Writing sample choices??


Hi, I'm applying to a number of MLA programs and one of them asks to submit a writing sample, it can be of anything you wrote in university but no more than 20 pages. They say they just want to see one's academic communication skills and quality of writing. Does anyone know if this is super important in the decision making? Sadly, I didn't have many opportunities to write papers in my program so I don't exactly have anything good to showcase. I have a 4 page piece that I thought was interesting subject wise but worry that's too short and another 7 page paper that's kind of boring about an art piece that I did well in grade wise. I think my portfolio is pretty great, as well as my SOP/rec letters. Would this be determinantal to my chances? I'm not applying for any ivy league lmao but still good schools. 

What did you guys submit for these, whether for an M.Arch or MLA program? Were they long essays? Short written pieces etc? Just want to get an idea of how you guys chose your writing samples to see what I can do. My first application is due in 2 weeks so I'm definitely limited in what I can do but I can try. 

Thank you in advance for any help!

Dec 28, 21 11:39 pm

Those papers are still your work. I'd suggest you pick one that is relevant the most; 4 and 7 pages aren't that short. Check if there are word restrictions; it was either a research paper or an essay; I went with the research paper; it was only a 3-page paper.

Dec 29, 21 2:56 am  · 
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There is no type of restriction at all, that's why I'm conflicted. I can submit 2 or more different ones as well because they said "sample(s)", as long as they're not more than 20 pages combined. So you just submitted a 3 page research paper? Now I feel a little less stressed. I kept seeing a bunch say theirs was around 15-20 pages long when I was looking around (not for MLA/M.Arch though that's why I asked here) and I thought damn I'm screwed?? 

I wrote a 15 page essay on climate change which I guess is probably the most relevant paper I have to this program and got an A on it but after I re-read it, I felt like it wasn't good at all lmao. I keep thinking going with something short might be better, mostly because I doubt these admission committees are going to enjoy reading 20 page writing samples from 100s of students. Might keep it short and sweet like you but I'll see if others agree here.

Thank you so much for the reply, it helps seeing what others have done! 

Dec 29, 21 3:19 am  · 
1  · 

Yes please wait for other people's responses :-) 

I can understand your feeling that the 15-page write-up kinda bad, sometimes I don't feel like vouching for my past self's work either xD 

Anyway, good luck to you!!

Dec 29, 21 4:00 am  · 
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lol we're our worst critics, but thank you! 

Dec 31, 21 12:36 am  · 
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From the requirements I can tell its UofT... I applied their M.Arch, my writing sample was just a 5 page essay from a school course (definitely a piece of garbage when I read it now)

Good luck to us :)

Jan 12, 22 9:52 pm  · 
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lmao it is UofT and damn I wish they didn't ask. I ended up going with the boring art one if that makes you feel any better, good luck to us indeed! I'm sure yours is good, we're all hyper critical of our own work. 

at least this application is done with! 

Jan 14, 22 5:58 am  · 

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