當前位置:首頁 > 文章中心>雙語閱讀|Application Essay寫作指南

雙語閱讀|Application Essay寫作指南

發布時間:2021-08-31 13:58:44 閱讀:1023 作者:致遠教育 字數:5588 字 預計閱讀時間:13分鐘
導讀:這份指導將探討撰寫個人陳述和其他大學申請文書過程中所需要用到的語言。這份指導并不會教你具體寫什么內容,也不會告訴你什么具體內容會使你的潛在讀者眼前一亮,而是希望幫助你思考寫出這樣的好文章意味著什么,更重要的是,如何將你的寫作過程本身當做你在文書中想表達內容不可分割的一部分。

Writing Your Self:  The Language of Application Essays

書寫真我:申請文書語言表達指南

作者:Chris Moses

普林斯頓大學歷史系博士

曾于普林斯頓大學和美國頂尖高中St.Pauls School任教,曾任里德學院國際招生主任

Application Essay寫作指南

Introduction引言

This guide considers language as it relates to the writing process involved in crafting personal statements and other college or fellowship application essays. It is not a guide about what to write, what will amaze or dazzle your prospective readers – rather, it is a guide meant to help you think about what it means to write such an essay, and more importantly, how to approach writing itself as an integral part of what you choose to say in your essay.

這份指導將探討撰寫個人陳述和其他大學申請文書過程中所需要用到的語言。這份指導并不會教你具體寫什么內容,也不會告訴你什么具體內容會使你的潛在讀者眼前一亮,而是希望幫助你思考寫出這樣的好文章意味著什么,更重要的是,如何將你的寫作過程本身當做你在文書中想表達內容不可分割的一部分。

When you write, you are trying to communicate something, and to communicate it in a particular way. There are an infinite variety of ways to write, and we often don’t recognize the various ways language takes shape in our written words. Think about the differences between a quick email to a friend, a thirty page research paper, and a thank-you note to a distant relative. How do you approach writing in each of these cases? What aspects of your self are apparent in the ideas communicated, and how does your choice of words and the development of ideas shape each of these communications? What, indeed, does it mean to say that your “self” is present in every aspect of the language you use and the words you write on a page?

當你在寫作的時候,你是在嘗試著去溝通些什么,而且是用一種特定的方式溝通。這個世界上有成千上萬種不同的寫作方式,而我們通常也不會認識到語言在書面文字中的多種表現形式。試想一封給朋友的email,一篇30頁的論文,和一個寫給遠房親戚的感謝函。在這幾種情況下你將如何寫作呢?你的自我的哪些方面在你的溝通表達中會被展現出來,以及你的遣詞造句又是如何塑造,影響著這些溝通過程的?“你的自我在你遣詞造句的方方面面中體現”到底意味著什么?

Such questions have occupied many thinkers for many years, and you don’t need to resolve them with any one answer. You should, however, ponder these questions as you read the remainder of this guide, and as you write, read, and re-read your own application essays. This guide is by no means exhaustive – it attempts to raise a few key points in light of these questions, and hopes primarily to motivate your thinking about the importance of writing as such.

這些問題多年來一直困擾著很多思想家,你并不需要來給出答案來解決它們。但你應該在讀這份指導剩下的部分以及在你撰寫和閱讀修改你的申請文書時反復思考這些問題。這份指導并不是徹底全面的,它試圖提出一些關于這些問題的關鍵點,希望能夠鼓勵你去思考這樣寫作的重要性。

The Big Picture大局

When you start writing, you generally do not know exactly where you will end up. You may have an outline or notes about a theme, topic, or argument – but the actual words, as they build sentences and paragraphs and entire essays, flow onto the page without a huge consideration of what came before, and what will come next. This is similar to when you listen to someone, or read something for the first time.

