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Critic my Admission Essay!

  1. Sep 27, 2003 #1
    I'm going to apply to Princeton and other American Universites. I would like you guys to help me with my essay (the most overwhelming taks in my opinion). Help me by giving critics to my essay, OK? Here's one of them:

    ----- Question-----

    Since we are interested in who you are as well as what you can do, please briefly tell us about yourself. Please feel free to describe an experience to help you clarify your point.

    ----- End of Question-----

    -------- Start of Essay -----

    My interest has changed a couple of times, but the dedication I put into it is always high. I'm the kind of person who thrives to be the best in what I do.

    At elementary school my interest lied in comics and drawing. I oftenly scribbled in class while anxiously waiting school to end. At home I would continue finishing my comic. My last masterpiece was titled “The Galaxy Fight”. The drawing style was greatly inspired by “Dragon Ball”, one of my favorite comics. Although my drawing was not staggering, I still view my storyline superior.

    My first and second year of high school was all about computer games. I used to spend countless nights just to finish a game or to refine my gaming skills. When I heard the sound of my parents starting child checking routine, I quickly turned the computer off and leaped to my bed. If not caught, I would rise up after the condition seemed safe. My interest in games eventually brought me to programming and 3d modeling.

    Since my last high school year, I tend to be more and more towards science. Because I’m most interested in theory development, I naturally spend most of my time with books, pencil, and paper. I usually lay on my bed, with books in front and sometimes snacks by the side. Then my quest to gain understanding begins. I hope to reach the rank of Gauss and Newton one day.

    I frankly enjoy hours of hard work I put to attain mastery. I oftenly think about my “yesterday” and realized that I have improved a lot. I still have much to learn, and I view it as a challenge. I hope to continue being challenged in Princeton.

    ----- End of essay -----

    Does my essay hit the question? Is it good enough?

    Thanks a lot!

    PS: I'm not quite sure where to put this thread so I'm sorry if I misplaced it
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2003 #2


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    Greetings agro !

    First of all, I don't think I'm qualified to really
    give you much advice here so don't feel that what I'll
    say is really obligating or necessarily correct.

    It seems to me personally that perhaps you should emphasize
    your earlier preferences less and just point them out rather
    than describe the process of changing them from one to
    the other. Also, that Newton and Gauss stuff sounds good
    but perhaps you should mention instead stuff like - I want
    to make a difference/advance mankind's knowledge and so on -
    something not less inspirational but still more down to Earth.
    In addition, perhaps you should consider saying more
    and being more specific about your intrests as well as perhaps
    mention your general plans for the future - like I wan'na be
    a scientist/engineer/research and/or build new stuff of some
    kind and so on. As a further addition, perhaps you should
    mention shortly and in general some of your earlier achievments
    in school and other places and your job experience if any.

    Hope this helps. :smile:

    Live long and prosper.
  4. Sep 29, 2003 #3
    Thanks for the feedback, I'll revise my work.

    Anyway, here's a second essay. What do you guys think?

    --- question ---

    If you were given a year to spend in any way you wish, what would you do?

    --- answer ---

    I enjoy sharing my knowledge as much as I enjoy learning. If given a year, I would spend it to do some kind of teaching.

    I¡¯ve met teachers without enthusiasm for their subject and teachers who explain or teach poorly. My physics teacher is one example. At every meeting he ordered one student to copy the content of a book to the whiteboard while the remaining students must copy everything in the whiteboard to their notebook. Worse, he constantly gave nonsatisfying answers to questions posed by the students (such as ¡°Because that¡¯s how it is!¡± or ¡°Just memorize it!¡±).

    Trapped in that condition, my classmates often asked me for explanations. It's not a rarity for us to make an in-class or post-class discussion. My friends chose me as the moderator since I was the one with the highest grades. The discussion turned out great; someone could be lost in the class yet became enlightened by the discussion! I also participate in www.physicsforums.com, helping people (and occasionally asking help) in the homework section of the site. From my experience I realized that good teaching is a key component to understanding, a lot more important than a student¡¯s intelligence.

    I would like to take my ¡°knowledge sharing¡± activity further by teaching in a class. I do not have a concrete plan, but I do have two things in mind. First, I will teach for free. For me, the experience I get will be more valuable than money. I also think that education should be available to everyone, not just for the wealthy. Second, I will try to incorporate usage of technology into the class. I find that things like animations and interactive computer programs help us a lot in learning. Finally, I want to say that I believe by teaching I will learn as much as the participants.
  5. Sep 29, 2003 #4


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    Get a book which covers common grammatical errors. The one I use is called: The Everyday Writer by Lunsford & Connors.

