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重大!Common App Essay 2021-2022換題啦!美本申請必經(jīng)之路,你真的了解嗎?

作者:VA藝術(shù)留學(xué)2021/03/03點(diǎn)擊:4636次

VA國際藝術(shù)教育

      眾所周知,美本的申請猶如西天取經(jīng),要沖破重重關(guān)卡才能獲得心儀Offer。在申請過(guò)程中,學(xué)生需要完成一個(gè)叫做Common App Essay的論文寫(xiě)作。

      它具體是什么?重不重要?藝術(shù)方向的學(xué)生如何才能實(shí)現有效的寫(xiě)作,抓住審核官的眼球?

      想要獲得答案?那就快快下滑!看起來(lái)吧!

Common App Essay

Source: https://www.hawkherald.com/2019/09/common-app-for-dummies/

      01 What is Common

      App Essay 簡(jiǎn)介

      如果曾經(jīng)申請過(guò)美本,或對美本申請做過(guò)研究,你一定對Common App 不陌生,這個(gè)網(wǎng)站一舉整合了美國超700所大學(xué)的入學(xué)申請流程。操作簡(jiǎn)單、管理方便、申請一鍵式的特征讓它大受歡迎,幾乎每個(gè)學(xué)生都會(huì )選擇它進(jìn)行申請的投遞。值得注意的是,在該網(wǎng)站提交了標化成績(jì)、作品集、語(yǔ)言成績(jì)等常規文件后,學(xué)生還需上傳一份叫做Common App Essay的文書(shū)才能正式提交申請。

      申請者需在官方給出的7個(gè)命題中自選出最能展現自身個(gè)性與價(jià)值的一個(gè),并創(chuàng )作一篇250-650詞的文章。

      命題如下

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

      一些學(xué)生具有獨特的背景、身份、興趣或才能。它們極具意義,很有必要在申請過(guò)程中提及。如果這聽(tīng)起來(lái)像你,那么請分享你的故事。

      2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

      那些我們在挫折中學(xué)習的教訓將成為今后成功的基石。描述一次你面對挑戰、困境或失敗的經(jīng)歷,它是如何影響你的?你能從中學(xué)到什么?

      3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

      回憶一次你挑戰或質(zhì)疑某種觀(guān)念或想法的時(shí)刻,是什么啟發(fā)了你的想法,結果如何?

      4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

      回憶一些他人通過(guò)出人意料的方式讓你感到喜悅或開(kāi)心的事,那種感激之情是如何影響或鼓舞你的?

      5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

      描述某個(gè)成就、事件或認知,它激發(fā)了個(gè)人成長(cháng)并促使你對自身和他人產(chǎn)生了新的見(jiàn)解。

      6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

      描述某個(gè)能讓你全神貫注的有趣的話(huà)題、觀(guān)點(diǎn)或概念,它為何如此吸引你?當你想深入了解時(shí)會(huì )向誰(shuí)或什么尋求幫助?

      7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

      自選主題,它可以是你已經(jīng)寫(xiě)好的文章,也可以是自由發(fā)揮

      其中第四題是今年的新題,其余題目維持不變。事實(shí)上,這也是Common app近五年來(lái)第一次變換題目,原因有二:

      1)淘汰被寫(xiě)作次數較少的題目

      據官方數據統計,在所有命題中最受學(xué)生喜歡的是Prompt 7(Any topic),占據了總數的24.1%,緊跟其后的是Prompt 5 (23.7%) 以及 Prompt 2 (21.1%)。共計有68.9%的學(xué)生選擇了這三類(lèi)題目,被選擇較少的題目也就被更新?lián)Q代了。

      2)疫情時(shí)代下的人文關(guān)懷

      大疫情時(shí)代背景下,人類(lèi)在這共同的災難面前,展現出了巨大的善意。Common App此次換題,也是“想啟發(fā)學(xué)生對生活中積極和真誠的事情有所思考”


美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)

Source: https://www.commonapp.org/blog/2021-2022-common-app-essay-prompts

      由此可見(jiàn),美國大學(xué)想要的絕不局限于學(xué)術(shù)和背景兼優(yōu)的學(xué)生,而是能夠感恩周遭,具有人文關(guān)懷精神的全面型人才。

美國本科留學(xué)

(圖源:網(wǎng)絡(luò ))

看到這里,可能有小伙伴會(huì )疑惑,既然它所占篇幅不多,也并非學(xué)術(shù)嚴謹型的論文,那我還要不要上心?答案是肯定的!

      02 Importance of Common App Essay 重要性


美國本科藝術(shù)留學(xué)

(圖源:網(wǎng)絡(luò ))


      A:競爭利器、脫穎而出

      2020年以來(lái),美國受疫情重創(chuàng ),專(zhuān)家曾預測本土總體入學(xué)人數會(huì )縮減5%-16%,然而隨著(zhù)申請季的到來(lái),美本TOP30的院校申請態(tài)勢卻絲毫沒(méi)有疲態(tài),不降反升。由此可見(jiàn),優(yōu)質(zhì)的教育資源是目光長(cháng)遠的家長(cháng)和學(xué)生們永恒的追求。

      在標化成績(jì)已日漸趨同,競爭壓力卻屢升不降的環(huán)境下,如何展示自己的特點(diǎn)、觀(guān)念與價(jià)值就變得尤為重要。審核官想要在論文中看到的,是申請人在其他常規要求中都沒(méi)有展示的另一面,他們希望據此來(lái)判斷申請者能夠加入與否。

      著(zhù)名的寫(xiě)作指導Elizabeth Benedict曾說(shuō)過(guò):“用平庸的標化成績(jì)和出色的論文申請名校不一定讓你成功,但頂級的成績(jì)、出色的背景和平庸的論文卻會(huì )讓你的申請石沉大海?!庇纱?,Common app essay的重要性可見(jiàn)一斑。

      B:逆風(fēng)翻盤(pán)、名校重視

      根據美國大學(xué)招生咨詢(xún)協(xié)會(huì )(National Association for College Admission Counseling)2019年的報告指出,56.4%的大學(xué)認為論文“比較重要”或相當重要,越是好的學(xué)校就越重視這一部分。

美國本科藝術(shù)留學(xué)

(Source:https://www.nacacnet.org/globalassets/documents/publications/research/2019_soca/soca2019_ch3.pdf)

      同時(shí),從各個(gè)大學(xué)對各申請材料重要性的配比也不難看出,除了最為重要的標化成績(jì)外,文書(shū)占據了20-30%的比重,說(shuō)明它確實(shí)是大學(xué)審核時(shí)的重要維度之一。

美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)作品集

(Source:https://www.nacacnet.org/globalassets/documents/publications/research/2019_soca/soca2019_ch3.pdf)

      既然它這么重要,那到底怎樣才能寫(xiě)出優(yōu)質(zhì)的文章呢?

      03 Writing Instruction 寫(xiě)作指導

      Common App Essay 5年不換題,想必審核官們早已見(jiàn)識過(guò)了各路“神仙打架”“牛鬼蛇神”。義務(wù)勞動(dòng)、爺爺奶奶、籃球比賽等被各大機構流水線(xiàn)式推出的話(huà)題已經(jīng)很難再吸引他們的興趣。

      而實(shí)際上,官方給出的7個(gè)命題是極具概括性的,也就是說(shuō),學(xué)生可以發(fā)揮的空間彈性非常大,作為藝術(shù)方向的學(xué)生,我們不妨跳脫出固有思維,將論文主題與藝術(shù)相結合,看會(huì )碰撞出怎樣的火花。

      在進(jìn)行逐題分析之前,

      先來(lái)思考幾個(gè)問(wèn)題 

      Q1:選題越大就越好嗎?

      Q2:以藝術(shù)為主題,我的重心應該放在技巧和概念上?還是我對藝術(shù)的熱愛(ài)?

      Q3:只描述事件就夠了嗎?

      相信大家都有了自己的答案

      選題方面,中國學(xué)生很容易犯的一個(gè)錯誤就是過(guò)度空泛和宏大,到最后自身的知識儲備和表達能力卻兜不住,反而弄巧成拙。實(shí)際上,哪怕是一件很小的事情,只要能夠有聲有色地描繪出來(lái),最后以小見(jiàn)大“上價(jià)值”,也能受到審核官的青睞。

      而第二個(gè)問(wèn)題,請大家注意不要過(guò)分執著(zhù)于藝術(shù)的技巧和概念,Common App Essay真正想考察的是你到底是什么樣的人,你看重什么,熱愛(ài)什么,是否真正適合所申請的專(zhuān)業(yè)。而其余偏學(xué)術(shù)的東西可以在作品集中展現。

      第三個(gè)問(wèn)題想必大家都很清楚,只描述事件是絕對不夠的,審核官希望在你的文章中看到內省和思考,體現你的獨特和靈動(dòng),而不僅是機械地描述事實(shí)。

弄清這三個(gè)基本準則后

就讓我們開(kāi)始逐題分析吧!

      Prompt 1:

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

      遇到一道題目前,首先要做的是思考應當寫(xiě)一個(gè)怎樣的主題。 這里的關(guān)鍵詞有四個(gè):背景(Background), 身份 (Identity), 興趣(Interest)和天分(Talent)。 

      以興趣為例,很多小伙伴可能知道自己喜歡什么,卻不清楚用哪件事情去表達和體現,或者壓根就不清楚自己的興趣所在。

      不用著(zhù)急,讓我們先來(lái)做一次頭腦風(fēng)暴:

      Step 1: 畫(huà)一張九宮格,不要經(jīng)過(guò)思考,隨機在每個(gè)格子里填下自己感興趣的事情(與藝術(shù)相關(guān))

      小V這里先示范一張:

美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)

      Step2: 在這九個(gè)選項中挑選出自己最感興趣的一種,這里小V以攝影為例。選好之后,再畫(huà)一張九宮格,仍然憑直覺(jué)寫(xiě)出九項你覺(jué)得攝影有意思的地方:

美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)

      這樣你就獲得了九個(gè)能寫(xiě)的點(diǎn),再回想自身的經(jīng)歷,挑選出能和自己的故事結合得最好,以及最有表達欲2-3個(gè)點(diǎn),這樣一篇小論文就能保證你有東西可寫(xiě),不會(huì )空洞啦!

藝術(shù)留學(xué)作品集

(圖源:網(wǎng)絡(luò ))


      確定好內容后,大家需要做的就是列大綱,寫(xiě)結構,最后不要忘了進(jìn)行反復地跟進(jìn)與修改。

      這里小V先拋磚引玉,小小地示范一段,大家私底下也要多多練手哦:

      I used to have an old-fashioned camera coated with cliche metal colour. Every time I took it out, trying to capture precious moments in my life, such as the smile wore on my grandmother’s face  or the sun’s sinking to horizon, my family would ask me: “why do you still carry such a sturdy camera, mobile phone alone has realized the function of photography and it is far more convenient ”. While I always shake my head, saying that there were plenty of things only camera can achieve.......

      Prompt 2:

      The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

      事實(shí)上,寫(xiě)成功比寫(xiě)失敗要讓人自在得多,但是并不代表這個(gè)話(huà)題就一定不好寫(xiě)。如果你能在文章中突出自己是如何用特殊而新穎的方法去解決問(wèn)題,并從中獲得了哪些對將來(lái)有益的經(jīng)驗教訓,審核官也會(huì )對你眼前一亮。注意這里雖然讓你寫(xiě)失敗,但千萬(wàn)不要寫(xiě)一些三觀(guān)不正,或者有爭議的內容,例如考試掛科、作品抄襲被發(fā)現等。

      建議沒(méi)有頭緒的同學(xué)可以去登錄自己夢(mèng)校的官網(wǎng),了解清楚他們想要的到底是擁有何種品質(zhì)的人,他們希望自己的學(xué)生能夠在困境中獲得什么。

