I am submitting a PhD application, for which I am required to include a writing sample; either a publication or a class report. I don’t have publications but I have a submitted paper authored by me and my advisor which I already submitted to a conference but was not yet accepted (results are due in 2 months).

I was thinking of submitting this paper for admissions as a writing sample because I think that it is well written. I know that I have to get my advisor’s permission.

In case my advisor agrees, is doing that appropriate? My yet to be accepted paper will be reviewed by professors in the department I am applying to.

  • 1
    As far as I understand it, the writing sample is supposed to demonstrate that you can write well. As such, it will not be a problem that it is seen by the people where you apply (they are not going to review it, they are just going to see if it is well written). What will be a problem, however, is that is has not been written solely by yourself, so it does not actually demonstrate your own ability to write. – Tobias Kildetoft Nov 19 '14 at 12:17
  • So maybe the real question is "Should I submit a joint paper as a writing sample?" – Nate Eldredge Nov 19 '14 at 14:39
  • The linked question is about faculty job application, but the answers (2nd especially) generalize. Unless you change the question as @Nate suggested, in which case we'd reopen this one. – ff524 Nov 19 '14 at 14:49