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五个步骤让你的申请文书被美国名校相中

Every year, many international students get into their dream U.S. schools or are accepted to colleges and offered decent financial aid packages. This is not solely because of their academic performance or the extracurricular activities they have participated in, but also because of the way they presented themselves in their personal statements.

  Your SAT or ACT scores and high school grades are only part of your admissions portfolio. Your application essay is a much more telling sign of your unique personality and qualifications.

  With that in mind, here are five tips that will help you create a better personal statement.

  每年都有许多国际生如愿进入了自己理想的美国大学,有些学生在被学校录取的同时还获得了相当不错的大学助学金。这并不只是因为他们学业成绩优异,或者参加了许多课外活动,最后能取得成功,还离不开他们在自我陈述里很好地向校方展示了自己。

  你的SAT和ACT分数,又或者你的高中成绩只是你取得录取通知书的一部分条件。你的申请文书更能展现你的个人特色与个人品质。

  以下的五个建议或许能帮助你写出一份更好的个人陈述,得到学校的青睐。

  1. Start the process very early: This is not your typical homework assignment or school project. It can be a turning point of your life. A decent essay can help get you into a prestigious institution and change your future.

  What I mean by early is that you need to start writing at least three months in advance of college application deadlines. Only by doing so can you have the chance to change topics, revise your essay, read it over, have someone criticize it and polish every word.

  Moreover, for those applying to multiple schools, there may be supplemental essays depending on where you apply, which also require a substantial amount of time. In addition, many high school seniors around the world will be overwhelmed by all sorts of pressure, including graduation exams, so tackling essays early will give you a great advantage.

  1、尽早提前开始你的申请文书写作

  这份文书既不是一份典型的家庭作业,也不是学校留下的项目。这份文书是你人生的转折点。一份优秀的文书可以帮助你进入一所名校,改变你的未来。

  我所说的尽早是你得在递交大学申请截止前至少三个月开始准备。只有这样,你才有机会有时间更改题目,修改文章,反复阅读它,打磨它。

  而且,有些同学申请了好几个不同的学校,你申请哪个学校就要相对应地写一份文书,这也是需要很多时间的。另外,大部分高中的高年级学生得面对来自各方面的压力,包括很重要的毕业考试。所以提早考试文书的写作更有保障。

  2. Write many drafts and try a number of topics: The majority of successful applicants that I know wrote multiple essay drafts before submitting their favorite. The reason behind this is that doing something new, like playing a new sport, requires you to put in a tremendous amount of practice until you are good enough to compete.

  It is very much the same with writing an essay. For most international students, this is the first time they have put serious thought into writing a paper, let alone one in a foreign language. The first few drafts will be very rough, and you should write until your essay is flawless.

  Remember, each draft is not necessarily about one particular topic. You can write two or three drafts on the same topic if it has good potential, or switch topics if necessary. In my case, I wrote seven different drafts on four different topics before submitting my personal statement to the Common Application.

  2、多大写草稿,多尝试几个主题

  我知道的大部分成功申请的学生都写了好几个文书,最后选出自己最喜欢的。这就好比刚开始接触一个运动项目,只有经过大量的练习,你才能更好地独立完成。

  写文章也是这样。对许多留学生来说,这是他们第一次严肃认真的文书写作,更别说还要用另一种语言来书写。刚开始写出来的样板可能非常粗糙,所以你要多写,多打磨,直到最后的文章是完美的。

  记住,每份草稿没必要都是一个主题,如果有必要,你可以同一话题写2到3个草稿,或者改变主题。当年我就4个不同的主题写了7份草稿。

  3. Find a trustworthy person to proofread each draft: This is the stage where you know that there is likely something wrong with your drafts and you want help uncovering these issues. I strongly advise you to find people who are very experienced with English writing, and – this is most important – are genuinely willing to give you criticism.

  These readers should be people who have an in-depth knowledge about the application process, such as U.S. college alumni or retired or current college admissions counselors, or educators who have had years of experience in English writing.

  Once they let you know that there is something you need to fix, either about your essay or topic, you need to fix it or write it again immediately. When you come up with an essay that receives nods from your professional readers, you know that you are ready to submit it to a college.

  3、找一个值得信任的人对每份草稿进行修改校对

  这样你可以发现一些草稿里的错误,这会有助于你重新认识这些议题。我强烈建议你找一个在英语写作上特别有经验的人,能对你的文书给出批判性的建议。

  这些人可以是在录取申请上很有经验,对申请文书很了解的人,比如说美国高校的一些校友或者退休的或在职的院校招生顾问,又或者有多年英语写作经验的教育工作者。

  一旦他们给你建议哪些方面是需要修改的,不论是关于文章内容还是文章主题,你都要马上重新修改。直到你的文书能够得到这些专业读者的点头,你才准备好了将它递交给相对应地高校了。

  4. Read successful application essays: This is not meant to encourage you to take someone else's ideas. But reading essays of successful college applicants can help you get an idea of what admissions counselors are looking for.

  Before my friend started her personal statement, she had a hard time finding something that might impress admissions counselors. When she finished reading a set of essays written by students who were accepted by Ivy League schools – which she found online via a Google search – she learned that they expressed the unique personalities of the writers, but were based on very simple, personal anecdotes.

  She then chose a very simple yet meaningful topic to write about: taking care of her ill grandfather. Her essay was so touching that she received handwritten letters from admissions readers, complimenting her writing and offering her a spot in their class of 2017 at Washington and Lee University.

  4、多读一些成功申请的文书

  这不是要你去窃取别人的点子。但是读些成功申请的文书可以帮助你了解招生委员会的人想要什么样的文书。

  我的朋友在写她的自我陈述的时候,她花了许多时间研究到底什么样的文书可以给招生委员会的人留下深刻的印象。在她看了许多成功被常青藤名校相中的文书后,她发现这些文书很好的展示了写作者的独特个性,同时,这些文书是建立在他们自身简单的奇闻轶事上的。

  于是她选了一个非常简单但很有意义的主题:照顾她生病的父亲。她的文章非常感人,还收到了来自招生委员会的手写回信,称赞她的写作,同时她也成为了华盛顿和李大学2017届的一名新生。

  5. Follow the structure of a story: As the writer, you need to realize that a quality essay is built upon the general story structure of rising action, conflict and resolution.

  The college application essay does not have to be like an action movie, but it has to lead the readers through the stages of curiosity, wonderment and satisfaction. Moreover, the readers will need to be so engaged in your story that they will not be distracted by any unnecessary details or redundancy.

  It is best that you cut out sentences or scenes that may make the story confusing. Remember that each admissions counselor has to deal with a large pile of essays, so telling an intriguing story can make you stand out.

  5、把握好文章结构

  你得意识到一篇好的文章一般都遵循着故事起承转合的发展脉络。大学申请文书不一定要像一部动作电影,但是它要引导读者从好奇到想象再到最后得到满足。而且读者要全身心地投入到你所讲的故事而不会被一些不必要的细节描写或冗长的文字所分心。

  你最好删掉冗长的句子和那些会让人故事歧义的描写。记住每个招生负责人有许许多多的文章需要看,所以简短精悍的故事才能让你突出重围。

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