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Advice on Editing MA Report


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So 1 of my programs asks for the entire MA thesis while another asks for the abstract and one or more chapters. I was planning to use my dissertation as the basis of all my writing samples, but two of the samples require much shorter lengths. One requires 15-20 pages and the other "no more than 30." My MA report is 154 pages (including references and appendices; probably ~100 pages of actual report content) at 1.5x spacing. Any ideas on how to reduce it down? Should I include a link to the full report as part of my submission?

The report sections are:



Contextual Information

Research Design and Methodology

Findings and Insights (longest section at 34 pages)

Deliverable Design and Presentation


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  • 2 weeks later...

Wanted to give an update on how I resolved this. Instead of taking only sections and trying to make things fit in a cut/paste sort of way, I used only one chapter. I took my Findings chapter, rewrote the intro to better fit the prompt (i.e. this is a chapter of a bigger piece, blah blah blah), and made the images I included smaller due to length constraints. No spacing requirements were mentioned, so I made the chapter single-spaced and that got me down to a 20-page document. 

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I am running into this exact thing, but my programs want something even smaller! My M.S. does not require a thesis, so I am using a graduate term paper from a course that is closely related to what I want to focus my Ph.D. studies on. The original paper was about 21 or so pages of content and with the revisions to turn it into a far more focused and direct writing sample, I ended with about 15 pages of pure content. Some programs will let me turn the entire thing in, but some are extra restrictive to "no more than 5 pages". I haven't fully edited the paper into a second copy that is 5 pages, but I am planning to leave the abstract, introduction, theoretical framework, and at least one of the major theories I delve into as well as references of course. I am not sure if I should include the discussion portion or not, but I plan to explain in my statement of purpose to this school that I am more than happy to provide the entire writing sample if they wish it.

I am curious if I should include the entire reference page, or just the references that the portion they receive talk about? I know it is proper to only reference sources that you actually talk about in the paper.

I hope this works out well for me.

Edited by Sandmaster
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5 pages is harsh. At least the reference page doesn't count towards that. I'd include only the references for the specific section OR I'd alter the reference title to reflect that the references included pertain to the original full-length work. 

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