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The importance of a writing sample?


lizi01
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Hello everyone,

All of the programs that I'm applying to (right now 6, I hope to make it 8) don't require a writing sample. However, one of programs mentions several times that a writing sample is recommended. I translated my final undergraduate psychology project (which is a theoretical paper composed of 20 pages) into English. The professor that was my mentor for this specific project told me back then (2 years ago) that it's a good work which illustrate an original and interesting idea. However, it isn't perfectly written (I fixed most of the problems however I can't really tell, cause I'm not that objective:)). How important do you think a writing sample is for an application where it isn't required but optional/recommended? Could it really change anything?

I would appreciate any comments regarding this.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

 

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  • 11 months later...

I wonder if it would be possible for you to go through that college's webpage and select someone to email the question to over there...or whether that would cause some other problem you wouldn't want...cause someone to associate your name with a problem at first glance....but it seems like PROB-ably not, to me pretty much....but I don't know....:)!:)....

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On 10/30/2015 at 0:51 PM, lizi01 said:

Hello everyone,

All of the programs that I'm applying to (right now 6, I hope to make it 8) don't require a writing sample. However, one of programs mentions several times that a writing sample is recommended. I translated my final undergraduate psychology project (which is a theoretical paper composed of 20 pages) into English. The professor that was my mentor for this specific project told me back then (2 years ago) that it's a good work which illustrate an original and interesting idea. However, it isn't perfectly written (I fixed most of the problems however I can't really tell, cause I'm not that objective:)). How important do you think a writing sample is for an application where it isn't required but optional/recommended? Could it really change anything?

I would appreciate any comments regarding this.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

 

I experienced a similar problem with you as I'd like to apply for the Scandinavian Studies PhD program at UWisc where they don't require a Writing Sample as part of the online application. To be honest, I felt quite relieved and wanted just to skip it, but on second thought, I contacted the department, and was told it is not required, but I am "welcome to submit it". So I went back to look for the place to submit one, but did not find anywhere I can upload additional materials. Then I emailed them again and told them the situation, and they gave me another email address of an affiliated faculty who would be responsible for reading my work. I finally got my 2 pieces of samples sent to them, and was informed that my works would be assessed alongside my other materials submitted online, which means they would wait till I finish my application to read the samples of writing. Though I would not say this could probably serve as a bonus for my overall application, I do feel it was a good decision to contact them and got my WS submitted in this way. All in all, I would also vote for that you find the contact person for the department and communicate with them about this issue. 

Best of luck!!

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