如何写一份有说服力的补充文书supplemental essays?本科申请补充文书详解

补充文书的类型
我们都知道我们必须写通用申请个人文书,但什么是补充文书supplemental essays?
补充文章有两种类型:第一种是问你为什么对某个特定主题或学校感兴趣的这种更具体的问题,第二种是更具创造性的(几乎是具有挑战性的)补充文书。在这篇文章,我将首先讨论应该如何处理第一类补充文书。
 
补充文书的目的
通用申请个人陈述可以让招生官更好地了解一个人——包括你的优点和缺点,你如何看待这个世界以及你在其中的位置,在成绩和标化考试分数之外,了解你这个人是什么样的。然而,这篇陈述并没有很长的篇幅告诉每个学校你为什么选择申请他们。第一类补充文章可以从两个方面来考虑:第一,为什么你适合这个学校; 第二,为什么这个学校适合你。
 
补充文书真正要问什么?
首先要仔细审题,正确理解补充文书问的是哪个问题。你的回应方式要根据补充文书所提出的问题展开。
如果他们问你为什么适合他们的学校,说明他们有兴趣了解你,你的个性,你的优点和缺点,以及你会为学校和新班级做些什么。如果他们问为什么学校适合你,他们想知道你会从学校得到什么,这个问题更多的是关于你对学校的了解。你对这些问题的回答会有些许不同,所以一定要阅读并理解提示。
 
你为什么选择我们学校?
回答这两个问题需要你对学校做一些研究,了解什么对你有吸引力。如果你说“康奈尔大学是我学习更多数学知识的好地方” ,那是不够的。大学都是你可以深入学习数学的地方,那康奈尔大学的数学课程对你有什么特别之处?我告诉学生:”如果你写下你为什么要申请一所特定的学校,你可以试着删除那所学校的名字,用任何其他学校的名字取而代之,如果看起来也很通顺,那么说明你还没有表现出你申请的学校的独特之处。
“康奈尔大学对我来说是一个学习数学的好地方”是一个可以用于任何学校的句子。例如,“纽约大学是我学习数学的好地方” ,“Tunxis社区学院是我学习数学的好地方”)。你的责任是研究康奈尔大学的数学课程,找出为什么它的数学课程比其他学校的课程更适合你的具体原因。例如,如果你对在康奈尔大学主修数学感兴趣,那么你在康奈尔大学学到的数学知识有什么独特之处?研究表明,康奈尔大学的数学系学生可以在布达佩斯或莫斯科留学。如果对此感兴趣,你应该深入挖掘,找出使康奈尔大学数学系项目适合你的那个独特原因。
你为什么选择这个专业?
第二种补充文书通常会问你为什么选择了一个特定的专业或研究领域。同样,这个答案应该表明你了解在特定学校学习这一领域的优势。然而,在这里你可以谈论更多的个人兴趣和经历,是如何激发你想继续学习这个领域的。学生们通常会说,他们想主修某个领域是因为他们“擅长这个” ,但这是不够的。事实上,如果简单的表达你想主修一门学科是因为你擅长它,那么其实暗示你并不倾向于接受挑战,只是选择了较为轻松的方向。
在这里,你不用那么专注于学校,而是应当更多地关注于专业。你对数学有什么兴趣?例如,现实世界的问题很多是基于数学解决方案的,那么你能不能举例展示你在课堂之外是如何应用数学的,或者你未来可能怎么应用它?这篇文书重点在于强调你对一个学科的热情,以及它对你未来的职业和生活目标的影响。
 
