Editing college essays - ESL style
So (somewhat) recently I had to edit some papers for a college sophomore who was looking to transfer from Colgate University to UC Berkeley. Now, non-existent blog reader (or Ms. Cross) you’re probably thinking to yourself (unless you read the title of this post!) “Alex, what are you doing editing a college sophomore’s transfer essay? Her writing must be way better than yours!”
So, most inquisitive reader, I will enlighten you. This particular college sophomore is the daughter of a family friend from China. She was born and raised in China and only just came to the states for college. As you can imagine, her English wasn’t the best. (Although I’m sure that any Chinese essay that she could write would hands down beat an English essay I could write on the same topic.)
All issues of responsibility aside – as in, “Oh my gosh, I am partially influencing a girl’s future” – this was a very interesting opportunity. It was cool to see that the main idea was clearly evident, it was just executed in an unstructured/not concise manner. While she didn’t want any revisions and instead only help with her grammar, I offered up some advice regardless. It was cool to be able to use my 12~ years of schooling to help someone with the language I have come to learn and being to master. It was interesting to see the differences in her usage of English.
While I may not agree with her reasons for transferring, I wish her the best of luck! Hopefully I did some good.