Pinknails,

Please

Also, please don't carpet bomb the forum with your requests to have your letter examined. One request is sufficient. Several requests is impolite. We Canadians are usually more polite.

You had attached your essay to the end of another thread. I took the liberty of having your post start a new thread.

It's late now, so someone else or I will look at your stuff soon.

MountainHiker




here are the instructions:
ESSAY A - Autobiographical Essay:

Give us your best writing. Tell us about yourself. You can include information on your family, significant persons, places and events in your life, what interests you, etc. You have some leeway with the writing format however overly dramatic or comedic writing including poetry or writing in the 3rd person is not encouraged. After reading your autobiographical essay the reader should be both informed and motivated to find out more about you.

HERE IS MY ESSAY...

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I had three of my poems published in a regional elementary school competition here in Toronto. It was then, at the age of eight that I realized my dream of leaving a literary trace in this world. My first journalistic experience occurred in 1996 through my membership as an active member of Toronto’s Metro Youth Council. I had volunteered for several note-taking sessions concerning the long-term effects of the economy and globalization on youth. I recorded the minutes of formal meetings and assisted facilitators with interactive youth programs addressing issues affecting youth, global concerns, crime, jobs, affordable education and various training programs. My notes were then used to help draft the final proposal, which was presented at the Conference of Major Metropolis’s in Tokyo, Japan, in 1996.

As a student attending Catholic Arts high school, I could not understand how an undergraduate’s degree would have benefited me at all. My former dreams of becoming the leading flutist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra were dying down and I was entering the world as a high-school graduate with no major plans in store. In 2001, I started a small job recruiting and resume consulting business in which I prepare my clients resumes and portfolio’s for today’s job market. After graduating from high school, I stumbled into a five-week contract position with Ingram Micro, an information technology wholesaler, and quickly excelled to a full time marketing role. My experience at Ingram Micro enabled me to visualize how an Undergraduate degree could enhance my performance, communication skills and develop my craft of creative writing. It also helped in the development of my overall administrative skills. I eventually left Ingram Micro to pursue my Undergraduates degree in Communication Studies and Humanities at York University.

Throughout my life, my education and work experiences have fuelled my desire to be involved in a professional media environment. My experience as a freelance writer for a number of local print and on-line magazines within Toronto has lead to my interest in journalism. In October of 2002, I joined Urban Vibez Magazine, a small urban hip-hop magazine in Toronto. As junior editor in chief I edited and directed the preparation of a their materials for publication. In addition, I was also responsible for researching marketing and communication news, managing our editorial staff, and keeping track of deadlines and production dates. Working with a small staff enabled me to work closely with our advertising, circulation and promotion departments, which helped me to understand the intricate details involved in publishing a monthly magazine. Unfortunately, within a period of six to seven months my career with Urban Vibez magazine was short lived due to slow advertising sales. Overall, my time spent with Urban Vibez magazine helped me to realize the role I wanted to take part in, in the magazine industry.

Aside from working part time and putting myself through school, my extracurricular activities primarily involve freelance writing and the completion of my memoir. I have submitted several articles and opinion pages to print and on-line magazines, local newspapers and community bulletins within Toronto. The articles I have written address a variety of topics including health, relationships and child abuse issues as well cultural events and Internet piracy. I also enjoy reading and collecting magazines, acting and interior design. In addition, I have worked as an extra in the film and television industry in Toronto.

My love for being in front of or behind the camera further propelled me to intern for The Weather Network in their Marketing and Communications department in 2004. My duties at The Weather Network vary from researching and archiving media clippings, participating in marketing meetings, assisting with contests, audience relations, partnerships, merchandise selection, advertising initiatives and the overall execution of our Marketing plan. One of my biggest accomplishments was designing, writing and releasing a seasonal newsletter to The Weather Networks Extreme Weather Team. The outcome of this piece received positive responses from Extreme Weather Team members. In the future, I plan to be involved in the creative or business side of a media environment. My goal is to work in a prestigious news, magazine or broadcast organization where I can bring both a Caribbean-Canadian and American perspective to my work. My aim is to inform the public on current, national and local topics and eventually branch out into on-air reporting, anchoring and news production.