      以帕森斯設計學(xué)院交互設計專(zhuān)業(yè)為例,校方在官網(wǎng)就詳細地指出學(xué)生應學(xué)會(huì )發(fā)展創(chuàng )新的解決問(wèn)題的能力,能夠通過(guò)融合設計想法、審美與技巧來(lái)重組信息、符號和觀(guān)點(diǎn)。

藝術(shù)留學(xué)作品集

Source:https://www.newschool.edu/parsons/mps-communication-design/

      那么大家寫(xiě)作的時(shí)候,就盡量要從腦海調出一些符合這類(lèi)要求的經(jīng)歷,而不是生搬硬湊。

美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)作品集

(圖源:網(wǎng)絡(luò ))

      Prompt 3:

      Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

      這道題曾“榮獲”2016年最少選擇獎,僅有4%的申請者選擇了這道題,但它真的就如想象中這么令人畏懼嗎?光看題面,很多人會(huì )想到一些非常宏觀(guān)的東西,比如說(shuō)宗教信仰、政治理念等等,但這些主題一旦寫(xiě)不好,就很容易成為敏感話(huà)題,甚至觸到面試官的眉頭。因此,這里我們建議盡量選擇一些比較小的觀(guān)念:個(gè)體的觀(guān)念、或某個(gè)家庭的觀(guān)念。

      同時(shí)要記住,這道題審核官最想看到的,是你個(gè)人價(jià)值觀(guān)的表達,如果你沒(méi)有給出一道窗口讓他人理解你的個(gè)性,這篇文章便是不太成功的。

      那么,這樣的題目,到底該如何與藝術(shù)相結合呢?

      上面我們提到,挑戰的觀(guān)點(diǎn)最好是來(lái)自于個(gè)體或家庭的,那我們可以從身邊的朋友和家人對藝術(shù)的觀(guān)念上下文章。

      比如說(shuō)在中國,大部分家長(cháng)對待藝術(shù)的態(tài)度是比較輕視的,首先是因為我國還處在重工業(yè)商業(yè)崛起的階段,家長(cháng)會(huì )認為理工科商科是最有前途和保障的,從而忽視了對藝術(shù)素養的培養。再來(lái)是長(cháng)久以來(lái)藝術(shù)教育的不完備甚至是缺失。相信曾經(jīng)堅定地選擇藝術(shù)道路的你,或多或少收到過(guò)旁人的不理解和非議,那么你是如何挑戰的呢?

      小V示范:

      Meeting relatives in traditional festivals used to be a rather horrible thing for me, since I would be interrogated about almost every aspect of my life, especially my dream school and major. They showed puzzled expressions every time I told them about my dream of enrolling in art schools. In their opinion, pursuing the academic path of art could not bring any tangible benefits at all, a degree of art is certainly less competitive than that of mechanics in the labour markets. In order to refute their old-fashioned idea, I decided to enter an art competition, the recognition of which could ensure a promising career path....

出國藝術(shù)留學(xué)作品集

圖源:網(wǎng)絡(luò )

      Prompt 4:

      Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

      這道題要求你進(jìn)行一項敘事,在此過(guò)程中你需要解釋這件事的前因后果、這件驚喜是如何引發(fā)了你個(gè)人的啟示或改變。這篇文章的寫(xiě)作目的不是簡(jiǎn)單地展現你的喜悅和驚喜,而是你對自身、他人、社區以及人道主義有了什么新的認知,這些認知又是如何正面作用于你的。

      以最具代表性的大背景:新冠疫情為例,大家可以從自己的親身經(jīng)歷出挖掘出一些印象深刻的事情,或者通過(guò)社交網(wǎng)絡(luò )和相冊的記錄來(lái)尋找靈感,再將這些事情與藝術(shù)相結合。比如在隔離期間,朋友為你送來(lái)親手繪制的Q版小畫(huà)來(lái)緩解焦慮,從而體現一種藝術(shù)撫慰人心的內涵。