    The first thing that strikes me is that you have a lot of subject-verb agreement problems. Your profile says you're from Indonesia, so I'm assuming that English isn't your first language, which would explain it.

    A few examples:

  6. Sep 30, 2003 #5


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    How good is The Everyday Writer, anyway? :wink:

    "...the dedication I put into them are always high" is wrong. The subject of the verb 'to be' in this sentence is 'dedication,' thus the initial phrasing was right: ...dedication... is always high.
  7. Sep 30, 2003 #6


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    Uh yeah... should have read that once I 'corrected' it I guess. 'it' did need to be changed to 'them' though.

    I spent four years learning to become an engineer, and now I are one!
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2003
  8. Oct 1, 2003 #7


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    Agro, first of all: applying to foreign Universities is not easy, you will grow so much as a person and I wish you all the luck.

    About your second assay, reading it I though it is more a personal attack to that one teacher and is actually a little uncomfortable. I would try to approach it with a lot more positive energy. First, try to not make a personal attack ("My physics teacher is one example"), second, point out what you learned from the teacher: he made you realize how NOT to do things. Also point out that there were teachers that were a role model to you, if there were any :)

    And your last sentence is worth a billion dollars! Very good.
  9. Oct 3, 2003 #8
    For your first essay, I have corrected about 15 grammatical errors, only I didn't bold where i made those changes. I have good english, by the way.

    Hope this helps

  10. Oct 3, 2003 #9
    Since we are interested in who you are as well as what you can do, please briefly tell us about yourself. Please feel free to describe an experience to help you clarify your point.

    Make sure you read what they are asking you. They say that they are interested in you, and want you to tell them about youself. Don't start off by saying that your interests change. They didn't ask about that. I'd say something like, I''m a hard working, physics loving, good looking curve breaking young man from Constantinople. I think most people view me as being perhaps a bit too egotistical. For example, one day last month as I was laughing at the ugly people walking by my window, blah blah blah.

    Reading comprehension is much more important than grammar to admissions officers. They can teach you grammar, but not if you don't understand what you read.
  11. Oct 3, 2003 #10


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    Admission processes at American Universities are crazy, here I just show up and say I want to join. I have been attending the University for a month now, without having registered at the University and without having paid a dime :)

    All because Dutch people are lazy and don't like to study :( any student who wants to study is worth investing in.
  12. Oct 3, 2003 #11
    I agree with monique. Critizing your teaching is a rather negative approach. Look for something more positive. If they think you have a negative view of teachers, they may be concerned on how you would view teachers at the university, and weather you would "fit" well personality wise.
  13. Oct 4, 2003 #12
    Most definitely, DO NOT say anything negative, not just about teachers but about anything at all. You tell them what a pleasant person you are, how you love your teachers and they love you, give them reasons to want you at their school. besides, I can promise you that there will be professors there who are just as bad as any you've already had. I suggest getting the movie "Pollyanna" and studying it. Emulate her attitude of "everything is beautiful, goody-goodiness" at least until you get your foot in the door. Once you get into the school you can turn back into your negative, intellectually superior self. you might think that is a rude thing to say, but that is what you convey in your essay.
  14. Oct 4, 2003 #13
    wouldn't they want HONESTY? especially at Princeton -- the arguably 1st or 2nd best university in the US. I think a flowery, "i love everyone/everything", "everthing is perfect" essay would look bad -- it looks like you bull****ted it.

    My advice would be to be honest and to focus not just on negative things but positive and negatives.. basically, whatever is true.
  15. Oct 4, 2003 #14


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    But if you'd want to get into a good university, you'd need to be SMART and know what they want to hear :P but also stand out of the crowd ofcourse.. since everyone will be nice and fussy
  16. Oct 4, 2003 #15
    Forget honesty. Tell them what they want to hear. If you are an *******, don't tell them you are an *******.
    You can say something without being negative, but meaning the same thing. Instead of saying your teachers sucked, say you are looking forward to challenging courses taught by some of the top professors in the world. High school was never challenging enough for you, and you can't wait to go to a school with such high standards.
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