The New School 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 15

You Have: 

The New School 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 2 essays of 400 words each

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why , Community

The New School asks applicants to respond to two essay prompts in 400 words or fewer. It’s very possible that if you’re applying to a specific major, you may have to write a third essay! We recommend starting your application in the Common App to see what’s in store. In the meantime, let’s dive into the two essays all students have to write!

In your study or work at The New School, what social issue or system would you make the focus of your efforts to effect change? (400 words)

The New School wants to welcome students to campus who not only want to make their mark, but also feel passionate about making the world a better place. The issue you choose to discuss can really run the gamut. Which social issues are close to your heart and why? Maybe you would love to address reproductive rights and expand healthcare access for people in historically underserved communities. Perhaps you’d like to address systemic racism and discrimination within your area of study. Remember to connect the social issue you’re passionate about to your vision of life at The New School. You should be able to point to specific examples of their offerings that will help you to effect change, whether they be classes, networking opportunities, research, etc.

What specific aspects of The New School’s academic programs or community drew you to apply? Please pay particular attention within your essay to the college, program, and/or campus to which you have applied. ( 400 words)

This is a pretty standard “why” essay that allows students to choose their line of focus: academics or community. Admissions wants to know what has inspired you to apply, so save their time (and yours) by cutting to the chase. Of course, brevity isn’t the same as generality, so make your point with specifics. As with any other “why” essay, take some time to do your research. Scour your program’s website for information about classes, professors, unique opportunities, and notable alumni. What catches your eye? What inspires you? How does it connect to an interest you have? How does The New School’s unique curriculum satisfy your needs in a way no other school could? If the community drew you in, why is that? Have you heard wonderful things from your older brother who attends? Do you dream of studying in New York City? (If so, why is The New School the NYC institution for you, out of all the myriad options in the area?) This is your opportunity to impress admissions with your knowledge of what The New School has to offer, your vision for your future, and why those two things are aligned.

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We take every aspect of your personal profile into consideration when calculating your admissions chances.

New School’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Community service short response.

In your study or work at The New School, what social issue or system would you make the focus of your efforts to effect change?

Why This College Short Response

What specific aspects of The New School‘s academic programs or community drew you to apply? Please pay particular attention within your essay to the college, program, and/or campus to which you have applied.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 177 college essay examples for 11 schools + expert analysis.

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College Admissions , College Essays


The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.


Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

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Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018


Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.


Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.


Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.


An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

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Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.


An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.


Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.


#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .


What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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The recommendations in this post are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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How to Apply: Undergraduate Programs


On this page you’ll find a checklist of required application materials for our BFA and BBA programs, as well as specific instructions for students applying from international high schools or colleges, students whose native language is not English, transfer students, homeschooled students, and students seeking readmission to The New School.

Application Deadlines

All listed deadlines, with the exception of Early Action, are our priority deadlines. We will continue to accept applications after these deadlines if space is still available in our programs, but we recommend applying as early as possible.

Early Action applications submitted or completed after the deadline will be rolled over for Regular Decision consideration in the spring. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received.

First-Year Early Action: closed First-Year Regular Decision: March 15 Visiting Students: March 15; visual portfolio due by March 24 Transfer Students: March 1

All Applicants: Closed

FAFSA (U.S. Citizens and Eligible Non-citizens)

Fall Applicants: as soon as possible Spring Applicants: November 1

Spring term admission is offered for Parsons undergraduate programs, but transfer applicants are encouraged to connect with an admission counselor to determine if spring entry will be permitted for their major. Please email  [email protected]  with any questions.

The Application Process

Applicants are required to apply online using the  Common Application . You must complete all required fields and upload materials prior to submission. Most materials can be submitted electronically via the Common Application. Parsons and Parsons Paris applicants must submit their portfolio  through The New School's Online Application Center . Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent electronically or by mail must include an  Application Materials Cover Sheet . All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.

If you're planning to apply using a school email address, please confirm you can receive our email first. Some schools block email from outside their domains.

The 2024 application will become available in mid-September.

The application fee for U.S. domestic applicants and international transfer applicants is $50. The application fee for first-year international applicants is $75.

Application fees are paid through the online application and are non-refundable.

If the application fee is a hardship for you or your family, you can request a fee waiver through the Common Application. Additionally, The New School waives application fees for those who meet the eligibility guidelines listed in the Application Fee Waivers section of our university-wide How to Apply  page.

Applicants must submit two essays. The Common Application essay is not required. 

In your study or work at The New School, what social issue or system would you make the focus of your efforts to effect change? (200-400 words)

What specific aspects of The New School's academic programs or community drew you to apply? Please pay particular attention to the college and program that you have applied to in your essay. (200-400 words)

A visual portfolio is required for all applicants to Parsons' BFA programs. It is optional for applicants to the BBA in Strategic Design and Management. We require applicants to submit their Common Application before uploading their visual portfolio. Parsons School of Design and Parsons Paris assess portfolios on the basis of the technical and conceptual abilities displayed in the work. In order to review your application, we need to receive all required materials. 

You must submit your portfolio through your Admission Hub after submitting the Common Application. After submission of your Common Application, you will receive an email with instructions for accessing your Admission Hub. Your portfolio must be submitted within nine days of the application deadline. You must use the same email address that you used to complete your Common Application when you create and upload your portfolio. You may not make changes to your portfolio once submitted. All submissions are final and may not be edited.

Please do not submit links or URLs to personal websites for your portfolio. You must submit individual images of your work. If you would like to submit images from your website, you may include a screenshot or screen grab as part of your image submissions. If you are submitting videos, film clips, or similar media, they should be no longer than three minutes.

BFA Program Applicants (All BFA Programs)

Freshman and transfer applicants to BFA programs must submit a visual portfolio. The portfolio must be submitted after submission of the Common Application.

The portfolio should consist of eight to twelve slides and may include a range of visual media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, fashion design, animation, performance, graphic design, and sketchbook pages. You may submit sketch book images, including videos of yourself leafing through your sketchbook pages. We encourage you to show experimentation and range in terms of subject matter, approach, skills, and materials. Your portfolio does not need to include work specific to your chosen major, unless you are applying as a transfer student, in which case we do encourage major-specific work as well as images of work completed in any studio courses you’ve taken. You may upload several images or process materials in one slide.

All applicants submitting a portfolio are required to use the available description/text boxes to give brief descriptions of their process, including their ideas and concepts, sources of inspiration, and use of materials, etc., for at least two of their favorite pieces in the portfolio. 

We recommend that you not submit AutoCAD drawings, anime drawings, or images that directly copy another artist’s work but instead focus on pieces that show us your unique style, point of view, and range. If you are submitting anime or cartoon drawings, consider full compositions instead of pieces that focus solely on character development and ideas.

Applicants are encouraged to learn more about the visual portfolio by reviewing our portfolio help tips .

BBA Program Applicants (Strategic Design and Management)

Applicants to the BBA in Strategic Design and Management are encouraged to submit a portfolio, but it is not required. BBA applicants may submit from two to twelve slides in their portfolio. For the full portfolio requirements, review the instructions for BFA program applicants. BBA applicants are welcome to include alternate work in their portfolio, like infographics pieces or data visualization work.

Recommendations may be submitted online through the Common Application. If necessary, the recommendation form may be downloaded and emailed to [email protected] .

First Year Applicants Applicants applying directly from high school must submit one counselor recommendation and one recommendation from a teacher. The Common Application School Report is also required.

Transfer Applicants Students transferring from other colleges or universities must submit one recommendation from a professor with whom they have studied.

All applicants must provide official high school and/or college transcripts from all institutions attended. Undergraduate applicants who have attended multiple high schools can submit only the graduating school’s official transcript as long as all prior coursework is listed on that transcript.

First Year Applicants

First-year applicants must provide official high school and/or college transcripts. If you are currently in school, submit transcripts for all coursework taken to date. Transcripts that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Applicants who have attended multiple high schools may submit only the transcript from the school from which they are graduating as long as all prior coursework is listed on that transcript. All academic credentials for homeschool students must be submitted as indicated in the Additional Information for Specific Applicant Populations section below.

