revised combination of my undergraduate dissertation and a masters seminar paper, both on the same (contemporary American) poet. It ranged back to 19th century, had original archival work, careful close readings, and chewed on broader issues of genre, criticism, reading and the ethics of handling a writer's work and papers.I reaaaaally worked my ass off on it. I usually hate everything I write, but every time I opened that pdf file in between submitting and now, I didn't think 'oh god this actually sucks', I thought 'yeah that's really about the best I could humanly do and I think they'll like it.' Once the cycle is over, I'll have more thoughts—feel a bit weird being so specific in such a public forum without having made a decision yet, knowing that a few places I have left to hear from are probably still deliberating. And again, I really don't think it's helpful in the sense that certain interests = a secret sauce; that kind of logic just isn't correct. 

Edit: I will just say that even though I worked my ass off on it, it had typos. And I think I'm the first person ever to get into Chicago with a statement of purpose that referred to the fiction of—I kid you not—'David Foster Fallace'. Do not edit your statement at 3:30 AM before the 5 AM deadline (I'm in the UK). It will not "get better". Point being, my app had flaws, and I don't present as a "smart" person, and in many ways I really am not lol. My best friend was over for dinner when the Yale email came in and in the course of screaming and celebrating she said, "It's actually really encouraging that someone who is as much of a mess as you are could get into these places" and reader, she is RIGHT.

Edited by meghan_sparkle

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1 hour ago, meghan_sparkle said:

From everything I felt going in and all of the replies I've had so far, what set me apart was my writing sample. It was a revised combination of my undergraduate dissertation and a masters seminar paper, both on the same (contemporary American) poet. It ranged back to 19th century, had original archival work, careful close readings, and chewed on broader issues of genre, criticism, reading and the ethics of handling a writer's work and papers.I reaaaaally worked my ass off on it. I usually hate everything I write, but every time I opened that pdf file in between submitting and now, I didn't think 'oh god this actually sucks', I thought 'yeah that's really about the best I could humanly do and I think they'll like it.' Once the cycle is over, I'll have more thoughts—feel a bit weird being so specific in such a public forum without having made a decision yet, knowing that a few places I have left to hear from are probably still deliberating. And again, I really don't think it's helpful in the sense that certain interests = a secret sauce; that kind of logic just isn't correct. 

Edit: I will just say that even though I worked my ass off on it, it had typos. And I think I'm the first person ever to get into Chicago with a statement of purpose that referred to the fiction of—I kid you not—'David Foster Fallace'. Do not edit your statement at 3:30 AM before the 5 AM deadline (I'm in the UK). It will not "get better". Point being, my app had flaws, and I don't present as a "smart" person, and in many ways I really am not lol. My best friend was over for dinner when the Yale email came in and in the course of screaming and celebrating she said, "It's actually really encouraging that someone who is as much of a mess as you are could get into these places" and reader, she is RIGHT.

Can I just say, whoever you are? I am so delighted for you, and so delighted that someone like you is going to go do amazing things at an amazing place. I'm not in the same discipline as you, nor did I apply to any of the same places as you, nor is it likely we will ever cross paths. But I can tell from your writing and your frankness that you're a wonderful person, and exactly the kind of person we need in academia, and at those sorts of places in particular.

also I'm sure you're not a mess. You might feel like you are, but I am confident that you are not. ❤️  

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1 hour ago, meghan_sparkle said:

From everything I felt going in and all of the replies I've had so far, what set me apart was my writing sample. It was a revised combination of my undergraduate dissertation and a masters seminar paper, both on the same (contemporary American) poet. It ranged back to 19th century, had original archival work, careful close readings, and chewed on broader issues of genre, criticism, reading and the ethics of handling a writer's work and papers.I reaaaaally worked my ass off on it. I usually hate everything I write, but every time I opened that pdf file in between submitting and now, I didn't think 'oh god this actually sucks', I thought 'yeah that's really about the best I could humanly do and I think they'll like it.' Once the cycle is over, I'll have more thoughts—feel a bit weird being so specific in such a public forum without having made a decision yet, knowing that a few places I have left to hear from are probably still deliberating. And again, I really don't think it's helpful in the sense that certain interests = a secret sauce; that kind of logic just isn't correct. 

