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Freedom of speech, alternative energy, northwestern supplement essay - why NU?

seattlelite 1 / 2  
Dec 27, 2009   #1
This is my first draft and I'm not sure what to think of it. Feedback/corrections are greatly appreciated! (:

What are the unique qualities of Northwestern - and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying - that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?

In high school I've become a firm believer and supporter of the maxim "Quality over quantity." Seeing protesters on the street, urgently fighting to stop bills that would increase class sizes in my school district as a young child, I was puzzled because I thought that bigger class sizes would save the state money on education while also helping more students at the same time. In high school I realized what fueled those protesters. I excelled best in my smallest classes, which enabled me to work at my own pace and provided more personal attention from my teachers. I never had to worry that my teacher would be too busy to answer my question because the class was small enough for the teacher to attend to each student closely. Northwestern University boasts, understandably, of its low student to faculty ratio of 7:1. If I was able to work better in my classes of less than 20 students than those of over 30, I believe that the 7 to 1 student to professor ratio is one that would surely allow me to establish a strong working relationship with my professors and provide me with guidance and support that would otherwise be limited in larger classes. Although the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences is the largest of Northwestern's eleven schools, I know I will receive the personal attention I need to excel from my Weinberg College Adviser, thanks to the school's exceptional advising system.

I also appreciate Northwestern's drive to discover alternative energy sources not only because it reminds me of Seattle and its environmental consciousness, but also because it shows that the university is concerned with moving forward and finding solutions to today's world issues. Just recently, scientists at Northwestern discovered that energy from bacteria can be harnessed to turn microgears. As a leader of our school's [environmental club], I realize that our world's resources are threatened by our society and that anyone can make a difference by taking action, whether it is small or large. Thus, the fact that this university is researching the development of bio-inspired dynamically adaptive materials for energy reflects awareness, commitment, and responsibility, traits that I find are desirable traits in my future school and will help enable me to do the same.

Another quality of Northwestern that I find admirable is its unyielding support of one's freedom of speech. When Arthur Butz, its associate professor of electrical engineering, publically congratulated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he issued a statement denying the Holocaust, controversy inundated the university, but the university still stood by its principles. Rather than firing Butz, Northwestern president Henry Bienen asserted that Butz, like all the other faculty members was "entitled to express his personal views." I believe that a university that advocates one's right to express themselves freely would help me grow personally because the professors may freely convey what they are passionate about. Although I might not agree with every professor's views and ideas, it would help me see the different aspects of each topic, thus broadening the horizons of my learning experience.
srandhawa 10 / 157  
Dec 27, 2009   #2
i think your playing w/ fire a little bit in the last para, best to avoid topics like this full of controversy, even though you portray the school in a good light, not a good idea, and those last few lines relating the situation to an ideal of northwestern are far to vague anyway. The same vague idea applies to the energy discussion, dont talk about solutions to the energy crisis like you do in the last sentence, be realistic, your not going to solve the energy crisis, instead, if your going to talk about the energy crisis and its focus in northwestern, talk more about your passion towards it, how it developed, and include more about northwesterns energy club or whatever group they ahve concerned with it, dont talk about the issue, talk about how the energy issue affects you. Also, get more to the point w/ quality over quantity, have a stronger intro, i like the idea of smaller classes in the essay, but you have to be more assertive and try to avoid the obvious answers about class size, most people do function better in smaller classes, try to same something unique about how smaller classes affect you for the positive.

Good luck thanks for looking at mine, if you get a chance could you see my newer one(which i meant to be mine all along just forgot to attach the second half of it lol). Thanks alot, maybe we'll see each other next yr( although theres no way im getting into northwestern:)).
fearless9 4 / 12  
Dec 29, 2009   #3
Just my two cents, you made it sound as if only Northwestern supports freedom of speech. lol, might wanna change that a bit.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 3, 2010   #4
How fascinating that you thought a larger class size was a good thing. That makes the essay really interesting.

If you google a text by Glickman, Gordon, and Ross-Gordon, you can get the publication info and cite it as a source that mentions a relevant fact:

One of the few factors that research has consistently shown to improve educational outcomes is smaller class size.

I think it is cute and thoughtful and interesting that as a kid you thought large class size was better, and that makes this essay interesting.

When Arthur Butz, its associate professor of electrical...

Write less about the school and more about you. What interests you about the school is as much about your career plan as it is about the school. If you only write about the school it is as if you have no clear plan for your future.


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