當你開始寫作的時候,通常你并不會知道你具體會寫到什么地步。你也許會對主題,話題或者論點有一個大綱或草稿,但具體的文字在構成句子段落乃至整篇文章的時候,常常不顧前后地展開。這和當你第一次聽某人講話或者第一次閱讀某些東西的經歷是相似的。

When you craft an application essay or personal statement, you have a huge advantage over the reader: you know the big picture, the entire idea, the presentation of self that you ultimately hope to communicate. This knowledge of the big picture will itself come with time – as you first sit down to think about writing your essay, as you pause mid-sentence to think of a great adjective, and when you read your own essay for the first time. As you re-craft your essay towards the final draft, you should refine your writing with an awareness of the larger ideas you wish to invoke, while making apparent the sophistication, depth and creativity evident in your thinking, experience, and arguments. The advantage comes in that the more you begin to realize exactly what it is that you want to say, the more you can choose each word, revise each sentence, and develop each idea with an understanding of its larger purpose as a part of your essay.

當你撰寫一篇申請文書或者你的個人陳述時,你相比讀者有很大的優勢:你知道這篇文章的大局,整體思想,以及你最終想要通過文書向外界展示的自我。對大局的感知會隨著時間自然形成 - 當你坐下來思考你的寫作時,當你在寫完半句后停下來尋覓一個好的形容詞時,以及當你第一次閱讀自己的文書時。當你修改到接近終稿時,你應該帶著你希望表達的宏觀理念來完善你的文章,同時讓你的思考、經歷和論點的復雜性、深度和創造性能夠凸顯出來。這樣做的好處是,你越開始明確地意識到你希望說什么,你越能夠精心挑選每一個詞,修改每一句話,然后帶著大局觀來發展每一個想法,理解它們作為整個文書的一部分的意義。

Ideally, you will never explicitly have to say “what your essay is about,” or “who you are”: you are your writing, and it should be as alive, and as aware, reflective, and interesting as you are. With the big picture in mind, you’ll also be able to avoid marring your essay with slow or overly detailed narratives, and digressions that detract from the power of your ideas. You should also read a variety of published essays to get a sense of authors’ differing styles, and the ways they develop their larger points: you might look over some opinion pieces from The New York Times or essays in The New Yorker or Harper’s in light of this guide.

理想化地說,你永遠不需要非常直白地去介紹你的文書是“關于什么”或者“你是誰”。你的文字代表了你,你的文字應該和你本人一樣充滿活力,思考且有趣。當你已經有一個大局觀的時候,你將能夠成功地避免讓一些拖拉的,過分詳細的或是離題的文字毀掉你的文書。你應該讀大量的書面文章來感受作者們不同的寫作風格,以及他們構思大方向的不同方法:你可以根據這份指導看一下例如《紐約時報》的社論或者《紐約客》和《哈珀斯》中的一些短文。

To help with identifying the big picture, give your essay to another person, and ask: “does this sound like me?” (Do this even if your essay is not “about” you per se.) Additionally, ask them to tell you what your essay is about in one sentence. Is their response what you were hoping for?

為了更好地明確“大局觀”,你可以把你的文書交給別人閱讀,并且問問看這篇文章“像不像你”,(即使這篇文書不是關于你自己的也可以做么做)并且讓他們用一句話概括你的文書,看看答案是否和你期待的一樣。

Whatever you finally choose to write about, your most interesting, compelling and thoughtful work will be that which genuinely reflects your own self, how you think, and what you care about.

不管你最終選擇寫什么,只有能夠反映你真實的自我,你思考的方式,你所關心事物的文字,能夠成為你最有趣,最有說服力同時最有深度的作品。

Words用詞

Words constitute the basic building block of your essay. As such, you want to choose your materials wisely.

文章的基本構成單位是單詞。因此,要明智地挑選單詞。

Above all, work with what you know. Don’t try to be impressive by digging out the thesaurus at every turn or by trying to integrate into your essay dozens of those words you spent hours memorizing before taking the SATs. Nothing ruins a piece of writing like clumsy or improper word use: it makes you, and your entire essay, seem dishonest – and a reader never comes away from a piece of writing with a good feeling if they believe that they have been deceived. This is not to say that you can’t use big words or a sophisticated vocabulary; rather, you should use such words for their precision and effect as you try to communicate an idea most effectively. When in doubt, choose a word or set of words that feels most comfortable and which honestly reflects your own vocabulary and writing style.

