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发布时间:2007-6-2 文字大小:  打印:打印此文
Writing a good personal statement is an important part of any application to graduate or professional school. The personal statement not only shows the admissions committee that you can write an interesting, cohesive essay, but it also allows them to learn about you as a person. This is your chance to show them that you are more than just a list of grades and test scores; show them how you will contribute to the school and its community.
Supply the committee with unique information about yourself that does NOT appear elsewhere in your application. With thousands of applicants vying for a limited number of slots, you must make yourself stand out. As in any essay, it is crucial that you know your audience. A detailed list of professional goals that demonstrates determination, motivation, and, above all, careful thought, often enhances your application. While it should go without saying, your essay must employ grammar correctly. While proper grammar doesn't earn you points, sloppy grammar can be the kiss of death. Poor grammar suggests to the committee that you are a careless student who is not detail oriented. Needless to say, admissions officers value precision and attention to detail. Afterall, how many people will trust a sloppy, careless lawyer or engineer? While that making the leap from sloppy grammar to careless lawyer might seem far-fetched, countless admissions officers tell a different story.
This handout was written with the help of Alissa Irvin
Forecasting your goals for a career you've not even begun can prove a daunting task, but most admissions committees expect you to do just that. Remember that while they may expect you to complete this unwieldy task, no one is going to hold you to the goals you outline in your personal statement. In fact, committees are really just using this portion of your essay to gauge your motivation, knowledge of the field, and commitment to the course of study. Above all, they want to know that you have carefully considered your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree and the career it eventually makes possible. For many students, this is one of the most difficult portions of the essay to write. Before launching into this section (or any part of the essay, for that matter), you should take some time for self-reflection. Most committees are impressed by essays that express not only motivation and intelligence (your grades can show that as well), but also thoughfulness, maturity, and self-awareness.
This handout was written with the help of Pond Kittisuwan.
预测一个你还甚至没有开始的职业的目标可能有点困难,但是大部分录取人员都希望你在这个问题上尽力而为. 请记住,尽管他们要求你完成这个不切实际的任务,但是没有人会因为你在真实生活中不按照申请信中的目标发展而起诉你. 实际上, 录取方的真正意图是通过这个部分来衡量你的动机,专业知识,以及对所学课程的投入程度. 首先,他们想知道你是否已经认真考虑过为什么要攻读一个研究生的学位.
Unique Information
Unique information about yourself is an important part of your personal statement for Graduate and Professional Schools because for many committees this is their first (and perhaps only) chance to find about you as a person. This information should highlight your talents, interests, and accomplishments; it should also give life to your academic records. Though you want your personality to show in your statement, remember to keep the tone of the statement professional. Never include anything that could be misconstrued as offensive in any way. Keep in mind that humor is very difficult to pull off. Unless you are extremely confident (and have asked several people to read your essay), it may be best to steer clear of jokes and sarcasm.
The unique information in your statement should include an opening that will grab the reader's attention. Remember one of the main goals of this essay is to make yourself memorable to the committee. Consider beginning with a particular experience that relates to your career interests. But stay away from wild stories that bear little relevance to your career goals or other main points in the essay. While many applicants like to begin with a quotation, this is overused. Only take this strategy if the quotation is truly meaningful to you or ties in creatively with the rest of your essay. Be sure to include any relevant personal or work experiences, particularly if they do not appear elsewhere in your application. Somewhere in the essay, perhaps towards the end, you should consider pointing out why the specific institution is a good match for you.
This handout was written with the help of Landon Moore.
译: 与众不同的信息
无论申请研究生院还是商/法学院, 申请信中的关于申请者本人的与众不同的信息至关重要, 因为对于许多校方录取者而言, 申请信是把申请者作为一个"完人"来了解的第一个(也许是唯一的)机会. 这些信息应该能够提纲挈领地展示你的天赋,兴趣和成就; 同时也能够使你的那些成绩分数变得不再枯燥.尽管你想使申请信充满个性,但是请记住保持专业的行文风格.永远不要在文中包含任何可能被误会为冒犯性的内容. 请记住, 在申请信中使用幽默很难达到你想要的效果.除非你非常有把握(并且让其他人阅读过你的文章), 否则最好还是离那些笑话和讽刺远一些.
