重大!Common App Essay 2021-2022换题啦!美本申请必经之路,你真的了解吗?

作者:VA艺术留学2021/03/03点击:278次

VA国际艺术教育

      众所周知,美本的申请犹如西天取经,要冲破重重关卡才能获得心仪Offer。在申请过程中,学生需要完成一个叫做Common App Essay的论文写作。

      它具体是什么?重不重要?艺术方向的学生如何才能实现有效的写作,抓住审核官的眼球?

      想要获得答案?那就快快下滑!看起来吧!

Common App Essay

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

      01 What is Common

      App Essay 简介

      如果曾经申请过美本,或对美本申请做过研究,你一定对Common App 不陌生,这个网站一举整合了美国超700所大学的入学申请流程。操作简单、管理方便、申请一键式的特征让它大受欢迎,几乎每个学生都会选择它进行申请的投递。值得注意的是,在该网站提交了标化成绩、作品集、语言成绩等常规文件后,学生还需上传一份叫做Common App Essay的文书才能正式提交申请。

      申请者需在官方给出的7个命题中自选出最能展现自身个性与价值的一个,并创作一篇250-650词的文章。

      命题如下

      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.

      一些学生具有独特的背景、身份、兴趣或才能。它们极具意义,很有必要在申请过程中提及。如果这听起来像你,那么请分享你的故事。

      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?

      那些我们在挫折中学习的教训将成为今后成功的基石。描述一次你面对挑战、困境或失败的经历,它是如何影响你的?你能从中学到什么?

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

      回忆一次你挑战或质疑某种观念或想法的时刻,是什么启发了你的想法,结果如何?

      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?

      回忆一些他人通过出人意料的方式让你感到喜悦或开心的事,那种感激之情是如何影响或鼓舞你的?

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

      描述某个成就、事件或认知,它激发了个人成长并促使你对自身和他人产生了新的见解。

      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?

      描述某个能让你全神贯注的有趣的话题、观点或概念,它为何如此吸引你?当你想深入了解时会向谁或什么寻求帮助?

      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.

      自选主题,它可以是你已经写好的文章,也可以是自由发挥

      其中第四题是今年的新题,其余题目维持不变。事实上,这也是Common app近五年来第一次变换题目,原因有二:

      1)淘汰被写作次数较少的题目

      据官方数据统计,在所有命题中最受学生喜欢的是Prompt 7(Any topic),占据了总数的24.1%,紧跟其后的是Prompt 5 (23.7%) 以及 Prompt 2 (21.1%)。共计有68.9%的学生选择了这三类题目,被选择较少的题目也就被更新换代了。

      2)疫情时代下的人文关怀

      大疫情时代背景下,人类在这共同的灾难面前,展现出了巨大的善意。Common App此次换题,也是“想启发学生对生活中积极和真诚的事情有所思考”


美国艺术留学

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

      由此可见,美国大学想要的绝不局限于学术和背景兼优的学生,而是能够感恩周遭,具有人文关怀精神的全面型人才。

美国本科留学

(图源:网络)

看到这里,可能有小伙伴会疑惑,既然它所占篇幅不多,也并非学术严谨型的论文,那我还要不要上心?答案是肯定的!

      02 Importance of Common App Essay 重要性


美国本科艺术留学

(图源:网络)


      A:竞争利器、脱颖而出

      2020年以来,美国受疫情重创,专家曾预测本土总体入学人数会缩减5%-16%,然而随着申请季的到来,美本TOP30的院校申请态势却丝毫没有疲态,不降反升。由此可见,优质的教育资源是目光长远的家长和学生们永恒的追求。

      在标化成绩已日渐趋同,竞争压力却屡升不降的环境下,如何展示自己的特点、观念与价值就变得尤为重要。审核官想要在论文中看到的,是申请人在其他常规要求中都没有展示的另一面,他们希望据此来判断申请者能够加入与否。

      著名的写作指导Elizabeth Benedict曾说过:“用平庸的标化成绩和出色的论文申请名校不一定让你成功,但顶级的成绩、出色的背景和平庸的论文却会让你的申请石沉大海。”由此,Common app essay的重要性可见一斑。