最重要的一點就是,運用自己了解的單詞。不要動不動挖出一堆同義詞來試著打動考官,也不要把SAT考前死記硬背的詞硬塞進文章里。笨拙、不當的用詞最容易毀掉你的文章:它會讓你自己、還有你的整篇文章看上去很不誠實。一旦讀者認為自己被騙了,就絕不會對你的文章有好印象。這并不意味著不能使用大詞或高級詞匯;而是說,要為了更高效地表達觀點而使用這些更精確、有效的詞。拿不定主意的時候,就選擇你覺得最舒服、能夠如實反映你的詞匯量和寫作風格的某個或某組單詞。

Verbs動詞

Verbs are a particular kind of word or “type of speech.” Most basically, verbs communicate action. Verbs deserve their own separate heading apart from “words” because verbs are in general the most important type of word you will use in your essay, and you want to use them well. The verbs you choose will communicate what and how things happen in your essay: they are the motors which propel your writing from a simple collection of words to an active idea, experience, or personality that will come together and live in the mind of your reader. An essay with varied verb usage will also generally avoid the pitfall of being overly abstract: focus on who or what completes the action, rather than offering vague and generalizing reflections.

動詞是一種特殊的單詞或“表達方式”。一般情況下,我們用動詞來描述動作。動詞的重要性足以讓它像“單詞”一樣另起一個標題。因為總體而言,寫作中最重要的單詞就是動詞,必須用得恰到好處。動詞可以描述一件事情的內容和發生方式:他們就像馬達一樣,讓一篇文章從簡單的詞匯集合變成活靈活現的思想、經歷或人格,栩栩如生地匯聚到讀者腦海中。使用豐富的動詞,還能防止你將文章寫得過于抽象:你要關注的是什么人、什么事物讓這個動作圓滿完成,而不是模糊、寬泛的思考。

Rather than offer a hopelessly boring grammar lesson, here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about verbs in your essay. (You should, however, be careful to pay attention to grammar as it relates to verbs: things like subject-verb agreement, the use of infinitives, and how to recognize and generally avoid the passive voice are all things worth looking up in a dusty, old-fashioned grammar book.)

本書不會提供枯燥乏味的語法課,而是會給出以下建議。請牢記在心,從而在寫作中用好動詞。(不過,語法問題也要引起重視,因為涉及到動詞的用法:主謂一致、不定式的用法、識別和規避被動語態等知識點,都值得你靜下心來研讀語法書。)

Brain storm with verbs:  

Before you actually start to write, make a list of verbs that come to mind when you think most broadly about your self or your topic. Be open and varied, and try to list at least 100 verbs. The variety and thoughtfulness of the verbs you use to write your essay will directly shape the power it will have to communicate your ideas. Avoid repeating the same verb over and over again.

·動詞頭腦風暴:

動筆之前,先圍繞自身或眼前的話題發散性地思考,把腦中想到的動詞全部列出來。思維要開闊,詞匯要多樣,盡量列出至少100個動詞。動詞越是豐富多樣、深思熟慮,寫進文章里就越能有力地表達觀點。切忌反復使用同一個動詞。

• Strictly limit your use of the verb “to be” (am, are, is, was, were, been, etc.):  

Often times, “is” is the quickest way to get a sentence together.  However, if you focus on using a variety of verbs to characterize and describe action in your essay, the entire piece will be far more engaging.  “To be” also has the potential to be an extremely powerful verb, yet when it’s overused its force can get lost amongst other more functional appearances.  As a challenge to yourself, try to write an entire paragraph of your essay without once using “to be.”

·嚴格限制“to be”(包括am, are, is, was, were, been等等)的使用:

“Is”常常是連接句子的最快方式。但是,如果你可以運用各種不一樣的動詞來描述一個動作,體現動作的特征,可以讓整篇文章更加吸引人。“To be”本來可以成為一個非常有力的動詞 ,可是一旦被濫用,就失去原有的功能和力度。不妨挑戰一下自己,寫一個完全不含“to be”的段落。

• Pay attention to tense:  

Because you know the big picture, you understand how, when, and in what ways the topics and events in your essay need to be communicated in relationship to the time of your essay’s narrative. Organize your thoughts so that they unfold logically, making sure that at the very least, all the sentences in any given paragraph are written in the same tense. Tense also effects the way a reader hears and thinks about ideas, so pay attention to whether or not you are speaking in the past, present, or future tense – and try to think about how the parts of your essay written in different tenses relate to each other and play a role in building your larger ideas.

