Ten Dos and Don’ts of writing an application essay
1. DO talk about your personal life and your motivations | 要聊到你的个人生活和目标
Why are you trying to get into college? Why are you trying to get into law school? Medical school? Your admissions committee wants to know you, and this is your change to give them a glimpse into your head. Make it count: talk about your influences, your motivations, your quirks, and so on. Make them remember you as a person, not just another applicant.
2. DO keep the audience in mind | 要替读者考虑
Remember that your admissions council is made up of real people too. They will have to read thousands of these kinds of essay so you could do them (and yourself) a huge favor if you write something you would want to read. At the same time, don’t be too casual!
3. DO keep the scope narrow | 要把范围缩小
You don’t have time to tell the audience your entire life story and how you got to where you are today. Keep it brief; keep it focused. You want to craft a story of who you are and why you want to do x, y and z, but don’t stray too far from the point.
4. DO have a thesis | 要有一个主题
Along with keeping the scope narrow, you need to have a point. Like all essays, this one needs to have a thesis too. Your thesis should be clear and should be the linking idea that ties all components of your essay together.
5. DO be humble | 要谦逊
Maybe you were the president of a million clubs. Still, that fact alone won’t help you much except make you seem like a braggart. Reflect on your experiences and humanize your role in them. This will win a lot more points than simply restating how you are awesome (even if you are!)
6. DON’T generalize and/or philosophize about the world at large | 不要过多的进行概括/试图对整个世界进行哲学思考
Maybe you are the world’s next Aristotle or Foucault. Still, no one will care about your grand and lofty philosophies if they don’t understand you as a person. Stick to the subject that you are the ultimate expert in: yourself.
7. DON’T over explain | 不要做过多解释
Just like when you’re telling a story and realize you’re rambling, too much information can be a bad thing. Maybe there needs to be a little background information needed for your point, but keep that to a minimum, and certainly don’t go into detail on more than one or two points.
8. DON’T make excuses | 不要找借口
Let’s say you got bad grades your first semester. Your essay is not the place to write about it, and especially don’t make excuses. Your reader would rather hear about your successes and how you overcame adversity. If need be, there is always an addendum section where you can talk about certain undesirably qualities of your application.
9. DON’T recapitulate your resume | 不要概括你的简历
There is no need to cover point by point what you already have in your resume. Your essay is a place to create a narrative and let your reader understand what it is about you that stands out from everyone else. Your essay is a place to show your reader that you are not simply the captain of the soccer team who with a 3.65 gpa. They will know that information by looking at your resume.
10. DON’T make easy grammar or spelling mistakes | 不要犯显而易见的语法错误
One of the most cringe-worthy mistakes an applicant can make is a simple grammar or spelling mistake. That shows to the reader that you were in a rush or simply negligent in applying to x school. Whatever you do, read over your essay out loud and more than once!