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Thread: Length of Writing Sample?

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    Length of Writing Sample?

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    Hi all!
    I'm preparing writing sample for my applications right now. The only thing I currently have is a short (5 pages single spaced) assignment. I see that the top programs have very specific page limits on their require writing samples (Harvard 15+ pages, Chicago 15-20, etc.). Does anyone know if submitting a short writing sample would be a bad idea?
    Thanks in advance!

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by matcha View Post
    Hi all!
    I'm preparing writing sample for my applications right now. The only thing I currently have is a short (5 pages single spaced) assignment. I see that the top programs have very specific page limits on their require writing samples (Harvard 15+ pages, Chicago 15-20, etc.). Does anyone know if submitting a short writing sample would be a bad idea?
    Thanks in advance!
    Why can't you include your thesis or your current progress in it?

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    Unfortunately no thesis is required for my current program so I didn't write one.

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by greg3 View Post
    Why can't you include your thesis or your current progress in it?
    Oops forgot to quote.
    Unfortunately no thesis is required for my current program so I didn't write one.

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by matcha View Post
    Oops forgot to quote.
    Unfortunately no thesis is required for my current program so I didn't write one.
    Ah, I understand. That might be a potential problem.
    You might want to explain in your personal statement why you are unable to provide a sample of a sufficient lenght. However, I do not want to upset you, but it might not necessarily work for universities like Harvard. It is already extremely competitive, so they may not tolerate any shortcomings. You should try anyway. Have you done any research projects or something similar?

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by greg3 View Post
    Ah, I understand. That might be a potential problem.
    You might want to explain in your personal statement why you are unable to provide a sample of a sufficient lenght. However, I do not want to upset you, but it might not necessarily work for universities like Harvard. It is already extremely competitive, so they may not tolerate any shortcomings. You should try anyway. Have you done any research projects or something similar?
    Thanks for the suggestion greg! That's really helpful. Sounds like a good way to let the adcom know.
    I've only done RA work now I wish I have done things a little differently. I think my chances of getting into prestige programs like Harvard are little anyway. But I'll still give it a shot. Most likely I'll end working somewhere as a RA to gain some more experience.

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    I don't understand why that schools require a specific length of sample writing ... decision theory papers usually have less than 10 pages.

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    Re: Length of Writing Sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by fiecsdiego View Post
    I don't understand why that schools require a specific length of sample writing ... decision theory papers usually have less than 10 pages.
    Me neither. The weird thing is some schools say they want less than 10 pages while others say 15-20.

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