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Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:38 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sherealcool
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Re: rough draft of diversity statement

Postby sherealcool » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:22 pm

Overview: This piece seems a little scattered. First you talk about a proverb, then you talk about self-awareness, then you talk about language loss, then it seems like you’re advocating for cultural assimilation. I would consider scratching this piece all together.

Major points:
1) Pick your thesis. Before you rewrite, explain in a sentence what you want the audience to get out of the paper (ex- “languages make me more self-aware,” “languages have helped me grow”)Stick to it.

2) Don’t focus on the negative. Ex: “If i had nothing to compare a language or culture to, I know for a fact that I would be a less self-aware individual.” This could come off as an insult to whoever is reading it. What if your audience only knows one language? Does that mean you view them as less “aware?” To avoid this problem, focus on how you’ve grown rather than focusing on how dumb you were before.

3) Clarify what you mean by “self-aware.” Self-aware of what? Given your PS, I’d assume you’re talking about being aware of the nuances of language and how it divides/unifies. But that type of awareness is different from the self-awareness that you initially refer to. Self-awareness refers to introspection. You seem to be referring to what you’ve learned in observing other people’s behaviors.

4) Completely redo the last part of your PS. I’m referring to the part that starts with “While some people lament this loss of language…” and ends with “Often times, those who hope to create divisions between people base their justification on linguistic differences-- imagined differences where one doesn't necessarily exist.” This section sounds a little like you’re in favor of cultural assimilation because sounding like a native speaker is difficult and alienating to non-native speakers. I’m not sure whether or not that's your intention, but just realize that what you’re saying is somewhat contrary to the assumption that you’re all for diversity.

5) Don’t talk about the audience or other people. There are several times throughout the PS where it sounds like you fear cultural difference (though I know that’s not your intention). You inflict this view on the audience, which is incredibly alienating. Ex: “If you’re from Georgia, I bet you’d feel more comfortable speaking to a group of strangers if they also had a southern accent.” I was born and raised in Georgia. No, I don’t feel more or less comfortable speaking to people who have southern accents.

You also talk about "some people" and their opinions. Don't do that. Focus on you. Don't interpret other people's arguments.

7) End on a better note. You seem to end on the note of “I like languages because when I learn them people accept me and it makes life less boring.” That sounds very people-pleasing and cliche.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: rough draft of diversity statement

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:44 pm

sherealcool wrote:Overview: This piece seems a little scattered. First you talk about a proverb, then you talk about self-awareness, then you talk about language loss, then it seems like you’re advocating for cultural assimilation. I would consider scratching this piece all together.

Major points:
1) Pick your thesis. Before you rewrite, explain in a sentence what you want the audience to get out of the paper (ex- “languages make me more self-aware,” “languages have helped me grow”)Stick to it.

2) Don’t focus on the negative. Ex: “If i had nothing to compare a language or culture to, I know for a fact that I would be a less self-aware individual.” This could come off as an insult to whoever is reading it. What if your audience only knows one language? Does that mean you view them as less “aware?” To avoid this problem, focus on how you’ve grown rather than focusing on how dumb you were before.

3) Clarify what you mean by “self-aware.” Self-aware of what? Given your PS, I’d assume you’re talking about being aware of the nuances of language and how it divides/unifies. But that type of awareness is different from the self-awareness that you initially refer to. Self-awareness refers to introspection. You seem to be referring to what you’ve learned in observing other people’s behaviors.

4) Completely redo the last part of your PS. I’m referring to the part that starts with “While some people lament this loss of language…” and ends with “Often times, those who hope to create divisions between people base their justification on linguistic differences-- imagined differences where one doesn't necessarily exist.” This section sounds a little like you’re in favor of cultural assimilation because sounding like a native speaker is difficult and alienating to non-native speakers. I’m not sure whether or not that's your intention, but just realize that what you’re saying is somewhat contrary to the assumption that you’re all for diversity.

5) Don’t talk about the audience or other people. There are several times throughout the PS where it sounds like you fear cultural difference (though I know that’s not your intention). You inflict this view on the audience, which is incredibly alienating. Ex: “If you’re from Georgia, I bet you’d feel more comfortable speaking to a group of strangers if they also had a southern accent.” I was born and raised in Georgia. No, I don’t feel more or less comfortable speaking to people who have southern accents.

You also talk about "some people" and their opinions. Don't do that. Focus on you. Don't interpret other people's arguments.

7) End on a better note. You seem to end on the note of “I like languages because when I learn them people accept me and it makes life less boring.” That sounds very people-pleasing and cliche.



awesome advice. you're right that it's alienating.

thanks a bunch




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