Edit: I will just say that even though I worked my ass off on it, it had typos. And I think I'm the first person ever to get into Chicago with a statement of purpose that referred to the fiction of—I kid you not—'David Foster Fallace'. Do not edit your statement at 3:30 AM before the 5 AM deadline (I'm in the UK). It will not "get better". Point being, my app had flaws, and I don't present as a "smart" person, and in many ways I really am not lol. My best friend was over for dinner when the Yale email came in and in the course of screaming and celebrating she said, "It's actually really encouraging that someone who is as much of a mess as you are could get into these places" and reader, she is RIGHT.

Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate it. I haven’t heard anything from my schools yet, so it’s comforting to have some ideas for how I could make my application stronger in the next round. It sounds like all your acceptances are very well deserved :) Congrats, and best of luck with making your decision! 

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I just want to say - meghan_sparkle, though I totally appreciate all of your disclaimers and humility, it does definitely say something that you got into these schools. That "something" may not mean "I am objectively better by all metrics," but lottery or no, best friends keeping you honest or no, you did seem to work very hard for it and I hope you're celebrating like a monster. What you wrote hit a serious chord! And it bodes well for your career.

I had a rough damn week, but what you said did remind me - I am actually very proud of my writing sample, and it's genuinely reflective of my interests. I worked hard to say something about a poem people have spilled books of ink over, and I think it's a relatively original take that is still firmly rooted in scholarly conversations past and present, and close reading. If schools aren't into that, we likely just weren't a good fit - though of course I'm going to take the opportunity to look at it again and see how it can be improved. Thank you for your honest thoughts and best of luck on what is probably going to be a really rough decision, lol

Edited by merry night wanderer

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I do have a thought related to writing samples that I'd like feedback on:

It's occurred to me that my sample might be too specialized. Like, the feedback from Romanticists who have read the poem and know the issues involved with interpreting it is all I'd want; I revised this sample plenty. However, that is not very many people in the world, and committees are full of scholars from various fields. I think it's likely that if you're a committee member who isn't familiar with Shelley, I may have jumped into things too fast and not framed my reading of the text in such a way to make my insights understandable to people with different specialties. My sample was definitely written for Romanticists and given the page requirements, I got to the point blindly quickly. And the two schools I've had positive responses from do indeed have Romanticists that work with Shelley in particular.

This is how I was taught to write (and makes sense given that's how journal articles frame themselves), and the approach I've taken toward all of my English classes, but when I was considering CUNY, I saw that they recommended your writing sample be something that diverse committee members could understand, and this planted a seed of doubt of sorts, hmm. 

Edited by merry night wanderer

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8 hours ago, MichelleObama said:

I'm deeply relieved to contribute to this board after receiving acceptances from both Yale and Georgetown (MA)! I got my Yale acceptance an hour before I started a Friday night double shift. As a bartender, I get asked about 900 times a day how I'm doing or how my day has been and since Dec 15, I have wanted to say "I spent a sh*t load of money to put my future in the hands of several strangers and am currently waiting to receive judgment on an application I have spent years and hundreds of hours developing, and now I'm just waiting on the confirmation that I'm a full POS. What can I get you?" One of my friends yelled to the whole bar that I had gotten into Yale and everyone clapped and I didn't cry so...Today was a good day.

This is so awesome and I'm happy for you! I freaking love your friend.

 

8 hours ago, meghan_sparkle said:

Edit: I will just say that even though I worked my ass off on it, it had typos. And I think I'm the first person ever to get into Chicago with a statement of purpose that referred to the fiction of—I kid you not—'David Foster Fallace'. Do not edit your statement at 3:30 AM before the 5 AM deadline (I'm in the UK). It will not "get better". Point being, my app had flaws, and I don't present as a "smart" person, and in many ways I really am not lol. My best friend was over for dinner when the Yale email came in and in the course of screaming and celebrating she said, "It's actually really encouraging that someone who is as much of a mess as you are could get into these places" and reader, she is RIGHT.

 I relate so hard to this. 

It might just be me, but I love stories like this. I'm literally smiling at the comments and anecdotes from @meghan_sparkle and @MichelleObama about how hard they worked and how much their friends are proud of them.

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Just now, Cryss said:

This is so awesome and I'm happy for you! I freaking love your friend.

 

 I relate so hard to this. 

It might just be me, but I love stories like this. I'm literally smiling at the comments and anecdotes from @meghan_sparkle and @MichelleObama about how hard they worked and how much their friends are proud of them.

98% of my happiness in the last fortnight has been witnessing the reactions of my friends and family. They are so wholesome and I have to resist from being super obnoxious and sharing all of them lol. Your post made my DAY @MichelleObama, especially the thought of the bar cheering. I proofread my Columbia app in a Manhattan bar at 11 PM before the midnight deadline and several strangers spotted a couple typos, I was so grateful.