Living in Canada has exposed me to various cultures, religions and ethnicities. While attending school, my class consisted of children with Italian, Hispanic, Portuguese, East Indian, East Asian, Vietnamese and Lebanese backgrounds. Having friends with such diverse cultures gave me insight into their culturally rich backgrounds. For the past twenty years I have spent my summer’s visiting my relatives in New York City and have developed an interest in going to school there. My summers in New York also allowed me to observe the similarities and differences amongst certain cultural groups within Canada and the United States. My travels throughout the United States of America have spanned the Eastern Coast. I have been to places such as Buffalo and New York City, New York, historic Delaware and Pennsylvania, Atlanta, Georgia, the nation's capital Washington, DC, Mid-West Illinois and the Sunshine State of Florida. Some of my most exciting travel took place throughout several visits in the Caribbean including Cuba, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Throughout my entire employment history, I have had the privilege of working with people from various backgrounds, who not only enlightened me with home cooked meals but also with cultural history lessons. I embrace diversity and I am not afraid of it.

Although it took me a bit longer to complete my undergraduate education, I consider it my greatest achievement. I paid for it, I struggled for it and I gave up a great deal of my life for it. I also realize that my educational path is not complete. As I approach the completion of my Undergraduate degree, I realize that in order to reach the level of success I have set for myself, I will need to further my education. That is why I am applying to Columbia’s graduate program in Magazine journalism. In my opinion, Canada and the United States television, newspaper and magazine industries are different. However, America’s media industry yields far more diverse media outlets and opportunities for research in this field. This experience will enhance my understanding of the relationship between Canada and the United States by allowing a cross-cultural and balanced exchange of knowledge with those that I encounter.
1 2
I just had a quick look at it.

Here are some quick comments:

1) Some minor grammar and punctuation stuff. Given that you were an editor, I expect you to go through your material with a fine tooth comb and pick it up.

2) Your word count is 1097, about 10% longer than the maximum length allowed. Your school seems like a stickler on details. I would be cautious about going over the maximum length.

3) Your essay seems to ramble. After reading your essay, I am not sure how I would describe you. Although this is an autobiographical essay, I don't think you need to cover from elementary school to present. Pick a key theme with one or two minor themes and develop those.

If this article were written the Globe & Mail, do you think it would be an interesting story? Would you want to submit this essay as a personal essay on the last page of Section A of the Globe?

I am not a journalist, but when I read something in the paper, it has catch my attention within a paragraph or two, or I am on the next article. What in your article grabs the reader's attention.

Given that you are an "artistic" person applying for an "artistic" graduate degree, here's an off-the-wall idea for you. Feel free to reject or accept.

I would start your essay with something like....(don't use what I have written...look at it and improve upon it or do something different.)

I am literary explorer. Like the early explorers who trekked across North America seeking their fortune and fame, I am a literary explorer who has written for small entrepreneurial newspapers to a multinational weather news channel and I am getting ready to seek my fame and fortune. I love the board exposure of writing that blah blah blah.

Now you could go on and discuss your various writing assignments. Stick to writing. But as you discuss your writing, you can tell the reader about yourself.

Anyway, free advice is often only worth the price you paid for it.

MountainHiker
Hi MountainHiker,
sorry about confusion, I'm a new user and I was having a problem figuring out how to post.... or start a new thread, which I still don't know how to do by the way....so I just added on to Rody's...sorry..

Thank you for replying so fast !!!
I'm having a serious creative block right now..writing about yourself is hard....I'm starting to wonder why I'm applying at all....getting discouraged with this application..I'll take a look at your pointers and see what I can come up with...can u keep this thread going just incase I want to show it to u again ?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi PinkNails,

Yes, this thread will remain open.

To start a new thread, please Essay, Paragraph, Dialog & other Composition Writing and hit the big button that says "New Post".

Look forward to seeing you again soon.

MountainHiker
Thanks again!!
Hi MountainHiker, I made a few changes...what do u think ?

Personal Statement[A]1000 word limit
ESSAY A - Autobiographical Essay:

Give us your best writing. Tell us about yourself. You can include information on your family, significant persons, places and events in your life, what interests you, etc. You have some leeway with the writing format however overly dramatic or comedic writing including poetry or writing in the 3rd person is not encouraged. After reading your autobiographical essay the reader should be both informed and motivated to find out more about you.

