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Folks, I have something to ask you about conferences and publications; which of the following do you consider legal/appropriate/ acceptable: 

1) Present a paper in a conference then submit the same paper for a journal?

2) Present a paper in a  conference then submit the same paper but written in my native language to a journal or periodical?

 

I also don't know if all conferences publish the presented papers or only a selection? If a conference states that they publish participating papers, should I consider this a conference presentation And a publication? I'm sorry for all these questions but I'm really confused about these stuff. 

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I just got a phone call from Tufts University! First acceptance. Beyond excited.

I'm reading this thread and seeing your stories and concerns, and they transport me back six years ago, when I first applied to graduate school. I applied to graduate school right out of my undergrad.

I just got into Syracuse's MA! Holy shit. Weight lifted.   Funding info to come, but they try to fund everyone. Woooo!

Folks, I have something to ask you about conferences and publications; which of the following do you consider legal/appropriate/ acceptable: 

1) Present a paper in a conference then submit the same paper for a journal?

Conference papers are often the basis for articles that will eventually make it to publication. It's my impression that they are "testing grounds" for ideas, and the expectation is that you will use the feedback from the conference to revise, expand, and deepen those ideas. As far as I'm aware, unless a journal specifies that a conference paper is acceptable, conference papers and articles are very different beasts, not least because of time, depth and tone (one may be written as an oral presentation whereas the other probably shouldn't be).

 

Your second question is mainly answered by my response to the first. Provided that you don't submit the conference paper to different journals in both English and your native language (which counts as self-plagiarism if accepted and published), you'll be fine. Furthermore, a conference should be upfront with you about what it intends to do with participating papers, and yes, if you present it and it subsequently appears in a journal, I do think it counts as both a presentation and a publication, although you should seek advice from an advisor on how best to represent that on a CV. It may be that the simple fact of the publication voids the need to list it as a presentation paper. Best to check.

Edited by hopefulscribbler2014
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Re: GRE stuff

 

I took the new version a couple of years ago, fully intending to study, but never got around to it. That being said, I still got a 160 (equivalent to 600 on the old test), so not terrible. I'm taking the subject test in April, but I'm probably not going to study for it either...Should I study and retake the general portion?

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Yes, if you can afford it and could commit to study in order to raise points. While a 160 is respectable, I see you've got a few programs on your list in particular where it wouldn't hurt to do better (perhaps, even, you would need to do better to get into the grad school).  I think it'd be a shame not to take it again if you can, especially because there's time and given your earlier score you would probably do really well if you spent time preparing. You can also choose to send your most recent score now, so if you know you've worked hard and preparatory tests have shown an improvement, you can send scores with confidence; they've done away with all that crazy averaging and what have you...

 

Try to do some kind of prep for the subject test. There's no point in taking it "just to see" unless you're wealthy and have a spare four hours in which to fill with the sheer banality of a standardised test, the results of which mean virtually nothing in the real world situation of grad school (bitter much? oh, yes, I hate ETS with a passion. It's nothing more than a racket - rant over!). You either need it for apps or you don't, and if you do, you should try and find some way of ensuring you give your best performance so you don't have to either cut programs you've fallen in love with, apply to them feeling worried you didn't do everything you could, or take the monster again! It is too damn expensive and far too difficult to take totally unprepared, even if prep just means really getting to know the structure of the test itself.

Edited by hopefulscribbler2014
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Hi everyone. New here. I'm applying for Comp Lit for Fall 2014. My UG majors are French and Classics. My languages are French (fairly fluent; have lived in 2 francophone countries), Latin (upper div), and Greek (lower div). I'm suuuuuper nervous for this fall; I haven't taken the GRE yet, I've never been published, etc. etc. It seems like a lot of people here have MAs already or have been out of school for a while. I have absolutely no idea what my chances look like. My major gpa is >3.8, overall ~3.7 but looking at the results pages it seems like there are a lot of 4.0s out there. My advisor seems to think that I have a good shot seeing as she advised me to apply to Berkeley and Harvard (lol). My tentative list of schools is kind of reach-y, any advice for more reasonable options would be welcome: Harvard, Brown, Columbia (French/Comp Lit), NYU, Berkeley, UCLA, UCSB, UCSC, Toronto, plus maybe some UK schools: Oxbridge (lol, why not), UCL, Edinburgh. I'm interested in classical allegory in 19th century French lit, women and gender studies, etc. as well as a lot of other things which makes me think that Comp Lit would be a better fit than straight up French. 

