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Scholarship app question

  1. Jul 18, 2005 #1
    I want to apply for this scholarship and they want a 250-word essay on why I'm choosing this field (biomedical engineering). My question is should I make sure its 250 word + or - a couple words or is it typically OK to go bigger? I've never applied for one of these things before so I don't know what the standard is.
     
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  3. Jul 18, 2005 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    It's always acceptable to go 'larger'- just not too much larger! Say what you want to say and then stop.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2005 #3
    well i got it to 278 words and was wondering if someone might take a look and see what they think. here is the description of what they want.

    250 words on why you chose this field and what your career goals are.

    heres my paragraph:
    The Life science have always been of interest to me, and for a while I though that I would really like to be a surgeon. In high school though when I took biology the subject really interested me although at the time I was a poor student. Throughout high school Every now and then when I would have a report to write I typically tried to get a subject that was biology related. One paper I remember writing was on fetal stem cell transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients, which I thought was really neat. The idea of taking some fresh cells, manipulating them and then letting them cure the patient just seemed like a really neat procedure. Making the human body repair itself sort of. Last fall when I wrote a research paper for Comp 1100 on the Stem cell debate it sealed the deal. I knew that I have to pursue biomedical engineering. My goal is to use Normandale as a stepping stone and proving ground to transfer into the U of W Madison's highly competitive biomedical engineering program. I wasted a lot of time in high school being a poor student and now feel that I have matured to a level where I am more than capable of acceding. While at Normandale I would like focus on getting a solid base in biology so that when I transfer into my BS genetic engineering I will be well prepared to study genetics. Its hard for me to say exactly where in the biomedical field I will end up, but I cant wait to get there and look forward to the journey.

    My opinion is that it is probally a little vague on what exacly i want to do, the problem is that there is so many different things i could see doing, so its hard to say i want to do stem cell research or maybee tissue engineering or maybe some bio electric devices ect.. any opinions on how to improve this?? all help is very appreciated.
     
  5. Jul 19, 2005 #4

    honestrosewater

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    Here's my advice- take it or leave it. :smile:
    Break it up into two major sections: 1) why you chose this field and 2) what your career goals are. Something like this (with some spelling and grammar corrections)- just a first draft:

    [Topic: Brief history of your interest in biology and why you were interested in it]
    The life sciences have interested me since [when? a child, a course in 8th grade]. [what are a few major reasons they interest you? a sentence is enough] At one point, I thought that I would really like to be a surgeon, because [why? the human body is fascinating, it uses your skills]. And even though I was a poor student in high school [why? were you just not interested?], my biology class [was an exception, got my attention, awoke my curiosity, ??]. [support the last sentence with an example:] I especially loved learning about [...].
    [Topic: Supporting previous paragraph with examples from high school]
    Throughout high school, whenever I was assigned a report, I typically tried to get a biology-related subject. I remember writing a paper on fetal stem cell transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients. The idea of taking some fresh cells, manipulating them, then letting them cure the patient seemed like a really neat procedure [maybe use something other than "really neat"- amazing procedure with exciting potential], like making the human body repair itself. And writing a research paper for Comp 1100 on the stem cell debate just sealed the deal: I knew that I had to pursue biomedical engineering.

    [Topic: Your career goals]
    My goal is to enter the highly competitive biomedical engineering program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I hope Normandale will serve as a stepping stone and proving ground. While at Normandale, I would like to focus on getting a solid base in biology to ensure that when I transfer into my BS genetic engineering I will be well prepared to study genetics. [List a few possible careers or specialities you may like to pursue]
    [Topic: Closing]
    I realize that I wasted a lot of time in high school being a poor student, and I now feel that I have matured to a level where I am more than capable of acceding [acceding? Do you mean succeding, excelling?]. Because there are so many possibilities, it's hard for me to say exactly where in the biomedical field I will end up. But I can't wait to get there and look forward to the journey.
    ______

    I don't know how many words that would be, but it's just some general suggestions. You can post any revisions you make. :)
     
  6. Jul 19, 2005 #5
    thanks for the review. I will definitly go back and do some of what you said. I actually had a longer version with some of the things you said but it started etting to long i thought.
     
  7. Jul 19, 2005 #6

    honestrosewater

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    Specific examples are more effective- and memorable- than general statements. If you need to cut some things, I think the least effective parts are:
    * Throughout high school, whenever I was assigned a report, I typically tried to get a biology-related subject. (this will be evident enough from your examples)
    * And even though I was a poor student in high school (you say this later)​
    The rest is quite good. You could reorganize the first two paragraphs around different topics: 1) The things that you love about the field, and 2) Specific examples from your past that you loved and grew your interest. This wouldn't involve much rewriting, just some reorganizing.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2005 #7
    honestrosewater
    i took some of your advice and did a whole lot of rewritting. see what you think of this.

