Post by: Kate Hoeting, MTS ‘21, Graduate Assistant in the HDS Office of Admissions
This article is part of our “How to Apply” series, which answers common questions about the application process and includes these articles:
- “How to Apply: Letters of Recommendation”
- “How to Apply: Statement of Purpose”
- “How to Apply: Reapplication”
- “How to Apply: Test Scores”
Since the writing sample is a new component of the application this year, I’m adding this article to the series to walk you through guidelines and best practices. We know that the writing sample can be an intimidating part of the application process, but remember that the requirements are open-ended on purpose, and always feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.
What does the admissions committee look for in a writing sample?
The writing sample serves to demonstrate your academic writing ability. You may choose to submit:
- An excerpt of an academic paper in any subject area within the humanities or social sciences
- An adapted piece of professional writing
- An original work that is based upon a topic that you are interested in studying here at HDS
The writing sample should be 1,000-1,500 words long and give the admissions committee a sense of your strengths in writing, research, and/or critical analysis.Continue reading