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Pezpoet

2018 App Crunch Time

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Greetings! I know it's getting to be crunch time, which means it's also the best time to check in! How's everyone doing? Are y'all feeling good about sending apps in soon? 

I have a few schools that don't notify LOR writers until after the full app is in (dumb), so my self-imposed deadline in next friday, giving my writers two weeks to the official deadlines. I'm pumped to be done and just trying to finish strong at this point. How about you all?

Sending lots of good vibes!

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The closer I get, the less certain I am about everything, from my choice of schools to my SOP. 

But I am looking forward to submitting everything and being anxious about waiting for decisions (rather than stressing about finishing). 

Good luck, everyone!

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Good luck, all! I know your pain. 

I'm getting there, slowly but surely! I have the GRE next week and will spend the following week completing my written materials (statement of purpose, writing samples) for my schools with the earliest deadlines. I've been writing a statement of purpose in my head for about a month now...

Edit: I had a couple of questions but realized they belong in their own thread rather than mucking up this one! ;)

 

Edited by snickus

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I have started to begin my applications, but I am still working through how to write a proper SOP. I am nervous that everything I write will sound odd/amateur. It is tough picturing oneself as a scholar, and then painting an image of the qualifications and potential I would have in a given English department. It is weird stuff. As far as my writing sample goes, my letter writers are currently giving it a read over, but I believe it is near completion which is exciting. 

 

People keep on asking me if I have applied anywhere yet, and I keep on feeling like a bum when I say I have not. Does anyone else feel this way? My other friends who are applying to postgraduate programs in the medical field, law, student affairs, business, etc. seem to have finished their applications ages ago while I am floundering to complete mine.

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GRE officially DONE. One less thing to stress over. SoP polished (will still likely revise more), recently received word of another piece of my work being accepted for publication, heavily revised a potential writing sample today.

Where's everyone applying?

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Congrats, @katie64! If you don't mind me asking, what is your publication on? That's awesome it's been accepted for publication!

And I'm applying to Maryland, Michigan, PSU, UPenn, Temple, Lehigh, UPitt, Carnegie Mellon, Rutgers, Princeton, Delaware, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Virginia. Yourself?

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On 11/10/2017 at 8:37 PM, katie64 said:

GRE officially DONE. One less thing to stress over. SoP polished (will still likely revise more), recently received word of another piece of my work being accepted for publication, heavily revised a potential writing sample today.

Where's everyone applying?

Hooray! Husband is applying to the following schools:

Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, Columbia, CU-Boulder, Harvard, Tufts, UMD-College Park, UChicago, Delaware, and Yale.

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Thanks both of you. My publications aren't actually scholarly -- one fiction excerpt from my novel, and one shorter piece of creative non-fiction -- but I have hopes they will still strengthen my applications. 

I'm applying to MA programs only, both general English (most with the option to claim an emphasis/concentration) and some that specifically rhet/comp. Right now on the list is Purdue, Louisville, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Utah. 
My requirements were good funding, not specifically lit-based (although Kentucky kind of is...), in a more rural area, and low cost of living -- so, if anyone has any last minute suggestions, I'll take them. :)

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45 minutes ago, katie64 said:

Thanks both of you. My publications aren't actually scholarly -- one fiction excerpt from my novel, and one shorter piece of creative non-fiction -- but I have hopes they will still strengthen my applications. 

I'm applying to MA programs only, both general English (most with the option to claim an emphasis/concentration) and some that specifically rhet/comp. Right now on the list is Purdue, Louisville, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Utah. 
My requirements were good funding, not specifically lit-based (although Kentucky kind of is...), in a more rural area, and low cost of living -- so, if anyone has any last minute suggestions, I'll take them. :)

That's awesome! What is your novel about (if, of course, you don't mind sharing) - this is just so cool! 

And have you looked at Bucknell University's MA program? I did my undergrad there and had two friends do the MA - those friends are now currently attending two excellent PhD programs. The program is fully-funded, in rural PA (State College is about 45 minutes away, Harrisburg is about an hour away, and the Philly 'burbs are about 2 1/2 hours, so you can certainly find more populated places if you need to) and the cost of living is seriously low. 

