I am planning on applying to History Phd programs, and while I would love to apply for to enter next academic year, I am worried about my writing sample. For my university's honors program, I wrote a thesis based on a treatise that was originally written in middle French. To be honest, I'm proud of the work I did. It demonstrates my proficiency with French, and I think it's an interesting topic.
However, since graduating, my interests have shifted from early modern France to the French colonization of Brazil. I took Portuguese as an undergraduate, as well as a few upper level seminars focusing on colonial Latin American history, but I am worried that I will not be able to demonstrate my proficiency with Portuguese unless I have a writing sample that uses a substantial amount of Portuguese sources.
So I guess my question is: how narrowly focused should writing samples be? Should they broadly demonstrate one's ability to conduct historical research, or should I try to potentially alter another paper and scrap my thesis?
Thank you guys so much in advance!