Tweetie_bird

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I called George WA, Albert Einstein, U Vermont, SLU, Meharry...and a few other schools that have sent out paper secondaries. I asked them all one question--does it matter if we hand write it versus type?

They said NO.

I asked them, am I at a disadvantage if I hand write it instead of type it?

They said NO.

As long as it's legible, we should be okay. So what's the big deal here on SDN about having to type ours out??? People are claiming that if we don't type them, we will be at a "disadvantage." I am feeling a bit tired about the rumors here on SDN about this issue. So, if you have heard otherwise from an AD COM, will you PLEASE let me know?? I have already sent my meharry, GW and AE secondaries in and (gasp) hand wrote them. Given the amount of time it saves me, there's no way I am gonna do it unless somebody here has some legit words to show otherwise.
What are your thoughts?
Tweetie
 

Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

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I guess, people were making a deal out of PDFs which would look professional if you type your info in on computer. Everything else that that requires scanning and typewriter is not really good and is a waste of time. I would go for a scanning method if I had to paste a long essay or something like that.
 
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Oh, UCLA's MSTP secondary was horrendous! It HAD to be "typed on the original" and there was no public typewriter on the entire UCSD campus! It took me two days to get all of the text lined up in Paint.

Anyways, for most non-colored secondaries on regular paper, print out what you want to put on the secondary, cut it out, glue-stick it down, and make a high quality copy.
 
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Tweetie_bird

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Originally posted by Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]
I guess, people were making a deal out of PDFs which would look professional if you type your info in on computer. Everything else that that requires scanning and typewriter is not really good and is a waste of time. I would go for a scanning method if I had to paste a long essay or something like that.

see, that's exactly my point. Those secondaries that are being sent to me via email or are online, I can obviously type them in. I know how to work in Acrobat so that's no a problem.

But there are a few (George WA being one) where they want you to put it all on THAT paper only. They send you the paper secondary. So the only way I can TYPE into that thing without errors, is if I scan it in....make it a PDF.....type my answers in...print it ON THEIR PAPER (read the story about how they sent a secondary back because it was not on their paper) and then post it.

Ofcourse, I could just type it on a type writer, but I would have millions of mistakes and in the end it won't even look good. Plus, where can you get a type writer these days?

I know how to do all of the above, but i think it's a foolish waste of time especially considering these schools told me it's okay not to do it. Are we premeds or are we computer science majors????

GRRRR I am getting agitated with this process. I need time off from SDN.

Street Phil: Why do you claim that so eloquently? What have you heard specifically from an AD COM??
 

mamie

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In my honest opinion, I think that these people are misleading you. I have talked to persons who actually read and pick med school applications and they tell me one thing: it doesn't matter if the writing is legible, writing shows a lack of initiative in doing said application. I have been told straight up that people will make two piles: one of typed applications and the other of written and will go through the typed applications first. Only when they are finished with them do they look at the handwritten.

So, I guess if you do write out the application it will be fine. But, you may have your application read at a later date. Writing or typing really doesn't matter for things like coursework, but everything else should be typed.

peace

p.s. the people that I mentioned I have talked to are from NYU, UNC, and Case Western, and Georgetown.
 

Street Philosopher

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Let me support what I said.

All things being equal, typed secondaries are better because they look more professional than a handwritten one. While this might not be an official requirement, or official preferred, it does register unintentional bias in the eyes of the person reading it.

If it was a huge ordeal to type it (getting a typewriter, etc) then just write it in. But if you have access to a typewriter, I would 10 times out of 10, type it out.
 
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Tweetie_bird

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Thanks so much Mamie. I didn't know this about Georgetown. Thank goodness I haven't started to work on my GTown secondary.

I am feeling ambivalent about the other secondaries I just sent in. Oh well.....so much for trusting the Admin people.
 

Focus

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Hm,

I've heard that handwriting actually helps get the more "personal" feel when adcoms read it. Also, if you write legibly, I don't think it should be a problem.

If you're a messy writer, type it. If you have great handwriting, and typing it is an inconvenience, then write it. I have many friends who matriculated\received interviews who hand wrote their application.

- Focus
 

Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

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Originally posted by Tweetie_bird



see, that's exactly my point. Those secondaries that are being sent to me via email or are online, I can obviously type them in. I know how to work in Acrobat so that's no a problem.

But there are a few (George WA being one) where they want you to put it all on THAT paper only. They send you the paper secondary. So the only way I can TYPE into that thing without errors, is if I scan it in....make it a PDF.....type my answers in...print it ON THEIR PAPER (read the story about how they sent a secondary back because it was not on their paper) and then post it.

