The perfect writing sample varies from job to job. Sometimes, it’s just a few well-written sentences that prove your command of the English language. Other times, it’s a short story or an article that you’ve researched and written about a particular topic.
No matter what the role, your writing sample speaks to the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired over the years. If you’re applying for a job at a university, your writing sample can show how well you’ve mastered the complex English language used there. If you’re applying for a job at a professional company, your writing sample can show how well you’ve mastered the English language and the topic of your job search.
When writing your sample, keep in mind these three things. First, write something that proves you’re capable of expressing yourself clearly and elegantly in English. Second, make sure that your writing is concise and to the point. Third, ensure that it’s as original as possible. Use this checklist to help you make sure your writing is perfect.
Let’s look at each point in more detail.
Master The English Language
Your writing sample should reflect not only your academic or professional achievements, but also your ability to communicate in English. A common error applicants make is to submit samples that are hard to understand or that contain spelling and grammar errors. These are red flags for the reviewer, and you certainly don’t want to appear to be a bad writer!
To avoid this, make sure to study the English language carefully and learn good spelling and grammar. Take regular lessons if you’re learning a new language, and review your work regularly to ensure you maintain high standards. Writing in English is an important part of your daily job as a student, so make sure you’re capable of doing it well!
As we’ve established, not all writing samples are created equal. Some are longer than others, but all of them should consist of a concise narrative that gets to the point quickly. In most cases, you’ll want to aim for around 1000 words. However, if your academic record is particularly strong, you may want to aim higher and show off your versatility!
A concise narrative keeps the reader interested and engaged. They’ll be able to understand and appreciate your work more quickly, as well. Concision is highly valued in academia, so you can bet that they’ll be checking for it!
Just like in real life, plagiarism never leaves anyone completely happy. When it comes to academic samples, even the best ones can be suspiciously similar to others. This is even more true for international students, who are more likely to copy and paste from the web or another piece of work. A common mistake that students make is to submit samples that were written by someone else. This is called plagiarism, and it’s widely considered to be an unforgivable offense in academia.
Avoid this by making sure that your work is original and you’ve cited your sources correctly. Additionally, whenever possible, cite the source of quoted material. Finally, be extra careful when using social media, as even a sentence or two can lead to an accusation of plagiarism. The takeaway is that you can never be too careful when it comes to academic honesty!
Now that you’re aware of the various elements that make up a perfect writing sample, you can craft an outstanding one that will differentiate you from other applicants. Just remember to follow the 3 C’s: