写好个人陈述的四个要点

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wholerenguru3 (厚仁学术哥)

个人陈述知多少


在上一篇我已经向各位同学介绍过美国本科转学个人陈述的基本题型,长度,写作内容,还有字数等信息之后,相信很多同学对于这个在申请过程中起到重要作用的文书都有了一定的了解。今天,我想和各位同学就一些具体的实例来分析一下,申请过程中我们到底应该如何下笔,以及可以从哪些方面来提升我们写作个人陈述的质量等。首先,让我们来回顾一下个人陈述中的这些基本内容:

1. 个人陈述一般分为基本的题型和特殊题型。
2. 如果是基本的题型字数大约在650左右,特殊题型根据题目的要求从100字到800字不等。
3. 一般题型的内容多以询问求学经历,转学原因为主;特殊题型的内容比较发散。
4. 一般题型较为简单,然而特殊题型的内容考验学生的综合能力。


如何撰写引人注目的个人陈述




当我们定义一篇个人陈述引人注目的时候,我们在谈论什么?首先我们要解决的问题是,什么叫引人注目?对于一件衣服来说,引人注目意味着在众多服饰里第一眼就识别出了它;对于一个产品来说,引人注目表示在竞争激烈的市场中区别于同款产品。所以引人注目最本质的特点就是区别于别人。那么我们如何在个人陈述里做到区别于别的申请者呢?

今天我们在这篇文章中想要和各位同学一起分享,一篇引人注目的个人陈述需要满足的几个必要条件,从而提高各位同学申请到理想学校的成功率:


1. 分析自己擅长的方面
2. 了解个人陈述的潜在阅读者
3. 寻找你和申请项目之间的共性
4. 充分利用故事的形式展现你的特长

我是来自厚仁教育的资深申请规划顾问Mary老师,目前我已经专注于转学申请领域超过7年之久,帮助了上百名学生申请到了例如纽约大学,波士顿大学,约翰霍普金斯大学,加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校,洛杉矶分校,华盛顿大学等全美排名靠前的学校。今天,我想就通过一些学生的真实写作案例,和各位同学一起来分析他们的优缺点在哪里。


分析自己擅长的方面


何为分析自己擅长的方面?我觉得各位同学可以换一个方式来思考,即自己的优点在哪里;换句话说,我们应该如何来进行自夸;或者可以说我擅长做什么。有的时候,咱们可能自己会忽略掉自己身上的很多良好品质,这个时候不妨问问身边的朋友,家人。接下去让我们看一个实际的例子。


学生A:

就读院校:国内某大学

GPA:3.7

就读专业:Marketing

托福:101

实习背景:有国内自媒体公司运营部实习经历

申请院校:Northeastern University(录取)

个人陈述题目:

Please explain your reasons for transferring and the goals you hope to achieve. (600 word max)


学生初稿:

It is through a engagement in a student-operating coffee house on campus that I have figured out that my deeper passion is in the business world. When the sophomore year started, my friend invited me to assist their coffee shop by chance. I showed a lot of interests in making coffee, not only because I love to drink it, and also the patience that preserving coffee behind the coffee bar that had brought to me. With time flows and my experience have enriched by meeting and observing different kinds of consumers’ behavior, I developed my sales skills and allowed me to become proficient in observing consumers’ behavior and detecting trends according to the database. Due to my observation, I have found that the sales of hot milky coffee has actually decreased in November, which is totally different from the common perspective that people order hot drinks in cold weather. What’s more surprising is that the sales of ice fruit tea have dramatically increased, and sometimes 当天的原材料在下午的时候需要二次准备. (there are no enough raw materials) Actually, it is because the air conditioner make the building temperature to high that student need ice-tea to cool up. So I suggest our team to 增加果茶的原材料准备并加大堂食冰饮的优惠折扣and preserved new ice drink product。然后最后营业额翻两倍。It has brought to my attentions that nowadays, the marketing skills should not be only focusing on the product, but based on the people, the consumer that we are facing to.


修改版本:

It is through operating a coffee house on campus that I have discovered my hidden passion for the business world. When the sophomore year started, I answered my friends’ invitation to assist in a coffee house. Fun was the process I learned to make coffee, and fruitful was the journey I had dealing with all kinds of customers and experiencing first-hand how to run a business. Most importantly, I developed sales skills, which allowed me to be more proficient in observing consumers’ behavior and detecting trends according to the database. For instance, once I have found that due to the air conditioner heating the building too high, students no longer preferred warm drinks in winter. I suggest our team increase the purchase of materials for iced drinks as well as offer more discounts. Our sales that month doubled almost immediately. It has brought to my attention that knowing people well lies at the heart of marketing.

修改点评


可以看到这位同学在初稿的写作中,语句的表达比较单一,而且对于一件事情的描述会有重复累赘的情况出现。但是,这位同学有一点做的非常好,就是敢于描述自己擅长的事情。而且可以看到这位同学非常直白的描述出自己的特点,即对于想要申请的Business专业的热情,以及在实际生活中激发的销售技能。同时,这位同学还有一点做的非常好的就是结合生活中的事例来进行描述和切入,更容易引起阅读者的兴趣。在修改版本里,我还对学生的语句做了润色,使得读上去更为精简。


了解个人陈述的潜在阅读者


我们在撰写文章的时候,有一个非常重要的角度可以思考,即换位。什么叫换位思考?最直白的解释就是,我们在进行个人陈述的写作过程中,要时刻谨记这篇文章完成之后是谁会来进行阅读?这些潜在的阅读者会关心什么内容?如果我是潜在的阅读者,我希望从这篇文章中挖掘出申请者怎样的品质和特点呢?在思考以上这些问题的时候,我建议同学们可以多和身边的同学,教授,甚至是实习的时候接触的各色各样的人进行交流沟通,从而更好的发散自己的思维。


寻找你和申请项目之间的共性


当我们在进行申请的时候,大部分的学生都已经确定了自己想要申请的专业,当然也有部分同学可能会选择undecided major。每次当我在指导学生撰写转学原因的时候,我一定会要求每一个学生做的一件事情——浏览你想要申请的学校还有专业的网站。那么在浏览网站的时候,我们要看一些什么内容呢?


大家应该不难发现,几乎所有美国大学的Department即学院的网站都会有几大固定的板块,比如说curriculumn/course,research resources, career development, faculty等页面。从这些页面里,咱们不难发现关于这个program的一些特色和吸引你的地方。有的学校会把learning outcome还有learning objectives放在上面,有的学校会用一些视频的方式展现就读过的学生的感言等等。这些内容对于我们写作个人陈述的时候,都是非常宝贵和有价值的资源。


学生A背景:

就读院校:美国某大学

GPA:3.7

就读专业:Economics

托福:美本可以waive

实习背景:没有特殊的实习经历

申请院校:UIUC(录取)

个人陈述题目:

In 400 words or less, describe how your academic interest and/or professional goals will be fulfilled in your intended program of study at Illinois.


学生初稿:

A big part of the reason I chose XXXXX as an economics major was because I really liked the XXXXX courses that the school offered, and I think most of these courses are taught through real social events, such as XXXXXX, which is a class that starts XXXXXX. It then examines how economic theory is applied in the sports market. This is more in line with my own approach to learning. Because I am not a rote learner, I am used to learning theories from real life events. And through the process of discussing examples I can learn about different fields, not just economics. I was also attracted to the study abroad program because although I am an international student myself, I came to the U.S. at a very young age, so I wanted to go to other countries during my studies to experience their different teaching styles or different insights into economic theory. 


修改版本:

As an international student, I left home and studied in a new country since high school. For past years, I have experienced different education systems. To further expand my horizon, I am interested in the study abroad program at your school. With such a program, I can participate in various learning and living environments to enhance learning. From my perspective, learning is never limited to books. At the same time, I learned about several economics-related degrees offered, such as XXXX. I have never learned about these two areas before. Students will be trained in advanced data analysis skills to answer economic questions and reveal relationships. Then there’s XXXXX, a combination of two majors that works well to help economics students learn how to have the cutting-edge skills needed to examine large data sets, but also the ability to write their own algorithms and software tools.

