英国和美国留学文书有何差异?
2015-11-29
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毋庸置疑,每所学校到头来还是会想从申请者身上看到一些基本的特质。每个学校都在寻找的普遍特质可能有:

  • 潜力
  • 学术能力
  • 动机
  • 热情
  • 个人魅力
  • 写作/思维能力
  • 有远见的思维模式
  • 工作经验
  • 沟通能力

哪个学校不想录取拥有以上全部特质的人才呢?因此,英国和美国的文书根本没有区别,对吧?

如果你这么想,那么你就大错特错了!

为什么?

在英美文书语境中,体现这些特质当然很重要, 但对于有追求的申请者来说,如果只是驻足于这一点,那未免太自负了!

优秀的学术能力是敢于挑战现有体系,致力于构建事物真相的特质。文书申请也是一样,如果你的申请态度能清晰展示你拥有的知识和能力,那么这将在申请中帮助你很多。

现在高等教育申请竞争激烈,伴随着改变人生的机遇。申请中有很多和你一样优秀,一样拼的小伙伴,挖空心思地在吸引招生官的眼球!所以你凭什么不对自己的申请文书多花心思,多花时间呢?!

好了,讲了这么多,想必大家已经清楚认识到申请文书的重要性,也知道了英美国家文书写作是不能一概而论的!那么到底应该怎么写英国留学文书和美国留学文书呢?

首先,明确一点,读者的语境才是王道!(Context is everything

提问:申请英国和美国的PS有什么不同呢?如果有不同,那么是有多不同呢?

这是个好问题,因为提出这个问题意味着你已经意识到读者语境的重要性。读者的语境决定着他想从你的文书中得到什么;对于读者语境的精准把握决定着你写文书的策略。

那么语境是可以一概而论的吗?答案当然是否定的!大家要树立这样的意识:

语境是很复杂的!如果区分语境很简单的话,那分分钟就可以搞定申请文书!

所有,语境的区分绝不是以下如此简单的模型:The key differences are X, Y and Z. The degree of difference is 65%. You should make adjustments to A, B and C when making a UK application. (文书毕竟不是数学公式,申请也不是解一道数学题)

申请结果往往是很多因素综合作用,而这些因素因学校而异,甚至因人而异。比如:

  • Institution-specific factors: Such as budgetary concerns or a school’s unique application-reading procedures…can, for example, interact with:
  • totally subjective factors: E.g. The temperament of the reader (or readers) who assess your statement.

继续来探究一下语境:

虽然区分语境非常复杂,但难道这就意味着没有规律可循了吗?当然不是!我们还是可以找到特定申请对象的特点,据此来准备文书的,而且这是非常明智的做法!但如果过分揣摩申请对象的特点,妄自揣度学校意图,则会得不偿失哦~

就好比我给大家写这篇文章,都是采用美国拼写(如:color, labor),因为我猜测很多读者都是会申请美国大学。这种合理的猜测是有意义的。但是只知道英国人,美国人,澳大利亚人或者中国人的一些共性(characteristic/traits),这是没有意义的。因为这些共性太宽泛,无法针对性的使用。因此,在做一些重要决定或者判断,以及申请学校的时候,一概而论的总结情况都是不明智的!

曼彻斯特大学现代历史系的高级讲师Dr Leif Jerram说过,英国和美国PS的主要区别在于“sobriety”(含义太丰富,请自行查询,大概就是中文“行为方式的持重或者适度、节制的意思”+_+),莫慌,举个栗子,大家就明白了。

美国PS梦想意味浓重,侧重个人经历(American personal statements tend to be full of dreams and private experience):

‘Ever since watching Harry Potter, I have always wanted to study in England…’

还有很多“谄媚”(They contain much flattery:):

‘The University of Citytown has an enviable global reputation in…’

英国PS比较高冷,侧重事实和意义(British prose writing is more sober, factual and instrumental):

比如,下面是偏向梦想的描述(For example, the dream might be expressed as):

‘My career plans focus on working in the automotive design industry, and the UK’s excellence in this field makes a natural fit’

那些浮夸的“谄媚”会被踢掉,取而代之冷静的事实描述(And the flattery would be absent – in its place would be sober details:):

‘Professor Smith’s research into the sociology of cities, combigned with the strong publications in Anthropology in spatial theory, make the University of Citytown’s MA in Urban Studies an obvious choice for someone wishing to pursue a PhD in spatial theory.’

由此可见,一概而论英国和美国申请文书的区别不仅起不到效果,还会只给出宽泛的论断,比如“英国文书就是像XXX,美国文书就是像YYY”, 却不告诉你为什么。

深刻理解英美读者语境,并知道为什么,才是文书写作的王道,才能避免你陷入简单的只根据“国民特征”写作文书的大坑!

