This is an essay I would be using for my personal statement in a series of college applications and scholarship applications. This was originally written for a scholarship that requires an essay that talks about your "dream job." I like this piece so much (comparng to the tripe I usually write...) that I decided to polish it up into my perosnal statement. I had a tutor in the academic resource center correct this for me, though I would still like further comments on how I can improve this.

PS. The penultimate sentence ". I understand that it is not an easy task for a foreign student like me to become a good English writer, yet with the education I am receiving from Tufts University, I am confident that I will reach my goal" would be adjusted depending on the school or organization I'm applying for. It's currently 457 words.

Thanks for the attention!

_________(start)___________

While sitting in a plushy armchair in a corner of the library, I was immersed in a book two inches thick: "The Count of Monte Cristo." The wording was not difficult or meticulously phrased, yet Alexandre Dumas was able to grasp the reader with the pure excitement of the story. It was this kind of story that stopped me from fearing thick books. Having learned the joy of reading, my future dream job would be to write stories that would inspire love for reading in other people.

I still remember the dread I felt when I had to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" for the summer vacation. It was my first year in the United States, and even reading a short column from the newspaper was an enormous struggle. What made it worse was the book report; it turned reading into a hunt in the forest: my job was to track down the motive, the moral and the plot of the book, while the beautiful story, like the sceneries of the forest, passes me by without being noticed. I began to fear reading so much that I developed a mental block, believing that I would never be able to read anything.

Fortunately for me, I came in contact with a book that saved me from never enjoying a book again. To fulfill an independent reading project during high school, I went to the library to thumb through the authors’ catalogue, looking for any book title that hopefully would turn up a reading I could at least tolerate. Thus, I chose by chance Rudyard Kipling’s "The Light That Failed", which portrays an egocentric artist who strives to finish his life’s work before going blind. I was amazed by how much excitement, and how little philosophizing a book can have. I breezed through the book with little effort, and was even a bit surprised at myself when I finished it so soon. I had not enjoyed a book so much since I left my native country Taiwan. Later on, I realized this book was relatively unknown, and I felt really lucky to have found "The Light That Failed"; I could have easily missed this book that got me reading again.

Now, as reading has become my favorite pastime, and writing has became my future goal, I wish to write the same kind of story Kipling did that inspired me when I despaired of reading. I understand that it is not an easy task for a foreign student like me to become a good English writer, yet with the education I am receiving from Tufts University, I am confident that I will reach my goal. Who knows? Maybe someday my story will help another desperate student to love reading again.

_________(end)___________
Good Day Heimdall,

I have been writing essays and personal statements too lately. Hence I would like to make a small comment on your essay. I think your essay mentions too much of your struggle part. In addition you're applying for a scholarship to a University which is highly ranked and extremely selective so you don't want to lose ground on your scholarship.My suggestion would be that you slightly change the struggles part into challenges.Americans definitely view a challenge in a very positive, motivating point of view.

My version of your last paragraph would be something like this:

While I'm aware that it is a challenge for a foreign student like me to become a good English writer,I am convinced that with the education I am receiving from Tufts University,I will reach my goal in no time. Who knows? Maybe someday my story will help another desperate student to love reading again.

The'' convincing'' part would flatter themEmotion: smile.The rest of the essay will be corrected by a native. I hope I was of help to you.

Savvy
I take it that you are writing applications to Tufts University, and other schools. Here are some additional grammatical corrections/suggestions--

While sitting in a plushy armchair in a corner of the library, I was immersed in a book two inches thick, "The Count of Monte Cristo." Because the wording was not difficult or meticulously phrased, Alexandre Dumas was able to grasp the reader with the pure excitement of the story. It was this kind of story that stopped me from fearing thick books. Having learned the joy of reading, I knew my future dream job would be to write stories that would inspire love for reading in other people.

I still remember the dread I felt when I had to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" for the summer vacation. It was my first year in the United States, and reading even a short column from the newspaper was an enormous challenge. What made reading more of a struggle was the requirement to write a book report. That requirement turned reading into 'a hunt in the forest'. My job, it seemed, was to track down the motive, focus only on the moral and the plot of the book, and to set aside what really interested me: the beautiful story, the scenery of 'the forest'. I began to fear reading so much that I developed a mental block, believing that I would never be able to read anything for enjoyment and inspiration.

Fortunately for me, I came across a book that saved me. To fulfill an independent reading project during high school, I went to the library and thumbed through the authors’ catalogue, looking for any book title that suggested something I might, at least, tolerate. Thus, I chose by chance Rudyard Kipling’s "The Light That Failed" . It portrays an egocentric artist who strives to finish his life’s work before going blind. I was amazed by how much excitement, and how little philosophizing, (is this relevant?) a book can have. I breezed through the book with little effort, and was even a bit surprised at myself for finishing it so soon. I had not enjoyed a book so much since I left my native country, Taiwan. Later on, I realized this book was relatively unknown, and I felt really lucky to have found "The Light That Failed". I could have easily missed the very book that got me reading again.

Now, as reading has become my favorite pastime, and writing has become my future goal, I wish to write the same kind of stories that inspired me when I despaired of reading. I understand that it is not an easy task for a foreign student like me to become a good English writer, yet with the education I will receive from Tufts University, I am confident that I will reach my goal. Who knows? Maybe someday my stories will help another desperate student to love reading again.

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Thanks Savvysavz and davkett! You guys pointed out lots of weak points in my essay that I didn't even realize!

I'll edit my essay again, and maybe post it up again later.

Thanks again!