      小V示范

      Looking back to the very beginning of last year, I can easily recall those terrifying scenes: news about covid-19 virus rolling on screen; bleak and empty street with every door shut, gloomy expressions wore on passengers’ faces. All of these came in a sudden, my parents working in other cities failed to get on a plane before all flights were canceled, so I had to spend the quarantine on my own. I had tried to kill the time through soap operas and online games , however, in day 7, I could not tolerate the endless solitude and boredom anymore. It was exactly when I was about to cry that I heard someone called me downstairs, reaching head out of the window, I suprisingly found my friend was holding a piece of painting, on which there was my favourite cartoon character, wearing masks and say hello to me. I could not help bursting into tears...

美國本科留學(xué)

圖源:網(wǎng)絡(luò )

      Prompt 5:

      Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

      這個(gè)話(huà)題對于中國學(xué)生來(lái)說(shuō)是較好上手的,申請者可以寫(xiě)自身經(jīng)歷中的任何事:參加比賽、當志愿者、克服某種恐懼等等,無(wú)論大小。但要注意內容應盡量避免與背提重合。

      故事固然重要,但你從這其中學(xué)到什么,如何將所學(xué)運用到現在和將來(lái)則更為重要。你應在文章中表明自己還有很多學(xué)習和探索的空間,因為審核官希望看到你以大學(xué)為媒介不斷精進(jìn)成長(cháng)。語(yǔ)氣方面應謙遜有禮,不要一味吹噓。

      小V示范:

      My face went flushed when referees offered their compliments to my work, a strong sense of accomplishment rose in my heart, it was not only because of the prize, but also the fact that I eventually become more patient and mature as a painter.

      In order to realize a peticuliar texture of rocks or branches, most painters are willing to take days or even weeks of endevour, repeating the trials and errors. In the past, I could not understand their ‘stubburn’, I mean, why not just simply apply some brushes and give it a sensational story? However, my opinion sheerly changed after entering this art competition where I burned the night oil with my teamates just for a slightly better visual effects and good comments from audiences....

      Prompt 6:

      Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

      這個(gè)命題的主要目的是讓審核官知道你的熱忱在哪里,什么給予了你啟發(fā)。因此,你毫無(wú)疑問(wèn)要選擇自己真正熱愛(ài)的東西。主題可以是某個(gè)學(xué)術(shù)話(huà)題:例如藝術(shù)流派、藝術(shù)技巧,亦或是某個(gè)你很欣賞的藝術(shù)家、藝術(shù)電影、等等。

      但是請注意,不要自作聰明地去選擇一些過(guò)于學(xué)術(shù)的話(huà)題,除非你對它已經(jīng)有過(guò)充足的調研或了解,否則很可能會(huì )弄巧成拙。

      小V示范:

      Since the first day I “fell in love with” art, I have wondered how an artist’s style can be affected by the experience he or she had in their early life stages, since the exsiting researhes and investigations tend to lay more emphasize on the external factors, such as a movement or a certain school, when it comes to the style of an artist. But these factors could never explain why those beheaded men in Caravaggio’s painting looks so much like himself, it was just because of his eccentricity? Driven by a strong curiosity, I searched out every documentary about him, trying to figure out the actual reason behind it....

美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)

Source:https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/21-facts-about-caravaggio

美國本科留學(xué)

Source:https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/21-facts-about-caravaggio

      最后,小V為大家總結出了

      寫(xiě)作中的Do和Don’t

美國本科留學(xué)

      另外插播一條小消息:關(guān)于Covid-19 Epidemic 的可選論文今年繼續保留,位于A(yíng)dditional Information一欄,大家可根據時(shí)間安排和實(shí)際水平選擇。


美國藝術(shù)留學(xué)機構

(Source: https://apply.commonapp.org/common/6/35)

看到這里,

你是否已經(jīng)迫不及待想試試了呢?

快來(lái)練練手吧!


文章標簽:Common App Essay,美本申請