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耶鲁大学招生官给你的文书写作建议!

来源:   2017-10-12 11:04:19   
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  出国留学,去往美国留学,耶鲁大学招生官给你的文书写作建议!

  留学文书在申请材料中占有很重要的地位。如果你的各种考试成绩都不错,那好文书就有画龙点睛的作用,如果你的成绩有点不理想,那好文书也给了你一个很不错的弥补机会。曾担任过耶鲁大学本科部的招生官EVA OSTRUM对这一点也有深有体会的,她自己就曾替一个SAT分数不高,但文书写得很好的学生争取到了录取机会。本文是她在一次访谈时给的文书写作建议,也许对你有点用。

  问:你们如何判断学生的Essay是否真实?

  答:看他们的SAT阅读分数。如果他们的SAT阅读和写作分数都不高,而essay好得就如同出自大学教授之手或者essay透露的成熟度和高中生形象不符,你都可以看到一些端倪。有了一定的经济基础,学生找机构指导可以理解。别人都去找,你不找,你就处于弱势了。但记住,找人指导文书时,他给你提建议怎么修改,可以;若他一句一句给你改好了,不可以。

  问:essay有多重要?

  答:在我审阅的材料中,文书至少对一个学生是非常重要的。我对这个学生产生浓厚的兴趣就是因为他的文书,我希望他来耶鲁,我觉得他会给耶鲁贡献很多。但是他的SAT分数不高。耶鲁的竞争如此之强,你稍微哪一点薄弱都可能与耶鲁无缘。我为这个学生争取到了录取的机会。不过,他也仅仅是靠文书赢得offer的。他老师也非常喜欢他,认为他以SAT低分申请不得不面对很大的风险,不过他依然放手一搏,走出这一步了。文书、老师和课堂,在显示学生特质的时候一定是有些共通之处的。

  问:有没有一两篇优秀的文书令你印象深刻?什么令你记得这么牢固?

  答:我记得两篇。有个学生写了他父亲第一次带他去上空手道培训的情景。第一句就写了他在其他体育项目如何不行。你会很有兴趣读下去。

  还有个女生写的是她如何喜欢并鉴赏连环漫画册的。她申请的是艺术院校,但有的大学并不认为连环画是正儿八经的艺术。但我还是一开始就为她的文书吸引了,从第一句你就可以感受她对连环画的热爱。这些文书第一时间就能抓住我的眼球,让我有耐心细读下去。

  问:学生在写申请Essay时最常犯的错误有哪些?

  答:有些大学会要求学生写崇拜的偶像,比如“如果有机会,你最想和谁一起吃个饭?”,在写这样的题材时,学生经常犯的错误是『本末倒置』。他们花了大量篇幅写自己的偶像,却没有怎样介绍自己。我的建议是,从你自身优点写。你崇拜这个人,你怎样受ta影响?以我为例,我最崇拜的人是前南非总统nelson Mandela,我每天都要读一句他的激励人心的语录。有一天,一个小男孩问我,“姐姐,你是哪个名人吧?”

  我举这个例子的结论是,把注意力放到自己的行动上,这样不管你是有机会和偶像面对面交流,还是只是通过阅读他们的书籍,你的视野都已经发生改变。

  另一个普遍的错误是,学生往往认为必须写一些使自己看起来和别人不同的东西。当你和其他几万学生一起竞争申请某一顶尖名校时,仅靠突出活动本身作用不大。你做过的活动,招生官在别的学生那里同样也可以看到。所以,把焦点放在某事“造就了你”方面,而不是“某事”方面。这才是招生官真正想知道的。你怎么通过活动或事件展示自己,这才是文书关键。

  问:你能举一个化普通为神奇的例子吗?就是题材一般,但写出来的角度很特别。

  答:有位申请耶鲁的学生,她写每天上学,途中经过一座高楼,有很多鸽子停歇在上面。你也许觉得这样的题材非常可笑,但行文如此优美,尽管写的明明是寻常事件,但依然深深吸引了我。所以说,会讲故事是很重要的。想一想,在你的人生当中你听到过的、亲戚朋友讲的故事,如果故事讲得精彩,你也会听得入神。

  问:有没有哪些题材学生不应该写?