      B:逆风翻盘、名校重视

      根据美国大学招生咨询协会(National Association for College Admission Counseling)2019年的报告指出,56.4%的大学认为论文“比较重要”或相当重要,越是好的学校就越重视这一部分。

美国本科艺术留学

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

      同时,从各个大学对各申请材料重要性的配比也不难看出,除了最为重要的标化成绩外,文书占据了20-30%的比重,说明它确实是大学审核时的重要维度之一。

美国艺术留学作品集

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

      既然它这么重要,那到底怎样才能写出优质的文章呢?

      03 Writing Instruction 写作指导

      Common App Essay 5年不换题,想必审核官们早已见识过了各路“神仙打架”“牛鬼蛇神”。义务劳动、爷爷奶奶、篮球比赛等被各大机构流水线式推出的话题已经很难再吸引他们的兴趣。

      而实际上,官方给出的7个命题是极具概括性的,也就是说,学生可以发挥的空间弹性非常大,作为艺术方向的学生,我们不妨跳脱出固有思维,将论文主题与艺术相结合,看会碰撞出怎样的火花。

      在进行逐题分析之前,

      先来思考几个问题 

      Q1:选题越大就越好吗?

      Q2:以艺术为主题,我的重心应该放在技巧和概念上?还是我对艺术的热爱?

      Q3:只描述事件就够了吗?

      相信大家都有了自己的答案

      选题方面,中国学生很容易犯的一个错误就是过度空泛和宏大,到最后自身的知识储备和表达能力却兜不住,反而弄巧成拙。实际上,哪怕是一件很小的事情,只要能够有声有色地描绘出来,最后以小见大“上价值”,也能受到审核官的青睐。

      而第二个问题,请大家注意不要过分执着于艺术的技巧和概念,Common App Essay真正想考察的是你到底是什么样的人,你看重什么,热爱什么,是否真正适合所申请的专业。而其余偏学术的东西可以在作品集中展现。

      第三个问题想必大家都很清楚,只描述事件是绝对不够的,审核官希望在你的文章中看到内省和思考,体现你的独特和灵动,而不仅是机械地描述事实。

弄清这三个基本准则后

就让我们开始逐题分析吧!

      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.

      遇到一道题目前,首先要做的是思考应当写一个怎样的主题。 这里的关键词有四个:背景(Background), 身份 (Identity), 兴趣(Interest)和天分(Talent)。 

      以兴趣为例,很多小伙伴可能知道自己喜欢什么,却不清楚用哪件事情去表达和体现,或者压根就不清楚自己的兴趣所在。

      不用着急,让我们先来做一次头脑风暴:

      Step 1: 画一张九宫格,不要经过思考,随机在每个格子里填下自己感兴趣的事情(与艺术相关)

      小V这里先示范一张:

美国艺术留学

      Step2: 在这九个选项中挑选出自己最感兴趣的一种,这里小V以摄影为例。选好之后,再画一张九宫格,仍然凭直觉写出九项你觉得摄影有意思的地方:

美国艺术留学

      这样你就获得了九个能写的点,再回想自身的经历,挑选出能和自己的故事结合得最好,以及最有表达欲2-3个点,这样一篇小论文就能保证你有东西可写,不会空洞啦!

艺术留学作品集

(图源:网络)


      确定好内容后,大家需要做的就是列大纲,写结构,最后不要忘了进行反复地跟进与修改

      这里小V先抛砖引玉,小小地示范一段,大家私底下也要多多练手哦:

      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?

