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Duke Sup-why you want to study engineering and why you want to study at Duke


yf8651 16 / 31  
Dec 16, 2009   #1
Hi, everyone! Please help me proofread the essay. Any comment and critique is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Prompt: If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering of Duke, please discuss why you want to study engineering and why you would like to study at Duke.

My interest in environmental engineering comes from my experiences of a river near the house where I grew up. Flowing into Grand Canal, the river is encompassed by wheat fields stretching to the horizon. It was my relaxation heaven throughout my childhood. Early in the morning, I would jog along the riverside through footpath dotted with beautiful wild flowers. The view of poplars across the river faded in and out of the refreshing morning mist, giving me an impression of wonderland. Clear ripples and endless rippling wheat nearby created an ideal place for my thoughts to gallop. The river was an indispensable part of my life. However, several years later, everything about the river changed. A chemical factory was set up near the river. Slowly, the pristine river became feculent; beautiful flowers and refreshing mist that I got so accustomed to eventually disappeared. Witnessing the bad environment condition of the river, my heart was broken.

I really hoped to stop my beloved river from deterioration, but with little knowledge about environmental engineering, I could do nothing but felt sorry for it. After that painful experience, I realized the importance of environmental engineering, a useful subject that helps to preserve good environment and to create better living habitat for all the species. Out of interest, I began to explore the realm of engineering by reading Juvenile Science and other science magazines. Through the massive reading, I learned much knowledge about engineering, but the rudimentary information I received gave me more puzzles about it and triggered my burning desire to further explore the realm of engineering. My curiosity and desire pushes me to find universities and colleges that will quench my thirst.

Duke University is exactly what I need. I first learned about Duke about three years ago in a TV program called Top Talk, to which Duke Principal Richard Brodhead was invited. The fact that relatively young Duke shares the similar reputation with old universities like Harvard and Yale really surprised me. When Brodhead said that "as a school on 'upward trajectory', Duke never satisfied with how it is now; it's always looking for a way to get better", deep in mind I knew, as a man of great initiative and ambition, that Duke would be my first choice of university. I hope to major in engineering at Pratt while minoring in another subject (maybe Environmental Science and Policy) and Duke will surely make me feel at home because it committed to interdisciplinary courses and research, as show in Making a Difference plan. In Duke, I can cheer on Blue Devils while partake in Tennis. I can serve through while learn from Duke Engage. Undoubtedly, Duke is an ideal place for me to fulfill my potential and make my own contributions.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 18, 2009   #2
In that first paragraph, I thin it takes too long to make your point. From the reader's perspective, it is nicer if you don't make us follow you through all the explanation... I would at least cut out some of it, like:

My interest in environmental engineering comes from my experiences of a river near the house where I grew up. Flowing into Grand Canal, the river is encompassed by wheat fields stretching to the horizon. It was my relaxation heaven throughout my childhood. Early in the morning, I would jog along the riverside through footpath dotted with beautiful wild flowers. The view of poplars across the river faded in and out of the refreshing morning mist, giving me an impression of wonderland. Clear ripples and endless rippling wheat nearby created an ideal place for my thoughts to gallop. The river was an indispensable part of my life. However, several years later, everything about the river ...

Now, that first sentence says your interest in environmental engineering came from experiences of the river, but actually it came from something else, right? It seems that it came from your experience of loss associated with the river. That is a subtle but important difference.


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