寫出一篇篇短文 (Essay) 是申請美國大學不可或缺的環節。和台灣的大學申請不同,他們不需要自傳,因為這些資料從其他地方都可以看到。藉由回答一系列設計過的問題,學校希望可以更加瞭解一個人的個性、態度、人格特質,當然還有寫作能力,進而決定要不要錄取你。

好的essay的標準只有一個:能讓審查委員想要錄取你。面對成千上萬份的申請,審查委員能夠停留在每個人身上的時間很少,要能夠在短短幾分鐘內抓住大家的心,令人印象深刻,才是關鍵。也因此,從一開始的構思、草擬、下筆、修改、校定,往往要來回好幾個禮拜,直到最後的完美。

以下是大概的步驟:

1. 構思 Research the topic

2. 下筆 Writing

  • analyze well-written essays
  • brainstorm your own ideas
  • a compelling title and introduction

3. 修改 Revising

  • Correct errors
  • Remove unnecessary words

4. 校定Have someone read your paper

而常見題目包括:
1.長文 (通常250-650字)

Common Application

  • 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.
  • The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Harvard

  • You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about yourself or your accomplishments. You may write on a topic of your choice, or you may choose from one of the following topics:
    – Unusual circumstances in your life
    – Travel or living experiences in other countries
    – What you would want your future college roommate to know about you
    – An intellectual experience (course, project, book, discussion, paper, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry) that has meant the most to you
    – How you hope to use your college education
    – A list of books you have read during the past twelve months
  • What specific plan do you have, if any, for using the education you hope to receive?

Stanford

  • Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (250 word limit)
  • Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better. (250 word limit)
  • What matters to you, and why? (100 to 250 words)

M.I.T.

  • At MIT, we seek to develop in each member of our community the ability and passion to work collaboratively for the betterment of humankind. How have you improved the lives of others in your community? (This could be one person or many, at school or at home, in your neighborhood or your state, etc.)
  • Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?
  • Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?

 

2.短文 (少於150字)

Stanford

  • Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists.
  • What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy?
  • What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?
  • How did you spend your last two summers?
  • What were your favorite events (e.g., performances, exhibits, competitions, conferences, etc.) in recent years?
  • What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
  • What five words best describe you?
  • What matters to you, and why? (100 to 250 words)

Yale

  • Why does Yale appeal to you?
  • The two qualities I most admire in other people are…
  • I am most proud of…
  • I couldn’t live without…
  • Who or what inspires you?
  • What do you wish you were better at being or doing?
  • Most Yale freshmen live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?

Brown

  • Why Brown?
  • Tell us where you have lived – and for how long – since you were born; whether you’ve always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 word limit)
  • We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (100 word limit)

M.I.T.

  • We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it.
  • Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why?

 

佳作欣賞:

1. Essays That Worked (Class of 2019) | JHU

2. Top 151 Successful College Essays

3.Harvard University Admission Sample Essay on Hobby or Interest

我很喜歡的一篇XD

 

 

參考資料:

1. Sample College Application Essay 1

2.8 Tips for Crafting Your Best College Essay

3.How To Write A College Essay | MIT Admissions

Photo from: http://www.profkrg.com/write-lot

 

 

 

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