Whenever something bothers me, I write about it. I am a literary explorer who has written for small entrepreneurial newspapers to a weather news channel. I have known I wanted to be a writer at the age of eight. My first journalistic experience occurred in 1996 as an active member of Toronto’s Metro Youth Council. I recorded the minutes of formal meetings and assisted facilitators with interactive youth programs addressing issues affecting youth, global concerns, crime, jobs, affordable education and various training programs. My notes formed the final proposal presented at the Conference of Major Metropolis’ in Tokyo, Japan, in 1996.

For the past twenty years I have spent my summer’s visiting my relatives in New York City and have developed an interest in going to school there. I am attracted to Columbia University’s magazine journalism program for its impressive alumni who have worked for major publications including GLAMOUR, Rolling Stones and The New York Times Magazine. Attending the Delacorte lectures given by leading editors in the industry will provide me with the information I need to become a writer and editor in the magazine industry. I am particularly interested in the spring workshops where students get the chance to create their own magazine prototypes from start to finish. Enrollment in Columbia’s graduate program will also make me eligible for a fellowship in the Columbia Journalism Review.

In the future, I plan to work towards creating my own magazine or assist major publications in providing more of a representative voice that blacks can relate to. I have found that there is a lack of homebred magazines in Canada, that give a face to important issues ranging from health and relationships to finance and business and other issues affecting African Americans and African Canadians today. In my opinion, the Canadian and United States magazine, newspaper and television industries are very different. However, America’s media industry features far more diverse media outlets and opportunities for research. My goal is to work in a prestigious news, magazine or broadcast organization where I can bring both a Caribbean-Canadian and American perspective to my work.

Throughout my life, my education and work experiences have fuelled my desire to be involved in a professional media environment. My experience as a freelance writer for print and on-line magazines within Toronto has led to my interest in journalism. In October of 2002, I joined Urban Vibez Magazine, a small urban hip-hop magazine in Toronto. As junior editor in chief I edited and directed the preparation of a their materials for publication.
One of the things I loved most about that job was the occasional argument between my co-workers over an ambiguous statement or questionable comma in the work I edited. The adrenaline of staying on top of deadlines and researching communication news for an upcoming issue is what I crave. Working with a small staff enabled me to work closely with their advertising, circulation and promotion departments, which helped me to understand the intricate details involved in publishing a monthly magazine. Overall, my time spent with Urban Vibez magazine helped me to realize the creative writing role I wanted to pursue in the magazine industry.

My love for being in front of or behind the camera further propelled me to intern for The Weather Network in their Marketing and Communications department in 2004. One of my biggest accomplishments was designing, writing and releasing a seasonal newsletter to The Weather Networks Extreme Weather Team. The outcome of this piece received positive responses from Extreme Weather Team members. Aside from assisting with contests and advertising initiatives, my experience with the Weather Network has reinforced my goal of pursuing Masters degree in magazine journalism so that I may assist behind the lens by writing for media magazines.

In 2001, I started a small job recruiting and resume consulting business in which I prepare my clients resumes and portfolios for today’s job market. After graduating from high school, I stumbled into a five-week contract position with Ingram Micro, an information technology wholesaler, and quickly excelled to a full time marketing role. My experience at Ingram Micro enabled me to visualize how an Undergraduate degree could enhance my performance, communication skills and develop my craft of creative writing. It also helped in the development of my overall administrative skills. I eventually left Ingram Micro to pursue my Undergraduates degree in Communication Studies and Humanities at York University.

Aside from working part time and putting myself through school, my interests primarily involve freelance writing and the completion of my memoir. I have submitted several articles and opinion pages to print and on-line magazines, local newspapers and community bulletins within Toronto. The articles I have written address a variety of topics including health, relationships and child abuse issues as well cultural events and Internet piracy. I also enjoy reading and collecting magazines, acting and interior design. In addition, I have worked as an extra in the film and television industry in Toronto.

