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GOOD ENGLISH IS GOOD BUSINESS

Personal Essays

If I had more time I would have written less. – Mark Twain

Four-year schools want to know what makes students tick. If no maximum word length is specified, the old adage applies: Give a man enough rope and he’ll hang himself.

 To help candidates craft unique essays I bring the following experience:

  • Ten years’ experience strategizing, developing, and editing personal essays required for four-year institutions
  • Twenty years’ experience teaching high school English
  • Forty years’ experience reading and grading high school and university frosh compositions and research papers
  • Five years’ experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)

In some cases, non-native-English-speaking (NNES) writers compose better personal statements than native-English-speaking (NES) writers. In the following examples, did the NNES student from India have a better elementary-level education in English than the NES students from the United States? Do NNES students pay more attention in class and study more on their own than NES students? Such questions have no one-size-fits-all answers.

But one thing is sure: Adcom reads hundreds and thousands of personal statements. Therefore, Twain’s wisdom applies. Time spent with a good editor is time well spent.

Original

Revised

 

Lack of education is the root of poverty. Education provides individuals with abilities to analyze situations and seek opportunities. I come from a small village, where the majority is un-educated, and for generations they have not tried new things. I have realized that educational infrastructure and policies are very crucial for the country’s advancement in socio-economic development. My village is a place of about 5000 people, with only a primary school (till 7th Standard). I myself studied at a school from a nearby village. Many children drop out of schools, especially girls, because of the lack of this basic infrastructure. Being the only graduate engineer from the place, I am the role model for the small place and I consider it as my duty to help these people. 128 words

Lack of education is the root of poverty. I come from a small village of 5,000, with primary school only until the seventh standard. Many children, especially girls, drop out of school because of the lack of basic educational infrastructure and policies crucial to the country’s socioeconomic advancement. Education enables people to analyze situations and seek opportunities. As the only graduate engineer and as a role model from my village, I consider it my duty to help my hometown. 79 words

 

It was a like an usual Monday morning in the school. The day began with a History lecture.  I was looking forward to the sports class after the recess. As the bell rang for the sports period, all of us were excited to go out to the playing ground. Just then our vice-principal entered the class to make an announcement. She was a picture of terror for most of the students. As she gave the announcement we came to know that our school was taking part in inter-school class 10th debate competition. My friend was a regular member of the debate team. School was looking for another boy from class 10th, as the other regular member of the team was from class 11th. I was listening the whole announcement with a very little interest, just then my friend  dropped a bombshell by suggesting my name for the debate team. I had a fair reputation in representing the school in quizzes, but standing in front of an audience and delivering could be the last thing I could do. Before I could react to the whole situation, my name was included in the team. 192 words

As the bell rang for the long-anticipated sports period, our class fell silent when the vice principal entered the room. She was a picture of terror for most of the students. I was listening to her announcement about our school taking part in inter-school tenth-grade debate competition with very little interest until my friend, a regular member of the debate team, dropped a bombshell by suggesting my name as the other tenth-grade boy needed. I had a fair reputation in representing the school in quizzes, but standing in front of an audience and delivering was the last thing I could do! Before I could react, my name was included on the team. 112 words

 

I first encountered conflict between diverse individuals while on the varsity football team at S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook. The team included eighty-nine teammates from various environments such as the city, suburbs, and different countries. We quickly realized that different regions taught various systems, which caused our views to conflict. For example, my teammates from the suburbs had a more conservative philosophy. They were taught to run the football. In contrast, my teammates from the city were more aggressive as they were taught to throw the football. Conflicts arose as we worked hard to learn and adjust to each other’s styles. 100 words

The S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook varsity football team consisted of eighty-nine diverse individuals from different cities, suburbs, and countries. We quickly realized that different regions taught various systems that brought our views into conflict. For example, teammates from the suburbs were taught to run the football while those from the city were taught to throw it. Conflicts arose as we worked hard to learn and adjust to each other’s styles. 70 words

 

 

 

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