OffChina留学网 申请指南 2021《纽约时报》年度最佳大学申请文书解读,被名校录取的文书长啥样?艺术类文书该怎么写?

2021《纽约时报》年度最佳大学申请文书解读,被名校录取的文书长啥样?艺术类文书该怎么写?

高考作文题一经公布后,就引起哗然一片。当然大家讨论的点都是:难。对于体制内的学生而言,高考作文占分较大,极大程度上影响整门语文考试成绩,以至影响最终的高考录取,可谓“一文定终身”。

而体制外与高考作文对应的就是留学申请中的大头:申请文书了。CA文书的发挥好坏,也直接影响录取与否,和高考作文有异曲同工之处。

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纵观高考作文与美国大学申请文书

最大的区别就是:

  • 高考作文:考场才能看到题目,创作时间有限制;
  • 申请文书:完全公开的题目,并且大部分是多年使用,创作时间不限,但需要言之有物,长期规划。

最近,《纽约时报》最佳大学申请文书发布。连续 9 年,《纽约时报》在每年申请季后,都会邀请当年的申请者们分享自己成功录取的文书,并且评选出最优秀的文书公开发表。这些文书话题五花八门,很多会涉及金钱、工作,或社会阶层。

如果说高考作文是一次临阵磨枪的过程,需要实力与运气并存。那么留学文书能否通过一些好的技巧和方式,长期时间准备后,一举拿下呢?

#01 优秀的文书有哪些特质?

申请美国大学,尤其是TOP院校申请,录取率不到10%,很多学生不知道为什么有人会被录取,有人却被拒之门外。除了硬性条件,文书是最重要的一个“软实力展现”。

那么,好的文书应该怎么写?

我们来看两篇优秀文书案例:

文书一:

作者:Zoya Garg

New York — Bronx High School of Science

My mom finds a baffling delight from drinking from glass, hotel-grade water dispensers. Even when three-day-old lemon rinds float in stale water, drinking from the dispenser remains luxurious. Last year for her birthday, I saved enough to buy a water dispenser for our kitchen counter. However, instead of water, I filled it with handwritten notes encouraging her to chase her dreams of a career.(立意鲜明,取材于生活)

As I grew older, I noticed that my mom yearned to pursue her passions and to make her own money. She spent years as a stay-at-home mom and limited our household chores as much as she could, taking the burden upon herself so that my brothers and I could focus on our education. However, I could tell from her curiosity of and attitudes toward working women that she envied their financial freedom and the self-esteem that must come with it.(善于观察生活,并进行总结) When I asked her about working again, she would tell me to focus on achieving the American dream that I knew she had once dreamed for herself.

For years, I watched her effortlessly light up conversations with both strangers and family. Her empathy and ability to understand the needs, wants and struggles of a diverse group of people empowered her to reach the hearts of every person at a dinner table, even when the story itself did not apply to them at all. She could make anyone laugh, and I wanted her to be paid for it. “Mom, have you ever thought about being a stand-up comedian?”

She laughed at the idea, but then she started wondering aloud about what she would joke about and how comedy shows were booked. As she began dreaming of a comedy career, the reality of her current life as a stay-at-home mom sank in. She began to cry and told me it was too late for her. I could not bear to watch her struggle between ambition and doubt.

Her birthday was coming up. Although I had already bought her a present, I realized what I actually wanted to give her was the strength to finally put herself first and to take a chance. I placed little notes of encouragement inside the water dispenser. I asked my family and her closest friends to do the same. These friends told her other friends, and eventually I had grown a network of supporters who emailed me their admiration for my mom. From these emails, I hand wrote 146 notes, crediting all of these supporters that also believed in my mom. Some provided me with sentences, others with five-paragraph-long essays. Yet, each note was an iteration of the same sentiment: “You are hilarious, full of life, and ready to take on the stage.”