I consider my undergraduate education to be my greatest achievement. I paid for it, I struggled for it and I gave up a great deal of my life for it. I also realize that my educational path is not complete. As I approach the completion of my Undergraduate degree, I realize that in order to reach the level of success I have set for myself, I will need to further my education. That is why I am applying to Columbia’s graduate program in Magazine journalism. My education, experiences and unique perspectives have prepared me for enrollment in Columbia’s magazine journalism program. By attending Columbia’s Masters of Journalism program, I will become more marketable as a journalist in Canada. This experience will enhance my understanding of the relationship between Canada and the United States by allowing a cross-cultural and balanced exchange of knowledge with those that I encounter.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Whenever something bothers me, I write about it. [Who does this first sentence relate to the rest of your paragraph?] I am a literary explorer who has written for small entrepreneurial newspapers to a weather news channel. I have known I wanted to be a writer at the age of eight. [Why? How?] My first journalistic experience occurred in 1996 as an active member of Toronto’s Metro Youth Council. I recorded the minutes of formal meetings and assisted facilitators with interactive youth programs addressing issues affecting youth, global concerns, crime, jobs, affordable education and various training programs. My notes formed the final proposal presented at the Conference of Major Metropolis’ in Tokyo, Japan, in 1996.

For the past twenty years I have spent my summer’s visiting my relatives in New York City and have developed an interest in going to school there. I am attracted to Columbia University’s magazine journalism program for its impressive alumni who have worked for major publications including GLAMOUR, Rolling Stones and The New York Times Magazine. Attending the Delacorte [?] lectures given by leading editors in the industry will provide me with the information I need to become a writer and editor in the magazine industry. I am particularly interested in the spring workshops where students get the chance to create their own magazine prototypes from start to finish. Enrollment in Columbia’s graduate program will also make me eligible for a fellowship in the Columbia Journalism Review. [This paragraph seems scattered. You start by talking about visiting your relative in NYC, and you end your paragraph by talking about fellowship in Columbia Journalism Review.]

In the future, I plan to work towards creating my own magazine or assist major publications in providing more of a representative voice that blacks can relate to. [Why not state this at the front of you essay so that we know what your ultimate goal is?] I have found that there is a lack of homebred magazines in Canada, that give a face to important issues ranging from health and relationships to finance and business and other issues affecting African Americans and African Canadians today. In my opinion [as opposed to who else?], the Canadian and United States magazine, newspaper and television industries are very different. However, America’s media industry features far more diverse media outlets and opportunities for research. My goal is to work in a prestigious news, magazine or broadcast organization where I can bring both a Caribbean-Canadian and American perspective to my work. [Didn’t you say you plan to work toward creating your own magazine? Something that blacks can relate to? Or is your goal to work for someone else? Or is your goal…?]

Throughout my life, my education and work experiences have fuelled my desire to be involved in a professional media environment. My experience as a freelance writer for print and on-line magazines within Toronto has led to my interest in journalism. [But didn’t you know at the age of 8 that you were predestined to become a writer?] In October of 2002, I joined Urban Vibez Magazine, a small urban hip-hop magazine in Toronto. As junior editor in chief I edited and directed the preparation of their materials for publication.

One of the things I loved most about that job was the occasional argument between my co-workers over an ambiguous statement or questionable comma in the work I edited. [You love arguments--that ought to go over well with the admissions committee.] The adrenaline of staying on top of deadlines and researching communication news for an upcoming issue is what I crave.[Maybe it is just me, but it leaves me with the impression of poor work habits.] Working with a small staff enabled me to work closely with their advertising, circulation and promotion departments, which helped me to understand the intricate details involved in publishing a monthly magazine. Overall, my time spent with Urban Vibez magazine helped me to realize the creative writing role I wanted to pursue in the magazine industry. [There seem to be a lot of times, places and experiences that have shaped your ultimate goal, no?]

My love for being in front of or behind the camera further propelled me to intern for The Weather Network in their Marketing and Communications department in 2004. One of my biggest accomplishments was designing, writing and releasing a seasonal newsletter to The Weather Networks Extreme Weather Team. The outcome of this piece received positive responses from Extreme Weather Team members.[awkward phrase] Aside from assisting with contests and advertising initiatives, my experience with the Weather Network has reinforced my goal of pursuing Masters degree in magazine journalism so that I may assist behind the lens by writing for media magazines.

