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flytowest - 2004/10/19 11:21:00
OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
   在美国印第安纳大学英语训练中心当任助理教授的布鲁斯.利兹博士,将解答研究申请者应怎样开始应付写作 。讨论题目有:

1. 我需要多长时间写一份完善的个人声明 (personal statement)?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
2. 我怎么开始写呢?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
3. 我的背景很普通,怎么办呢?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
4. 写到一半没灵感,又该怎么办呢?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
 

Dr. Bruce Leeds (Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Center for English Language Training in the Indiana University, U.S.), we have received requests from members to hold a follow-up session. In the past, Dr. Leeds has helped many international and Chinese students in crafting their personal statements.

现在国内想去美国的人很多,所以肯定有许多from China 的ps,而且国内也有不少教授PS写作的机构,但是内容千篇一律,是否美国教授在看到来自中国的PS的时候会很头痛或者有一点歧视...

你说的很对,我们的美国教授们都反映一眼就能看出中国PS的模式. 无论从语气,结构,还是想突出的重点都是相同OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
So is there discrimination? OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
不算是歧视吧,但他们鼓励每个人应该有自己要表达的东西,和真实真诚的东西,不用每个人都把自己写得那么优秀出色,The important thing is to understand what American professors are really looking for.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Discrimination? No! If you sound arrogant, they may not want to admit you. If you are the best chemist in China and you sound arrogant, they will admit you. Relative! But no discrimination if I get what you mean.

有的PS恨不得写自己从小学的非常优秀,没有必要。也很分散自己的主要优势. 我们还是听Prof是怎么看的吧.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Prof, how do you feel when you read PS written by Chinese? Do you find those essays follow one format and are almost the same?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
There is no one thing that American professors are looking for, unless it might be someone that they would like to spend 4 years with in their program.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Many of the essays, from most of the people around the world, are generally the same. It is a person describing his or her interest in his/her field and some of the events in his/her life that we can influence on that.

How do we show our "research potential" on the PS? For those of us who are just your regular undergrads, most of the time, we struggle very hard to distinguish ourselves, but how? OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
I am not sure that the PS (Statement of Purpose) is the place to show your research potential. If you wanted to, as some students do, you could discuss your research in detail in the SP.

我们在班里或者社团里的一些职务之类的是否需要PS里提到?教授们是否会看重这些非本专业范围的经验呢? OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
if you're applying for PhD, focus on relevant things that will matter to the professor. Extracurricular activities and leadership matter more in an MBA application.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
I know it is VERY difficult to follow this advice, but the best advice is "be yourself" in your writing, particularly if you are applying as an undergraduate.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
They don't want your life story! Just the part that has to do with your study! And your interest in going abroad. And learning English! Etc.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Remember, a big part of the statement of purpose is to judge, through your writing, how you are able to organize your ideas on paper, and, how good your English is! That should make you nervous!

Right now I have 2 edition of PS, the first one is the traditional personal statement and the other is like answering questions, which one is better?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Just tell your story in a linear way. Having published is part of the picture you want to convey to the reader. The Statement of Purpose is a window through which the reader can get to know you before he or she makes the important decision to admit you.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Everybody's essay is different because everybody's experience and interests are different. Just concentrate on conveying to the reader your excitement about your major and the possibility of going to the United States, and to THAT university, to study.

I'm an undergraduate student but have a lot of research experience and published 2 papers. How should I build my PS structure? Thanks a lotOËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
There’s no short answer to this one. You have to consider the pieces of important and relevant information you want your reader to know about you.

How can I make my own PS outstanding?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Rather than think about how to make your statement outstanding, just think about how to tell your story clearly and with enthusiasm for your studies. The reader will decide if it is outstanding or not. You can make your statement stand out by making it as personal as you can without making it too personal. Whey you are finished with your statement, it should be one THAT NO ONE ELSE COULD HAVE WRITTEN.

It is said that a PS should be written separately for different universities. What kind of information of the universities should we consider while writing ps? Thanks.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
For wording: the basic essay can be used for any university, unless your intended major is different. Be careful! Some students use the same essay for different universities and forget to change the name of the university in the text!

Should I focus on how do I feel and What did I get after conducting research and ignore the technical details about the research. I'm afraid if I pay attention to both parts, the PS will be too long.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
NO! They don't care about how you felt especially. Your essay should be a balance. Perhaps the best way to put it is this: fact and then interpretation. The PS (statement of purpose) is a collection of paragraphs. Think of it like that. One paragraph of introduction; one about your first experience with your major; one about your decision to come to the US. These are just examples though. The higher the degree, the more your stated focus.

I have a normal background and normal score, how I can emphasize my advantage? OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Look at what is most valued in your field of study and work from there. A school application for PhD is like a job application. You have to convince the reader you have what the relevant “advantages”. Understanding the research areas and reading the professors’ research papers will help in the process of identifying your advantages.

