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Writing The Optional Diversity Essay

Fall 2015 Diversity Essay Contest

❶A bunch of incompetent white males blaming affirmative action for not being able to get into schools.

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The essay question at Berkeley, described below, is the same one in use today. To renew conversation on ongoing themes in higher education, NAS occasionally re-posts one or two of the best and most popular articles from the same month a year ago.

This article was originally posted here. The diversiphiles first launched the tactic in the early s. But required diversity essays have been getting renewed attention recently as they spread to graduate programs.

In that light, we recently decided to examine the practice a bit more systematically. We surveyed the application criteria at 20 of the most selective schools in the annual rankings of U. Many of those included in this small sample no longer maintain individualized applications, but use the Common Application Online CAO instead.

Some of the colleges that use the CAO, however, make the question de rigueur. The CAO at Yale, for example, asks prospective students:. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

But if we force it to stand up for inspection, it displays a remarkable intellectual slovenliness. When we go to college, we do indeed benefit from encountering people with views and experiences other than our own. But that encounter depends on something else: The Yale CAO question is the first of a long series of subtle steps that teach students to lead with their particularities and to cultivate a kind of group vanity. What of the student who has slowly and painfully worked his way out of psychological isolation or social alienation to achieve a sense of identification with the larger community?

Diversity to me has been the experience of having my individuality denied, suppressed, and demeaned. It is a word that summarizes a smarmy form of oppression that congratulates itself on its high-mindedness even as it enforces narrow-minded conformity.

But chances are very good that a great many students harbor insights very much like that. They know their ethnic or racial categorization, their socio-economic status, and other such characteristics matter far more to admissions offices than their actual thoughts about who they are.

They are a tool to keep college applicants aligned with the dominant ideology on campus, which continues to favor group categorizations over both individuality and the broader claims of shared community.

A recent poster at our blog alerted us to the spread of the diversity essay to graduate program admissions as well. As destructive as these essays are at the undergraduate level, their seepage into graduate study is even more alarming. Surely graduate study should be about learning to participate fully in a discipline.

The appearance of the diversity essay on this shore suggests that the ideology of group difference is making a bid to trump even that. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree.

Please include information on how you have overcome barriers to access opportunities in higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups.

You must also demonstrate that you have been out dynamiting social barriers to liberate others. I have focused on my studies and advancing the frontiers of knowledge and inquiry in my field, not on social reform.

Your brainstorming should stem from the answers from these questions. Once you have narrowed it down to one— or even a few— topic ideas, start outlining.

The only way to test drive the solidity of a possible argument is to outline it; if you can come up with enough material to develop your argument from start to finish, think about it a bit further and consider using this as a viable topic.

If you find yourself scrambling to fill out this outline, then drop it. Because of the often deeply personal nature of diversity statements, you will have to spend a fair amount of time on this.

Granted, the word-count for a diversity statement is not nearly as much as a personal statement. Personal statements should be about 2 pages, double-spaced with reasonable font and margin sizes, while diversity statement should be about a page, page and a half, tops. However, the diversity statement does needs extra consideration— certainly more thought than, say, an addendum. Chances are, your diversity statement will be dealing with some pretty sensitive issues. Take time and precaution with how you treat your topic, as failing to do so can turn an otherwise compelling and moving statement into something trivial or, even worse, bad.

How does your previous education or professional experience contribute to your effectiveness in promoting a climate of multicultural understanding and appreciate at the college? I do appreciate your help in advance. Thank you very much Stephanie. This article was extremely helpful to me while I was writing my diversity essay for a summer internship! Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Enter your email address here to have free writing tips delivered to your inbox!

See my FAQ page for my privacy policy. How to write a diversity statement. November 17, Stefanie Arroyo. Note the marked differences between these two types of statements. Here are a few things to keep in mind: This researcher believes that to guarantee the best health care experience, the client must be able to make their own decisions, thus adults should be allowed to make decisions for themselves, based on proper teaching, knowledge base, medical practice, and counseling.

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Personal Cultural Diversity Essay Words Feb 2nd, 3 Pages The concept of globalization, which is the increasing integration and interdependence of different countries from one another in terms of economic, communication, and technological aspects, leads one to address the concept of cultural diversity or multiculturalism.

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Personal Cultural Diversity Essay. Topics: Culture, Sociology, Anthropology Pages: 2 ( words) Published: January 24, The concept of globalization, which is the increasing integration and interdependence of different countries from one another in terms of economic, communication, and technological aspects, leads one to address .

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Mar 13,  · Cultural Diversity Essay. Addressing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom. Words | 16 Pages I struggled to create both a personal and cultural identity while trying to adjust to my sight loss and with the support of my family I traveled overseas to experience other cultures for the first time. My family opened up their . Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Cultural diversity, other wise known as multiculturalism, is based on the idea that cultural identities should not be discarded or ignored, but instead, should be maintained and valued. /5(18).

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Personal Cultural Diversity Essay The concept of globalization, which is the increasing integration and interdependence of different countries from one another in terms of economic, communication, and technological aspects, leads one to address the concept of cultural diversity or multiculturalism. Read a sample college admissions personal essay on diversity or identity and a detailed critique with tips and advice: Give Goth a Chance.