    As a boy I was always curious as to how things worked. I would take things apart typically, toys or electronic devices, to what was inside, and figure out how they worked. During a high school biology class my curiosity started to focus more on the life sciences. I specifically remember how during the microbiology part of the class I was the extremely interested. Finding out about mitochondria, cytoplast, and DNA I thought was the coolest. I was finally finding out how living things work at one of the most basic levels.

    In high school when I had to write paper I always liked finding some kind of biology related as a topic. My favorite paper that I remember writing was on fetal brain tissue transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients. I thought it was an amazing procedure with future potential in other areas also. At the time I wondered why they could'nt do that with other areas of the body. Last fall 5yrs after leaving high school I went to school and took comp 1100 as one of my classes. When I had to write the research paper I knew what I wanted to write about right away. I choose the stem cell research debate to write on. From writing this paper I knew that I had to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.

    My goal is to enter the highly competitive biomedical engineering program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I hope Normandale will serve as a stepping stone and proving ground for a continued education. While at Normandale I would like to focus on getting a solid base in biology so that when I transfer into my BS in genetic engineering I will be well prepared to study genetics. Beyond college though there are many fields in the bioengineering that intrigue me, I think I would like to pursue stem cell research, tissue engineering, or designing biomedical devices such as a artificial liver, pacemaker and specialty tools.

    I wasted a lot of time in high school being a poor student and now feel that I have matured to a level where I am more than capable of excelling. Because there are so many different opportunities in the biomedical field its hard to say where I will end up, but I cant wait to get there and look forward to the journey.


    i tried to be more specific and not use the word "neat". Also i definitly aprecciate the critisism. Writting is probally one of my worst skill so I can use all the help i can get.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
  9. Jul 19, 2005 #8

    honestrosewater

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    Wow, I think that is a huge improvement! Your content is great; I will just suggest some minor style and technical corrections, which I'll underline.

    ____
    As a boy, I was always curious about how things worked. I would take things apart, typically toys or electronic devices, to discover what was inside (no comma needed) and figure out how they worked. During a high school biology class, my curiosity started to focus more on the life sciences. I specifically remember how, during the microbiology part of the class, I was (removed "the") extremely interested. I thought the coolest was learning about mitochondria, cytoplast, and DNA. I was finally finding out how living things work at one of the most basic levels!

    When I had to write paper in high school, I always liked finding some kind of biology-related (removed "as a") topic. My favorite paper that I remember writing was on fetal brain tissue transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients. I thought it was an amazing procedure with future potential in other areas as well. At the time, I wondered why they couldn't do that with other areas of the body.

    (new paragraph) Last fall, 5 years after leaving high school, I went to school and took comp 1100 as one of my classes. When I had to write the research paper, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about: (removed "I choose") the stem cell research debate (removed "to write on"). From writing this paper, I knew that I had to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.

    My goal is to enter the highly competitive biomedical engineering program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I hope Normandale will serve as a stepping stone and proving ground for a continued education. While at Normandale, I would like to focus on getting a solid base in biology, so that, when I transfer into my BS in genetic engineering, I will be well prepared to study genetics. Beyond college, though there are many fields in (removed "the") bioengineering that intrigue me, I think I would like to pursue stem cell research, tissue engineering, or designing biomedical devices, such as an artificial liver, pacemaker[/u], or[/u] specialty tools.

    I wasted a lot of time in high school being a poor student and now feel that I have matured to a level where I am more than capable of excelling. Because there are so many different opportunities in the biomedical field, it's hard to say where I will end up, but I can't wait to get there and look forward to the journey.
    ____

    I think the last sentence would be much better if you broke it up into two sentences:
    Because there are so many different opportunities in the biomedical field, it's hard to say where I will end up. But I can't wait to get there and look forward to the journey.​
    Someone may have told you that you shouldn't start a sentence with 'and' or 'but', but IMO they are dead wrong. It's grammatically correct and very useful stylewise. You can see most of the corrections are commas. When you begin a sentence with a prepositional phrase, you should add a comma after it. The possible exception- and this is just for style- is when the phrase is "short"- less than 3 or 4 words. I like to include the comma in more formal writing, regardless of the length of the phrase. But it's up to you. Great job! I hope it helps you get your scholarship.
     
  10. Jul 19, 2005 #9

    honestrosewater

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    Hm, that underlining is pretty hard on the eyes. Here's what it looks like without it:
    ____
    As a boy, I was always curious about how things worked. I would take things apart, typically toys or electronic devices, to discover what was inside and figure out how they worked. During a high school biology class, my curiosity started to focus more on the life sciences. I specifically remember how, during the microbiology part of the class, I was extremely interested. I thought the coolest was learning about mitochondria, cytoplast, and DNA. I was finally finding out how living things work at one of the most basic levels!

    When I had to write paper in high school, I always liked finding some kind of biology-related topic. My favorite paper that I remember writing was on fetal brain tissue transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients. I thought it was an amazing procedure with future potential in other areas as well. At the time, I wondered why they couldn't do that with other areas of the body.