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:06 AM, caffeinated applicant said:

Alternatively, if your partner's $0 premium doesn't go up to $350 when adding a spouse... elope??? (This is like 70% a joke and 30% something that I am legitimately considering for when I age out of my parents' insurance.) 

LOL! The thought has crossed my mind! And thank you for the tip. I was definitely going to negotiate. Your angle is a really good angle. We will see what unfolds in the upcoming weeks. Maybe wedding pics? HA! 

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1 hour ago, merry night wanderer said:

I do have a thought related to writing samples that I'd like feedback on:

It's occurred to me that my sample might be too specialized. Like, the feedback from Romanticists who have read the poem and know the issues involved with interpreting it is all I'd want; I revised this sample plenty. However, that is not very many people in the world, and committees are full of scholars from various fields. I think it's likely that if you're a committee member who isn't familiar with Shelley, I may have jumped into things too fast and not framed my reading of the text in such a way to make my insights understandable to people with different specialties. My sample was definitely written for Romanticists and given the page requirements, I got to the point blindly quickly. And the two schools I've had positive responses from do indeed have Romanticists that work with Shelley in particular.

This is how I was taught to write (and makes sense given that's how journal articles frame themselves), and the approach I've taken toward all of my English classes, but when I was considering CUNY, I saw that they recommended your writing sample be something that diverse committee members could understand, and this planted a seed of doubt of sorts, hmm. 

I would say that yes: you want anyone reading your article to be able to follow it (even in published articles, but to a lesser extent since someone choosing to read an article on Paradise Lost would probably have some familiarity with it). That said, this informed by my approach to scholarship wherein anything that requires previous information to unpack should include that information. In terms of samples specifically, they should be readable by anyone which in most cases is as easy as giving a brief overview of the primary materials and specifying what scholars have said rather than namedropping them (which admittedly can take up quite a bit of space depending on how much shared knowledge was assumed in the original paper (I generally don’t summarize a novel if that novel was read in class)).

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Is there anyone who received an e-mail from the department of Comp. Lit. at University of Oregon/Indiana and Penn State? I'm an international student and I saw some interview requests in the gradcafe about Oregon and Penn State but I had no e-mail yet. Did I rejected by them or should I still wait with some hope? 

Edited by kvek

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Just now, WildeThing said:

I would say that yes: you want anyone reading your article to be able to follow it (even in published articles, but to a lesser extent since someone choosing to read an article on Paradise Lost would probably have some familiarity with it). That said, this informed by my approach to scholarship wherein anything that requires previous information to unpack should include that information. In terms of samples specifically, they should be readable by anyone which in most cases is as easy as giving a brief overview of the primary materials and specifying what scholars have said rather than namedropping them (which admittedly can take up quite a bit of space depending on how much shared knowledge was assumed in the original paper (I generally don’t summarize a novel if that novel was read in class)).

I agree with your approach to some degree, but I think in the case of an article that is specifically about a single piece of literature, it seems very reasonable to expect they've read the piece of literature first.

To clarify, this isn't about jargon or accessibility. I think if you've read the poem, my writing sample would make sense, and I agree that a brief overview rather than a namedrop is ideal - when I mention scholars, it's always in the context of a specific thought or body of work that I introduce. I wouldn't assume someone's read a literary scholar! And I think articles should be readable for those who aren't involved in the scholarly conversations; ideally you explain those contexts as you go along.

But I think the writing sample may be a special case. Whereas in classes, I was writing for an expert, and in published articles, I would be able to assume some familiarity with the subject matter for anyone to choose to read that article, the only assumptions I can really make about an adcom committee is that they are familiar with literature in general to a greater degree than the norm. I did lay out my topic, aims, and a blueprint of my argument in the introductory paragraph, but perhaps I should have adjusted my approach for such a perspective. 

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I have to say I'm not really following this line of argument. Regardless of their specialty, most (if not literally all) professors sitting on adcomms have been educated in all periods of literature (someone like Shelley isn't exactly obscure), and have a wealth of experience (probably on the daily!) reading academic material from outside their chosen specialty or sub-field—whether that's journals, listening to talks and presentations from their students and colleagues, leisure reading, etc. They may not be abreast of the most recent critical debates and scholarly undercurrents in say Shelley studies or Romanticism, but I don't see why they wouldn't be able to follow your argument. Or why, say, a 20th centuryist would ding a sample for being pitched at Romanticists very specifically. They're admitting you with the hope that you will write and publish vigorously within the academic discourse of your field, after all.