与此同时,研究英美教育体系是很有必要的!因为英美教育体系差别很大,而这些差别都会体现在录取流程中。

在此针对申请本科的同学,给出一些对于英美教育体系应该注意的差异:

1. 学术结构不同:Subject-focused <—> Liberal arts

United Kingdom

Standard UK degrees are three years in length and therefore there is more exclusive focus on one subject from the start.

Accordingly, there is more expectation that candidates will articulate specific academic specialities. If you can demonstrate exceptional talent in one particular subject and a commitment to growing your knowledge and skills in a specific discipline, this may be preferred.

United States

US degrees generally last for four years and allow for a greater breadth of subjects; although you will ultimately focus on a major (usually chosen at the end of your second year), you’ll also be taking classes in a number of unrelated subjects.

A student with exceptional talent in one particular subject may be valued equally to an exceptional ‘all-rounder’. Demonstrable open-mindedness and curiosity are therefore prioritized in the US, because they are seen as hallmarks of individuals who will get the most out of the education on offer.

2. 招生官类型不同:Admissions office staff <—> Academic faculty staff

United Kingdom

Academic faculty in the department to which you are applying (the people who will be teaching you) have the say on which applicants are offered a place.

Academic staff are experts in their field, therefore you should use your knowledge and informed opinions regarding the relevant subject to demonstrate your appeal.

United States

Admissions office staff for the whole university make the decisions. In the UK admin staff are there to support academics in making their decision.

Admissions officers may well have a very workable understanding of the subject you are applying for, however his or her focus will be what will make you a valuable member of the university community.

3. 录取考虑的优先级不同:Overall school community <—> Subject-specific community

United Kingdom

There is more emphasis on the academic parts of a candidate’s application.

Extracurriculars to UK institutions in some cases, if the writer uses them to demonstrate that he or she is a well-rounded individual with transferrable skills, or—more commonly—to understand why an applicant’s grades are not strong, these are not the operative factor. Nonetheless, they are less likely to be the operative factor in swinging an application in the candidate’s favor.

United States

The priority of the admissions officer is focused more widely: On creating a community of students who will actively contribute to university life.

Accordingly, extracurricular activities (sports, music, part-time jobs, leadership roles, volunteer work, etc.) are much more important to provide context to your academic achievements and thereby provide evidence that you will actively contribute to university life.

In addition, standardized test scores (which make many candidates look very similar academically) render the function of the essay much more focused on individual differentiation in the US system. Essays emphasize being interesting, entertaining, and engaging to a greater extent because the way in which the essay is used by admissions staff makes it profitable (in some cases) to write in this way.

总而言之,在你写作本科申请文书时,学校的特点和文化的差异你都要牢记于心。很显然,英美学校间有很多差异,不能一概而论,但我能给的建议是:意识到本文提到的差异,积极主动了解自己申请的学校和体系的特点,让这些知识为你的文书写作提供方向和意见,却也不要被这些知识固化自己的写作思路。相信意识到这一点并积极运用起来,一定能给大家在写作英国文书和美国文书方面带来一些帮助!

我个人的理解:从这个问题的回答可以看出,英美申请文书有差异,但不绝对;有特征,但不固化。而是要综合把握与灵活判断。感觉说了和没说一样,对的,这个世界本就复杂而多元,和而不同,融会贯通,而不是机械地按照定式去行动。

昨天(2015年11月27日)恰逢Bruce Lee(李小龙)诞辰75周年,我想起了他所说的一段话,是讲武学中的哲学,而我觉得同样适用于申请和文书的把握:

Empty your mind,(清空你的思绪)

Be formless, shapeless, like water. (灵活、无形,像水一样)

Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; (你将水倒入杯子,它就成为杯子的形状)

You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle;(你将水倒入瓶子,它就成为瓶子的形状)

You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.(你将水倒入茶壶,它就成为茶壶的形状)

Water can flow, or it can crash;(水可缓流,也能急冲)

Be water, my friend. (像水一样吧,我的朋友)

所以,以无法为有法,以无限为有限——全方位的自由_____(此处可填任意名词:搏击/写作/处事等);这也是芝士圈留学在文书的辅导上希望帮助申请者掌握的能力。

免费福利

1.writing sample是什么,要写哪些内容?

2.申请成功者背景参考:注册后添加客服,发送「目标申请国家/地区+专业」领取

3.注册后无限量查看:留学文书范文,含PS/SOP、简历、essay等

(免责声明:整理自网络,侵联删除)

芝士圈留学免费福利

  1. 注册后免费查看一份成功者申请档案: 名校录取者GPA、语言成绩、留学文书
  2. 申请成功者背景参考:注册后添加客服微信,发送「目标申请国家/地区+专业」领取
  3. 注册后无限量查看:留学文书范文,含PS/SOP、简历、essay等
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