·注意時態:

因為你對全局是有把握的。敘述每個話題、事件的時候,你知道該用怎樣的形式、時態、手段來讓它們與整篇文章的時態協調。組織好觀點,有邏輯性地展開敘述。至少在每個段落內部,所有句子的時態要一致。時態也會影響到讀者對文中觀點的接收和認知方式,所以務必要注意,究竟該用過去時、現在時還是將來時。然后,仔細揣摩你用不同時態寫出來的各個部分,看它們彼此間有何聯系,對表達中心思想起到什么作用。

SENTENCES句子

Sentences comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You should use different types of sentences to effect the ways in which you communicate, keeping in mind that sentences need to flow together coherently to communicate the ideas of your essay. Try to keep the following in mind as you revise and rework you essay:

句子的形態和長短各異。為了高效地表達觀點,應當運用多種句型,句子之間也必須嚴密、連貫。對自己的文書進行修改和改寫時,請記住以下幾點:

• Make it short:

Often times long, drawn out and unnecessarily exhaustive sentences are mistaken as a sign of erudition. Big sentences usually end up just confusing readers, and important points or great thoughts are lost in the clutter of word after word after word. As a general rule of thumb, the importance or complexity of an idea should be inversely related to the length of the sentence in which it makes its appearance. Use multiple sentences to build big ideas or create a detailed picture. Short, crisp sentences can be extremely powerful, and will stay with a reader as they continue through your essay.

·長話短說:

人們讀到冗長無比、廢話連篇的句子時,經常誤以為這是博學的象征 。其實長句只會讓讀者摸不著頭腦,啰里啰嗦只會埋沒掉重要的論點與杰出的思想。通常的經驗法則是,越是重要、復雜的觀點,越是要用短小的句子去表述。闡述重大觀點和描繪細節時,應該多用短句。簡潔的短句其實可以非常有力,讓人讀完后文也不會忘記前文。

• Vary sentence structure:

Be aware of the types of sentences that you are using.  Try not to overwhelm your reader with one big sentence after another, or bore them with consecutive and unrelated tidbits.  If you are writing a list, try to avoid including more than three or five items; don’t put lists in the middle of a sentence or have a long list as the beginning or end of an otherwise long sentence.  As an exercise, you might take your entire essay and write out every sentence with two or three blank lines between each and see how it looks.  Also, you might map out a given paragraph in terms of how it is constructed based on the first, middle, and last sentences.

·豐富句子結構:

培養句型句式的意識。既不能用一連串長句把讀者弄暈,也不能用連續的片言碎語讓讀者無聊透頂。羅列清單的時候,盡量不要超過3~5點。切忌把清單放在句中,或者把很長的清單放在長句的開頭和結尾。練習的時候,可以把一篇文章拆開,在每一句之間留出兩三條空行,看看結果會如何。你也可以找一個段落來推敲結構,看它的首句、中間句、末尾句是如何組織起來的。

• Be aware of sentence constructions:

Beyond run-on sentences, you should also respect subject- verb agreement, pronoun usage, and other basic grammatical conventions. Don’t get excited with multiple or dependent clauses, and use commas appropriately. Only use semi-colons if you normally use them in your writing and you understand their function. Dashes, colons, parenthesis, and other sorts of sentence- and line-breaks should be used sparingly and for particular effect. Write with dialogue only if you are comfortable doing so. Quote correctly. (Give citations whenever appropriate.)

·注意句子構成:

寫句子的時候除了詞意連貫,還要注意主謂一致、代詞的用法等語法規則。使用復句、從句時務必保持冷靜,恰當地使用逗號。除非你經常使用分號而且對它的功能十分了解,否則不要擅用分號。通過連字符、冒號、括號等符號進行分行、分句時,應當恰到好處,不可濫用。不要刻意采用對話體,除非你寫得很順手。引用時注意不要出錯。(只要時機恰當,就可以插入引文。)

STYLE AND REVISION文章風格與修改方式

Your essay should come to life over the course of a series of revisions, with each re-read helping you to identify and refine the “big idea” that you hope will remain with your reader when they finish your essay. Don’t be afraid to shift the style of your essay to better fit the content you wish to include, and vice-versa. The ultimate goal will be having successfully manipulated the challenging, contradictory and often defiant tool that is language to create an essay that expresses the fullest potential of your ideas and your self. Here are some final thoughts about brining your essay to completion:

經過一系列的修改,你的文書應該能頗具神采。每一次重讀,都能幫助你辨認和界定“中心思想”——就是你希望讀者讀完全文后能記住的內容。只要能與你想寫的內容更加契合,就不必害怕變換寫作風格。反之亦然。語言作為一種工具,不僅充滿了挑戰性和重重矛盾,往往還很棘手。寫作的最終目標,就是成功地操縱這個工具,寫出一篇能充分表達你自己的文章,盡情展示你和你的想法中所蘊含的潛力。以下幾條箴言,能讓你的作文至臻完善:

• Read your essay aloud:  

Hearing your own essay is a great way to identify confusing, unclear or awkward areas in your writing. It’s especially helpful to read your own writing aloud while someone else listens, and to have someone read your essay to you. This will help identify more style-type revisions like flow, coherence and sound that can be tweaked to turn a good essay into a stellar one.

·出聲朗讀:

親耳聽聽自己的文章,可以非常有效地識別出文中有歧義、模糊不清、或者別扭的地方。如果有別人在旁邊聽著,那出聲朗讀就更有幫助了。你還可以請別人把你的文章讀給你聽,這樣有助于你做些文風方面的修改——像語流、連貫性、語音等等,只需稍加改動,就能把一篇好文變成神作。

• Take a break:

You can often become too familiar and too confident with what you have written simply because you’ve read the same thing over and over again. Put your essay away for a few days or even a week, and then come back to what you have written.

·放松一下:

對于自己寫下的內容,你往往會太過熟悉和自信。因為你已經把相同的東西讀了一遍又一遍。不妨把自己的文章丟在一旁,幾天甚至一周后再回過來讀一讀。

• Be economical in your writing:

Your essay is not meant to be a re-writing of War and Peace, and precise, concise, and clear writing will distinguish your essay far beyond any attempt at “saying everything.” Always make sure that each sentence and the essay as a whole works to portray a coherent, organized and understandable “big picture.” Recognize that admission or scholarship review committees will probably be reading hundreds if not thousands of essays, and strive for an essay that invigorates rather than exhausts.

·用字經濟:

你的文章不需要寫成《戰爭與和平》一樣的鴻篇巨制。與其“事無巨細”,不如寫得精準、簡潔、清晰,這樣反而能脫穎而出。永遠要注意:每句話、以及整篇文章都是為了表現一個連貫、有條理、通俗易懂的“大方向”。要知道,招生辦或者獎學金評定委員會很可能要讀上百乃至上千篇文章。所以你寫的文章要令讀者神清氣爽,而不是勞神費力。

• Be yourself:  

If you’re funny, don’t be afraid to be humorous. If you’re witty, let that come through. Yet don’t bury yourself in humor or wit, and use literary techniques like metaphor, simile, allusion, alliteration, foreshadowing, etc., with caution. As important as sophisticated writing is to your essay, language use is always just a tool and not the true point of this type of writing exercise. Believe in the self that comes to be reflected in your final essay, and enjoy having taken the time to share your thoughts, ideas and creativity with others. While daunting, writing an application essay should ideally be a rewarding experience: if things seem too overwhelming or foreign, take a moment to ground yourself, and the entire process, in a space and context in which you feel comfortable.

·做你自己:

如果你是個有趣的人,不妨表現得幽默一點。如果你非常風趣詼諧,那就把這方面展示出來。當然,也別通篇都是幽默詼諧。使用隱喻、比喻、典故、頭韻、鋪墊等文學技巧時,務必謹慎。寫作自然需要深思熟慮,但同樣重要的一點是:語言永遠只是個工具,并不代表這類寫作題真正的意義。要相信你在文中展現出來的自我,享受這段與他人分享思想、理念和創造力的時光。申請文書雖然令人望而生畏,但最好把它當做一段回報豐厚的經歷:如果你覺得文書太難寫或者太陌生,不妨花點時間讓自己回歸一下現實生活,熟悉下整個申請過程,找一種讓自己覺得舒服的空間和環境。

最新評論

評論內容:

驗證碼:
驗證碼

911国产在线观看无码专区