How to Write: What One Student Learned

Yesterday I gave lessons from my academic writing class based on all student answers. One student, Wang Lingjie, did an especially good job saying what she learned. Here are four things:

Lesson 1: Be genuine. In the last class, Seth showed us a pair of personal statements and its revised form. [I showed a personal statement before and after revision.] Rethought about it, I do feel that the original form would be more like a true person who want to tell his story and show his willingness for a master’s degree. [In class, Lingjie had preferred the revised version.] True self expressed more like a vivid individual.

Lesson 2: Keep the sentence simple. Chinese students normally have their technique to produce a fancy article. One of the tips is their substitution list, by which they can switch normal words into long and seemly educated ones. This kind of decoration seems like showing off. Also, when I went on to write personal statements according to the college’s requirements, I understand the importance to be succinct under words limitation.

Lesson 3: Talk to your readers as you speak.  I get the inspiration from the guest speaker [Jon Cousins]. Then I took on to read my passages out when I write twitters for my internship. Though the effect of the new promotion tone has not emerged yet, I personally like the latter ones better.

Lesson 4: Raise readers’ emotions. Stories help. I realized its importance when we discussed Ashley’s 3 outlines. [Students wrote 3 outlines on the same subject.]

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