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如何开始起草一篇Personal Statement?

发表时间:2020-10-22

Personal Statement是我们留学申请文书重要材料之一。一份完美的Personal Statement有可能使你申请成功的机会大大增加,同时Personal Statement也是很好的认识你自己的过程。通过写Personal Statement,你将更了解你自己,清楚自己想要什么样的生活,理清自己为什么要去留学,以后将要成为什么样的人。这对申请者来说至关重要。

personal statement

对admission officer来说,Personal Statement是你唯一有机会向他们展示一个鲜活的你的材料。成绩单是死的,GRE和TOEFL分数是死的,而他们要找的是一个活生生的人,是一个有血有肉有思想的人,他们在众多的申请者中寻找最适合他们的那一位,你如何认识你自己?你的motivation来自哪里?你将来如何打算?这些东西都可以帮助他们走进你,了解你,认识你,然后决定是不是接受你。下面我们就来说说如何开始起草一篇Personal Statement.

先给出一些指导来帮助你如何对自身的经历进行筛选:

1. Finding the pattern that connects
一定要寻找那些跟你申请的program相关的经历 

2. Conveying something meaningful
一定要找到一个能展现你独一无二personality的经历 

3. Painting a complete portrait
一定要全面展现出你的能力,如果你只说自己的一段经历,这段经历应该能全面展现你的各方面能力;如果你要说自己的多种经历,这些经历之间应该互为补充。

4. Standing out
一定要突出的unique的地方,如果你觉得实在很难做到unique,那就be more specific and personal. 

5. Keeping your readers interest
从别人的角度来思考,如果你是读者,你读这篇文章的时候会想要了解更多吗?

6. Staying grounded in detail
一定要用事实说话,一切言语都要建立在事实证据的基础之上。

7. Answering the question
每个学校针对PS提的问题可能不一样,一定要保证你选的topic能回答大部分学校的大部分问题,PS也要根据学校的问题进行适当调整。 

以下几点千万要避免!

1. Resorting to gimmicks 不要用那些小花招,小伎俩,咱还是应该严肃点

2. Focusing on negative 应该重点突出你的positive attribute 

3. Repeating information that's listed elsewhere in the application 千万别重复那些你在简历里已经展现出来的东西,需要展现你更加personal的东西 

You can describe misfortunes or a disadvantaged background, but do not use them as an excuse for bad performances or to seek pity. Doing so not only could sound manipulative, but also means that you haven't emphasized your strengths sufficiently. Thus, as in the case of weaknesses, you should bring up obstacles in your past only to show how you have overcome them. 
想要通过PS来解释自己某方面不足的同学请特别注意上面第二点和第五点。注意表现你positive的一面,表现你如何克服困难的一面,少些negative的东西,也不要刻意去解释什么。 

你必须搞清楚的几个问题:

1. Why have I chosen to attend graduate school in this specific field, and why did I choose to apply to this particular school's program?  

2. What are my qualifications for admission?  

3. What is special, unique, or impressive about my life story?  

admission officer想要从PS看三点:你来自哪里?你想从我们的program中得到什么?你未来的打算是什么? 你的PS应该重在未来的规划,而不是重复过去的荣耀。如果你过去的经历确实很出彩,一定要多一些分析,不要罗列你的成绩 

4. Why Graduate School?

- 避免用一些陈词滥调,比如“I have always wanted to..." 

- Do not rely solely on your initial reason and forget to justify your choice with more recent experiences.

讲一些你小时候的事情可能可以吸引读者,一些小时候的兴趣爱好如何发展成为学术喜好的呢?

Goals 明确自己未来的职业发展目标。很多人可能会说自己会进入学术界,那么为了使你的goals显得与众不同一些,你必须突出自己特殊的research interest; 对于想要到学术之外的领域发展的人,必须identify a specific issue and explain the origin and evolution of your interest.

Research interests 有些学校会让你写个statement of purpose来表明你的研究兴趣,你可以认为你的读者是一个faculty,但是一个不是专家的人应该也能津津有味地看下去 

- Addressing the school(在我们写每一个学校的PS的时候,都要做大量的搜索工作!) 

You should do this research for your own sake, of course, but discussing your discoveries in your personal statement can help convince the admissions committee that you are a good fit. Avoid mistakes like discussing the school's rank or prestige, or simply offering generic praise. Instead,mention faculty members by name and indicate some knowledge of their work. Discuss your interest in becoming involved in a particular student organization or activity. Consider contacting faculty members first and discussing their current research projects and your interest in studying under them. Then refer to these contacts in your essay.(套磁的作用就出来了哦!) You may also want to discuss your interest in becoming involved in a particular student organization or activity. Mentioning several professors is not as effective as describing one in further depth

5. Why qualified?

Details about the process are paramount. What we mean by the "process" is the path to achievement. The rest of the application has already summarized your accomplishments and activities. Show the reader what you did in concrete terms, and most importantly, highlight your active roles. 

Research experience

Remember to keep the discussion personal. Do not become bogged down in minute details and jargon. Ultimately, the focus of the story should remain on you and your growth or success. 

Field experience

Work experience

Extracurricular Activities 

6. Why Unique

这里给大家举个unique的例子: 

This applicant starts by noting the diversity of his ethnic and religious background. When mentioning such points, you should not assume that such diversity is an end in itself. Rather, you should show how your background and culture have shaped your perspective and given you something unique to offer. This applicant does a good job of noting how Zoroastrianism has given him guiding principles, but he never follows through to discuss concrete examples.This essay would have benefited from more details to show his diversity in more tangible terms.

This applicant's story is fascinating, at times harrowing, and ultimately triumphant. From committed social activism to drug and alcohol addiction to a reengagement with the world, the author pulls no punches in telling his unique tale. While he does not whitewash his experience with drugs and alcohol, notice how he situates it in a larger context, showing both how it made him oblivious to the things he really cared about (Third World injustices) and how his reintroduction to those things helped him pull himself out of his downward spiral. In doing so, he demonstrates both a strong social conscience and a dedication to his beliefs. Additionally, his story makes him very hard for an admissions committee to forget. Just be careful that any discussion of past mistakes or difficulties leads to an indubitably positive conclusion.

This applicant shows that you do not need to be a true one-of-a-kind to demonstrate uniqueness in the admissions process. In fact, what sets him apart is a rather typical job in the computer industry. What makes his application unique, however, is that he is applying to a geological sciences program. His interest in mathematical modeling gives him a novel area of specialization to offer to the intellectual diversity of the program.

Finally, this applicant shows that a personal, revealing story can be enough to set someone apart. By recounting a particular episode that sparked her epiphany as a writer, she gives us an in-depth look at her unique approach to her craft. Again, this essay does not discuss exotic experiences, but instead succeeds by painting a detailed, deeply personal portrait that no one else could have written.

如何修饰自己的一些弱点?

Staying up late the night before the GRE is not a legitimate reason for a bad performance, whiledocumented sickness could be. A particularly bad semester could be explained by a death or illness in the family. If you lack research experience, you might point out the number of hours you had to work to make college more affordable for you and your family. 

Your best approach might be to try to transform such blemishes into something positive bypointing out particular courses in which you performed well, especially those that were more advanced, more relevant to your intended career path, or more recent.

Make sure that you do not take a contentious tone. Don't accuse your teachers of unfair grading standards or complain about lack of extracurricular opportunities at your school. Be clear that you're not trying to excuse yourself of responsibility, but emphasize that you simply want the schools to have the complete picture. 

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