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Author Topic: Duke optional academic essay  (Read 717 times)

verbal213

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Duke optional academic essay
« on: September 21, 2005, 11:15:57 PM »
Has anyone written the Duke optional academic essay?  I'm planning on it, but am kind of stuck.  They say that you could write about a current issue, but that seems too risky.  Anyone have examples/ideas?  thanks

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jdw112

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2005, 11:23:35 PM »
Write about the rise of internet icons, like tubgirl and lemonparty.

verbal213

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2005, 11:53:22 PM »
Write about the rise of internet icons, like tubgirl and lemonparty.

Thanks...any serious comments?
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Meatwad make the money, see.  Meatwad get the honeys, G.  Driving in my car, living like a star, ice on my fingers and my toes and on my Taurus.

kmanista

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2005, 11:59:03 PM »
What's your background?  What was your major?  What kinds of things are you interested in?

I'm mostly interested in international law, so I am (vaguely) considering Duke and (vaguely) thinking about writing about some interesting "unique takes on globalization" books I've read lately.  It seems to indicate that a book reviewish direction might not be bad for the academic essay.

I definitely think you don't want to go too obvious -- don't write about the subject of your honors thesis or whatever -- or too cliched -- I wouldn't talk about your interest in the current debate over violence in the media.

Give me some more info and I'll give you some more ideas  :)

verbal213

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2005, 12:13:23 AM »
History and English major, personal statement largely about interest in government and public policy, but I think I should veer away from that to show well-roundedness.  On the other hand, I think writing about a book I read might be irrelevant.

Here's the instructions:

Academic essay--Keeping in mind that we will have your academic transcripts and LSAT score as some evidence of your intellectual aptitude for law school, you should tell us in this essay more about the intellectual contribution you will make in the classroom and outside. You may choose to write about any subject that has engaged you intellectually, but this essay should not be a personal narrative. For example, you might discuss such subjects as a book you have read that had a profound influence on you, an issue in the current public debate, or an individual who has had an impact on your life.

Maybe a short history essay on recent american history, which I've had several courses on.

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gertrude

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2005, 12:21:22 AM »
i wrote about the gay marriage debate- probably a terrible and risky choice but oh well- like you said it did say political debates were ok.

kmanista

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2005, 12:21:31 AM »
Maybe you could focus on a biography you've read of someone recently in American history?  I'm just not envisioning this as a "tell us what you know about X" kind of essay, but a "show us how intellectually engaged you are with X."  So tell them more what you've studied and how -- how you've engaged the material -- not just what.  That's my take on it.

My friend who is a 2L at Duke is not on IM right now but I'll get her two cents for you tomorrow.

verbal213

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2005, 12:31:41 AM »
i wrote about the gay marriage debate- probably a terrible and risky choice but oh well- like you said it did say political debates were ok.

The problem I see with a political issue is that I would almost invariably end up talking about the law, and I've always been told that writing about the law is a huge no-no, because it I clearly don't know much about the law, hence I'm applying to law school.  Thanks for everyone's thoughts.

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nascjacket

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2005, 12:30:53 PM »
I'm doing it. 

I'm going to be writing about studies that seem to indicate that humans have hyperbolic discount curves, how that could apply to things like sentencing guidelines, why criminals do stupid things for short term benefits, etc. and how that makes duke and its JD/MA phil a natural fit for me.


SkullTatt

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Re: Duke optional academic essay
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2005, 12:48:50 PM »
That is a good idea.

I am writing about an area of science (with a philosophy slant) that is of great interest to me and that I've been reading about for a few years.

Personally, I view the topic as totally wide open, it's really the only essay I've written for any school that's been truly fun.