Dr. Old Bill Posted September 7, 2016 Share Posted September 7, 2016 Soooo...one of my letter writers asked to meet with me today. We're on great terms, like each other a great deal etc., but he wanted to tell me that based on the writing he has seen from me so far (a 20-page paper for his course a year ago, as well as a 15-page paper I've been planning to use as my writing sample), he can only give me a GOOD recommendation, not a great one...so I should consider if I want that, or if I should find someone else. He emphasized that he truly wants to read drafts of my WS and SOP as they come along, and offered every level of support possible...but I can't deny that the takeaway is disappointing. I'm in a bit of a weird situation. All three of my letter-writers have read my proposed WS. One of them is very much a fan of it, thinks it is great work and is well-written etc. Incidentally, her specialization is the closest to what the paper is about. Another letter-writer, who is my mentor, thinks it needs a lot more work, and suggested I might want to use a paper I wrote for her course a year ago instead (which does have relevance to the programs I'm applying to etc.). The third, the one I mentioned at the outset, thinks it is good, but doesn't have enough of my voice in it, and engages too much with critical scholarship (something that my mentor also mentioned). Incidentally, I ran it by a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Writing Center, and he thinks it's very good, requiring only a few tweaks here and there. So it's definitely a dilemma. I'm going to meet with another professor I have a great rapport with, and see if he is willing to write me a letter. The problem, of course, is that now I'm really torn about my proposed Writing Sample, and what WS to even use. The one my mentor suggested is a paper that I really enjoyed writing, but it received an A-...so I basically filed it away without thinking more about it. Now that she's telling me that it's a better paper overall...well...it's a quandary. One possibility is submitting truncated/edited versions of both papers, giving adcoms a "two-fer," as it were, but I don't think that's the best idea. Any thoughts? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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