Transfer Applicants Transfer applicants must submit an official high school/secondary school transcript with graduation date or General Education Diploma (GED). Transfer applicants who have completed 24 U.S. college credits in a degree-granting program, or the equivalent, are not required to submit their high school transcripts. Official transcripts are also required for each college or university you have previously attended.

Applicants with High School Equivalency Tests

Students may submit one of the following in lieu of official high school transcripts: General Education Development (GED), Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) exam results. Final results must be sent directly from the testing agency.

How to Submit Electronic Transcripts

Transcripts can be submitted through an approved electronic vendor (see below), submitted via email by a school official, from an official school email address, to  [email protected] , or through postal mail. Transcripts will be considered unofficial if forwarded in an email.

Approved electronic vendors: BridgeU, Common Application, Cialfo, Credentials eScrip-Safe, Kuder, MaiaLearning, MEFA Pathway, National Student Clearinghouse, Naviance, OverGrad, Parchment Exchange, UniFrog, SCOIR, SchooLinks, Xello).

If your school does not use any of these vendors and your school official is not able to email them from an official school email address, transcripts must be sent directly via postal mail by a school official in a sealed envelope.

Whenever possible, please send all official communication electronically, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and tuition deposits.

In rare circumstances where items must be mailed, please send to:

The New School Office of Admission 55 West 13th Street New York, NY 10011

All materials and documents submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.

All admitted students are automatically considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships. There is no additional application to be considered for a merit scholarship. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, you must complete the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (FAFSA) in order to be considered for need-based financial aid. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. You don’t need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid. Our Financial Aid  staff are available to guide you through the process of applying for financial aid. Students who wish to further supplement their financial resources should consider applying for an external scholarship .

The New School does not require submission of SAT or ACT scores and they do not play a part in our review process. If you choose to share your scores, the SAT institution code is 2521 and the ACT code is 2828.

All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid English language proficiency test results taken within the past two years.

We permit applicants to submit one of the following tests:  TOEFL ,  IELTS ,  PTE ,  Duolingo English Test , or Cambridge English  C1 Advanced  or  C2 Proficiency .

Minimum required scores are:

  • TOEFL iBT- 92
  • Duolingo English Test - 115
  • Cambridge English - 185

Our TOEFL institution code is 2521. IELTS test takers should electronically submit their test results to The New School.

The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo English Test or Cambridge English scores for applicants who have:

  • Studied in English, as the primary language of instruction, for all four consecutive years of high school/secondary school. However, students who have taken any English as a Second Language (ESL) courses while in high school, regardless of how long they have been in high school, must submit TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo English Test results.
  • Successfully completed two full semesters of college-level coursework while taking non-ESL college-level expository writing or equivalent courses (transfer students only).
  • Earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction, with a minimum of three years attendance (transfer students only).

After reviewing your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English language proficiency test score to evaluate your candidacy.

Are results permitted from the following types of English exams by The New School?

  • IELTS Indicator: NO
  • IELTS for UKVI (AC - Academic): NO
  • TOEFL Essentials: NO
  • TOEFL iBT Home Edition: YES
  • TOEFL ITP Plus for China: NO
  • TOEFL My Best Score: NO
  • University College London preparatory certificate program showing completion of the program including strong grades in Academic English: NO

Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status in the Admission Hub .

Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be marked as received in your Admission Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that transcripts and recommendations have been sent.

The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.

If you need to change your email address, mailing address, or other contact information, email the Office of Admission .

Spring admission decisions are released on a rolling basis starting in November.

Fall early action first-year admission decisions will be released in late December and early January.

Fall regular decision first-year admission decisions will be released by April 1.

Fall transfer admission decisions will be released on a rolling basis starting in April.

Additional Information for Specific Applicant Populations

Some applicants are required to submit additional information. If you identify as an applicant from one of these populations please submit the required information below.

The New School welcomes applicants from all over the world. To be competitive for admission, applicants must be on track to complete required coursework to earn a high school diploma within their home country that qualifies them for university entry. Below are some of the most common international secondary school curriculums that we see students applying from and helpful guidance for each one.

