Dicas para um bom essay
Dicas para um bom essay
Os Essays são redações e todas as respostas escritas que você terá que produzir
como parte da sua application. Isso inclui o seu personal statement (que você
aprendeu nesta aula) e os supplementary essays, que são complementos dos essays
e respostas em alguns temas específicos. Você irá aprender mais sobre esses tipos
de essays na aula 11.
Para escrever um bom essay, é imprescindível que você:
Responda a pergunta
Engaje o leitor do começo até o final
Transmita UMA mensagem central
Mostre algo novo sobre o autor
Seja organizado e tenha um começo, meio e fim
Esteja escrito na voz do autor, sem erros de gramática e ortografia
Siga essas orientações e garanta que seu essay reflete quem você é e conta uma
Abaixo, listamos (em inglês) alguns exemplos de trechos de essays considerados
fortes e fracos:
STRONG & WEAK ESSAY EXAMPLES
It helps to look at what other students have written for their personal essays. Strong
writing can give you clues to success; weak writing can show you pitfalls to avoid.
Compare the following weak and strong examples, all pulled from real personal
statements in 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays (2005):
"Trinidadian society is not racially discriminating, but racially polarized. However,
inter-race relations are generally harmonious. Fortunately, I live in a very supportive
environment." (page 48)
>>The author of this quote wants to show how she comes from a society which, like
Brazil, is the product of significant ethnic mixing. Unfortunately, she leaves
everything a little too vague. The whole essay, too long to quote in its entirety here,
cries out for actual details.
"My drive, self-confidence and willingness to chance failure have allowed me to take
on challenges others might not consider. These challenges define my life by
constantly providing inspiration. I try to live my life according to a Japanese proverb:
'Fall seven times, stand up eight.' Lastly, I have always been an optimist, and I love
to laugh. My friends and family marvel at my jovial nature." (page 44)
>> Two problems here. First, this section has little to do with the rest of the essay,
which focuses on how a close friend has significantly changed the author's life. It
distracts from the main point and doesn't flow. Second, despite the nicely-chosen
Japanese quote, these few sentences are a textbook case of telling rather
than showing. To say that one has "drive, self-confidence, and willingness to chance
failure" doesn't demonstrate anything other than an inflated ego.
"I was hungry and the sun impaled me on its searing ray." (page 13)
>>This is a weak opening sentence. Instead of pulling in the reader, the author uses
an incomprehensible metaphor ("the sun impaled me on its searing ray"). Don't
make your personal statement an anthology of bad poetry!
"If a six-foot-tall man slinging a semi-automatic rifle had approached me in
Greenfield, I probably would have screamed for help. However, being in a foreign
land, unable even to speak the native tongue, my options of recourse were
significantly limited. The looming creature, dressed mostly in black, with short, dark
hair, proceeded to grasp my right hand. As a smile furtively crept across his face, he
mouthed, 'Time to get on the bus.'
'What?' I nervously spurted at the cold weapon before me.
'I'm sorry. I didn't introduce myself,' he said. 'I'm Ofir, your counselor.'" (page 132)
>>The author, James A. Colbert, decided to write his personal statement about a
student trip to Israel. You don't have to go to the Middle East (or even leave Brazil)
to see the important choices that Colbert makes here, though: his opening
statements are funny, engrossing, and to the point. They suck the reader in.
"My love affair with The New York Times began two years ago. I had had minor
trysts with several other newspapers, including a summer-long attachment to the
Garfield comics and Cryptoquotes of Newsday, but the Times was the first paper I
made a serious commitment to with a home delivery subscription. I entered into the
relationship timidly at first, choosing to receive the paper just five days a week, but
last year I took it one step further by ordering the weekend editions as well. I
became deeply involved with the Times; I was enjoying every moment of it, and still
am." (page 154)
>>Fanatical affection for a newspaper may be a little strange, but the author here
makes her point interesting by talking of The New York Times as if it were a lover.
Her creative language uses the metaphor quite effectively. Don't try copying her
style, tone, or subject matter. But do examine how it is that she manages to make
you interested in what might otherwise become a boring subject.