To me the idea candidates should pad in paragraphs in the introduction to pitch it at the "general reader" in case the first person whose lap it lands on is way afar from your field just sets off alarm bells—imo a high level of theoretical sophistication/specialized discourse is not going to doom your writing sample; impenetrable argumentation, unclear writing and needlessly deployed jargon will. None of this is directed at your sample @merry night wanderer of course—obviously I can only go off what people are saying in these replies. But maybe this is a discussion for somewhere that isn't the acceptances thread aha

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1 hour ago, kvek said:

Is there anyone who received an e-mail from the department of Comp. Lit. at University of Oregon/Indiana and Penn State? I'm an international student and I saw some interview requests in the gradcafe about Oregon and Penn State but I had no e-mail yet. Did I rejected by them or should I still wait with some hope? 

Honestly, who knows? I'm in the same boat for Oregon. It's not a rejection until they actually reject you. Until then don't give up hope....but also don't get your hopes too high? Good luck?

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So first: this is totally idle speculation on my part. It may or may not be useful to future readers. I think that the usual advice of "write a sample, show it to your profs, revise" is by far the most solid thing we can say about any application, and I'm not married to any of it. Particularly since, as you say, I'm dealing with a canonical text.

But for context, here's the section of CUNY's website that made me think about this: 

"Often the writing sample will be an essay (or a selection from an essay) that you wrote for a college or MA-level course. Since that essay will be read by a diverse group of readers who know nothing of its original purposes or contexts, be sure that your introduction clearly presents the essay’s methods and aims. Remember that your readers will be faculty and students with expertise in various fields, so if you submit a writing sample on Bleak House, for instance, you cannot assume that your readers are experts on that text, although most of them will have some familiarity with Dickens’ novels and with Victorian literature. Particularly if you are engaging any highly specialized topics or obscure texts, you should be sure to provide the necessary background information to aid your readers’ comprehension."

Now, abstractly, that's pretty much what we've been saying, and it's something I agree with, but CUNY is specifically calling out that the readers may "know nothing or the original purposes or contexts" of any specific, given work of literature. Adcom members are certainly literary experts, but there is a lot of literature any given person, even an expert, hasn't read. And plenty of academics these days aren't interested in obscure poems by Shelley; the canon's broadened (which is a very, very, very good thing). 

And this is worth thinking about to me because anything anybody wrote for college or an MA-level course is going to do it in the context of being taught by someone who's read those texts! The paper is going to be geared toward a person who does very much know the original purposes or contexts, not adcom people with a potentially much broader knowledge base. And although I checked my sample by numerous people and I did try to couch everything understandably, I could have possibly strengthened it by giving it to someone in another period entirely, to make sure those contexts were clear to people who aren't specialists in my field; I think possibly now they weren't clear, in my case, and if so, I wish I'd thought about this soon enough to have done something like that. It's too late for me to do anything about, but it may be helpful for someone else, and might be something to consider in the future just to make sure my work's as clear as it could be. Hopefully this makes sense.

Edited by merry night wanderer

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Tbh I don't want to get hung up on this but I will say: that's CUNY, and obviously you should pay close attention to the specific advice and guidelines about the SOP and writing sample outlined by each school (mine varied widely in some cases), but it's not a one-size-fits-all thing. In fact more than one school (I won't call out names, sorry) I applied to said to me that because my app (both SOP and writing sample) cut across multiple periods and approaches, "a lot of people ended up reading it". Meaning that after an initial reading or readings, it was allocated to multiple people whose specialities and interests aligned with the subject matter, covering all bases. 

Which suggests to me that while sure, committees are filled with professors of varying specialties and subfields, and not everyone has read Bleak House. Hell, I did a masters in Victorian literature and haven't read Bleak House. But you know what I read for the 3rd time today because its close readings of the novel and particularly the character of Esther are just wickedly sharp and brilliant? Mary Gaitskill's essay on Bleak House. Anyway, what that CUNY advice is really saying (at least imo) is "you may have written this paper for a very specific course with a very specific collection of set texts, and you may have written as if you are directly addressing your professor, whose knowledge of that material + the lines pursued particular seminar discussions or lectures; keep in mind that the admissions committee is not that person". To me it's the difference between "Remember your audience" and "Your audience isn't going to understand you when you start writing about an obscure poem they haven't read; break it down". And it's an important difference.