Ofcourse, I could just type it on a type writer, but I would have millions of mistakes and in the end it won't even look good. Plus, where can you get a type writer these days?

I know how to do all of the above, but i think it's a foolish waste of time especially considering these schools told me it's okay not to do it. Are we premeds or are we computer science majors????

GRRRR I am getting agitated with this process. I need time off from SDN.

Street Phil: Why do you claim that so eloquently? What have you heard specifically from an AD COM??
I am glad that somebody has finally agreed with me. :)
 

lola

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actually, i have the georgetown secondary right here. on the app it says "please print legibly or type". on the app instructions it says "the secondary application form may be completed by hand. it is not necessary to retype the form or photocopy the form onto bond or colored paper." i seriously doubt they would put you in a "handwritten/slacker" pile if you hand wrote it, since their instructions say it's fine to handwrite it. anyway, i know people on SDN make a huge deal out of typing apps, but i doubt it's that big of a deal. i'm going to type the majority of mine, but if it's just a few lines of writing, i'm not going to bother typing them if a typewriter is not handy. i got into undergrad and grad school without typing a single application!
 
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I guess this been said already, but I thought I jump in still:

My advice, type it. Do adcom's say they require it? Probably not, I have no idea. However, this is an official document and you are applying to a professional school. Typed material in today's society is commonplace - hell its more common than written stuff nowadays. It just makes sense to type it - you have gone through a college and you are expected to have these skills - even if you are not a computer major (they are not asking you to write a program here). Medicine will require you to have much more computer skills than this.

On the other hand, if you feel strongly about writing in it - Dude, write the damn thing. Don't follow the crowd - do what you want. Whatever you feel appropriate, you should do (that is what will set you apart - just make sure you set yourself apart as you intended).

My dos cents

X
 
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I think it is in very poor of all these schools to not provide writable PDFs of all their documents on their websites. It shows a much larger lack of professionalism than an applicant hand-writing an application.
 

CANES2006

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My vote is type it. Why would you want to take needless chances on such a trivial matter. Typing it looks alot more professional.
 

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I had the same questions, so I called Georgetown and George Washington. G'town's response was that the one page app. was just an administrative form, and it was absolutely no problem if it was hand written. They simply requested the essay be typed. George Washington also said it didn't make a difference - but then again the person I spoke with is not the person that will be making a decision on my App. Anyways, I hand wrote both apps. Frankly I don't have time to get a typewritter, and my writting is perfectly clear. I worked in the business world for years before going back to school to get my premeds, and while typing something does make it more professsional, I would hope the admissions people are basing their decision on a little more than writting style. I'd like to think people are more reasonable than that. Just my 2 cents. I also agree with the person who put in on the admissions committee's. At this day in age we are all trained in computers, which is different from taking a typing class where you learn how to line up the letters on the line and center everything by counting spaces. If we all typed all the time, that would be one thing, but most people today don't own a typewritter. I think it goes both ways.

Caveat - sorry if I'm rambling, just got back from four hour stats final. I'm a little delirious.+pissed+
 

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Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that people we talk to in the admissions offices aren't the people actually making the admissions decisions. I know for a fact that the director of admissions at the U of MN makes NO decisions regarding who gets in (at least not officially). She sits in on their meetings and helps coordinate things, but she makes no decisions. So if she says that the adcom likes XYZ, she may or may not know what she's talking about.
 

TroutBum

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I hand-wrote all of my paper secondaries (obviously excluding all online and downloadable Word and .PDF documents). I really don't think they care one way or the other. Personally, I kinda thought that a really clean, legible handwritten document was more elegant than a typwritten one, especially if the typewritten one was covered in white-out, as mine surely would have been. I think THAT would have looked really unprofessional, not the other way around. And seriously, where does one find a typewriter these days?

As far as doing all kinds of computer magic to get a word-processed document assembled, if a school really expects everybody to do that as some sort of character test or something, then I think I might not jive well with that's school's whole philosophy: "Will you be willing to jump on one leg howling at the moon if we told you that's what you needed to do to get in?" No way.
 

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I don't get it....if handwriting a secondary is not "professional" than why would a professional school give us th option to do something "unprofessional"? If they really cared they would just state.." must be typed" and we wouldn't even have this debate. But they don't, soooooo do what you want to do and avoid assimilating just because someone else does it and thinks they know better. Nothing is "ideal" in this whole process.
 