 

I have a few questions if you guys don't mind:

  1. I have some impressive(ish) internships on my resume that are completely unrelated to anything academic. Do they even look at stuff like this when you apply, or is it strictly academic?
  2. Being a French major, all of my potential writing samples are in French. My best paper in English is for a writing class I took but it's on film. Do I submit that, do I write a completely new paper, do I try to take some sort of English class this fall that would give me something to work with? 

Thanks guys.

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I would expand out into the top 20 more--Cornell, Duke! (Literature), UPenn, Yale, etc. --if you can, aim for like 15+ US programs. I know that's a lot of money and effort, but it will give you more opportunities when the dust settles.

 

Also, the UK schools are great, but it can be super hard to get a job (in the US) coming out of them... so that's something to consider. 

 

The french paper might be fine for some of the comp lit programs, I'm not sure about english departments though. You might want to write something new.

Edited by bluecheese
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I would expand out into the top 20 more--Cornell, Duke! (Literature), UPenn, Yale, etc. --if you can, aim for like 15+ US programs. I know that's a lot of money and effort, but it will give you more opportunities when the dust settles.

 

Also, the UK schools are great, but it can be super hard to get a job (in the US) coming out of them... so that's something to consider. 

 

The french paper might be fine for some of the comp lit programs, I'm not sure about english departments though. You might want to write something new.

 

Thanks for the advice. I may not apply to UK schools since the possibility of getting secure funding seems much smaller. Also I just realized I could translate one of my French papers into English and then have someone look over it. D'oh. 

 

I'll look at some more schools, including the ones you mentioned. Also, I noticed that a lot of people who post here have verrrry specific research interests and I'm wondering if I need to find some way to narrow mine down to be competitive, like in my statement of purpose. Is it fine to be general i.e. "Romanticism" or "Women and Gender Studies" or should I be like "Lacanian gaze as applied to the works of Madame de Lafayette!" Honestly before lurking here I had never heard of a lot of what a lot of you list as interests (like animal studies or ecocriticism or history of the book) but it's cool because now I get to educate myself via wikipedia, haha.

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Just FYI, if anyone's considering grad school in the UK: you can't register for a PhD (or DPhil in the case of Oxbridge) straight from a BA. You need a masters to apply to a research degree. I think that means you'd need an MA or MSt in order to apply to be a probationary research student, from which you would then advance to candidacy (MLitt or DPhil). There are also fewer opportunities to teach because in general the UK system doesn't normally allow for TAs, certainly not like the U.S. system (and there are no mandatory comp programs at UK schools to give us jobs) - undergrads are mostly taught by faculty.

 

I've been advised that I could be competitive on the U.S. job market if I chose to apply and do my PhD at a top tier (Russell Group) university at home, but that's because I have lots of experience in the U.S. system. Mixing it up doesn't hurt necessarily but you'd really have to take into consideration the different approaches to job placement in the U.S. and the UK. If you want to study abroad for a while - try out a different system - why not do an MA in the UK, rather than the PhD? It's less of a commitment, and it can help you work out your focus for PhD applications if you really want to end up on the market in the U.S. I really think the move from U.S. undergrad to UK graduate school is a complicated one... The American and UK systems don't align easily, but it can be a lot of fun to see how another country does it!

 

Funding for home students is bad enough in the UK; for internationals it really is practically impossible without being a complete superstar (and who knows what one of those looks like) or getting a Fulbright, etc. Sad situation, and one of the reasons it's unlikely I'll be applying to programs at home. :(

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I'll look at some more schools, including the ones you mentioned. Also, I noticed that a lot of people who post here have verrrry specific research interests and I'm wondering if I need to find some way to narrow mine down to be competitive, like in my statement of purpose. Is it fine to be general i.e. "Romanticism" or "Women and Gender Studies" or should I be like "Lacanian gaze as applied to the works of Madame de Lafayette!" Honestly before lurking here I had never heard of a lot of what a lot of you list as interests (like animal studies or ecocriticism or history of the book) but it's cool because now I get to educate myself via wikipedia, haha.