In 2001, [why are talking about 2001 after having discussed 2004 in the prior paragraph?] I started a small job recruiting and resume consulting business in which I prepare my clients resumes and portfolios for today’s job market. After graduating from high school, I stumbled into a five-week contract position with Ingram Micro, an information technology wholesaler, and quickly excelled to a full time marketing role. My experience at Ingram Micro enabled me to visualize how an Undergraduate degree could enhance my performance, communication skills and develop my craft of creative writing. It also helped in the development of my overall administrative skills. I eventually left Ingram Micro to pursue my Undergraduates degree in Communication Studies and Humanities at York University.



[stopped editing]

Aside from working part time and putting myself through school, my interests primarily involve freelance writing and the completion of my memoir. I have submitted several articles and opinion pages to print and on-line magazines, local newspapers and community bulletins within Toronto. The articles I have written address a variety of topics including health, relationships and child abuse issues as well cultural events and Internet piracy. I also enjoy reading and collecting magazines, acting and interior design. In addition, I have worked as an extra in the film and television industry in Toronto.

I consider my undergraduate education to be my greatest achievement. I paid for it, I struggled for it and I gave up a great deal of my life for it. I also realize that my educational path is not complete. As I approach the completion of my Undergraduate degree, I realize that in order to reach the level of success I have set for myself, I will need to further my education. That is why I am applying to Columbia’s graduate program in Magazine journalism. My education, experiences and unique perspectives have prepared me for enrollment in Columbia’s magazine journalism program. By attending Columbia’s Masters of Journalism program, I will become more marketable as a journalist in Canada. This experience will enhance my understanding of the relationship between Canada and the United States by allowing a cross-cultural and balanced exchange of knowledge with those that I encounter.

PinkNails,

Your essay is weak and chaotic. I can’t give you much help. These essays are supposed to be written by YOU. They want to see how well you write. They want to know can you organize your thoughts into a coherent series of arguments to present your story or case.

Columbia wants your BEST writing. Not my best, or our best, but YOUR BEST.

I think you need to think deeply about your essay and your career ambitions. If you are truly serious about Columbia, you have to kick it up several notches.

I have given you some comments to think about. What you do with those comments is up to you. You can provide another revision to the forum for review. But it’ll likely be the last one we will look at. We can’t afford to spend too much time on any one individual, especially when she is crafting an admission’s essay that is supposed to be written by her alone.

The other thing is that Colombia could take a sentence from your essay, throw it into Google, and up comes this discussion. So much for your argument that this is solely your effort.

Anyway, something to think about.

MountainHiker
Hi PinkNails

First off, don't get discouraged with regards to your overall career aims. Howver, IMO admission into magazine writing at Columbia, as indeed for magazine writing anywhere, requires very strong writing skills and a wide breadth of knowledge and interests. It might be best to continue to develop those skills before applying. At the moment, the letter sounds like like you don't really know what you want to do and that you might be attracted to Columbia for the wrong reasons.

"I am attracted to Columbia University’s magazine journalism program for its impressive alumni who have worked for major publications including GLAMOUR, Rolling Stones and The New York Times Magazine"

I'm sorry to say this sounds taboo in an application; it sounds like you're saying "I want to attend because your name will help me get places."

Also what do you mean by "cross cultural" when you write "This experience will enhance my understanding of the relationship between Canada and the United States by allowing a cross-cultural and balanced exchange of knowledge with those that I encounter?" Are the American and Canadian cultures really so divergent?

Think about what's best for you and what career would allow you to tap into your skills and interests. To me, it doesn't sound as if you have a serious commitment to discussing complex ideas in clear, vivid prose, which is what good magazine writing is all about. (Rather it sounds like you're looking around for something that sounds vaguely interesting at somewhere "prestigious.") However, your lack of commitment is not a bad thing; we all have different strengths and weaknesses. (For example, I can't do math.) What then are your real interests? Only you can answer this. Good luck.
Hello,

I would like to know if you could help me with this essay. I intend to apply to columbia univ, and this is the topic of the essay:

What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you

achieve these goals? (recommended 1000 word limit)

I don't know how to link the second part of the essay - the one with the goals - to the part with my past ( while i know that it doesn't exaclty answer the question, i think the first part gives a backgoround on why or how i have those specific goals).

any other comment are welcomed.