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Like I said before, for those that want to handwrite, go for it (it will NOT make the difference of you getting in or not, but I didn't that was the issue at hand).....

but, I keep hearing this (or reading it :) , here and on other posts):

WHERE DOES ONE FIND A TYPEWRITER THESE DAYS ANYWAYS (along those lines)..........oh comon, what kind would you people like??????
Where? try the internet, office supplies store, libraries, your damn undergrad institution, and if you still can't find one, post a message and I will tell you exactly where to get one, but don't use that as an excuse to make an argument (only use that excuse to not actually type the secondary, but not in the argument :D )

X
 

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Wow, does that mean you'd really consider buying a typewriter just to fill out a couple of secondaries? And it's hard to snoop around an undergrad institution looking for typewriters to borrow if you're outta school:D

That having been said, yes, if I really needed to I'm sure I could dig one up somewhere, but c'mon, why would I do that when I could just get a nice Uniball (the best pens, BTW) and write it out just as well?
 
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Tweetie_bird

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ummm, I have NO MONEY to buy a new type writer, much less for a few months.

I would love to find a type writer at my undergrad institution....but I can't. They don't have em! I heard somewhere else on this or another thread that there "wasn't a type writer on the entire UCLA campus."
 

buglady

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Hmmm.....if a medical school rejects or delays my application for something as silly as hand writing a few secondary questions, then i'd think they were smokin' crack. I wouldn't want to attend a school that was as anal and nit-picky as to be agro over a hand written vs. a typed application....yikes, what was the point of the rest of my app if it's just going to be ignored because it's hand written?

i only say this because there are more worse things we should be worrying (or not worry) about during this process....we need to keep this whole thing in perspective! :cool:

if you feel the urge to type these thingy's out, then so be it! i personally just hand wrote them....but that's just me!
 

kaos

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Lemme just say this...I am VERY HAPPY with the schools who have online secondaries in PDF files that you can actually type into :clap: I absolutely hated GW's and UMD's applications. Will you believe I actually handwrote all (ALL) of the U MD's essays because I found that if I typed them on a word processor, they just didn't fit everything I wanted to say?

You're right. Where the hell do you find a typewriter that actually types and erases? As a matter of fact, I don't even remember how to use one! I can't believe technologically advanced medical schools still think typewriters aren't obsolete yet.

I am perfectly confident about my handwriting. It's legible, neat, and I can write smaller than 10 point font. I can fit more of what I want to say and still look neat. Plus, the adcoms can do a little graphology while they're at it. ;) And I don't think there's anything unprofessional about handwriting unless it's in sloppy cursive and all slanted.
 

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Over 95% of secondaries are typed, so you'd better type as well. People WILL wonder "doesn't this person care enough to type in their secondaries??". If you handwrite your essays/apps, you WILL stand out, and it probably won't be a good thing!!
Having sat on Med School Admissions committees, This is definitely true! Even if they don't comment on it during a committee discussion, it just doesn't look professional.
(unless of course they REQUIRE you to handwrite, as Columbia did before)

Why take the risk of NOT getting in, over something as simple as this!

K

http://premed.medfools.com
 

kaos

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Originally posted by kenfused
Over 95% of secondaries are typed, so you'd better type as well. People WILL wonder "doesn't this person care enough to type in their secondaries??". If you handwrite your essays/apps, you WILL stand out, and it probably won't be a good thing!!
Having sat on Med School Admissions committees, This is definitely true! Even if they don't comment on it during a committee discussion, it just doesn't look professional.
(unless of course they REQUIRE you to handwrite, as Columbia did before)

Why take the risk of NOT getting in, over something as simple as this!

K

http://premed.medfools.com
I think not being able to afford one is a pretty good reason. And one adcoms can understand.
 

faerichilde

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I only typed the two secondaries that required typing. I had wrote the secondary for the school that I'm going to be attending as well as for another school where I was accepted. I was not about to consider buying a typewriter and I did not have easy access to one. I'm sure that most schools understand this.
 
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Tweetie_bird

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Originally posted by kenfused
Over 95% of secondaries are typed, so you'd better type as well. People WILL wonder "doesn't this person care enough to type in their secondaries??". If you handwrite your essays/apps, you WILL stand out, and it probably won't be a good thing!!
Having sat on Med School Admissions committees, This is definitely true! Even if they don't comment on it during a committee discussion, it just doesn't look professional.
(unless of course they REQUIRE you to handwrite, as Columbia did before)

Why take the risk of NOT getting in, over something as simple as this!

