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时间:2014-09-05 作者:2 阅读:726 评论:0
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  Be careful of using words that have a negative meaning in American English. Theword “propaganda,” for example, means something like “government-controlledbrainwashing” in the US. (Your best choice is to use the words “marketing” or“publicity” if you want to indicate that you organized a campaign to raiseawareness of a certain problem.) Likewise, in the US we do not use the words“cripple” and “retarded”; we use “handicapped” (or even better, “disabled”) and“developmentally disabled” or “mentally challenged.” We don’t call old people“old people”—we call them “elders” or “the elderly.” And we prefer “businessperson” or “business professional” to “businessman.”

  慎用美式英语中一些含有否定意义的词汇。例如,“propaganda”这个词在美国就有点“政府洗脑式”的宣传的意思了。(如果你想要表达你发起一项运动来提高人们对于某一问题的认识的话,最好选用“marketing”或是“publicity”。)同样的,在美国,我们也不会用“cripple”或者是“retarded”之类的词,取而代之的是“handicapped”(disabled更好)以及“developmentallydisabled”或“mentally disabled”。我们在称呼老人时也不直接用“old people”,而是用“elders”或是“the elderly”。我们也不经常用“businessman”,而是用“businessperson”或“business professional ”。


  Vary the length of the sentences in your essay. If you have written several longsentences in a row, insert a short sentence to give the reader a break. Varietyin your sentences will make your essay easier to read (and thus morememorable). It also demonstrates that you have a superior command of theEnglish language. And don’t be afraid of including a one-sentence paragraph. Aone-sentence paragraph (especially at the beginning or end of your essay) willbe very dramatic and grab the reader’s attention.



  If English is your second language,don’t try to make it hard on yourself by writing really long sentences andusing large vocabulary words. (Don’t say “internationalization”; just say“international.” Why use “metropolis” when you can just use “city”?) Rememberthat the readers are not hoping to be impressed by your vocabulary—they want tobe impressed by your story.



  If you are applying to graduate school, your personal statement will need toinclude detailed evidence of your research. For example, if you are applying toa graduate program in biology, your PS should include specific descriptions of experiencesyou have had, such as research projects, internships, work in biologicallaboratories, and such. The other key elements for graduate study applications arewhat you want to study, the field you are interested in, the background youhave, why you have chosen this particular program, and your plans aftergraduation.



  Avoid using inappropriate reasons for why a particular college is attractive to you. (I have actually seen essays where the applicant described how much he “loved” the University of Chicago and wanted to date her, and another where the applicantwrote that NYU was attractive because she just loved the color purple on theNYU website.) You must read the website carefully to discover specificprograms, activities, curricula, distinguished professors (and the like) thatyou can point to and say, “THIS is why I want to go to University X.”



  Do not tell the school how good it is. “I want to attend the prestigiousUniversity X because it is a top US college with an international reputation,”just sounds insincere.



  Catch the reader’s attention in the first sentence of your essay by writing somethingdramatic or humorous. In one excellent essay I read, the applicant (hoping to majorin entomology), wrote this: “Ahhhh! There are bugs in the shampoo!"Doesn't that make you want to read more? (He then went on to describe how hismother had found one of his “science experiments” involving insects, and howexperiences like this made him want to study entomology.)



  If you start with a story, you can end with some reference to the same story. (Ourentomology student, for example, could then mention his mother’s shock again inhis last paragraph.)



  Well-chosen quotations can add powerful credibility to your essay. All you need to do isdecide what the key concept of your essay is (such as strength, honor, or patience)and then use the internet to find quotations that use any of these key words.The best quotations come from persons who are well-known to both Chinese andAmerican readers, and they must be admirable persons. (Past American andChinese presidents are good examples.) The quote should be short, about onepowerful sentence in length. Including a striking quotation in your essay isparticularly persuasive if you are applying to a humanities program or want tobe an English major, as it demonstrates the breadth of your reading.



  Your purpose in writing your essay is to come across as a unique individual, one whostands out from all the other applicants and one whose writing style is lively,fresh, and different. For undergraduate essays, the personal details of yourlife and the struggles you have had to overcome will make good stories. Goodstories are memorable. You don’t have to be a perfect person; indeed, it may bethat any “flaws” you have will convince the reader that you are a multi-facetedperson who learns from your mistakes. These flaws don’t have to be terrible:You can describe the time that you made complete a fool of yourself before yourfriends. (Americans call this the “My most embarrassing moment” essay.) Thentell the reader what you learned from this experience.



  A lways try to make your writing as “concrete” as possible, meaning that you providespecific examples (or stories) to support your main points. Instead of justwriting, for example, “I spent two months doing chemistry research,” describethe nature of that research, what process you used, and what it taught you. Depthis more important than breadth. The reader will be more impressed by specificdetails about ONE of your experiences then a list of twenty experiences. (Savethe list of experiences for your resume.)



  It is perfectly all right to describe your particular religion in an undergraduateessay. Readers in the US come from many different religious backgrounds and theadmission officers will most likely be broad-minded and tolerant. The mainthing is not to try and “convert” the reader—you simply want to show how beinga Buddhist (or a Catholic, or a Christian, or whatever) has had a profoundimpact on your life.



  A reference letter (or letter ofrecommendation) should be no longer than one page. The basic format for thefirst paragraph is to state how long you have known the student and whatgeneral attributes this student exhibits (knowledgeable, dedicated, persistent,etc.) that make you honored/delighted/proud to recommend him or her. Each bodyparagraph should describe in detail each of the general attributes youmentioned in the first paragraph. The last paragraph then simply concludes withsomething like, “I believe that student so-and-so will be an asset to youresteemed institution and thus I give her my highest recommendation. If you haveany questions, please contact me.”



  Avoid describing any of the student’s physical attributes. Readers in the US become veryuncomfortable when they read that the applicant is “a lovely young girl” or a“strong handsome boy. (Admission officers are not allowed to evaluate you basedon what you look like.)



  Do not include negative information in a letter of recommendation. Describe onlythe applicant’s successes, not failures.



  Resumes need to be very clean, clear, simple, and elegant. Do not include fancy fontsor distracting wingdings for bullets. Be sure that your main headings stand outfrom the text by putting them in bold, or italics, or a larger font size. Youwant whoever reads your resume to be impressed by your achievements andaccomplishments, not by your graphic design abilities.





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