Since May, I’ve graduated, taken some time off, moved to DC last weekend, and am now beginning the horrible, horrible process of applying to jobs and internships. I spent ALL DAY yesterday on my resume, only to have Word crash, recover my documents, then crash again losing them for good, and have to start completely from scratch. I have a million questions about it, and everywhere has conflicting advice, and I hate everything, so today I moved on to a writing sample.

I’ve taken three sections from my thesis, and am proofreading them to make sure they’re perfect. Then I’ll have Mr. Toad read them tonight and pick the best one. So far so good. I’m pretty confident in my writing abilities, so that’s not a huge concern. Mostly it’s making sure that comes across, and I’m not really sure what they’re looking for. I’m applying to international relations-related things, and my thesis is about international peacebuilding, so it’s on topic. But beyond that I’m not sure what they’re looking for. Just the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas clearly, or are they also checking out my research skills? It doesn’t specify that the sample has to come from a research paper, so maybe just my writing?

I’m also completely baffled by formatting. Some places say to just include a note at the top of the first page that explains that this is a selection from a larger paper, the title of the paper, and the topic. Others say to include the abstract (at the beginning? or at the end?) which lead to me trying to figure out how to write an abstract, which only brought more questions.

If anyone knows what I should do for any of these questions, or has gifs to share, please do because I’m about to lose my mind.