One page letter describing your interest in Science

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One page letter describing your interest in Science

Post by Archived Topic » Fri Dec 21, 2001 5:49 am

I appreciate the opportunity you and Stanford University are providing students, like myself who are interested in furthering their knowledge in the sciences. There are obviously thousands of students in the country who are filled with curiosity about fields within science and technology. Curiosity is what drives many to pursue the sciences and push its boundaries to new and undiscovered places. My interest in science however, is not just based around an inquisitive mind, but rather from my passion for life and society. One of my core beliefs is that the cure to almost any woe within our society or our lives can be solved by science. It does not require much luck, but rather just a logical mind and the willingness to put forth the effort needed. Thomas Edison described his method of inquiry as one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. I feel that Science might be the only field where the possibilities to change society for the better are endless. Biomedical Engineering for example allowed us to decode the Human Genome, which might change the face of medicine forever. Many can’t imagine researching for years with no tangible results, but the self-gratification and pride that you feel when discovering something new or building a great machine is something that transcends anything else. Knowing that I can contribute to the betterment of society, earn a good living and have a sense of fulfillment is too good a combination to ignore.

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One page letter describing your interest in Science

Post by Archived Reply » Fri Dec 21, 2001 6:03 am

I'm afraid I found this gushing, naively optimistic, repetitive and egotistical. For instance, I think it is far from clear that almost all individual and social problems can be cured by science, and your piece also fails to convince me that you personally have anything special to offer, since you mention nothing about your specific scientific interests, achievements or abilities. In addition, some of what you write does not come across as particularly sincere, especially in your opening sentence - you are proposing to pay them good money for this 'opportunity', aren't you?

Instead, your text is overburdened with meaningless platitudes - what exactly is a 'passion for life and society'?

I would suggest shifting your perspective away from the topic of how great it would feel to be a successful scientist towards an appreciation that science as an activity exists in a complex set of contexts, which your piece currently fails to acknowledge.

Beyond that, I think you would have more success with it if you focused your discussion on describing your interest in a specific area of science. This would enable you to argue your points with more depth and with more conviction.

Try also splitting your text into sections where each paragraph carries one main idea, at least to start with. That will make it easier both to sequence the flow of your ideas coherently and to weed out the repetitions.
Your text is overburdened with meaningless platitudes - what exactly is a 'passion for life and society'?

I think you would have more success with this piece if you focused your discussion on describing your interest in a specific area of science. This would enable you to argue your case much more convincingly.

Try splitting your text into sections where each paragraph carries one main idea, at least to start with. That will make it easier to construct the flow of ideas and weed out repetitions.
Reply from Erik Kowal (Reading - England)
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One page letter describing your interest in Science

Post by Archived Reply » Fri Dec 21, 2001 6:17 am

Whoops! Ignore the last three paras.
Reply from Erik Kowal (Reading - England)
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