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"a recipe for success" - Why Duke?


nikamonster 9 / 38  
Nov 21, 2010   #1
Prompt: If you are applying to Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something in particular at Duke that attracts you? Please limit your response to one or two paragraphs.

Maybe it is the sight of a majestic ivory tower against a sapphire blue sky. Maybe it is the combination of global connection and community service that DukeEngage has embraced. Maybe it is the thought of sitting among hundreds of Blue Devils fans all cheering for the men's basketball team as it takes another National Championship title. For me, no other college possesses such a uniquely successful combination of academics, global awareness, school pride, and opportune locale.

...
Oleh 5 / 33  
Nov 21, 2010   #2
I like your first paragrapg. It is very catchy and lures the reader to continue reading
ahhbeee - / 5  
Nov 22, 2010   #3
Your essay is very well-written; however, I feel as though you are expressing "wants" too much rather than explaining in full detail as to "why" you feel this way. Besides valuing education and social interactions, what else is there that makes Duke so special. For example, what programs are you especially interested in? (That's usually the case. Explain in full detail.) Don't just talk about the universities' obvious aspects. I suggest you pick a more specific quality about the school in which you can express more on. Notice that the prompt mentions "College Arts and Sciences," perhaps you should talk about that? It also does say "particular". If I were an applicant reader, I would already know you didn't do enough research on the school.

You can basically change a few words around in this essay and it would work just as great for another school. For example, Duke to UCLA; blues and white to blue and gold. What I'm trying to say is that this essay is a bit too generic. You should fix it up a little more.

"...I am perfectly happy limiting the next four years of my life at Duke University."
Remember you are applying the university. You are not an actual student. Perhaps "will" would be a better substitute. Limiting sounds a little quizzical; replace the word with "spending".
OP nikamonster 9 / 38  
Nov 24, 2010   #4
thank you guys so much for the feedback!
here's a new version:
let me know if you think it's better?

Maybe it is the sight of a majestic ivory tower against a sapphire blue sky. Maybe it is the combination of global connection and community service that DukeEngage has embraced. Maybe it is the thought of sitting among hundreds of Blue Devils fans all cheering for the men's basketball team as it takes another National Championship title. For me, no other college possesses such a uniquely successful combination of academics, global awareness, school pride, and opportune locale.

Duke University is more than the sum of its parts. Prestigious institutions with world-renowned professors, bright and driven students, and internship and study-abroad opportunities exist all over the country. However, just as one's genetic makeup depends on the order and number of nucleotides, the unique combination of all of Duke's enticing qualities is what distinguishes it from every other college for me. Duke has well-respected professors lecturing inside classrooms on a multitude of topics. Offering 25 foreign languages and a political science program that concentrates on public law, public policy, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory, I am confident that Duke has the necessary courses and instructors I need to gain a strong understanding of this field of study. However, Duke also provides the application of such knowledge through DukeEngage, internships, and study-abroad programs. With global outreach to many communities all of the world, I can solidify my textbook knowledge and gain more worldly experiences and cultures to help me pursue my dream of becoming the U.S. Secretary of State. Yet the advantageous of going to Duke does not stop there. Every day I will come into contact with ambitious learner who will push me to my fullest potentials. Not only so, I will also be surrounded by genuinely supportive students with a fierce sense of school pride and community. This way, my college journey will not be defined solely by lectures, tests, or even civic engagement programs abroad. I can experience a balanced academic and social life so as to achieve a truly rewarding four-year adventure. At this point in life, every little decision I make will define a little more of my future, and I will be perfectly happy limiting the next four years of my life at Duke University.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 29, 2010   #5
You have a great way of writing, but I think you can come up with a better theme than "more than the sum of its parts." It is a cliche, and you did not successfully support the idea... Check this out:

the unique combination of all of Duke's enticing qualities is what distinguishes it from every other college for me. -----What is unique about the combination? Probably it is not more unique than combinations at other schools.... This is not unique ----> Duke has well-respected professors lecturing inside classrooms on a multitude of topics. It's better to omit this, because it could be said about any school. And it is obvious.

I think you have to omit all the stuff about "more than the sum of its parts," and the "unique combination." The unique combination you should write about is this:

YOUR unique plan for the next few years and the RESOURCES and names of specific professors you want to include in your plan.

:-)
OP nikamonster 9 / 38  
Dec 20, 2010   #6
thank you kevin. but if i change that, then what should my new focus be? what in particular attracts me, if not it's uniqueness, which i agree is not very unique.
OP nikamonster 9 / 38  
Dec 21, 2010   #7
okay guys, last version.
read and critique?

Maybe it is the sight ...

Duke University is more than the sum of its parts. Duke has well-respected professors lecturing inside classrooms on a multitude of topics. Offering 25 foreign languages and a political science program that concentrates on public law, public policy, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory, I am confident that Duke has the necessary courses and instructors I need to gain a strong understanding of this field of study. However, Duke also provides the application of the acquired knowledge through DukeEngage, internships, and study-abroad programs. With global outreach to many communities all over the world, I can solidify my textbook knowledge and gain more worldly experiences. This will in turn help me pursue my dream of becoming the U.S. Secretary of State. Not only so, every day I will come into contact with ambitious learners who will push me to my fullest potentials. I will be surrounded by genuinely supportive students with a fierce sense of school pride and community. This way, my college journey will not be defined solely by lectures, tests, or even civic engagement programs abroad. I can experience a balanced academic and social life so as to achieve a truly rewarding four-year adventure. At this point in life, every decision I make will define a little more of my future, and I will be perfectly happy spending the next four years of my life at Duke University.


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