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这些主题的文书,99%都会被招生官扔进垃圾桶!

在申请文书中,有的妙笔生花、让人赞不绝口,有的独具个性、让人眼前一亮,然而也有一些文书让招生官们一看到就反感厌恶,难逃被丢进垃圾桶的命运。我们今天可以看看,什么样的文书会被招生官丢进垃圾桶。
 

套用范文,写不属于你的文章

不少学生会在写文书之前在网上到处搜各式各样的范文,试图模仿别人的成功之处。《50篇成功进入哈佛的文书》、纽约时报上的对当年包揽常青藤的学生文书的报道等等。阅读几篇类似文章寻求灵感,无伤大雅,但阅读大量类似文章,很容易把自己的思维束缚在既定的框框中,而难以创新突破。

到时可能会出现这样的情况:大量热门文章的模仿版。

比如今年“从Costco买热狗”的文章 (这姑娘用一篇逛超市的文章 拿到了5所IVY League名校和斯坦福大学的录取:http://www.businessinsider.com/high-school-senior-who-got-into-5-ivy-league-schools-shares-her-admissions-essay-2016-4 见文末分享),估计会衍生出大量类似“去宜家买meatball (肉丸子)”等话题的文章。这样的文章招生官会不丢进垃圾桶吗?

而且作为一个母语非英语的学生,你更容易碰到这样的情况:“哇,这句话真的写得太好了!或者这句话真是写出了我的心声啊!我一定要把它套用在我的文书中。”诸如此类,你会努力把自己的文章,往你心目中的“范文”的方向上去靠。到最后,你笔下的自己很可能是一个你很想成为的人,但却不是真实的你自己。

当然,如果你还指望着让别人帮你写文书,那就不需要再继续看这篇文章啦。
 

克服“逆境”的鸡汤文

下笔前请仔细想一想,你写的真的是逆境吗?

很多在美国念高中的中国学生,会选择写自己刚去美国念高中时那段艰辛时光。因为语言障碍、文化差异,小留学生如何一步步适应美国的文化,蜕变成不仅品学兼优,而且上课积极发言的好学生。且不说选择这个话题的学生多如牛毛,你无法体现自身的特点。绝大多数的在美国上高中的中国学生都是在私立学校上学,所以你在描述所谓的“逆境”之前,先想想自己每年交的学费是多少好吗?

类似的还有昂贵的义工旅行:去柬埔寨参与建房子,去非洲刷了一堵墙……

千万别到最后只是感动了自己,千万别把体现自己奉献服务精神,写成了“秀优越”。
 

志愿者、支教、模联...

近年来,这类活动已经几乎成为了凑数活动的代名词。10个申请者里面有8个都参加过各种类型的志愿者活动,你还会把文章的主题定格为“其实我的志愿者行为是功利的,是值得反省的”这样看似在做深刻的自我检讨实则不能更俗的主题么?

当然,如果你真的用心投入到如上活动中的某一个,我相信你文书的真情实感与细节描写会让招生官对你活动真实真切性产生信心的。
 

一个领导的自我修养

 

不知从什么时候起,中国的学生家长开始相信孩子的领导力是进入顶尖名校的必要前提。于是大家都恨不得在文书中多提几句自己是如何克服万难带领松散的团队走向成功的,熟不知这样其实弄巧成拙。

 

首先美国顶尖大学是想要招收能够引领人类进步或者能够为校园贡献多样性的学生。领导型人才只是这类人群中的一类。再者,领导力是最难通过文书表现的个人能力,因为你多多少少需要把自己的形象放在一个高于其他人的位置。
 

小学初中高中是组长班长委员…

 

一定要珍惜PS字数限制内的每一句话,因为它几乎是唯一一个让你的申请变得生动、让招生官感受你的内在世界、你的声音的机会。毕竟你的活动、奖项、分数在招生官眼里只是冷冰冰的数字与事实。你的PS会一直提醒着招生官:我是在跟一个申请者,一个人,一个有故事的人,打交道。

 

在PS里面表现自己的“成就”不仅意味着你放弃了展现自己内心世界的机会,更是很容易让招生官产生反感,直接导致全聚德。表现“成就”会让读者觉得你是个没有故事的人,你所做的活动,你对生命价值的理解仅仅停留在虚荣与功利性目的上。

招生官阅读一份申请材料的时间非常有限,你如果不能确保他在浏览你申请文书的时候,每一个词都打动他的心;也不要让你的文章,看到开头就能想到结尾。以上,只是从选题的角度,告诉大家尽量避免的题材。当然不排除有学生能把非常陈旧的话题写出自己的新意。但如果你没有能力把淘宝爆款穿得清新脱俗,就不要凑这个热闹啦!