  • Advanced Levels (A-Levels): Students who are most competitive for admission will have completed or be in the process of completing A Levels from three subjects at the time of application.
  • Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE): Submission of both Standard X (SSC) and completed or predicted Standard XII (HSC) exam marks is required.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): Students can pursue either the IB Diploma Program (DP) or IB Career-related Program (CP). Applicants who are taking individual IB courses as a supplement to a national curriculum are permitted to pursue individual IB courses rather than the DP or CP. 

For more information about submission requirements see the Submitting Transcripts section above. Applicants with questions about their secondary school transcripts as it relates to admission can email [email protected] .

Some international secondary school coursework will qualify for pre-matriculation credit, awarded by the Registrar upon enrollment.

You can apply to the BA/BFA dual-degree program with your initial application for admission to The New School. All applicants are required to apply online using the Common Application . In the field that asks "What school are you applying to?" you will be able to choose either "Lang and Jazz, BA/BFA" or "Lang and Parsons, BA/BFA".

Upon completion of the homeschool curriculum students must provide proof of high school graduation or an equivalent. We will accept an official transcript from a state homeschool association or sponsoring public high school; GED, TASC, or HiSET exam results; individual homeschool transcripts with date of completion; and certificates of completion recognized by local homeschool associations.

Homeschool applicants must provide the equivalent of a high school transcript with course or subject titles, duration of study for each title, content of study for each title, and an assessment of performance or “grade” at the time of application. Preferably, the courses completed at home are part of a curriculum developed and evaluated by a nationally recognized diploma-granting organization or agency. 

Upon review, applicants may be required to submit additional application materials.

Transfer students are students who have graduated from high school or earned a high school equivalent and are in the process of completing, or have completed, college or university coursework after high school graduation. If you are unsure whether to apply as a first-year applicant or a transfer applicant, please contact us.

All applicants must list each college or university attended, both during and after high school, on the Common Application. Applicants must submit official transcripts from each college or university attended. 

While a course-by-course evaluation is not required for international transcripts, The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts or an official NACES course-by-course evaluation at any time during the admission process. 

Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial. Please review the Transcripts section for specific transcript requirements.

The Internal Transfer Application is required for all current New School students who wish to transfer from one New School college to another. If you would like to apply as an internal applicant , review the deadlines and requirements in the Undergraduate Internal Transfer Policy section of our University Admission How to Apply page. Students who wish to change departments or majors within the same college should speak with their academic advisor. Internal transfer applicants should connect with a Financial Aid Counselor . Financial aid packages, including scholarships, will change as a result of changing programs.

Students currently enrolled at another college who wish to take classes at The New School for one semester should apply as a visiting student .

The Application for Readmission should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). If you would like to apply for readmission , review the readmission deadlines and requirements in the Readmission section of our university How to Apply page. If you have enrolled at another institution as a degree seeking student since you were last enrolled at The New School, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions outlined above.

The New School welcomes undocumented students and students who hold DACA status to apply. Undocumented status does not affect the admissions process or your final admission decision. When completing the Common Application related to Citizenship status, you may select “DACA, undocumented, Deferred Enforced Departure, or Temporary Protected Status.”

For questions about financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at [email protected] .

Additional information about how we support undocumented students can be found on our website .

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Course catalog, personal essays: the art and craft of narrative nonfiction, schools of public engagement: creative writing.

CRN : 15769

Credits : 3

In this course, we explore the personal essay in all its forms—including mini-memoirs, humorous observations, perspective-changing travel experiences, and opinion pieces. Through discussions, in-class exercises, critiques, and readings, we examine and experiment with the aspects of narrative craft—description, dramatic tension, pacing, tone, and voice—required to create vivid, true tales. We put these elements of craft to use in our own personal essays, which will be critiqued by the class in a supportive, constructive atmosphere. Suitable for writers of all levels, we also focus on techniques for mining memory, choosing the most vibrant details, and shaping your narrative so that it resonates beyond your personal story to make a larger point. And we work on building a creative writing routine, so you can not only make the most of this course, but also have a toolbox of prompts and exercises to return to whenever necessary.

College : Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department : Creative Writing (CRW)

Campus : New York City (GV)

Course Format : Seminar (R)

Modality : Online - Synchronous

Max Enrollment : 18

Add/Drop Deadline : September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline : November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available : Yes

Status : Open *

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:34pm EDT 3/30/2024

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  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Table of contents

Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

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A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — Academic Challenges — Personal Narrative: Moving To A New School


Personal Narrative: Moving to a New School

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Published: Mar 25, 2024

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new school essay

Essay on My School for Students and Children

500+ words essay on my school.

Education is an essential part of our lives. We are nothing without knowledge, and education is what separates us from others. The main step to acquiring education is enrolling oneself in a school. School serves as the first learning place for most of the people. Similarly, it is the first spark in receiving an education. In this essay on my school, I will tell you why I love my school and what my school has taught me.

We have all been to school and we have loved each and every moment we have spent over there as those were the building blocks of our lives. A school is a place where students are taught the fundamentals of life, as well as how to grow and survive in life. It instils in us values and principles that serve as the foundation for a child’s development.

My school is my second home where I spend most of my time. Above all, it gives me a platform to do better in life and also builds my personality. I feel blessed to study in one of the most prestigious and esteemed schools in the city. In addition, my school has a lot of assets which makes me feel fortunate to be a part of it. Let us look at the essay on my school written below.

essay on my school

Why I Love My School?

From kindergarten through primary and secondary school, and subsequently, to faculty, school is a place where we always study, grow, and establish ourselves, socialize, be a friend, help others, and love and be loved. School is a buddy that will accompany us from the beginning of our youth till the conclusion of our lives. At school, we share all of our pleasures and sorrows, and we constantly rely on one another. This is made possible through the friendships we share. They assist us in effortlessly overcoming difficulties, sharing moments of enjoyment together, and looking forward to new paths.

My school strikes the perfect balance between modern education and vintage architecture. The vintage buildings of my school never fail to mesmerize me with their glorious beauty. However, their vintage architecture does not mean it is outdated, as it is well-equipped with all the contemporary gadgets. I see my school as a lighthouse of education bestowing knowledge as well as ethical conduct upon us.

Teachers have the power to make or break a school. The teaching staff is regarded as the foundation of any educational society. It is their efforts to help kids learn and understand things that instil good habits and values in their students. While some concepts are simple to grasp, others necessitate the use of a skilled teacher to drive the home the idea with each pupil.

In contrast to other schools, my school does not solely focus on academic performance. In other words, it emphasizes on the overall development of their students. Along with our academics, extra-curricular activities are also organized at our school. This is one of the main reasons why I love my school as it does not measure everyone on the same scale. Our hardworking staff gives time to each child to grow at their own pace which instils confidence in them. My school has all the facilities of a library , computer room, playground, basketball court and more, to ensure we have it all at our disposal.

For me, my school is more than simply an educational institution; it is also my second family, which I established during my childhood. A family of wonderful friends, outstanding teachers, and fond school memories. I adore my school because it is where I learn how to be a good citizen and how to reach my goals. School is the only place where we make friends without judging them. We feel comfortable spending time with those close friends no matter what the situation.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

What has My School Taught Me?

If someone asked me what I have learned from my school, I won’t be able to answer it in one sentence. For the lessons are irreplaceable and I can never be thankful enough for them. I learned to share because of my school. The power of sharing and sympathy was taught to me by my school. I learned how to be considerate towards animals and it is also one of the main reasons why I adopted a pet.

new school essay

School is an excellent place to learn how to be an adult before entering the real world. Those abilities pay dividends whether you choose to be the bigger person in an argument or simply complete your domestic tasks. When you open your mind to new ideas, you gain a lot of influence in society. Picking up unexpected hobbies on your own will teach you more about what you like to do than simply completing things for a grade.

A school is a place where I developed my artistic skills which were further enhanced by my teachers. Subsequently, it led me to participate in inter-school completions through which I earned various awards. Most importantly, my school taught me how to face failures with grace and never give up on my ambitions, no matter what happens.

