by 小皮 · 2016-04-01




Be careful of using words that have a negative meaning in American English. The word “propaganda,” for example, means something like “government-controlled brainwashing” in the US. (Your best choice is to use the words “marketing” or“publicity” if you want to indicate that you organized a campaign to raise awareness of a certain problem.) 

Likewise, in the US we do not use the words“cripple” and “retarded”; we use “handicapped” (or even better, “disabled”) and“developmentally disabled” or “mentally challenged.” We don’t call old people“old people”—we call them “elders” or “the elderly.” And we prefer “businessperson” or “business professional” to “businessman.” 

慎用美式英语中一些含有否定意义的词汇。例如,“propaganda” 这个词在美国就有点“政府洗脑式”的宣传的意思了。(如果你想要表达你发起一项运动来提高人们对于某一问题的认识的话,最好选用“marketing”或 是“publicity”。)同样的,在美国,我们也不会用“cripple”或者是“retarded”之类的词,取而代之的是 “handicapped”(disabled更好)以及 “developmentally disabled”或“mentally disabled”。我们在称呼老人时也不直接用“old people”,而是用“elders”或是“the elderly”。我们也不经常用“businessman”,而是用“businessperson”或“business professional ”。


Vary the length of the sentences in your essay. If you have written several long sentences in a row, insert a short sentence to give the reader a break. Variety in your sentences will make your essay easier to read (and thus more memorable). 

It also demonstrates that you have a superior command of the English language. And don’t be afraid of including a one-sentence paragraph. Aone-sentence paragraph (especially at the beginning or end of your essay) will be very dramatic and grab the reader’s attention. 

变换句子的长短。如果你已经连续用 了几个长句,那么插入一个短句能给读者一个停顿的时间。句式多样化能够使你的短文更容易懂,因而也更容易让人记住。这样的句式变换也证明你的英语语言掌握 的比较好。同时不要害怕运用一句式段落。一句式段落,(尤其是在短文的开头结尾)会很出彩,也会吸引读者的注意力。


If English is your second language,don’t try to make it hard on yourself by writing really long sentences and using large vocabulary words. (Don’t say “internationalization”; just say“international.” 

Why use “metropolis” when you can just use “city”?) Remember that the readers are not hoping to be impressed by your vocabulary—they want tobe impressed by your story. 

如果英语是你的第二语言,那么不要试图费力地运用一些特别长的句子或者特别大的词汇。(不要用 “internationalization”,用“international”就好了。另外,如果你可以用“city”,为什么要用 “metropolis”呢?)记住,读者并不希望被你的词汇打动,而是被你的故事所打动。


If you are applying to graduate school, your personal statement will need to include detailed evidence of your research. For example, if you are applying toa graduate program in biology, your PS should include specific deions of experiences you have had, such as research projects, internships, work in biological laboratories, and such. 

The other key elements for graduate study applications are what you want to study, the field you are interested in, the background you have, why you have chosen this particular program, and your plans after graduation. 

如 果你正在申请研究生院校,那么你的个人简历就需要包括你研究项目的一些详细的说明。例如,如果你正在申请生物专业的研究生项目,那么你的个人简历就需要对 你的研究经历进行详细的描述,比如你的研究项目,实习经历,以及在生物实验这方面的工作等等。研究生学习申请的其他的一些关键因素还包括:你想要研究什 么,你对哪一个领域感兴趣,你的个人背景,选择这一研究项目的原因以及毕业后的打算。


Avoid using inappropriate reasons for why a particular college is attractive to you. (I have actually seen essays where the applicant described how much he “loved” the University of Chicago and wanted to date her, and another where the applicant wrote that NYU was attractive because she just loved the color purple on theNYU website.) You must read the website carefully to discover specific programs, activities, curricula, distinguished professors (and the like) that you can point to and say, “THIS is why I want to go to University X.” 

在 说明某所大学为何对你有吸引力时,避免运用一些不恰当的理由。(曾经看过申请者在短文中描述自己是如何如何热爱芝加哥大学,并想要和它约会的,而另一个人 则在短文中说纽约大学吸引她仅仅是因为她喜欢纽约大学网站上的紫色)。你必须仔细浏览学校官方网站,以便发现一些具体的项目、活动、课程,以及著名的教 授,诸如此类的,然后你就可以在短文中指出这就是你想要去XX大学的原因。


Do not tell the school how good it is. “I want to attend the prestigiousUniversity X because it is a top US college with an international reputation,”just sounds insincere. 



Catch the reader’s attention in the first sentence of your essay by writing something dramatic or humorous. In one excellent essay I read, the applicant (hoping to major in entomology), wrote this: “Ahhhh! There are bugs in the shampoo!"Doesn't that make you want to read more? (He then went on to describe how his mother had found one of his “science experiments” involving insects, and how experiences like this made him want to study entomology.) 

在短文的 开头写一些富有戏剧性的或者是幽默的东西,以吸引读者的眼球。曾有一篇优秀的短文,申请人想要修昆虫学专业,开头他是这样写的:“啊,洗发露里竟然有虫 子!读完,难道你不会想要继续读下去吗?(接下来他又描述了他的母亲如何发现了他的一次昆虫“科学实验”,以及这些经历是怎样使他最终想要研究昆虫学 的。)


If you start with a story, you can end with some reference to the same story. (Our entomology student, for example, could then mention his mother’s shock again in his last paragraph.) 