I'd be happy to talk to you about the program or any questions about the department you may have - just shoot me a PM. :D

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1 hour ago, a_sort_of_fractious_angel said:

That's awesome! What is your novel about (if, of course, you don't mind sharing) - this is just so cool! 

And have you looked at Bucknell University's MA program? I did my undergrad there and had two friends do the MA - those friends are now currently attending two excellent PhD programs. The program is fully-funded, in rural PA (State College is about 45 minutes away, Harrisburg is about an hour away, and the Philly 'burbs are about 2 1/2 hours, so you can certainly find more populated places if you need to) and the cost of living is seriously low. 

I'd be happy to talk to you about the program or any questions about the department you may have - just shoot me a PM. :D

Thank you! It's a coming-of-age novel set in the 1850s about a girl growing into womanhood and moving west with her family. 

I just checked their website, and didn't see much in the way of financial aid which is definitely more of a must have than a what. However, if you happen to be aware if they do actually have good financial aid, would love a PM. :)

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25 minutes ago, katie64 said:

Thank you! It's a coming-of-age novel set in the 1850s about a girl growing into womanhood and moving west with her family. 

I just checked their website, and didn't see much in the way of financial aid which is definitely more of a must have than a what. However, if you happen to be aware if they do actually have good financial aid, would love a PM. :)

That sounds so cool! And that's odd, haha. I'll email my friends and ask them. Unless something has changed, it should be a good offer. 

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2 hours ago, katie64 said:

Oh, forgot to add that right now, the unofficial 'official' list stands as:

Utah, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech. 

I'm also applying to Purdue and Virginia Tech! For literature rather than rhet/comp, though.

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I'm either okay or freaking out and totally unsure of how to improve my application.

I've got to cut down my writing sample for a school that has a 15 page limit, including the bibliography. My bib is 5 pages long, so I'm not sure if I should just skip it all together?? I've got to go over my statement, mostly each school's bit, and work on an essay that of course just one school requires... 

I'm applying to PhDs at Rutgers  Berkeley    Emory  Austin    Brown    Maryland     Columbia    Yale     Vanderbilt    Stanford     Princeton    Penn     NYU    and UCLA.

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@katie64 - Congrats on the publication!

@unicornsarereal -  You may have already done this since posting, but I'd suggest asking the school what they'd prefer you do.

@Pezpoet - Good luck meeting your self-imposed deadline!

I finally got the GRE out of the way today. It feels so good to be done with that! I'm happy with my score, so that's a nice boost as I go into the next phase of the apps: writing my statement of purpose and tightening up my WS. I aim to have both of those done by next Friday. Then I'll apply to my schools with the earliest deadlines, and spend some time researching more programs that might be a good fit and are still accepting applications.

I'm about a month behind where I wanted to be in the application process. I hope that doesn't hurt me too much. Time will tell!

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Congrats, @snickus!

You're at the homestretch now! I'm behind on revising my WS and tailoring my SOP, too - I think it's part of the process. I hope your work goes smoothly and you're feeling good over the weekend! 

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Figured I'd post here since I'm starting to get stressed - I take the GRE on Wednesday (and I haven't had much time to study for it because I'm a senior undergrad), this weekend I'm doing major revisions on my senior thesis (which I'm using as my writing sample for several schools), and this weekend I also need to revise my SoP (draft #3, here I come) and start working on doing tailored drafts. 

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Can I ask the group: what are opinions on the "hook" for the SOP. I'm not gifted in the art of gab and most of my SOPs have tight word limits that I'm already meeting.

As my SOP stands now, I have an opening statement about what time periods/areas I'm interested, including a relevant quote to add some personality to it. A professor and a peer have suggested however that I either flesh out the use of that quote or cut it. In looking at it, they're right - I just kind of throw it in there.

So - would you all lean toward crafting a short/succinct "personal touch" narrative at the beginning? Or would you be OK with just stating what you're interested in studying and moving into an explanation of how you've developed those areas academically (not personally.)

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18 minutes ago, a_sort_of_fractious_angel said:

Can I ask the group: what are opinions on the "hook" for the SOP. I'm not gifted in the art of gab and most of my SOPs have tight word limits that I'm already meeting.