The essay:

I was born in Romania at a time when the communist dictator Ceausescu was running – and ruining – the country. On 17 of December 1989 the Romanian people have commenced the Revolution. It was one of the bloodiest revolutions that brought the fall of the communism in Europe, with more than 1000 victims. While the fight hasn’t reached my city, we all watched the revolution live on TV. Time after time, the people (mostly students) were gathering in the Bucharest center and then were fired upon by groups loyal to the regime. I was only eight years old than, yet I remember what I’ve seen than like it were yesterday. Although I didn’t know it at the time, those events were bound to have a profound impact on my life in general and on my values system in particular. Freedom, respect for human rights and the continuous fight for one’s believes are values that those that died have thought me.

These values have guided me later in life. While in university, I created a student cell with the stated mission of promoting the democracy in the campus. The institution, although it gets a large share of its budget from the government, has a religious profile – whatever subjects one chooses to study, he is obliged to take courses on religion. Some professors even forbid students from attending their classes if they don’t were religious symbols.

I had to work during the university in order to pay for the studies. Even so, I managed to finish my B.A. in Economy and Logistics with high grades. It was a healthy experience, but I also learned that much has to be done in order to improve my countries economy in order to resolve social issues.

The next step I took was to enroll in the Army. Here my reasonability and values were mostly challenged. I had to take two part time jobs in addition to serving full time in the army (since in Israel is compulsory and paid only symbolically) in order to provide a decent living to my wife, which was a student and could also work only part time. My values were challenged when I had to turn down offers to become an officer in the Army because otherwise I would had to agree to serve in the Palestinian occupied territories – which I refused to do since it was against my conscience and the values of freedom, human rights and democracy in which I believe.

I’ve finished my serving time 8 months ago and started working Very soon I came to realize that I wasn’t satisfied by being a simple wage earner, but I wanted to be the one that leads. I took some practical courses about opening a new business and management and begun planning. With my first business plan I applied for a loan.

While waiting for the commissions’ decision, I enrolled and activated in Iahad-Meretz, the only party in Israel that has as its flag respect for human rights. In parallel I join a group whose goal is to promote understanding between religious and laic citizens.

Since pursuing an MBA was so important for my personal fulfillment, I’ve also taken the GMAT and the TOEFL. I obtained good results and I decided to enroll abroad in the best universities.

At this point I have also been notified that my loan request was approved. I’ve decided not to take this loan, but to pursue the MBA first since it better serves my long-term and short-term goals.

My long-term goal is to promote democracy and social justice in Israel and Romania (since I’m a Romanian and Israeli) by increasing these countries wealth. This way more resources can be allocated to education and social issues. I will achieve this by leading an international company that will be active in these countries, thus improving the economic environment.

The way to reach that position is by working my way to the top in one of the largest international companies. The short-term goals than are to first obtain a position in such a company and then to advance by merit all the way up to the management. Of course, this will also be a learning experience for myself both in management and in international business environment and relations.

It is of utmost importance for me than to pursue not an just a MBA at an unknown university but to do it at one of the best universities in the world. This way I can accuire more knowledge, experience and international perspectives that will give me extra advantages over other candidates.

The conlcusion therefore is that I must pusue the MBA at Columbia University. After gathering as much information as I could – by attending an information session in Tel Aviv, speaking with allumni, reading presentaion materials, reviews and through comparation with other universities - I have decided that Columbia University is the place where I want to study.

There you get the knowledge from poople that have original ideas and, more imporatnt, also apply them in their fields, becoming role models for others. Their work is acclaimed by leading publications and have an impact in the world business environment.

By being a stundent at Columbia I can expect to learn from the experience of business leaders that present case studies from the real world and from teachers that are also consultans of big companies. Moreover, the internships provide the hands on experience one needs in order to learn from the best.

And there is the “New York Advantage”. There are two reasons why it is so important. First, because of the proximity to Wall Street. There the teachers can study business in the real world. The business leaders can take active part in the courses and the students can live the the place that influneces the world economy the most. To all this must be added the recruting opportunities.

The second reason that makes the location extremely important is the interantional perspective. New York is realy the leading international city of the world. This is reflected in Columbia University as well. More than half of the faculty members have lived or worked abroad. Most of the students have lived, worked and studied abroad. There are the Chazen Institute for International Business and the study tours all around the world.

Thank you again

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