 

Haha I don't know if there's a real answer to this. I've seen some people say they were told to be very specific and some people say they were told to avoid being too specific. Most SOPs I've seen indicate that they want you to indicate what your interests are, but they don't always explain how detailed they want you to be. Of course, they do typically impose word count limits so I guess you can't get too detailed hehe.

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Haha I figured you didn't mean to put that here. It's all good :D.

 

Can we talk about how much amusement I get from this part of University of Chicago's FAQ though?

 

 

 

Does the Department of English require the GRE subject exam?
The department does not require the GRE subject exam, and scores for this exam are not considered in the admissions process. Do not submit GRE subject exam scores in your online application.

 

Well ok then  :lol:.

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I'm not sure I'll be ready for Fall 2014, but I'll give it a shot for Fall 2015 for sure. If I apply for Fall 2014 I know I'll have to balance it with classes, and I'd rather take more time and be more prepared, especially since I'm taking a lot of risks as a non-English-major from a not-brilliant university with a decent GPA but an unconventional transcript. It'll be worth it to really work at it, craft my apps. However, I'm thinking I might try to get one or two applications out before then, as a trial run? Maybe my top two or three, just to see what happens. Not sure. I also want to save up money before then so that I'll be able to apply to more than ten places if I want to. I doubt I'll even find 15 perfect fit schools but I don't want an extra $150 to be the deciding factor in whether or not I apply to a crazy reach school that would be a dream fit, like Stanford. (Ugh, that price tag, Stanford come on.)

 

I kind of stupidly took my GRE general way too early in my studies and it'll probably "expire" by then, which means I will have to retake it. I want to weigh in on the quant section, though! It's definitely worth it to run through the prep books, not to "teach" you anything but to get yourself in the habit of doing problems quickly. I'm quite good at math but my quant score was about thirty percentile points lower than my verbal because of time management issues. It's worth it, I think, to take even 1-2 hours total to practice just so you don't have to worry about your combined score being an issue. I'm taking my subject test...oh god, in like twenty days?? I'm super worried about it because I feel like I need the padding, again, as a non-major, to demonstrate that I'm vaguely competent with the material. I'm so glad I am paying for that now instead of in the same year I'm paying for apps!

 

I think researching schools can be a really fun and engaging process, a good way to start visualizing the scope of the field and where you fit in it. As I've said before, English wasn't my "home discipline" so I might have had to work harder than others in this area, but it's been very rewarding. I started with a list of the "top" 40-50 schools in English, and poked around them, crossing stuff off or circling them as I went. (Over a period of many weeks!) Faculty was most important (for me, and likely most of you, but me in particular because my interests are semi-narrow) and when I found a POI I added them to a list and tried to read as much of their work as possible, especially their current stuff. Another habit that's great to get into is every time you read something that really speaks to your interests, immediately look into where they teach if you don't already know. After that I always look into the makeup of the department (since I don't know a lot of their reputations already)--do they only have one person doing anything vaguely of interest to me? Does their mission statement say they are concerned with gender, postcolonial studies, etc. when really they only have one token professor in each? What are those POIs teaching? Similarly, interdisciplinarity is very important to me, but I know a lot of programs have a stated commitment to it but offer few obvious connections to other programs, faculty outside the department, and so on. And then come the questions of funding, whether or not I'm at all qualified, et cetera. These are the questions that go through my head! The top 50 programs are a good place to start because it's a nice mix of "reach" and "reasonable" schools but most of them--at least through 40--have decent placements in some way.

 

Like many people, I keep a variety of files and charts to remember my reactions. The other thing that has really helped me is to take notes about **how** I see myself fitting into a program, as budding outlines for my SOPs. Instead of just being like "[theorist] is at [department]" in my notes, I try to write a few sentences that are like "[so-and-so] writes about [such-and-such], and I see my ideas about [blah blah] building off of them [in this way]." This has really helped me refine my arguments and expand my understanding of the whole field. (I mean, untested: it's not like I've gotten in anywhere.)

 

I'm also coming out of a BA and I think I'm really, really ready to start a PhD but I want to make sure I have options for both, of course. I have a second list of MA programs (funded, unfunded) that are more than just safeties, places that I think can really help me develop myself to be stronger or whatever.