On the day of her birthday, my mom unwrapped my oddly shaped present and saw the water dispenser I bought her. She was not surprised, as she had hinted at it for many years. But then as she kept unwrapping, she saw that inside the dispenser there were these little notes that filled the whole thing. As she kept picking out and reading the notes, I could tell she was starting to believe what they said. She started to weep with her hands full of notes. She could not believe the support was real, that everyone knew she had a special gift and believed in her.(适当且细腻的描绘,容易让招生官产生共情)

Within two months, my mom performed her first set in a New York comedy club. Within a year, my mom booked a monthly headlining show at the nation’s premier comedy club.

I am not sure what happened to the water dispenser. But I have read the notes with my mom countless times. They are framed and line the walls of her new office space that she rented with the profits she made from working as a professional comedian. For many parents, their children’s careers are their greatest accomplishment, but for me my mom’s is mine.

翻译:

我妈妈发现从酒店级的玻璃饮水机上喝水有一种莫名其妙的快乐。即使是三天前的柠檬皮漂浮在陈旧的水中,用饮水机喝水仍然很奢侈。去年她生日时,我攒够了钱,为我们的厨房柜台买了一台饮水机。然而,我在里面装的不是水,而是手写的纸条,鼓励她追逐自己的职业梦想。

随着我年龄的增长,我注意到我妈妈渴望追求她的激情,渴望自己赚钱。她花了好几年时间做家庭主妇,尽可能地限制我们的家务,把负担压在自己身上,以便我和我的兄弟可以专注于我们的学业。然而,我可以从她对职业妇女的好奇心和态度中看出,她羡慕她们的财务自由和随之而来的自尊。当我问她关于再次工作的问题时,她会告诉我专注于实现美国梦,我知道她曾经这样梦想过。

多年来,我看到她毫不费力地点燃了与陌生人和家人的谈话。她的同情心和理解不同人群的需求、愿望和困难的能力使她能够触及餐桌上每个人的心灵。她能让任何人发笑,而我希望她能因此得到报酬。"妈妈,你有没有想过做一名脱口秀演员?"

她一听就笑了,但随后她开始大声想知道她会在舞台上开什么玩笑,以及喜剧节目是如何展开的。当她开始梦想着喜剧生涯时,她目前作为家庭主妇的生活的现实也随之沉沦。她开始哭泣,告诉我对她来说已经太晚了。我不忍心看着她在野心和怀疑之间挣扎。

她的生日快到了。虽然我已经给她买了礼物,但我意识到我实际上想给她的是最终把自己放在第一位并抓住机会的力量。我在饮水机内放置了鼓励的小纸条。我要求我的家人和她最亲密的朋友也这样做。这些朋友告诉了她的其他朋友,最终我建立了一个支持者网络,他们通过电子邮件向我表达了对我母亲的钦佩。从这些电子邮件中,我手写了146份小纸条,归功于所有这些同样相信我妈妈的支持者。有些人向我提供了一些句子,有些人提供了长达五段的文章。然而,每张纸条都是同一种情感的迭加。"你很搞笑,充满生机,已经准备好登上舞台了"。

在她生日的那天,我妈妈拆开了我形状古怪的礼物,看到了我给她买的饮水机。她并不感到惊讶,因为她已经暗示了很多年了。但是,当她继续拆开包装时,她看到饮水机里面有这些小纸条,填满了整个东西。当她不断挑出并阅读这些纸条时,我可以看出她开始相信这些纸条所说的内容。她开始流泪,手里拿满了纸条。她不相信这些支持是真的,不相信每个人都知道她有特殊的天赋并相信她。

两个月内,我妈妈在纽约一家喜剧俱乐部表演了她的第一场演出。一年之内,我妈妈在全国首屈一指的喜剧俱乐部订下了每月一次的演出。

我不清楚饮水机发生了什么。但我已经和我妈妈一起读了无数次这些笔记。它们被裱起来,在她的新办公场所的墙上挂着,那是她用做职业喜剧演员的利润租来的。对许多父母来说,他们孩子的事业是他们最大的成就,但对我来说,我妈妈的事业就是我的。

