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University of Oxford, Pawel-Sytniewski
University of Oxford
Oxford

Questions about MsT application: written work

Currently applying for an MsT in art history after ~4 years out of academia. Pandemic was a blast, lol. The application requires submitting a piece of work from your most recent qualification that must not exceed 4000 words, and recommends this be your BA dissertation, etc. If it is longer, they recommend "a preface which puts the work in context."

My BA-AE was 5000 words so the preface is looking like my best option. Could somebody clarify whether academic prefaces follow a particular structure? Is this just a summary of the content I've elected to cut?

Additionally, while I received a very high grade for this piece, I don't think it's reflective of my developments as a writer. Would I be permitted to edit certain phrasing or cut certain tautological paragraphs in order to reduce the amount of words? I can't find any information about this, except for BA applications.

Thank you!
There's no standard format for a preface. I'd just go with words to the effect of "a version of this paper was originally submitted as my BA dissertation. The submitted version was 5k words but I've made the following amendments to meet the word cap for this application: " If it got a particularly high grade then maybe mention that.

And there's nothing wrong with editing it. You're hoping to be admitted now, not four years ago, so show them how good your writing is today.
University of Oxford, Pawel-Sytniewski
University of Oxford
Oxford

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