Well-chosen quotations can add powerful credibility to your essay. All you need to do is decide what the key concept of your essay is (such as strength, honor, or patience)and then use the internet to find quotations that use any of these keywords.The best quotations come from persons who are well-known to both Chinese and American readers, and they must be admirable persons. (Past American and Chinese presidents are good examples.) The quote should be short, about one powerful sentence in length. Including a striking quotation in your essay is particularly persuasive if you are applying to a humanities program or want to be an English major, as it demonstrates the breadth of your reading. 

恰 当的引用能够大大增强文章的可信度。而你需要做的就是选定你的文章所要表达的关键点,(比如说个人特长,获得的荣誉,或者是参加的实践活动等等),然后再 根据这些关键词在网上搜索有关这方面的引文。最好的引文是出自那些在中国和美国读者中都比较有名并且令人敬佩的人。(前任美国总统,中国主席这些都是比较 好的例子。)引文最好简短有力,大概一句那么长。如果你想要申请人文学科项目或者是想要学英语专业,那么这样漂亮的引文会使文章非常有说服力的,因为这样 的引用可以证明你阅读广泛。


Your purpose in writing your essay is to come across as a unique individual, one who stands out from all the other applicants and one whose writing style is lively, fresh, and different. For undergraduate essays, the personal details of your life and the struggles you have had to overcome will make good stories. Good stories are memorable. You don’t have to be a perfect person; indeed, it may be that any “flaws” you have will convince the reader that you are a muti-faceted person who learns from your mistakes. These flaws don’t have to be terrible:You can describe the time that you made complete a fool of yourself before your friends. (Americans call this the “My most embarrassing moment” essay.) Then tell the reader what you learned from this experience. 

你 的写作目的是为了突出你是一个独特的个体,一个在众多申请者中脱颖而出的人,而你的写作风格也应是生动活泼,新颖清新,与众不同的。对于本科生的文书写作 来说,你的个人的生活经历以及奋斗历程都会成为比较好的故事素材。好的故事一定是令人印象深刻的。当然你不必是一个非常完美的人,相反恰恰是这些缺点会使 读者相信你是多面的,你是能够从错误中吸取教训的。这些缺点不必是一些特别严重的:你可以描述你在朋友面前出糗的一次经历(美国称这类的文章为“我最尴尬 时刻”类文章)。然后再告诉读者你从这次经历中学到了什么。


Always try to make your writing as “concrete” as possible, meaning that you provide specific examples (or stories) to support your main points. Instead of just writing, for example, “I spent two months doing chemistry research,” describe the nature of that research, what process you used, and what it taught you. Depth is more important than breadth. 

The reader will be more impressed by specific details about ONE of your experiences then a list of twenty experiences. (Save the list of experiences for your resume.) 

尽可能使你的文章具体一些,这就意味着你要提供一些具体的事例或故事来支撑你的主要观点。例如,不要只是写“我 做过两个月的化学研究”,而是应该详细地描述一下这次研究的性质,采用的方法,以及你收获了什么。文章的深度比广度更重要。比起罗列一堆你的个人经历,你 的某一次经历中的一些细节更能打动读者(你可以把这些经历用在简历上)。


It is perfectly all right to describe your particular religion in an undergraduate essay. Readers in the US come from many different religious backgrounds and the admission officers will most likely be broad-minded and tolerant. The main thing is not to try and “convert” the reader—you simply want to show how being a Buddhist (or a Catholic, or a Christian, or whatever) has had a profound impact on your life. 




A reference letter (or letter of recommendation) should be no longer than one page. The basic format for the first paragraph is to state how long you have known the student and what general attributes this student exhibits (knowledgeable, dedicated, persistent,etc.) that make you honored/delighted/proud to recommend him or her. Each body paragraph should describe in detail each of the general attributes you mentioned in the first paragraph. The last paragraph then simply concludes with something like, “I believe that student so-and-so will be an asset to your esteemed institution and thus I give her my highest recommendation. If you have any questions, please contact me.” 

一封推荐信最好不要超过一页。第一段的基本格式是陈述一下你和学生认识多久了,他身上大体是哪些品质(是知识渊 博,还是专注投入,还是坚持不懈等这些)使你对于能够推荐他深感骄傲自豪。接下来的每一段就要详细地陈述你第一段中提到的他的那些品质了。最后一段就可以 简单地总结一下,你可以这样说,“基于学生的这些表现我相信该学生一定会为贵学校做出贡献,这也是我极力推荐他的原因。如果您有什么问题请及时联系我。” 


Avoid describing any of the student’s physical attributes. Readers in the US become very uncomfortable when they read that the applicant is “a lovely young girl” or a“strong handsome boy. (Admission officers are not allowed to evaluate you based on what you look like.) 



Do not include negative information in a letter of recommendation. Describe only the applicant’s successes, not failures. 



Resumes need to be very clean, clear, simple, and elegant. Do not include fancy fonts or distracting wingdings for bullets. Be sure that your main headings stand out from the text by putting them in bold, or italics, or a larger font size. You want whoever reads your resume to be impressed by your achievements and accomplishments, not by your graphic design abilities.