K

http://premed.medfools.com
which school's committee are you on?
 

Sweet Tea

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I'm a busy girl. I work full-time (often more than full-time) in addition to my volunteer position on EMS, and I often end up working on my applications late at night or (for on-line apps) when I can catch some free time at work (when I'm not posting on SDN!!) and tracking down a typewritter in a library just isn't feasible, and i'm not about to BUY a frickin' typewriter just for these secondaries! I write small and legibly. If they were really THAT concerned about whether or not you print something, they can either specify print or type, or provide an electronic application that you can type directly on.

Obviously, I don't want to do anything that's going to hurt my chances of being accepted, but I dearly hope that I'm not being evaluated based on my typing abilities.

okay. i'm done ranting now. ;)
 

kaos

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Originally posted by Sweet Tea
I'm a busy girl. I work full-time (often more than full-time) in addition to my volunteer position on EMS, and I often end up working on my applications late at night or (for on-line apps) when I can catch some free time at work (when I'm not posting on SDN!!) and tracking down a typewritter in a library just isn't feasible, and i'm not about to BUY a frickin' typewriter just for these secondaries! I write small and legibly. If they were really THAT concerned about whether or not you print something, they can either specify print or type, or provide an electronic application that you can type directly on.

Obviously, I don't want to do anything that's going to hurt my chances of being accepted, but I dearly hope that I'm not being evaluated based on my typing abilities.

okay. i'm done ranting now. ;)
I TOTALLY empathize. That's the same way with me, working full-time and having to fill out applications on my free time. And the frustrations of not having a typewriter.
 
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Originally posted by kaos


I think not being able to afford one is a pretty good reason. And one adcoms can understand.
I think that's a pretty poor reason considering one secondary costs around $75. I can't imagine a used typewriter would cost anything near that amount.
 

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Originally posted by X

...WHERE DOES ONE FIND A TYPEWRITER THESE DAYS ANYWAYS (along those lines)..........oh comon, what kind would you people like??????
Where? try the internet, office supplies store, libraries, your damn undergrad institution, and if you still can't find one, post a message and I will tell you exactly where to get one, but don't use that as an excuse to make an argument (only use that excuse to not actually type the secondary, but not in the argument :D )

X

I think that I saw one in a museum recently.
 

kaos

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Originally posted by Street Philosopher


I think that's a pretty poor reason considering one secondary costs around $75. I can't imagine a used typewriter would cost anything near that amount.
Believe me, when I say I can't afford it, adcoms WILL believe me. Just trust me. Oh, and the last time I checked, typewriters were still over $150.
 

Sammmeyeam

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You're going through a process that will determine your fate for the rest of your life.... and so you must do everything in your power to ensure your success... so why not type it?

Check this out: lets say there are two applicants... with the same stats - same MCAT, same GPA, similiar geographics, similar ECs, etc... and suppose one of them typed it and one of them hand wrote it... who do you think still looks better in the eye of the Adcom? Subconsciously, the typed application looks more professional.

Why is this even a topic that needs discussion over? You are spending over thousands of dollars - MCAT = $175, MCAT Review Course = $1200, Primary App = $1000+ (Cali applicants), Secondaries = $1000+, Interviews = $400 each trip... that's like $4000.

Why wouldn't you spend another $150 to ensure your success? The money is an investment. If you can't afford $150, buy a used one, or use the free typewriter at your undergrad, or borrow one from a friend....
 

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I would like to think that other factors are more important in conveying my professionalism than whether or not I type my secondary. If it was such a critical issue, the schools would specify that the applications be typewritten ONLY.

Personally, I think that handwriting is acceptable as long as it is neat and easy to read. It also adds a touch of personality to an application, which I think is important given that most of this process (besides the interview) is just concerned with stats. If your handwriting is really poor, then definitely find a way to type the application. Otherwise, just hand write it, and don't worry about it!
 

kaos

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Originally posted by Sammmeyeam
You're going through a process that will determine your fate for the rest of your life.... and so you must do everything in your power to ensure your success... so why not type it?

Check this out: lets say there are two applicants... with the same stats - same MCAT, same GPA, similiar geographics, similar ECs, etc... and suppose one of them typed it and one of them hand wrote it... who do you think still looks better in the eye of the Adcom? Subconsciously, the typed application looks more professional.

