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2014 Reed College Entrance Essay (Why Reed) from a perspective Chinese major.


katpants 1 / -  
Sep 7, 2014   #1
The prompt is : Reed is a unique and exciting college experience. Discuss the reasons that you believe Reed would be an appropriate place to continue your education. or essentially: Why Reed? As of now, I think this essay is way too clunky and I would like some comments/suggestions/advice one how to make the pacing more natural (but any and all critiques are welcome and appreciated)

The most glaring reason for why I initially thought Reed would be the best place to further my education was the college's Chinese program. The fact that there was a specific Chinese major, and not a generic East Asian Studies major, immediately put Reed well above the other colleges I was considering. Moreover, after visiting the campus and interviewing, I was impressed that Reed had the same ideology that I had concerning the language, i.e. to teach a language is to teach a culture. Along with this, Reed is the only college I have found that furthers the study of Chinese through immersion on campus. Honestly, I look forward to being a sophomore at Reed and living in the Chinese House.

The Chinese program is not the only aspect of Reed that caught my eye; I was also pleasantly surprised that Reed stresses the way the individual learns through conversation and collaboration with professors and classmates, rather than focusing on a letter grade to prove understanding. As of now, I am in an environment that seeks to place students on a scale that does not accurately assess the attainment of knowledge, and by doing so, belittles individual education by ranking students as either smart or stupid. This ranking system both stifles a students potential and stunts the educators ability to educate at will. After visiting Reed and gaining perspective, I cannot wait to be able to pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake and not for the 'A' or 'passing grade'.

Aside from Reed's educational philosophy, I feel that Reed is one of the few places that I, as a person, would be accepted and respected by my peers. Southern culture is one that is not accepting of those it considers to be outsiders, and unfortunately I have never felt comfortable in my home state of Florida or anywhere in the south. Continually, it is demonstrated that the population and those representing us do not support women's, queer, immigrant, or minority rights. Frankly, it is frustrating to be marginalized and perceived as an invasive species in your home. After visiting Reed, I was overcome with the sense of community and tolerance from the student body. After experiencing that for only a few hours, going home and back to my high school began to feel unbearable and heavy.

Ultimately, I feel that Reed is a place that I can truly feel at home because it allows me to study what I want, in the way I crave, and around a community of students, professors, and staff who will wholly accept me.
sophielutz0 - / 1  
Sep 7, 2014   #2
In the first paragraph I would go into more detail about why you want to study chinese, not just stating that Reed has a good program. I thought the second paragraph was a nice addition and I wouldn't change anything in that! In the third paragraph I would take out anything that talks down on the south, while it may be true, you never know who your admissions officer is, and you don't want them to think you're stereotyping. Instead, just emphasize how the university made you feel welcome and talk about how you think you would fit in there. Overall great essay, just needs a bit of tweaking!
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 7, 2014   #3
Your command of the English language is commendable. It has helped you construct a very concise and expressive personal statement. Aside from the few grammar corrections that I noticed, and replacement of words for better effect, I cannot fault this paper in any way. I included my comments in my corrections and revisions listed below. Any suggestions for the further improvement of the essay will also be towards the end of the editing list. Congratulations on a job well done :-)

The most glaring reason for why I initially thought Reed would be the best place to further my education was the college's Chinese program.

- The reason I believe that Reed is the best place to further my education is the college's ...

, I was impressed that Reed had the same ideology that I had concerning the language,

- I was impressed that Reed and I shared the same ideology ...

Honestly, I look forward to being a sophomore at Reed and living in the Chinese House.

- This could be a separate paragraph. Explain why you are looking forward to living at Reed and the Chinese House. This will show the extra curricular activities that you may be interested in joining.

I was also pleasantly surprised that Reed stresses the way the individual learns through conversation and collaboration with professors and classmates, rather than focusing on a letter grade to prove understanding.

... surprised to learn that Reed...

does not accurately assessthe attainment of knowledge

- ... assess their attainment...

After visiting Reed and gaining perspective, I cannot wait to be able to pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake and not for the 'A' or 'passing grade'.

- Excellent statement!

Continually, it is demonstrated that the population and those representing us do not support women's, queer, immigrant, or minority rights.

- Those areas and its representatives have continuously demonstrated that they do not support...

perceived as an invasive species in your home

- ... in your new homeland .

community and tolerance

- acceptance is the more politically correct term to use here.

a place that I can truly feel at home because itallows me to study

- ... place where... because I will be allowed to study...

As an afterthought, I was wondering if you could add a statement about why you want to be a Chinese major. That way you can further tie in your personal reasons for feeling rejected in Florida and the south with your desire to learn more about the Chinese by majoring in it. What are your future career plans? How does it help your career growth in the future? I am not asking you to convert this essay into a statement of purpose. I just want you to provide the admissions officer with an overview of your personal reasons for pursuing this course. I am sure it will be interesting to discover :-)


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