More broadly I wonder whether the distinction CUNY is making there (and the one future applicants should be making when revising their writing sample with faceless committees as the audience in mind) is not one between specialist/general, but between good and bad practices of literary criticism—i.e. the difference between sophisticated, well-explained and supported readings that address both their intended specialist audience & a smart general reader, and criticism whose level of abstraction/sophistication assumes such a level of familiarity on the part of the reader that the task of introducing, contextualizing, supporting or explaining significance is totally abbreviated. 

Edit: It's also worth saying that the central question of this discussion—what can I assume about my reader? What would be condescending to them? What would be respecting their intelligence? And at what point, taking that further and further, would I lose them?—is like, the central question of all literary writing. It is tough. Always reminds me of this bit from George Saunders talking about how he edits his sentences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmKKofJOyAE Around the 26 minute mark, til the 31/32 minute mark!!

 

Edited by meghan_sparkle

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2 hours ago, meghan_sparkle said:

Anyway, what that CUNY advice is really saying (at least imo) is "you may have written this paper for a very specific course with a very specific collection of set texts, and you may have written as if you are directly addressing your professor, whose knowledge of that material + the lines pursued particular seminar discussions or lectures; keep in mind that the admissions committee is not that person". 

That's pretty much the point I'm trying to make, though. In classes, you write to people who know context. In conferences, you give panels to people who are at least interested in that context. In articles, you can safely assume that most of the people reading literary journals are there for a specific reason, and that reason is related to their familiarity with some of what you're discussing. This audience is, as CUNY states, slightly different, and it's not something I thought about, since to me, "make sure your writing sample is good" meant "make sure the people who know their shit in the topic you've chosen think it's a worthwhile read."  As I said, now that I think about it, I wish I'd given my paper to people outside my field as well, and that might be good advice for future applicants.

I don't see why CUNY would bother to explain the audience for a writing sample to the degree that they do if it did not merit slightly different considerations than a course or MA paper. Whether what you're describing makes you a better literary critic or not is beside the point I'm making, which is much more limited and pragmatic: all the feedback you'd be getting to improve in the course of your education would be geared toward such papers. I agree providing context likely does make you a better critic, though provisionally (I feel I've read a lot of sharp, focused, clear close reads that just roll up their sleeves and dive right into whatever text is at hand, too, that I'm sure wouldn't make sense to people who haven't read the specific work; I'm not willing to say that kind of analysis doesn't have a place). But you are not evaluated or given feedback by people who don't have context, as a matter of course. This is not something that is emphasized in writing sample advice, in general, and it may be something to think about; people just say submit your best work, related to your SoP, vet them by your professors and mentors - but if you're me, you vetted them mostly by the people you're closest to, who are in your field or close to it, and their green light might not take this point into consideration. 

It sounds like your sample was a synthesis of a lot of topics/approaches, so kudos to you for getting it right; I can't imagine that was easy to frame and explicate. Also, again, I'm speculating wildly here - I know from the schools I heard back from personally that a specialist read my sample, but I know that some schools do things differently in that a set committee from all over the department makes all decisions. It's definitely unpredictable. And I have no idea if this is even an issue (with my sample, or in general!) or I'm just bracing myself for next week's drama with extensive analysis lol. 

Edited by merry night wanderer

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To clarify my earlier position re: WSs (since that is what is relevant here and the issue of accessibility had its own thread): even the best scholars have gaps in their knowledge, or might not remember everything about texts in or out of their fields. Without knowing who will read your WS, anything that assumes the reader is familiar with certain texts, concepts, or scholars should be re-examined. If you are satisfied that anyone in the field would be able to understand and follow your writing, you’re good to go. A good strategy (but not a one-size-fits-all solution) is to provide a synopsis of all the relevant parts of the text. This is usually missing in a seminar paper because the professor just taught the text. Similarly, if you mention a theory, it’s probably a good idea to introduce it briefly. I can say that Florence inherits her mother’s oceanic un-gendering in A Mercy, I should probably explain who/what they are if I am not sure the reader has read either Toni Morrison or Hortense Spillers.

This seems to me to be common sense. It’s not about spoon-feeding your arguments or making them less specialized. It’s about making sure a reader won’t get lost if they haven’t read the text. 

(Having not read anyone’s WS but my own, I hope it is clear that this is not a commentary on anyone’s work.)

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