      事实上,写成功比写失败要让人自在得多,但是并不代表这个话题就一定不好写。如果你能在文章中突出自己是如何用特殊而新颖的方法去解决问题,并从中获得了哪些对将来有益的经验教训,审核官也会对你眼前一亮。注意这里虽然让你写失败,但千万不要写一些三观不正,或者有争议的内容,例如考试挂科、作品抄袭被发现等。

      建议没有头绪的同学可以去登录自己梦校的官网,了解清楚他们想要的到底是拥有何种品质的人,他们希望自己的学生能够在困境中获得什么。

      以帕森斯设计学院交互设计专业为例,校方在官网就详细地指出学生应学会发展创新的解决问题的能力,能够通过融合设计想法、审美与技巧来重组信息、符号和观点。

艺术留学作品集

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

      那么大家写作的时候,就尽量要从脑海调出一些符合这类要求的经历,而不是生搬硬凑。

美国艺术留学作品集

(图源:网络)

      Prompt 3:

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

      这道题曾“荣获”2016年最少选择奖,仅有4%的申请者选择了这道题,但它真的就如想象中这么令人畏惧吗?光看题面,很多人会想到一些非常宏观的东西,比如说宗教信仰、政治理念等等,但这些主题一旦写不好,就很容易成为敏感话题,甚至触到面试官的眉头。因此,这里我们建议尽量选择一些比较小的观念:个体的观念、或某个家庭的观念

      同时要记住,这道题审核官最想看到的,是你个人价值观的表达,如果你没有给出一道窗口让他人理解你的个性,这篇文章便是不太成功的。

      那么,这样的题目,到底该如何与艺术相结合呢?

      上面我们提到,挑战的观点最好是来自于个体或家庭的,那我们可以从身边的朋友和家人对艺术的观念上下文章。

      比如说在中国,大部分家长对待艺术的态度是比较轻视的,首先是因为我国还处在重工业商业崛起的阶段,家长会认为理工科商科是最有前途和保障的,从而忽视了对艺术素养的培养。再来是长久以来艺术教育的不完备甚至是缺失。相信曾经坚定地选择艺术道路的你,或多或少收到过旁人的不理解和非议,那么你是如何挑战的呢?

      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....

出国艺术留学作品集

图源:网络

      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?

      这道题要求你进行一项叙事,在此过程中你需要解释这件事的前因后果、这件惊喜是如何引发了你个人的启示或改变。这篇文章的写作目的不是简单地展现你的喜悦和惊喜,而是你对自身、他人、社区以及人道主义有了什么新的认知,这些认知又是如何正面作用于你的

      以最具代表性的大背景:新冠疫情为例,大家可以从自己的亲身经历出挖掘出一些印象深刻的事情,或者通过社交网络和相册的记录来寻找灵感,再将这些事情与艺术相结合。比如在隔离期间,朋友为你送来亲手绘制的Q版小画来缓解焦虑,从而体现一种艺术抚慰人心的内涵。

      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...

美国本科留学

图源:网络

      Prompt 5:

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

      这个话题对于中国学生来说是较好上手的,申请者可以写自身经历中的任何事:参加比赛、当志愿者、克服某种恐惧等等,无论大小。但要注意内容应尽量避免与背提重合

      故事固然重要,但你从这其中学到什么,如何将所学运用到现在和将来则更为重要。你应在文章中表明自己还有很多学习和探索的空间,因为审核官希望看到你以大学为媒介不断精进成长。语气方面应谦逊有礼,不要一味吹嘘

      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?

      这个命题的主要目的是让审核官知道你的热忱在哪里,什么给予了你启发。因此,你毫无疑问要选择自己真正热爱的东西。主题可以是某个学术话题:例如艺术流派、艺术技巧,亦或是某个你很欣赏的艺术家、艺术电影、等等。

      但是请注意,不要自作聪明地去选择一些过于学术的话题,除非你对它已经有过充足的调研或了解,否则很可能会弄巧成拙。

      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....

美国艺术留学

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

美国本科留学

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

      最后,小V为大家总结出了

      写作中的Do和Don’t

美国本科留学

      另外插播一条小消息:关于Covid-19 Epidemic 的可选论文今年继续保留,位于Additional Information一栏,大家可根据时间安排和实际水平选择。


美国艺术留学机构

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

看到这里,

你是否已经迫不及待想试试了呢?

快来练练手吧!


文章标签:Common App Essay,美本申请