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Personal Statement

个人陈述 Statement of Purpose

 
 
 

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个人陈述详解(7) - UCB  

2009-09-12 15:31:29|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The Writing Process

Writing a good college essay requires a significant investment of personal reflection, thought and time. There are no right or wrong answers--you are who you are, after all. The best way to get in touch with who you are through writing is to undertake a process of self-exploration and writing that will culminate in an essay that will reveal how unique and interesting you are.

Using all the stages of the writing process will help you to

?Understand your essay's theme--its controlling idea

?Analyze and reflect upon your experiences as they relate to your theme

?Craft a polished essay


Drafting, Revising and Proofreading Your Personal Statement

个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal Statement

Drafting and Revising

个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal Statement

A draft is a work in progress. A good essay undergoes several revisions--don't assume that your first draft is your best draft! Composing often involves going back and forth among planning the essay, generating ideas, organizing the contents, and editing the results. Drafting allow you to get the most out of these composing stages.

Through the brainstorming and gathering information stages, you have generated the raw material to compose effectively. Now you will begin the process of creating your essay.

Your First Draft

In a first draft, you are attempting to capture your essay's meaning and get it down on paper. In this way, you are attempting to draw out the essay's concept.

Use your first draft to:

?formulate a working introduction

?organize your ideas

A first draft is often the skeleton of the paper; it contains the overall structure, but may lack a clear theme, vivid language, fully developed paragraphs, and strong transition words and phrases.

Revising Your Draft

The key to revising your essay is to determine how it seems not just to you, but to your reader. So--think like an admissions officer! Remember that readers need a sense of your essay's structure and a clear idea of why they should read your essay in the first place. To revise your essay:

Step One: Concentrate on the whole by examining your essay's frame: the introduction, the conclusion, and a sentence in each that states your main theme. Ask the following questions

Will my reader know where my introduction ends and where the body of my essay begins?

Will my reader know where the body of my essay ends and where my conclusion begins?

Will my reader know which sentence is the main sentence in my introduction, and which is the main sentence in my conclusion?

Step Two: Examine your essay for continuity

Make sure that your points work together conceptually--that is, that key points are unified by your essay's theme.

One strategy is to OUTLINE your draft. Create an outline of your draft after you've finished writing. Your outline should include:

I. Your theme as it is stated in your introduction

II. Topic sentence from the first body paragraph

i. example used in first body paragraph that supports the theme

III. Topic sentence from the second body paragraph

i. example used in second body paragraph that supports the theme

and so on.

Examine the outline (which is actually an abbreviated version of your draft): does the organization make sense? Do the topic sentence indicate a conceptual progression of ideas? Does each paragraph's topic sentence FOCUS your theme, and does each example ILLUSTRATE your main idea?

Step Three: Revise for focus, clarity and depth. Make sure that the skeleton of your personal statement is fleshed out with sufficient examples, fully developed paragraphs, and meaningful prose.

Style Tips

个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementExamine the personal statement for word accuracy; whenever possible, use a simpler word in place of a longer or more obscure word.
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementMake sure that every word you use means what you think it means.
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementBe yourself!
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementAvoid empty words and phrases like "basically,: "really," "goals and dreams."
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementUse active verbs whenever possible. Go through your essay and circle every form of "to be" that you find ("is", "are", "were", etc). Substitute more active verbs. For example:
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementInstead of: My love of science was fostered by my second grade teacher
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementWrite: My second grade teacher fostered my love of science
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementAvoid predictable (and stereotypical college essay phrases) such as "I learned a lot," "I learned to work with others," "It was a fun and challenging experience" "I learned that everyone is different," etc.
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementAvoid using clichés and proverbs, or other over-used phrases from literary sources. They detract from the freshness of your essay.
个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal StatementUse a normal, 10-12 point font to type your essay. Don't type in all italics, or in bold, or in an unusual font size. Standard fonts that look nice are Times, Palatino, New York, and Courier. Avoid fancy font types--they are difficult to read.

个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal Statement

Proofreading

个人陈述详解(7) - UCB - 个人陈述 - Personal Statement

 

Leave plenty of time to proofread. If you can, put your essay aside for a few days, and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes.

Some proofreading tips:

?Try reading your essay backwards (last sentence first) to catch fragments or other glaring errors.

?Have another pair of eyes read it as well to catch errors in spelling and grammar--your eyes, because they are used to the words on the page, can easily miss errors that another reader will easily spot.

Avoid these common errors

Fragments

Run-on sentences (comma splices)

Redundancy ("The reason...is because")

Spelling errors

Slang or colloquial language





Getting Feedback on Your Personal Statement

Getting feedback from others is a critical part of writing your essay. If your teachers, peers, or parents have suggestions, listen carefully. You don't have to take every suggestion, but try them out and find out which ones work. You'll want to be very specific in asking for feedback; if there are sections of your essay that you are particularly concerned about, ask your readers to pay special attention to those parts.

It is very important that your essay be your own creation and be conveyed in your own words, but it is okay (and even encouraged) to get feedback from others.

When soliciting feedback, steel yourself to criticism. Not everyone will see your essay the way you do. After receiving feedback, and before revising, write down the comments you receive and look for patterns. Use these patterns to decide how to proceed. If every one of your readers thinks that your essay is too wordy, then you can be pretty sure that your essay is too wordy, and revising for a simpler, more natural style should be a top priority.

Help your readers by providing a structure for them to respond. Ask your readers to comment first on larger issues, and lastly on grammar or syntax (problems with which often disappear in a second draft, so commenting extensively on grammar in the first draft is often a waste of your reader's time, particularly if the ideas you wish to convey are still unclear).

Use the following questions as a guide for your readers.

Overall Impression

1. After reading my essay, what three words would you use to describe me?

2. After reading the essay, what do you think its overall theme is?

3. In what way (or where) is the essay most persuasive?

4. In what way (or where) is it least persuasive?

Structure and Organization

5. Is the essay organized in a logical fashion?

6. Are the transitions between paragraphs fluid and logical?

7. Do the paragraphs build upon one another, and move from smaller issues to more significant ones?

Grammar and Syntax

8. Are there grammar errors? If so, what are they?

9. Are the words used appropriate?

10. What other comments/suggestions do you have that will strengthen my essay?

 

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