【本文整理自网络,文中观点不代表本平台】

Brittany Stinson Costco买热狗的原文和文章解析分享:

Brittany Stinson graciously shared her Common Application admissions essay with Business Insider, which we've reprinted verbatim below.

Business Insider: Brittany Stinson

Prompt 1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Managing to break free from my mother’s grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two­ year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My mother’s eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon­ sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial­ sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.

Notorious for its over sized portions and dollar­ fifty hot dog combo, Costco is the apex of consumerism. From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, I’ve developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weight­loss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more well­ mannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity.

While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‘all beef’ goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty ­three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia's workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52” plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson’s controversiality. There was no questioning Old Hickory’s dedication; he was steadfast in his beliefs and pursuits – qualities I am compelled to admire, yet his morals were crooked. We both found the ham to be more likeable–and tender.

I adopted my exploratory skills, fine tuned by Costco, towards my intellectual endeavors. Just as I sampled buffalo­ chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cart–one overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious. I sampled calculus, cross country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world. Whether it be through attempting aerial yoga, learning how to chart black body radiation using astronomical software, or dancing in front of hundreds of people, I am compelled to try any activity that interests me in the slightest.

My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Encoded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the “what”; I want to hunt for the “whys” and dissect the “hows”. In essence, I subsist on discovery.

文章解读:

Brittany在文章中使用了叙事(讲故事)模式,而且在开头就通过轶事技法牢牢抓住了读者。

在轶事中,她通过文学方式重构现实生活片段和经历,令读者仿佛看到她的一举一动。

在选题上,Brittany冒了一定风险,她没有刻意去寻找令人印象深刻的话题,而是写了普普通通的日常生活。难道还有比超市和热狗更普通的东西吗?

其实,Brittany是把超市当作更大的世界的隐喻,这也是经典的写作技巧。

因为选择以日常生活作为话题,她能够保持轻松聊天的方式和好玩的语言,既符合青少年的表达习惯,也充满幽默感。

这让读者几乎情不自禁地喜欢上这个姑娘——这正是好文章的一大要素。

与此同时,Brittany在文章里并没有对自己夸夸其谈,而是有很强的聚焦,即突出她的一项个性:好奇心。

她把自己称为探索者,先带我们回顾了童年时代在超市的经历,其中闪烁着各种好奇和奇妙的事情。

然后,她带着我们走入中学时代,并让我们看到好奇心如何也过渡到更加重要的地方,例如学术方面。

这种过渡太棒了!

我们分析Brittany的文章,并不是因为这是完美无缺的申请范文(事实上,它也有不足之处)。我们主要是看每个人都可以使用这些相同的方法方法写出同样有趣的、有意义的文章。

首先,要找到自己身上至关重要的特点,并且可以用在文书中展示。

然后,回忆某个相关的时刻或者经历(也就是轶事),在开头就把读者吸引住。

最后,要打磨生活的细节,探索兴趣的细节。一定要具体。我们来看看Brittany如何在一句话里描述她自己吧:

不管是尝试空中瑜伽,在数百人面前跳舞,或是学习天文图表辐射软件,任何感兴趣的活动我都会义无反顾参加。”

不要害怕自己没有故事,也不要先想着怎么去把读者震住,而是要相信普普通通的日常话题也可以表现得很美好。

一篇好的文章,仿佛一副清晰的图画,能够展示你是谁、你跟其他学生有何不同、以及你将如何融入未来的学校。

所以你能够做的就是,寻找到对你而言最真实、最独特的话题,学习一些叙事写作技巧,来帮助你讲述自己的故事,并且阐述这个故事对你来说意味着什么。

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