Why is this even a topic that needs discussion over? You are spending over thousands of dollars - MCAT = $175, MCAT Review Course = $1200, Primary App = $1000+ (Cali applicants), Secondaries = $1000+, Interviews = $400 each trip... that's like $4000.

Why wouldn't you spend another $150 to ensure your success? The money is an investment. If you can't afford $150, buy a used one, or use the free typewriter at your undergrad, or borrow one from a friend....
Excuse me, but #1...facilities where I can find a "typewriter" at my school are closed for the summer, #2...none of my friends have obsolete technology--they all got rid of typewriters like freshman year of high school...and #3...I DON'T HAVE ANY SPARE $150 JUST LYING AROUND SO I CAN GO RUN TO THE STORE AND BUY A TYPEWRITER I'M ONLY USING MAYBE TWICE. Believe me, I don't.

Oh, what the heck... I've already handwritten them and sent them in. Ha ha!
 

Sweet Tea

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Thank you, Kaos!!

Trust me. I really don't have an extra $150 lying around for a typewriter-- heck, I don't even have enough money to go out to dinner right now, much less spend money on a machine I will use for JUST my remaining secondaries. I blame this on the cost of the secondaries. If they really want it typed, they can just tell me to type it, and I will do my darndest to find a functioning typewriter.

I think that my tight-wad approach to applications will serve me well when I have to deal with really stingey insurance companies. :D
 

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Wow, I really don't believe that this thread is three (!) pages long. :p

I guess it all boils down to if you have access to a typewriter or not. If you do, you should type it; if not, oh well, just handwrite it. Yeah, it's true that it does look a bit unprofessional, but so what? They read thousands of these things. I hardly think that they're going to single people out because they didn't type. :rolleyes:
 

Street Philosopher

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I don't know where you people get the idea that a typewriter is $150. Granted, a new typewriter is about $110 bucks retail. I checked officedepot.com for it...

I also said you could get a used typewriter for much much less. This advice someone simply dismissed as impossible. Makes me wonder why, when you can find a used typewriter on ebay for $20.

ebay completed items

Kind of makes me wonder whether the adcoms are right in thinking that the person who writes it out is just lazy.
 

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i have very neat handwriting. i've been told that it looks like it's typed anyways. i think handwriting my applications will show that i have fine motor control...which means i'll be a good surgeon in the future. =)
 

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Originally posted by Street Philosopher
I don't know where you people get the idea that a typewriter is $150. Granted, a new typewriter is about $110 bucks retail. I checked officedepot.com for it...

I also said you could get a used typewriter for much much less. This advice someone simply dismissed as impossible. Makes me wonder why, when you can find a used typewriter on ebay for $20.

ebay completed items

Kind of makes me wonder whether the adcoms are right in thinking that the person who writes it out is just lazy.
I don't trust anything from ebay. I've had lots of bad experiences with them, and anyway, even if I did find a typewriter, there'd be SOMETHING wrong with it, or it would take FOREVER to get to me.

Where do u live? All them typewriters I've seen (in stores AND online) are over $150. All the good ones, at least.

And wait a second, but doesn't it take a whole lot more effort, time, and dedication (and nerve) to actually write the application out by hand? Hmm....
 

Street Philosopher

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I think this topic has exhausted all arguments from either side. I've made my points, you seem to disagree. That's fine. Game over.
 
J

jot

so ... should i handwrite my secondaries or get a typwriter? what do you guys think? is one better than the other? :confused:

-j;) t
 
X

X

Alright I am back.

Once again, i think if you want to write out your secondaries do it, its okay. Just don't use the excuses (where do you find one, I can't afford it, they are $150).

Ok, even if they were $150, so what? If you don't want to type, don't, if you want to buy the damn thing. I know its expensive, I am on the poor financial side myself.

So I spent 30 seconds to help those out that want to buy one and can't afford it (if you look on the net a bit you might even find one cheaper)....here is a link, a typewriter that is selling for upward of a $100 for $39 (electronic, and I assume it has correction tape too, my elec one does). This is refurbished and you are getting the warranty and they have 40 of them:

http://www.consumerdepot.com/products.asp?id=GX6750R


X
 

CaNEM

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2002
635
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Originally posted by jot
so ... should i handwrite my secondaries or get a typwriter? what do you guys think? is one better than the other? :confused:

-j;) t
Definitely type them. Period. End of story. Finito. The fat lady has sung. The ship has sunk. Bin Laden is dead.

...

On the other hand, you should certainly hand-write them. No question about it.
 
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