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Admissions An Analytical Paper for College Admissions

  1. Sep 20, 2008 #1


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    Hello all. This fall I'm applying to several colleges, the top two of which are Bennington College and Wesleyan University. I'm fairly certain of acceptance to both but as a part of the admissions process I need to submit an analytical paper, passed in and graded by a teacher. Since I wish to study physics at both institutions, I felt it would be my benefit to write the paper on a physics-related subject, this case being the discrepancies between Quantum and Classical Worlds, gravity in particular.

    The problem I'm having is in setting up the paper. I've never done a scientific paper before, not even a basic analysis work, and I am rather at a loss of how to go about presenting the ideas and breaking them down. I do not expect them to want to see brand-new theories or complex mathematical works, but I would like to really wow them with the paper and my analysis. How would I got about doing this best?
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  3. Sep 20, 2008 #2

    Math Is Hard

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  4. Sep 20, 2008 #3


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    Thank you!

    For any of you undergrads out there, any extra advice to help make my paper really stand out?
  5. Sep 20, 2008 #4
    Write the paper in LaTeX using the revtex4 package.

    If this makes absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever, then it probably isn't worth going to the effort of learning how to write LaTeX documents (it is, at some point, but maybe not just now). However, I do think the two-column layout in revtex4 is a sure way of producing a quality-looking scientific document (it's the way they publish actual papers submitted to the APS journals).



    As for content, i'm not the best person to ask but i'd really look to be concise and not get carried away by the vast amount of research there is... perhaps look at the way NewScientist or ScientificAmerican present their own articles and tailor the recommended outlines given by the link to bellevuecollege to these articles (since, i'd have said, they're not strictly analytical, but definitely useful).
  6. Sep 20, 2008 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    You should choose a subject that you know enough about and feel comfortable enough with to be able to write at length about it. If that happens to be a physics-related subject, great! But I don't think it's a good idea to choose a topic that you're shaky on just because you think the subject matter (in itself) will make a difference. With most undergraduate colleges, you're applying for general admission, not for admission to a specific major. Lots of students end up majoring in something other than what they put down on their admissions forms, and lots of students change their majors in mid-stream.

    What they're almost certainly looking for is evidence that you can think a bit, and have reasonable writing skills in general, as evidence that the sterling grades on your high school transcript actually mean something.
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