As my SOP stands now, I have an opening statement about what time periods/areas I'm interested, including a relevant quote to add some personality to it. A professor and a peer have suggested however that I either flesh out the use of that quote or cut it. In looking at it, they're right - I just kind of throw it in there.

So - would you all lean toward crafting a short/succinct "personal touch" narrative at the beginning? Or would you be OK with just stating what you're interested in studying and moving into an explanation of how you've developed those areas academically (not personally.)

Everyone has their own opinion on it, but the best advice I got was to do what feels best/most natural to you. So, if you're throwing a quote in just to have it, then maybe heed the professor and peer? But, I'm interested to hear what others say. 

Edited by Pezpoet

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2 hours ago, Pezpoet said:

Everyone has their own opinion on it, but the best advice I got was to do what feels best/most natural to you. So, if you're throwing a quote in just to have it, then maybe heed the professor and peer? But, I'm interested to hear what others say. 

Thanks, @Pezpoet - your advice is good and I think it's exactly what I'd give to someone asking this question. At this point, I think I'm going to drop the quote. It may be more boring to read "I am applying at University X to study TIME PERIOD/AREA. I aim to study STUFF" but the personal aspect just isn't flowing in an authentic way and my gut says it's safer/better to be straightforward. 

Thanks!  

And I, too, would be thrilled to hear the opinions of others! 

Edited by a_sort_of_fractious_angel

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I haven't posted here before, but I just want to say how grateful I am to see everyone freaking out about the exact same things I am freaking out about. I have a list of "Definite" schools and a list of "Runner-up" schools and it feels like every time I open the list I move options from one column to the other and then back again. I am also nervous because I come from a creative background, I have a BA and MFA in fiction, rather than a strictly research-oriented one. But I have strong English department recs and I scored well on the verbal section of the GRE, so I'm hoping that balances it?

@a_sort_of_fractious_angel I would second that it's better to be straight forward. If the quote isn't organic, it may just make you seem like a different brand of generic rather than making you stand out. An adviser used to say "that which does not strengthen the message, dilutes it." That may be the case here. (Also, sup Philly!)

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13 minutes ago, M(allthevowels)H said:

I haven't posted here before, but I just want to say how grateful I am to see everyone freaking out about the exact same things I am freaking out about. I have a list of "Definite" schools and a list of "Runner-up" schools and it feels like every time I open the list I move options from one column to the other and then back again. I am also nervous because I come from a creative background, I have a BA and MFA in fiction, rather than a strictly research-oriented one. But I have strong English department recs and I scored well on the verbal section of the GRE, so I'm hoping that balances it?

@a_sort_of_fractious_angel I would second that it's better to be straight forward. If the quote isn't organic, it may just make you seem like a different brand of generic rather than making you stand out. An adviser used to say "that which does not strengthen the message, dilutes it." That may be the case here. (Also, sup Philly!)

Do I know you? Our backgrounds are really similar and we both live in philly.

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Maybe? Your username isn't a name I know, though. I'm from California, but I moved here for my MFA and quickly became addicted. You have seasons! And trees! And rivers that stay wet all year long! Are you currently applying? Or, if you already have applied, how did it go with your creative background as opposed to traditional English? (Presupposing that's what you mean by our having similar backgrounds)

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24 minutes ago, M(allthevowels)H said:

I haven't posted here before, but I just want to say how grateful I am to see everyone freaking out about the exact same things I am freaking out about. I have a list of "Definite" schools and a list of "Runner-up" schools and it feels like every time I open the list I move options from one column to the other and then back again. I am also nervous because I come from a creative background, I have a BA and MFA in fiction, rather than a strictly research-oriented one. But I have strong English department recs and I scored well on the verbal section of the GRE, so I'm hoping that balances it?

@a_sort_of_fractious_angel I would second that it's better to be straight forward. If the quote isn't organic, it may just make you seem like a different brand of generic rather than making you stand out. An adviser used to say "that which does not strengthen the message, dilutes it." That may be the case here. (Also, sup Philly!)

You're right - straightforward never hurt anyone and it is far better than seeming like I read on the internet that it was good to have a personal quote-hook, so I just threw one in. 

And sup Philly friend! Are you applying to schools in and around Philly?

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