 

Anyway, I'm really into this process and I've done applications counseling help and stuff before so if anyone knew to the process wants to PM me I'd be happy to combine notes. Everything else is still terrifying me though, lol.

 

An aside, on the subject of geographies: I used to be pickier than I am now when it comes to where I end up, but when I loosened up on my own rules I ended up discovering some of my dream schools that were beyond those borders. But at the same time, it matters. If you have breathing problems or mobility problems, for example, not every city in the US is gonna work out for you, you know? You gotta live and you gotta be healthy, and not everybody can survive and be healthy everywhere. (See also: my unwavering terror about NYC.) Still, my major bias for a long time was "oh my god people outside of Michigan/Ohio/Indiana/etc. pay more than $400 for rent, what is WRONG with them," and that's just silly regionalism on my part.

 

I will say, though, when I see people skeptical of "the South" as particularly bigoted but laud Ann Arbor as a progressive mecca even though it has been a stronghand in keeping Detroit the most segregated city in the US, and (last I checked) has worse diversity numbers than Harvard, I gotta side-eye. Ann Arbor is among the richest and whitest cities in one of the poorest states with the most majority-minority cities, and I wonder why no one is skeptical of that. (I know many people make the same criticisms of Austin especially when it comes to gentrification.)

Edited by apres-coup
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You sound really, really prepared après-coup. I just wanted to express that in some way.

(Ann Arbor is a nightmare.)

 

I'm so glad someone who went to school in Ann Arbor isn't really defensive about this, I was kinda worried! Honestly, I am pretty mean about the city, but I swear it comes more from doing a lot of studies about segregation in the state than it does from my having gone to one of/the major rival of UMich, haha.

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As much as I like Ann Arbor, you're not really wrong. Structural racism is a bitch. The affirmative action cases UM was at the center of, along with slashed state budgets for the university, have exacerbated the problem. It would be a mistake to totally blame that on Ann Arborites/UM itself, though, and it's not a problem unique Michigan. To your other point, yes, I'm from the South and it's a big pet peeve of mine when people from the North or West - who often have had little to no interaction with people unlike themselves - dismiss it out of hand as bigoted. It's a complex, but certainly diverse, region.

 

To be fair, though, Harvard isn't terrible on diversity - it's at least less than 50% white.

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California is the only location on my list that I would be really stoked about. Michigan is my favorite program so far, but I would love to live in LA. My girlfriend is not too pleased with the list that I have drawn up--especially the Southern states. I do want to make sure though that we, as a gay couple, will be able to move to a place that is LGBT-friendly (and safe). That's the only thing that is making me a little bit skeptical about a couple of my choices...

This is one of the biggest things for me as well! My partner is being really flexible and saying we can go anywhere but I don't want to put either of us in a bad situation.

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I'm so glad someone who went to school in Ann Arbor isn't really defensive about this, I was kinda worried! Honestly, I am pretty mean about the city, but I swear it comes more from doing a lot of studies about segregation in the state than it does from my having gone to one of/the major rival of UMich, haha.

I was being a little hyperbolic but it was a huge culture shock for me coming from one of the not-wealthy, not-white rural towns in Michigan (and I did have a downright terrible time in Ann Arbor which is why, again, I gave some attention to location in my initial school search and also why I often recommend Ypsi as an alternative to living in Ann Arbor). I, like intextrovert, don't think it's a problem unique to Michigan or even the University of Michigan within Michigan.

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Fall 2014 applicants, I need some advice here. I was nominated today for a fully funded 6-months grant to the US. The grant is meant as a training for Egyptian researchers to improve their skills or conduct related research. I'm still not sure if I want to do it though. Do you think it'll be better for my next application cycle to be in the States right in the heart of the application process, and most likely in one of the schools I already have on my list? Do you think I should go for it? 

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 I also want to save up money before then so that I'll be able to apply to more than ten places if I want to. I doubt I'll even find 15 perfect fit schools but I don't want an extra $150 to be the deciding factor in whether or not I apply to a crazy reach school that would be a dream fit, like Stanford. (Ugh, that price tag, Stanford come on.)

