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Where should the writing sample come from?


aspiringhistorian
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I'm sorry if this is a basic question (and I'm sure it varies from program to program), but does the writing sample need to come from a graded course? For instance, I'm currently being funded by my college for summer research and am supposed to emerge from this program with, obviously, written work. Could I conceivably submit this as my writing sample as part of a History Ph.D. application?

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I don't see why it should matter where the writing sample comes from, as long as you're submitting your most developed and sophisticated work.

Look at what your programs say they're looking for the writing sample to demonstrate. (When I did applications the first time around for my lit M.A., for instance, programs wanted me to demonstrate my capacity for literary criticism specifically, as well as my more general abilities to develop a critical argument, etc.) As long as your sample demonstrates the kinds of skills the committee is looking for, it shouldn't matter where it's come from.

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