亮点内容

Excellent Parts

1. 选材于生活。

比起跌宕起伏的剧情,大跌眼镜的反转,取材于生活,会因为足够真实而让招生官留下好的印象。

2. 擅用生活中的“小装置”,赋予其一定意义和价值,从而产生美好的化学反应。

“饮水机”中放入鼓舞人心的小纸条,看似简单的做法却饱含作为孩子对母亲的一片心意,且很好地照顾到母亲的自尊心,非常细腻真挚的情感表达。

3. 强调过程而非结果。

本文通篇以母亲的感受为串联,体现的是孩子帮助母亲找回梦想的过程。很好地体现学生本人的影响力,共情力,创新力,情感输出强烈,注重的是过程而非结果。

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图源New York Times

文书二:

来源:Emory Admission

网址:

https://blog.emoryadmission.com/2020/08/write-about-what-interests-you/

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题目:Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.

I found solace in poetry. Well, poetry recitation more precisely. Unconsciously, I have straddled a divide my whole life. My parents are immigrants, and when I started school, my parents and my peers made me aware of my differences. Unlike some of my peers, I had to act a certain way or prove I was capable of accomplishment to achieve greater opportunities. Naturally, I acclimated to my environment: I made friends with the white kids who hardly got in trouble, even though I looked different; I read and spoke exclusively English, even though Spanish came more naturally; at playtime, I would always make-believe that I married the princess, even though I would have liked just as much to have married a prince. I mastered the art of code-switching.(非常幽默且艺术的表达方式,是全文 的一抹亮色) In my mind, my vitality and my capacity to succeed in Not-Quite-Rural-But-Still-Agricultural Georgia hinged upon my presentation of palatability to my peers. Even still, I constantly obsess over my peers’ perceptions of me. Do I come off as too arrogant? Too overly-intellectual? Too “colorful”? Too silly and groundless? I work tirelessly to adjust for these possibilities.

Early on, I gravitated toward poetry as a medium for expression. Each day, I adjusted myself more and more to fit the expectations which infused my small southern town. In public, though outwardly approachable, I critically analyzed each move I made and word I spoke. In the literary arts, however, I could see things the way others saw them and identify myself with language that spoke directly to my experiences. In school, I was careful to never appear too Hispanic for fear of succumbing to a stereotype of being under-educated or uninformed; at home, never too flamboyant, lest my parents become suspicious that something is awry; always, never too outside-the-norm. In poetry though, I could become Oscar Wilde and Maya Angelou, taking on their plights and their triumphs. I could escape into Neruda’s wistfulness or Hughes’ sentimentality. I could, for a brief period, remove myself from my own reality, rife with incessant existential questioning, and place myself in another, divining from the diction and structure a sort of psychoanalysis to be applied to my conscientious understanding of human interaction.

When I was first assigned a poetry recitation in American Literature, I didn’t realize it would change my outlook forever. Eagerly, I seized the opportunity to express myself openly through poetry. Having shied away from theatre for fear of being categorized or negatively conceived, I readily accepted the challenge to explore my emotional and performative range.(兴趣带给自己的改变,可能一开始只是想法的转变,却能带动之后一系列的变化) The recitation competition called Poetry Out Loud asks students to memorize poems and recite them in such a way which reveals their deeper meanings. I felt ready. I got to the regional-level competition during sophomore year, and my elation and excitement about the mere existence of this program resulted in my pursuant interest. At last, I found a medium, a wide-reaching community of support through which I might finally come to understand the purposes and effects of my struggles. Poetry allowed me to truly observe the wires in which we entangle ourselves and cemented the idea that I had for so long ignored: everyone shares struggles, be they large or small, and life is a quest to overcome them.

