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"Studying history is important to me because history is all-encompassing" Cornell Essay help


dhizzy 4 / 16 2  
Nov 22, 2014   #1
Hi, I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my Cornell supplement essay. Thanks.

Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests? (250-650 words)

Studying history is important to me because history is all-encompassing. It is a subject that embodies the interdisciplinary principles of the liberal arts education. When we study history, we aren't just memorizing dates and learning about the accomplishments of great individuals; we are learning about the development of science, about how the continual advancements in technology are redefining daily life, and about how economies are expanding beyond the scope of neighboring farms to encompass the entire globe.

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vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Nov 22, 2014   #2
Daniel, while the essay is fine as it is, I believe that adding an anecdote at the start will help explain the foundation of your current intellectual interests Since your interests are not common among most people, it would be fascinating to learn about how it developed. More importantly, it will help highlight the reasons why you believe that Cornell will be the best place / university to help further hone your interests and skills in this particular field. Try to make the anecdote interesting and relevant to your latter discussions in a collective manner. Just present one all encompassing anecdote to tie the whole essay together. Good work by the way. It is a very interesting and relevant essay. It was a joy for me to read :-) The addition of the anecdote should make it even lighter and more involving for the reader.
OP dhizzy 4 / 16 2  
Nov 23, 2014   #3
With my anecdote (26 words over the limit):

"Look to your left... What do you see?" our teacher asked as we entered the classroom.
"A knife!" someone yelled out.
"A paining!"
"A map!"
On the first day of high school, these were some of the objects that graced "The Artifact Wall" of room 207. Each week, three lucky students were assigned with the task of taping a new item to it. As the months went by, our little museum expanded from its original collection of 5 items to include Arab Spring headlines, Korean coins, and pictures of the rising Freedom Tower. "The Artifact Wall" presented a story: a living history of our freshman year.

Studying history is important to me because history is all-encompassing. It is a subject that embodies the interdisciplinary principles of the liberal arts education. When we study history, we aren't just memorizing dates and learning about the accomplishments of great individuals; we are learning about the development of science, about how the continual advancements in technology are redefining daily life, and about how economies are expanding beyond the scope of neighboring farms to encompass the entire globe. We are analyzing the growth of political ideologies and their effects on individuals and societies. We are searching for meaning in art and music and examining cultural context to paint a more accurate picture of the past, but most importantly, we are observing how people interact - how we have developed as a social species to create the global civilization that we call "humanity."

Tell me and I will forget. Teach me and I will remember. Involve me and I will learn. At Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences, my aim to discover the past through primary research; to be inspired by a professor like Professor Friedland, who shares my interest in early modern European history and is currently researching the spreading of French Revolutionary ideals to the French Caribbean colonies. In researching at the College of Arts and Sciences, I wish to take advantage of the Cornell University Library's extensive Rare and Manuscript Collection and it's unique array of French Revolutionary documents. I look forward to joining the Undergraduate Historical Society, helping to spread appreciation for history to other undergraduates. Having created a historical journal at my school, I hope to become published, and one day serve as a publisher for Ezra's Archives - the Cornell undergraduate historical journal.

I am fascinated by the expressions of society - art, culture and politics. I see beauty in the order of disorder, the harmony of Pointillism's hectic array of colored dots, and the chaotic synchronization of political theory. I feel that my study of history would be incomplete without taking into account my interest in political science. At the College of Arts and Sciences, the Double Major program would allow me to combine my passion for history with my interest in political science (Government) to create a comprehensive program of study.

At Cornell, my goal is not only to study "humanity," but also to contribute to it in a meaningful way. Service-Learning courses like "Social Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Problem Solvers," would allow me to apply lessons learned in my study of history and government to tackling contemporary social issues. Through case study and practical application of my newfound knowledge, I will become better prepared to make a difference in both the local and global community.

History is a multifaceted discipline. What attracts me most to Cornell is a similar multifaceted approach to learning and living, an interdisciplinary program enhanced by its diverse community of people and interests. This diversity is reflected in the breadth of extracurricular activities offered on campus. Having worked with elementary and middle school students in an educational setting for three years, I would be interested in joining the club "College Mentors for Kids" and helping to engage elementary schools students in fun, educational activity that cultivates their love of learning. I hope to one day promote my own club: a historical community outreach group that will teach local school children about their ancestors and generate enthusiasm for learning about the past.
vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Nov 23, 2014   #4
Daniel, you mentioned science, continual history and advancement in technology as a part of the ever evolving world of human history. I suggest a little adjustment to the anecdote that includes a representation of those fields. That way your later statement indicating those fields have an actual connection to the anecdote that you used :-) It would also help if we knew what you were thinking or feeling during the time that you were participating in the story. Show the child or teenager like understanding of what was going on and how it affected your intense interest in history :-)
OP dhizzy 4 / 16 2  
Nov 23, 2014   #5
First two paragraphs with revised anecdote:

"Look to your left... What do you see?" our teacher asked as we entered the classroom.
"A knife!" someone yelled out.
"A paining!"
"A map!"
On the first day of high school, these were some of the objects that graced "The Artifact Wall" of room 207. As the months went by, the wall became engulfed in a sea of Arab Spring headlines, Popular Science articles, and pictures of the rising World Trade Center. Gazing at the wall I was dumbstruck. Society seemed so complex; disorganized like the messy collage of pictures and items on the wall, but as I looked closer, a story began to emerge.

Studying history is important to me because history is all-encompassing. It is a subject that embodies the interdisciplinary principles of the liberal arts education. When we study history, we aren't just memorizing dates and learning about the accomplishments of great individuals; we are learning about the development of science, about how continual advancements in technology are redefining daily life, and about how economies are expanding beyond the scope of neighboring farms to encompass the entire globe. We are analyzing the growth of political ideologies and their effects on individuals and societies. We are searching for meaning in art and music and examining cultural context to paint a more accurate picture of the past, but most importantly, we are observing how people interact - how we have developed as a social species to create the global civilization that we call "humanity."
vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Nov 23, 2014   #6
Excellent work Daniel! As far as I am concerned, this essay well reflects the requirements of a prompt in an interesting and highly imaginative manner. My opinion is that this essay is ready to submit if you are ready to submit it. This is as ready for use as it can be. However, my opinion could be slightly or highly different from yours. I hope that you also feel that it is ready to submit. If you think there are still parts we can work on, let me know which parts you want to improve and I'll work with you on fixing it up :-) Be confident in what your instinct tells you and I will be here to support and help you.
OP dhizzy 4 / 16 2  
Nov 24, 2014   #7
Thanks for the help. I'm feeling really good about it and will have my English teacher give it a read too. Otherwise it's done. I really appreciate the help, thanks.


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