  答:关于个人悲惨经历的题材不好写。学生往往深陷经历当中,他们不是在讲故事。他们写出来的要么成了事件叙述,要么成了心灵鸡汤。要写真正沉重严肃的题材时,我会很小心翼翼。这个题材不是不可以写,但我认为应用经验法则验一验。如果这个话题对你而言依然是敏感的,回想经历,你可能还带有一丝恐惧、一丝畏缩或者心痛,那就不要写。

  如果你能以轻松甚至调侃的态度谈这段经历,显示你已经从经历的悲痛中痊愈了,那你可以写。当然,这并不是叫你一定要以幽默的口吻去写痛苦的经历。

  问:有没有哪些你想在学生文书中找寻的东西,学生若知道你们要的是这些可能会很惊讶的?

  答: 我认为学生如果知道招生官不是想在文书中找什么奇异奇特会感到惊讶。你用的例子越具体,你就越能细节描述故事,效果也越好。好的文书能展示学生。招生官读文书,脑海里就能构思出你具有怎样的性格,是个怎样的学生。这就好比你和招生官在交谈。这应该不难理解。

  最后,附一篇耶鲁大学Essay范文,作者为Alexander Dominitz,题材类型为The Arts。

  "Please turn off all cell phones and pagers. Thank you, and enjoy the show." As the echo of my voice subsided, I seized the walkie-talkie that lay resting on the stool and raised it to my mouth. "Justin," I whispered, "kill the lights." I had just enough time to nod to the sound crew, signaling them to start the overture, before the stage went completely black. As Mendelssohn boomed from the speakers, my fingers fumbled around in the dark until finding the curtain chord. I began to pull downward, hand-over-hand, until the curtain revealed the court of the Duke of Athens. Kelsey's voice sounded from stage right: "Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draws on apace…"

  Breathe. As I leaned against the stage door, the journey that had brought me to this moment replayed in my memory: months of planning with the school's administration—outlining goals and creating schedules; hours of meeting with the faculty—enlisting the art department to build sets and begging English teachers to postpone projects; weeks of rehearsals, preparing the kids for the rigors of "opening night"; even the video that I wrote and filmed over a marathon-like weekend in order to advertise the endeavor. And finally…all my pessimistic friends who challenged my excitement with their disbelief: "Junior high school students? Shakespeare?" Then I thought, "But just look at them now!" Nina projects on stage—the smallness of her voice ceases to inhibit her performance. Chris watches his blocking—his awkward stance a distant memory. Amber now gestures with purpose—gone are the nervous habits that once characterized each movement. Garret knows every single line by heart—no longer will I be making the 10 p.m. house calls to help him memorize. But what about Brian? Little Brian…. I just don't know. Always so quiet and shy…have I reached him?

  The Mendelssohn sounded again: time for intermission. I resumed my scurrying, taking down trees and bringing on columns, fixing loosened safety pins, freshening up faded makeup, and answering questions from the crew: "When do you want the spotlight in 4:1?" "What about the throne and the benches?" "Have you seen my donkey ears?" Suddenly, I felt a tug at the leg of my jeans. I turned around, and there was Brian, looking up at me with round, brown, hopeful eyes. In his usually timid voice, I heard a tone of determination. "Was that good? What can I do better for the next act?" I hugged him, reassured him, sent him to his entrance place, and rushed behind a curtain before anyone could see my tears of joy.

  End of Act 5. As the lights came up for the curtain call, the audience rose in standing ovation. The faculty advisor tapped me on the shoulder. "It's your turn…get out there!" I looked out at the stage apron from my post at the curtain, smiled, and shook my head. "No," I said. "This is their moment."

  They finished their bows, and as the curtain closed, all twentyfive seventh and eighth graders jumped up and down shouting, "We did it! We did it!" Hugs, laughter, and tears gushed from everyone—actors, technicians, and stagehands alike. I just stood there and watched, not daring to disrupt the spectacle, for I was witnessing the burst of elation that only those who have just created something beautiful can know. This was my bow. I did not need the audience's reaction to gauge the impact. I could see the results for myself. I can teach. I can inspire. I can touch lives. That's all that matters.

  Alexander Dominitz attends Yale University.

  点评:

  This essay requires a little background. The author, Alexander Dominitz, directed a play at a local elementary school. The reader can figure out the context as the essay goes forward, but the author relies on the rest of his application to fill in nuts and bolts information (such as the fact that the production was his idea, and that he convinced the principal at the elementary school to endorse it). Note the skillful pacing. The essay covers the length of the show, and Alexander uses digressions into his own thoughts to give the reader a sense that time is passing. Says Alexander, "They're asking you to write about yourself…The subject you know best. Just write from the heart and everything will be all right."
 

 

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关键词 耶鲁大学招生官 文书写作建议 文书写作
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