How many words does the PS need commonly?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
2 to 3 double spaced pages.

My major is EE, and I want to applicant for Economics, what point should I emphasize?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Point out what motivates you to switch from EE to Economics, and mention the foundation you have gained from your study in EE that’s applicable in Economics. When you mention your past study, don't do what some students do: saying that they hated what they had been studying. Say something like, "Despite the fact that I learned a lot from....."

In the last event, you emphasized that it is important for a PhD applicant to focus and talk about his interests and passions. However, as an undergraduate, I am not very sure what area I would like to pursue. What should I do?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Be honest in your statement. If you are an undergraduate applicant, it is OK to say that you are interested in many possibilities of study. That is encouraged on the undergraduate level in the US, since at that level we encourage exploration.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Your "story" is a collection of events: going to class, perhaps one you liked particularly or a teacher that influenced you a lot. Tell the story and then interpret it for the reader. For example, talk about the technical aspect of a project, and then tell the reader what you felt that you gained from it, including perhaps how it make you feel about doing more research or coming to the States to pursue more of the same kind of work. The best statement of purpose is one that is able to connect the things you discussed in your essay into one, artistic if I may use that word, whole.

What do you think is more important is a PS, my past experience or my future plan. And how to write about the future plan, should it be specific or general?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
As I said last week, the future is uncertain. Nobody cares about that. The reader wants to know about your past and how that exercises and continues to exercise an influence on your decision to come to the States for study. The discussion of your future plans is often just one sentence at the end of the essay. "In the future, I hope to ......"

If I am interested in an interdisciplinary area and the lab has professors from different departments, do I have to state clearly which professor I'd like to follow?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Do we need to demonstrate that we have a general idea about what we will do with the professor?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Talking about one professor is risky, but you may want to take the risk. How can I put this…there is professional jealousy among professors sometimes, and thus it is sometimes not a good idea to limit your application to the intention of studying with only one person. If ONLY that person will do, then say so. If it is not that important, then don't say so. You will avoid offending anyone that way.

I would like to know which part is more important in my PS, my personality or my study plus work experience?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
We are talking about the Statement of Purpose here, not what questions some schools ask in the applications. If they ask that question, then of course you have to answer it.

Does reading other people's PS help? Should I list my publications in the PS?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Yes, reading other peoples statements is very useful. It will give you an idea of what others have said and how they have approached the statement. It will also show you that they are all individual, just as every applicant is individual. Remember, the reader reads dozens, sometimes hundreds of essays. He/she does not want to read the same old thing all the time. If you convey your story as honestly as you can, it will have a freshness that the reader will pay attention to.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Reading sample essays will also give you an idea of the variety of how the students' interests are presented, rhetorically, to the reader. By "rhetorical" I mean writing style. inStudent is going to publish a book I have written on this subject. If you have a chance to look at it, look at the essay written by a Korean student who was applying to grad school in dentistry. The connections he makes are beautiful.

My major is Statistics. I do not have as much relevant experience in other majors except to say that I have a strong interest in those majors. Is there any material I could show, for example, the story of how I grow up?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
No, don't invent stuff for your statement. Just show your interest clearly. If it is for a master's degree, you could talk about when that interest began. I suppose you could do it for the PhD application as well, but that is usually technically focused.OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Focus on your study. Some students make the mistake of talking, in the beginning of their essay, about their family! Focus on your study and the history of your interest in your study. Talk about the story of your interest in a particular field, “Specifically, if I am able to study .....at ....., I would like to ....."

What about the history of study?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
The statement is basically a description of the evolution of your interest in your field. If you mean should you talk about the history of your field, then no. The statement of purpose is a personal essay, describing your study interests, to someone who may or may not give you the OK to study at their school.

Can the tone and words used in our PS be a little informal? Sound like talking with old friends? OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Tone? Informal yes, but don't tell any jokes. Read samples. That is the best way to get a feel for the tone I think. Informal in a formal kind of way!!

Is it ok to talk about experience of how we excel academically before the entrance of university? And reflect from it some important qualities that are very important for the study in the US?OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
Everybody loves the idea of a long love affair with one’s major. It makes it sound as though you WERE BORN TO STUDY THAT. The basic idea is to CREATE A CONVINCING NARRATION. A narration that leaves the reader at the end with the idea: this guy really loves his major and will stick with it for 5 years of PhD study! OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È
OËÒ&dot¸b–֍bbs.chuguo.cn®öbîÏõkø.È

xbxc - 2004/10/19 17:06:00
不错!好文章!Æî7ˆ”ð·&+qbbs.chuguo.cn¡…Gh ßƒ $K
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