Grad App: Technical Writing

17 Jun

I thought I was getting my ducks in a row, but this new application requires all different things (so it seems).   Which kind of (really, really) sucks.  Why can’t applications processes be standardized?  I mean the schools standardize us applicants by GPA and GRE–can’t WE have one process that’s the same for each school?  Maybe even force all the colleges to do the application service things like VMCAS, with no supplemental stuff.  I think it’s fair–and a lot more straightforward!  Anyway, here’s tips about the technical writing I now have to submit:

-Begin to develop your writing sample. Most graduate programs have a January deadline for students seeking admission for the following autumn, so you’ll need to have your writing sample ready early. The writing sample is usually 12-20 pages of your best writing, often a revised paper from an undergraduate course or part of a senior project. It is helpful if the paper concerns works or issues within your stated area of interest for further study. If you’ve written a paper for an History course that you’re thinking of developing into your writing sample, tell your instructor. He or she may have suggestions for you on how to improve it, or may be willing to work with you on further revisions.

-Above all, the writing sample should show your mind at work. The writing sample should be a seminar paper or other research paper written in the general field of History that you intend to pursue at the graduate level. Graduate programs require writing samples of 10-25 pages. The most impressive writing samples demonstrate an ability to conduct research in a variety of sources, to write analytical prose, to construct a reasoned argument based upon evidence, and to create a context for assessing the significance of what has been presented.

Your critical writing sample should represent your best work in an area related to the academic interest(s) you want to pursue in your graduate study. Continue to revise and refine. Work with faculty whenever possible on your revisions. Prepare to turn in an clean, polished writing sample that has been edited thoroughly.

-So it seems (this is me again–not cut & paste material) that I haven’t had to write a lot of papers for my current courses.  The ones I have are:  1)  a group paper that’s ineligable 2) about a complicated virus that mutates to a different virus to cause hearing loss = too complex to be really nice 3) four different mini samples of 100 (?) words about aural rehab.

-I’m left either modifying and severely adding to the papers I have.  Or starting from scratch.  I think I’m going to add to an aural rehab paper about communication strategies.  I can tie it in with my personal statement and the research at the University.

-It’s a lot of work.  Which is why I’m sort of half-assing my blog posts.  I apologize.  All my best writing stuff is being used for personal statement, scholarly paper, and my presentation.  The CV has been momentarily put on hold.


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