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Writing sample dilema


schoolpsych_hopeful
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Alright, I'm having trouble choosing a writing sample. I've got it narrowed down to two papers...

1. A research proposal I wrote for a class. It only contains a lit. review and a methods section, but the topic is what I'd like to study in grad school.

2. A completed research paper/project, with a lit review, methods, results and discussion. The topic is not relevant to my research interests.

So, is it better to submit a sample that's "on topic," or one that's a complete research paper? I'm leaning towards the former, not only because of the topic, but I feel it's more well written.

Thoughts??

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Does your statement of purpose clearly outline in detail what you'd like to do?

If so, that weighs against submitting a research proposal on roughly the same thing.

On the other hand, if the proposal is much better written than the complete paper ... well you get the idea.

On the other hand, if your SOP only sketches your specific research ideas, then the research proposal would complement the SOP. You could include in the SOP something like "See full details in my 'Writing Sample'".

Clear as mud, eh?

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Does your statement of purpose clearly outline in detail what you'd like to do?

If so, that weighs against submitting a research proposal on roughly the same thing.

On the other hand, if the proposal is much better written than the complete paper ... well you get the idea.

On the other hand, if your SOP only sketches your specific research ideas, then the research proposal would complement the SOP. You could include in the SOP something like "See full details in my 'Writing Sample'".

Clear as mud, eh?

I think i've decided on the proposal for a few reasons.

#1. It is much more well written than the complete paper. These papers were both written for a research methods course. I wrote the complete paper at the beginning of the course, and the proposal at the end. By the end of the course I had learned a lot, and therefore wrote a better paper.

#2. It's on topic with what I'd like to study. The lit review helps showcase my knowledge of the field.

#3. The complete paper isn't as sophisticated as I had remembered. I basically collected observational data and ran some very rudimentary statistics (i.e., nothing more complicated than mean, standard dev. and variance).

Thanks for your thoughts, John.

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I think i've decided on the proposal for a few reasons.

#1. It is much more well written than the complete paper. These papers were both written for a research methods course. I wrote the complete paper at the beginning of the course, and the proposal at the end. By the end of the course I had learned a lot, and therefore wrote a better paper.

#2. It's on topic with what I'd like to study. The lit review helps showcase my knowledge of the field.

#3. The complete paper isn't as sophisticated as I had remembered. I basically collected observational data and ran some very rudimentary statistics (i.e., nothing more complicated than mean, standard dev. and variance).

Thanks for your thoughts, John.

Sounds like a plan to me.

You're welcome, and good luck!

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