你的申请信中与众不同的信息应该包含一个能够吸引读者注意的开篇.请记住,这种文章的功能之一就是使你在在录取方心中留下印象. 你可以考虑在文章开头讲述一段与你的职业兴趣有关系的特殊经历. 但是请不要使用那些与职业目标或者文中其他重点没什么太大关系的荒诞故事. 很多申请者喜欢在文章开头引用名人名言,但是这种做法被滥用了.只有当所引用的话对你而言真正的有意义,或者与文章的其他部分巧妙而紧密地结合在一起, 你才这么做. 请一定要提到任何相关的个人信息或工作经验,特别是当这些信息不会在申请资料的其他地方出现. 在文中的某个地方, 最好在靠后一点的部分,你应该考虑说明一下为什么这个学校适合你.
Audience and Voice
It's important to keep your audience in mind as your write your personal essay. While the admissions committee appreciates creative essays, they also know all the tricks. After all, many of them have been reading thousands of applications for decades. So, make yourself stand out, but dont' write what you think the committee wants to hear. First of all, they've heard all that before. Second, they can see through your attempts to please. The most successful essays are those in which the author is honest and genuine. The best advice we can give you is simply to be yourself. That also means paying some attention to voice, or the personality behind your writing. You should not be afraid of using "I" in your personal statement. This essay should not be a dry, academic essay, but neither should it be one stand-up comic routine; instead, you should strive for a balance between the two. Admissions committees also complain that many students try excessively hard to create an entertaining voice or write what they deem sophisticated prose. Often, these attempts backfire, making the essay sound contrived and flowery. You can avoid these pitfalls simply by being yourself.
This handout was written with the help of Michael Nguyen.
在写作申请信时,您一定要时刻记住是谁在阅读您的文章. 录取委员会当然欣赏那些有创造力的文章, 但是他们也了解所有的小伎俩. 毕竟, 他们中的许多人在过去的数十年中已经阅读了成千上万份申请材料. 因此, 您应该使自己与众不同, 但是不要写一些你认为录取方想听的话. 首先, 他们都已经听过了. 其次, 他们能看穿您的取悦企图. 最成功的文章往往是那些诚实而真实的文章. 我们能给您的最好建议就是----做您自己. 这就意味着您应该注意文中的语气口吻, 以及文中刻画的人物性格. 您不应该害怕在申请信中使用"我"这第一人称. 申请信不能成为一篇枯燥的教条式的文章, 但更不能演化成一幕滑稽的闹剧; 相反, 您应该在这两个极端中取得一个平衡. 录取委员会的委员们抱怨道, 很多学生过分地试图在文中营造一种滑稽的气氛, 或者把申请信写成了一篇他们认为很不错的散文. 这种起反作用的试图常常使得文章看起来很做作, 华而不实. 其实您可以避免这些写作陷阱, 只要您简单地----做您自己.
The Difference between Professional Schools (Law, Business,Medical) and Graduate Schools:
While graduate school committees certainly expect well-written, thoughtful essays, they are looking for different content from their applicants. For graduate schools, that will likely be funding your education for the next 2-6 years, they want to know about your specific qualifications in your field. In other words, you should spend most of your essay explaining your interest, research experience, and disciplinary goals. Be sure that you research the school well to determine whether your interests align with those of a faculty member. Not only must you convince a committee that you are a qualified applicant, but you must also convince them (and probably also a particular professor) that your interests match the needs of the department; after all, they are about to invest a substantial amount of money and time in your education. With this in mind, limit the personal anecdotes and extracurricular interests to those that pertain directly to your field of interest or career goals.
This handout was written with the help of Michael Nguyen.
研究生院的录取委员会期待着看到有文采有思想的文章, 但同时他们在申请者身上寻找一些与众不同的东西. 对于研究生院而言, 他们将要在接下来的2至6年中资助您的学术生涯, 因此他们想了解您在您的研究领域中具体有什么过人之处. 换句话说, 您应该使用较大的篇幅阐述您的兴趣、研究经验、以及一直追求的目标. 一定要认真地调查以确保您的研究迎合了教授的兴趣. 您不仅要说服录取委员会相信您是一个合格的申请者, 而且您要说服他们(也许是其中某一个教授)相信您的研究兴趣符合系里的需要; 毕竟, 他们将要在您身上投资一大笔资金和大量的时间. 考虑到这些, 您应该少说一些您的生活经历和业余兴趣什么的, 多讲讲您感兴趣研究领域和职业目标等.
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