With junior year came the guidance of incredible and supportive mentors that led me to that stage in Washington, D.C. where I won third place nationally in the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition. I had never felt so accomplished and bursting with resolution. To myself, even if to no one else, I proclaimed resolutely that I am Latino, I am bisexual, I am unafraid, and I am intellectually charged with finding how best to help others who have faced doubts similar to those I had. Surrounded by the diversity and fiery passion of fellow solace-seekers, I began to undo the ties in which I’d confined myself.

翻译:

我在诗歌中找到了慰藉。嗯,说是诗歌朗诵更准确。不知不觉,我的一生都跨越了一道鸿沟。我的父母是移民,当我开始上学时,我的父母和同龄人让我意识到了我的差异。与我的一些同龄人不同,我必须以某种方式行事或证明我有能力获得更大的机会。我自然而然地适应了我的环境:我和那些几乎不会惹上麻烦的白人孩子交了朋友,尽管我看起来不一样;我只阅读和说英语,尽管西班牙语更自然。在玩耍的时候,我总是假装我嫁给了公主,尽管我也很想嫁给王子。我掌握了代码转换的艺术。在我脑海里,我的活力和我在不完全农村但仍然农业的佐治亚州取得成功的能力取决于我向同龄人展示可口性。即便如此,我还是一直在纠结于同龄人对我的看法。我是不是太自大了?过于理智?太“五彩”?太愚蠢和没有根据?我不知疲倦地工作以适应这些可能性。

早期,我倾向于将诗歌作为表达的媒介。每一天,我都在不断调整自己,以适应注入我南方小镇的期望。在公开场合,虽然外表平易近人,但我批判性地分析了我所做的每一个动作和我所说的话。然而,在文学艺术中,我可以以其他人看待事物的方式看待事物,并以直接与我的经历对话的语言来认同自己。在学校里,我小心翼翼地不要显得过于西班牙裔,因为我害怕屈服于教育不足或不知情的刻板印象;在家里,永远不要太张扬,以免我父母怀疑有什么不对劲;永远,永远不要太超出常规。不过,在诗歌中,我可以成为奥斯卡·王尔德和玛雅·安杰洛,承担他们的困境和胜利。我可以逃脱聂鲁达的渴望或休斯的多愁善感。我可以。

当我第一次被分配到美国文学中的诗歌朗诵时,我没有意识到它会永远改变我的看法。我急切地抓住机会通过诗歌公开表达自己。由于害怕被归类或负面设想而避开戏剧,我欣然接受了探索我的情感和表演范围的挑战。朗诵比赛名为 Poetry Out Loud,要求学生背诵诗歌,并以能够揭示其深层含义的方式进行背诵。我觉得准备好了。我在大二的时候参加了地区级的比赛,我对这个项目的存在感到高兴和兴奋,这引起了我的兴趣。最后,我找到了一个媒介,一个影响广泛的支持社区,通过它我最终可能会了解我的斗争的目的和影响。

大三那年,在令人难以置信和支持性的导师的指导下,我登上了华盛顿特区的那个阶段,在那里我在大声朗诵诗歌朗诵比赛中获得了全国第三名。我从未感到如此有成就感和决心。对我自己,即使对任何人,我都坚定地宣称我是拉丁裔,我是双性恋,我无所畏惧,并且我在理智上负责寻找如何最好地帮助那些面临与我类似的疑问的人。在寻求慰藉的同胞的多样性和炽热热情的包围下,我开始解开束缚自己的纽带。

亮点内容:

1. 从兴趣爱好入手。

兴趣是永远的启蒙老师,诗歌是改变学生的源动力,且学生将这种改变描绘地非常详尽,具体,不仅仅是精神层面的升华,更有生活中性格的改变。

2. 兴趣是媒介。

很多时候改变自我,或是突破自我需要的只是一个契机,而这个契机让自己成长的过程是招生官非常愿意看到的。

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图源New York Times

更多优秀文书案例

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/18/your-money/college-essays-on-money.html