    Last fall, 5 years after leaving high school, I went to school and took comp 1100 as one of my classes. When I had to write the research paper, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about: the stem cell research debate. From writing this paper, I knew that I had to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.

    My goal is to enter the highly competitive biomedical engineering program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I hope Normandale will serve as a stepping stone and proving ground for a continued education. While at Normandale, I would like to focus on getting a solid base in biology, so that, when I transfer into my BS in genetic engineering, I will be well prepared to study genetics. Beyond college, though there are many fields in bioengineering that intrigue me, I think I would like to pursue stem cell research, tissue engineering, or designing biomedical devices, such as an artificial liver, pacemaker, or specialty tools.

    I wasted a lot of time in high school being a poor student and now feel that I have matured to a level where I am more than capable of excelling. Because there are so many different opportunities in the biomedical field, it's hard to say where I will end up, but I can't wait to get there and look forward to the journey.
    ____
    Note that some of those commas are there to set off parenthetical clauses, so even if you decide to exclude the commas following prepositional phrases, you should leave in the other ones.

    Eh, that comes to 381 words. Do you want to trim it down some, or do you think it's okay? I would consider trimming some- at least to around 320. If you want some suggestions for that, just let me know. You can remove unnecessary words without having to lose any real content.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
  11. Jul 19, 2005 #10
    wow!! i love your suggestions and this has really come a long way since this morning. I deleted a couple words and have it down to 370 but I think thats fine. I definitly think i need to take a vocabulary class, I like some of your chioce of words better for sure.

    so I imagine this will be the end product.
    As a boy, I was always curious about how things worked. I would take things apart, typically toys or electronic devices, to discover what was inside and figure out how they worked. During a high school biology class, my curiosity started to focus more on the life sciences. I specifically remember during the microbiology part of the class, I was extremely interested. I thought the coolest was learning about mitochondria, cytoplast, and DNA. I was finally finding out how living things work at one of the most basic levels!

    When I wrote papers in high school, I always liked finding some kind of biology-related topic. My favorite paper was on fetal brain tissue transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients. I thought it was an amazing procedure with future potential in other areas as well. At the time, I wondered why they couldn't do that with other areas of the body.

    Last fall, 5 years after leaving high school, I went to Nomandale and took comp 1100. When I had to write the research paper, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about: the stem cell research debate. From writing this paper, I knew that I had to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.

    My goal is to enter the highly competitive biomedical engineering program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I hope Normandale will serve as a stepping stone and proving ground for a continued education. While at Normandale, I would like to focus on getting a solid base in biology, so that, when I transfer into my BS in genetic engineering, I will be well prepared to study genetics. Beyond college, though there are many fields in bioengineering that intrigue me, I think I would like to pursue stem cell research, tissue engineering, or designing biomedical devices, such as an artificial liver, pacemaker, or specialty tools.

    I wasted a lot of time in high school being a poor student and now feel that I have matured to a level where I am more than capable of excelling. Because there are so many different opportunities in the biomedical field, it's hard to say where I will end up, but I can't wait to get there and look forward to the journey.


    again thanks for all the help.
     
  12. Jul 19, 2005 #11

    honestrosewater

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    Being selective the first time you write something is good but does take more time and effort. The main thing to avoid is using the same word several times. So after you've written the first draft, look for words that you've repeated and try to find alternates for some of them. This is also a pretty quick and easy way to improve your writing.
    Another quick and easy tip is to consider speaking in the present tense when possible, using the active voice, and avoiding wordier phrasing. For instance, using 'took' instead of 'would take' or 'They gave me an assignment' instead of 'I was given an assignment (by them)'. Not that you should always do this- just when it improves your message.
    Your essay looks great as it is, but I can't resist adding just a few final, small suggestions- mostly the things I just mentioned- just to show how they can be used.

    ____
    As a boy, I was always curious about how things worked. I loved -or enjoyed- taking things apart, typically toys or electronic devices, to discover what was inside and figure out how they functioned. During a high school biology class, my curiosity began focusing more on the life sciences. I specifically remember the microbiology part of the class being extremely interesting. I thought the coolest was learning about mitochondria, cytoplast, and DNA. I was finally finding out how living things work at one of the most basic levels!

    When writing papers in high school, I always preferred -or- sought (out) -or- gravitated towards a biology-related topic. My favorite paper was on fetal brain tissue transplantation into Parkinson and Alzheimer's patients. This struck me as an amazing procedure with future potential in other areas as well. At the time, I wondered why they couldn't do that with other areas of the body.

    Last fall, 5 years after leaving high school, I went to Nomandale and took comp 1100. When they assigned the research paper, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about: the stem cell research debate. From writing this paper, I knew that I had to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.
    Okay, I think you get the idea.
    ____

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
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