Another aspect I am interested is the XXXXX. In my opinion such a class helps students better understand what they are learning and to be able to concentrate more during the hour long class. I also learned that the school is very supportive of undergraduate students’ research projects, whether they are working with faculty members or completing independent study projects. With such a project, I believe that the school not only provides students with teaching resources, but also provides students with an opportunity to use their knowledge wisely, and also to accumulate contacts. Independent study provides students with an opportunity to explore their interests in depth. The school will provide students with the necessary assistance.

修改点评


可以看到这位同学在初稿的写作中,对于想要申请的项目有了一定的基本了解,但是这样的了解仅限于对于课程名字的罗列,所以这个同学的问题在于理解的不够深刻。那么在修改版本中,我做了以下的修改,包括对于对于项目优点的了解。美国大学的很多本科项目,都会有出国交流和学习的机会,这样的机会给到学生了解不同文化背景下的专业知识的机会。同时,在修改版里我加入了,从学生角度出发的对于项目的感悟和理解。这些理解可以体现一个申请者对于项目的了解程度。


充分利用故事的形式展现你的特长


不知道各位同学有没有发现,当你在叙述一件事情或者在记忆一个特别难的知识点的时候,利用图片或者是故事的方式,更有助于自己的记忆。同样,当你在阅读一篇文章的时候,如果在文章里有比较多的事例或者故事来进行阐述的话,你会觉得文章读起来比较有吸引力。所以我们要充分利用这个叙事的特点,在自己的个人陈述里加入故事的描述。当然各位同学要注意的是,这些故事的描述尽量的补充细节的描写,但是也不宜过于累赘。


学生A背景:

就读院校:美国某大学

GPA:3.7

就读专业:Economics

托福:美本可以waive

实习背景:没有特殊的实习经历

申请院校:UC System(录取)

个人陈述题目:

Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.

学生初稿:

For me, leadership experience is not just about commanding and assigning tasks, but more importantly, coordinating the operation of the team to achieve 1+1>2. When I entered high school in first year, I entered the school broadcast station through application and interview and became the main person in charge of the school’s broadcasting station a year later. The entire broadcasting station is composed of ten people who are jointly responsible for all broadcasting tasks during the week. As the main person in charge, I usually not only need to complete my own broadcasting tasks, but also assign the tasks to everyone reasonably and equally, and lead team to summarize the work of the week. But what impressed me most was a process that once I led my team to complete the holiday poster. This is an urgent task that the school requires the broadcasting station to complete.


修改版本:

Are there any situations when 1+1>2? It is when people form a team and reach achievement. A team cannot succeed without leadership along with cooperation, problem solving, and aiming at the same goal. This reminds me of my leadership experience back in high school.

The first year I entered high school, I joined the radio station. There were ten students and were responsible for broadcasting. I was promoted to the leader in the second year. With the role change, my duties included assigning tasks, communicating with the school, and summarizing work. Once, I led my team to design and print holiday posters within one day required by the school. Normally, it takes a week. Time was one of the biggest problems. I immediately assembled members. Some needed to select materials, some needed to design layout, and others needed to contact printing shops.

修改点评


可以看到这位同学在初稿的写作中,很好的进行了过去事例的切入和描述。但是在描述的过程中,语句稍显累赘,同时在切入和引用的同时衔接做的不够刘畅。那么我在修改的过程中,对于文章开头的逻辑进行了调整,同时对于事例的描述进行了前后顺序的调整,做了分段的处理使得整体的阅读体验感更好。


内容总结


经过这些个人陈述实例的分析,大家可以充分的体会到,一篇好的个人陈述需要从以下几个方面进行入手。有了这些内容之后,可以大幅度提高我们被学校录取的几率:


1. 分析自己擅长的方面
2. 了解个人陈述的潜在阅读者
3. 寻找你和申请项目之间的共性
4. 充分利用故事的形式展现你的特长



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厚仁教育学术紧急应对中心首席专家顾问、资深文书老师。拥有匹兹堡大学Professional Writing Certificate专业写作认证。担任美国官方学术委员会AIS(Academic Integrity Seminar)常任导师,高难度申诉和紧急申请成功经验无数。 经手案例:俄亥俄州立大学、哥伦比亚大学、威斯康辛麦迪逊大学、南加州大学、伊利诺伊香槟分校、迈阿密大学、宾州州立大学、多伦多大学、女王大学、阿尔伯塔大学以及UC大学系列名校等。
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