以两篇文书为例,我们来总结一下优秀申请文书的几个重要特质:

① 文书是极具个性化的,

它的个性化也是双向的。

文书既是每一位申请者向大学展现自己个性的媒介,也是一所大学向申请者传达自己独特文化的渠道。关于文书如何书写,网络可以为读者提供大量的“HOW”。但该篇文章将从另外一个视角,带有一定新鲜感,帮助读者了解如何才能真正做到“个性化”。

② 从逆境中读人生。

注意这里的逆境,并不一定非得是先抑后扬的过程,开头突出自己的悲惨,而后凸显自己的史诗性转变。这是没必要的。

但是在不利的状态下如何使自己获得成长是很多招生官都想看到的。他们希望在这个过程里看到学生的进步,成长,蜕变,哪怕只是很小一些收获,都会令人感到欣喜。学生一定要多进行归纳总结,有更多精神层面的思考和想法体现。

③ 重视兴趣爱好的养成。

有遇到过学生实在没经历不知道怎么写文书的情况,这个时候就可以参考第二篇文书的写法,从自己的兴趣爱好入手。

兴趣爱好的养成不仅仅是让自己收获愉悦的过程,更重要的是能否改变自己的一些习惯特点,变成更好的自己。哪怕是很常见的兴趣爱好,真的做到极致也会有别样的惊喜,这份惊喜是非常吸引人的。

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#02 艺术类文书该怎么写?

上面总结的比较多的是普通专业文书的写作方式,但其实和艺术类文书也有很多相似之处。艺术类文书比较重要的点是:需要围绕艺术做文章。

以下给到同学们一些参考建议。

可以更好地帮助大家修改文书,提供思路:

-学生要展现对艺术的热爱与执着

文书要突出自己如何对艺术产生兴趣,进而阐明选择专业进行深入学习和研究的原因。或许是从小的梦想,或许是偶然的际遇,或许是遇到良师,从一点切入展开叙述,让招生官感觉到写作人确实热爱艺术,有艺术梦想,并会终生执着于艺术。

这点和上面提到的文书二也有点类似,选择艺术方向的学生大多是以兴趣爱好为前提,本身对艺术方向有好感,且愿意深入学习体验的。要把这种好感放大,并与自己的生活做结合,进行展开论述。

-初拟以兴趣入手,增加文书可读性

有了兴趣以后与生活的结合是至关重要的。选择艺术方向的同学,要善于发现生活中的一些结合点。比如某一次展览、某一次主题活动、某一次聚会中看到的艺术元素,给了自己灵感,或给了自己启发都是可以在文书中进行展示的。

事无巨细,能够让自己成长或改变的一定是值得挖掘的经历,可以花时间多思考一下。

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▲纽约帕森斯

-文书全力显现学生的特点

文书中需要展现学生的个性和创造力。招生官尤为注重学生的个性和创造力。在文书中,我们可以通过某个小细节来表现学生的独特之处。

学生对艺术也不能只是简单模仿和重复,如在雕塑上不拘泥于对传统技法的理解和演绎,有自己的体会和创新,艺术设计上更要有自己独特的灵感和创意,才会有层出不穷的新作品。

-作品集要有一定逻辑性

艺术专业申请的文书,和作品集还是有很强联系的,通常能作为作品集的补充材料,进行更好地润色。

因此作品集本身也要具有一定的逻辑性,能很直接地展示出学生本人的思考过程,并通过文书加以补充,使之更加完整,条理清晰。

-用事实与荣誉说话,挑选最适合申请的活动经历

我们在PS写作中,需要恰当运用学生十分丰富的活动经历。例如:学生亲自参加或策划的主题活动,学生对自己作品进行线下展出。能通过活动体现学生领导能力,创造能力的优先选择。

作者:艺界国际艺术教育

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