总结
请记住,这些补充问题是为了了解你对一个专业学科领域的认真程度,以及你对申请的学校的真正理解程度。仅仅谈论你在10岁时候参观校园时就爱上它是不够的,因为这样做并不足以显示你了解或理解这所学校。
要想写出一份成功的补充文书,不仅要花时间通过学校网站去了解学校,还要花时间通过各种学生论坛/讨论板了解学校。要具体、重点突出,并且在此之外能充分证明为什么这个项目最适合你(或你最适合这个项目——取决于具体的补充文书题目)。
英文原文:
The Undergraduate Supplemental Essay Part 1- Standard Supplementals
Types of Supplemental Essays
We all know that we have to write the Common Application personal essay, but what are supplemental essays?  There are two types of supplemental essays: type one, the ones that ask you more specific questions about why you are interested in a specific subject or school, and then type two, the more creative–almost challenging–supplemental essays.  As part one of a two part article, I will begin by discussing how you should approach the first type of supplemental essay.
Purpose of Supplemental Essays
The Common Application personal statement gets to understanding you more as a person– your strengths and weaknesses, how you think about the world and your place in it, who you are beyond your grades and test scores.  However, this essay does not tell each school about why you have chosen to apply to their particular school.  The type one supplemental essay can be thought of in two ways: one, why you are a good fit for the school and two, why the school is a good fit for you.  
What is the Supplemental Essay Really Asking?
It is important to read the question carefully to understand which question they are asking you because how you approach this question will be different based on what they are seeking.  If they are asking why you are a good fit for their school, they are interested in knowing about you, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses and what you would add to the school and its incoming class.  If they are asking why the school is a good fit for you, they want to know what you will gain from the school and this question is more about your knowledge of the school.  How you respond to each of these questions will be slightly different, so make sure you read and understand the prompt.
Why Are You Choosing Our School?
Answering both of these questions requires you to do some research about the school and understand what is appealing to you.  If you say “Cornell is a great place for me to learn more about math”, that is not good enough.  Universities are places where you can study math in depth, what’s special about Cornell’s math program?  I tell students: “If you write about why you are applying to a particular school and you can delete that school’s name and replace it with any other school’s name, then you have not shown you understand the school you are applying to” (e.g. “Cornell is a great place to me to learn about math” is a sentence that can be used for any school: “NYU is a great place for me to learn about math”, “Tunxis Community College is a great place for me to learn about math”).  The responsibility is on you to research the math program at Cornell, looking at specific reasons why its math program is better for you than other schools’ programs.  For example, if you are interested in majoring in math at Cornell, what is unique about the math knowledge you will gain at Cornell?  Quick research indicates that Cornell math students can study abroad in Budapest or Moscow; if this is of interest, you should delve deeper into what you can learn via either of these programs that makes Cornell the right math program for you.
Why Are You Choosing This Major?
The second type of supplemental essay often asks about why you have selected a particular major or area of study to pursue.  Similarly, this answer should include an indication that you understand the strengths of studying this area at the particular school.  However, here you would be allowed to talk more about personal interest and history that led you to pursue this area of study.  Often students will say they want to major in an area because they are “good at it” but this is not sufficient.  In fact, simply stating you want to major in a subject because you are good at it implies that you do not take on the challenges of subjects you are easily “good at”.  Here, you are a bit less focused on the school and more on the major. What’s so interesting about math to you?   For example, real world problems are based upon mathematical solutions; do you have examples to showcase how you have used math beyond the classroom, or how you could potentially do so? This essay is about your passion for a subject, and how it might relate to your future career and life goals.  
Summary
Keep in mind that these supplemental questions are to understand how serious you are about a subject area and also, how well you really understand the school you are applying to.  Talking about falling in love with the campus when you visited at age 10 will not suffice as it does not show any knowledge or understanding of the school itself. For a successful supplemental essay, make sure you take the time to learn about the school through not only the school’s website, but various student forums/discussion boards as well. Be concrete, focused, and able to say why above all else, this program fits you best (or vice versa, depending on the question).

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厚仁教育常春藤规划与公司培训总监,美国康涅狄格州出生,哈佛大学教育学硕士,加州大学戴维斯分校社会心理学博士。曾在宾夕法尼亚大学、达特茅斯学院等常青藤大学担任院长级别职位长达12年。在厚仁教育集团担任升学规划总监,主要负责学生规划导师招募选拔以及学生教学指导的质量提升,为当地以及国际学生申请进行能力评判,提升以及总体规划。
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