 

Yep. I will most likely save some cash this summer and then promptly be unbearably broke once I apply to schools and pay for the GRE and pay for the GRE scores to be sent and pay for transcripts to be sent from two schools (sometimes to two departments) and....*sigh*...

 

 

 

I think researching schools can be a really fun and engaging process, a good way to start visualizing the scope of the field and where you fit in it. 

 

Agreed. I kind of enjoy it even though it makes me slightly unhinged lol.

 

 

The other thing that has really helped me is to take notes about **how** I see myself fitting into a program, as budding outlines for my SOPs. Instead of just being like "[theorist] is at [department]" in my notes, I try to write a few sentences that are like "[so-and-so] writes about [such-and-such], and I see my ideas about [blah blah] building off of them [in this way]." This has really helped me refine my arguments and expand my understanding of the whole field. (I mean, untested: it's not like I've gotten in anywhere.)

 

*steals idea*

 

 

Still, my major bias for a long time was "oh my god people outside of Michigan/Ohio/Indiana/etc. pay more than $400 for rent, what is WRONG with them," and that's just silly regionalism on my part.

 

Haha. I have a hate/tolerate relationship with the midwest after living here for my entire life. I'm fairly open to most of the country (with only a couple absolutely no way, no hows), and there are certain places I'd definitely love to live that have ridiculous costs of living, especially when compared with the midwest. I've never paid more than $549 per month for rent, so that's gonna suck. But I'll take it in stride I suppose.

 

 

I will say, though, when I see people skeptical of "the South" as particularly bigoted but laud Ann Arbor as a progressive mecca even though it has been a stronghand in keeping Detroit the most segregated city in the US, and (last I checked) has worse diversity numbers than Harvard, I gotta side-eye. Ann Arbor is among the richest and whitest cities in one of the poorest states with the most majority-minority cities, and I wonder why no one is skeptical of that. (I know many people make the same criticisms of Austin especially when it comes to gentrification.)

 

This is definitely a good point. There's tends to be a lot that I like about cities that are deemed to be more progressive, but they definitely have problems. I grew up near and love Chicago, for example, but the segregation and inequity in that city agitates me quite a bit.

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Fall 2014 applicants, I need some advice here. I was nominated today for a fully funded 6-months grant to the US. The grant is meant as a training for Egyptian researchers to improve their skills or conduct related research. I'm still not sure if I want to do it though. Do you think it'll be better for my next application cycle to be in the States right in the heart of the application process, and most likely in one of the schools I already have on my list? Do you think I should go for it? 

 

That sounds like an awesome opportunity! (Sorry, I realize I'm not a Fall 2014 applicant, but I hope that's okay.) Why on earth would you not do it, especially if it's fully funded?

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Welcome, apre-coup! You sound very well prepared for the process. I say throw caution to the wind and apply to at least a few schools this time around. As for the subject test, I would definitely be more nervous about it if I were a non-major applicant. Although, you could legitimately mitigate any misgivings adcomms might have about a low GRE score by citing your non-traditional background and expressing how that would add richness to the department and your research. It all depends on where you're coming from and where you want to go.

 

Also, I find it helpful after each practice test I do terribly on to remind myself that very few modern departments put a lot, if any, stock in the subject test. It is a flawed test, and I think the departments that are worth working with know that. It sure would be nice, though, to ensure that my test score won't cleave me from the pack at the very beginning of the process...

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Fall 2014 applicants, I need some advice here. I was nominated today for a fully funded 6-months grant to the US. The grant is meant as a training for Egyptian researchers to improve their skills or conduct related research. I'm still not sure if I want to do it though. Do you think it'll be better for my next application cycle to be in the States right in the heart of the application process, and most likely in one of the schools I already have on my list? Do you think I should go for it? 

I don't know about your application process but I definitely think you should do it if you have the opportunity! I mean why not? Do you have any cons to doing it?

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Fall 2014 applicants, I need some advice here. I was nominated today for a fully funded 6-months grant to the US. The grant is meant as a training for Egyptian researchers to improve their skills or conduct related research. I'm still not sure if I want to do it though. Do you think it'll be better for my next application cycle to be in the States right in the heart of the application process, and most likely in one of the schools I already have on my list? Do you think I should go for it? 

 

I mean, if it's fully funded and it wouldn't disrupt your life too terribly, it sounds like a good idea to me.

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