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Submitting a shortened paper


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Hi everybody!

My situation:

I have a paper that is 25 pages long. This length is fine for all the schools I am applying to - except one, which does not accept samples that are longer than 10 pages. For various reasons the only paper I can submit is the one that is 25 pages long. I cut some parts out of it so that adcoms could still follow my idea and put [The following part has been removed to comply with the space constraints] here and there. And I wrote: The original length of the paper is 25 pages in the end of the paper.

My question:

Is there a chance that if adcoms like my shortened article they will ask me to send them the entire text? Has anything like that ever happened to you or to somebody you know?

I am worried because I really like my paper in its original form and with all those cuts it looks mutilated! As I have said, the paper's idea and logic remain clear and I believe that it, even in its shortened form, demonstrates my writing skills well enough. And yet, who knows what the adcoms will think? May be they do not like papers shortened this way?? :unsure:


Edited by Strangefox
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey! I know how you feel! However, in my case, I'm submitting 20 pages from a 100 page thesis. I'm indicating the cuts a bit more subtly, with ellipses. I'm explaining in a brief note before the writing sample that it's an excerpt but that I've done my best to ensure that the crux of my argument (for the particular parts I've chosen) is still as cohesively presented as possible. They may ask to see the longer sample but I'm really not sure. It will likely depend on the volume of applications they receive and on whether the readers of our samples would be interested enough in reading more of it. Maybe in a borderline scenario or in addition to an interview they might ask for the rest of the sample. These are all speculations... But you're not alone! I imagine lots of people cut down and rework their samples to fit the requirements. I'm sure adcomms understand that.

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I know some faculty members went on my website and read other papers I had posted there beside my writing sample. However, I don't know if they did this before they accepted me, or just before we met when I was visiting schools before deciding which admissions offer to accept.

My advice is this - put your paper on a website and give a link to it in the original paper or elsewhere in your application (or both). If anyone is interested, they will go online and read more.

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