Schools also offer a variety of extracurricular activities such as Scouts and Guides, sports, N.C.C., skating, school band, acting, dancing, singing, and so on. Our principal also used to give us a short lecture every day for about 10 minutes about etiquette, character development, moral education, respecting others, and gaining excellent values. As a result, I can claim that what I am today is solely due to my school, which is the best institution in my opinion.

Teamwork is an important ability that schools teach. Schools are frequently the first places where youngsters have the opportunity to collaborate with children who are different from them. Collaboration is essential for the team and individual success. Students are taught that the success of a team depends on each individual component functioning together.

To sum it up, studying in one of the respected schools has helped me a lot personally. I will always be indebted to my school for shaping my personality and teaching me invaluable lessons. It has given me friends for life and teachers that I will always look up to. I aspire to carry on the values imbibed by my school to do well in life and make it proud.

Here is the list of Top Schools in India! Does Your School Tops the List?

FAQs on School

Q.1 Why must every child go to school?

A.1 It is essential for every child to go to school as the school teaches us lessons that cannot be acquired anywhere else. The experience is one a kind and along with education, we learn many other things like socializing, extra-curricular activities and more.

Q.2 What does school teach us?

A.2 School teaches us some of the great things like first of all, it gives us basic education. It teaches us to develop our skills like art, dance, public speaking and more. Most importantly, it teaches us discipline.

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My School Essay in English (100, 200, 300, 500 words)

Table of Contents

My School Essay 100 Words

My school is a place where I get educated; learn new subjects under the guidance of trained and skilled teachers. I study at a school that is near my home. It is one of the best schools in my entire town. The management of my school believes that it isn’t only academic excellence that we should be after, but also the overall personality development and evolving into a good and useful human being.

The school has two playgrounds – one is a tennis court and the other one is a cricket ground. We also have a nice swimming pool and a canteen. It also has a beautiful garden where students relax and play during recess. Even in games, sports and tournaments, it has made much progress. My school has won many trophies, shields, and medals in many extra-curricular activities. In debates also, the students of my school secure good positions. It is considered to be one of the best schools in my locality.

My School Essay 200 Words

The school is called the educational institution which is designed to provide learning spaces and create an environment for the children where the teaching of the students is under the direction and guidance of the teachers.

My School is one of the best educational institutions where I get an education and make progress towards the goals of my life and make me capable of achieving them. Besides education, there are several significant roles that my school plays in my life. My school is performing well in all fields. It develops my physical and mental stamina, instills confidence, and

gives me tremendous opportunities to prove my skills and talents in different fields. In the academic field, it has made a mark. Its students secure top positions in the board examinations.

I go to school with my other friends. We study in our school in a great friendly environment. We reach school at a fixed time. As soon as we reach we line up to attend the assembly. Attending the school assembly is a wonderful experience. I enjoy for being first in a row in a school assembly. As soon as the assembly ends we rush to our respective classrooms. We take part in all school activities. One of my school fellows is the best singer and dancer. She has recently won the best singer award at the annual arts festival. Our school organizes all-important national events like Independence Day, teachers’ day, father’s day, etc. My school also gives every student abundant opportunities to take part in extracurricular activities like sports and music.

All of us are proud of being a part of it. I am fortunate enough to be a student at this school. I love and am proud of my school.

My School Essay 300 Words

An institution where higher education is taught is commonly called a school, University College, or University. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is sometimes compulsory. In these systems, Students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education.

My school is a place where I not only get educated but also get trained in other necessary competitive skills like sports, music, and dance. I am proud of my school because it provides us with all the basic facilities like a big playground, a central library, a big auditorium hall, a science lab, and a good computer lab. That is why my school is rated as one of the best schools in my entire area. My school has produced many great people in my country. It has a big and beautiful building that looks shiny from far away. I reach my target at a fixed time. I came to school with other friends of mine. We happily enter the schools with great confidence. We take part in a school assembly and then we move into our classrooms.

This all is done by a very efficient and well-trained teaching staff of my school. The best schools are those that make the students the best and the best school is made by the best teachers. We study under the guidance of the best teachers. My school has a dedicated teacher for all the subjects as well as extracurricular activities like music and sports. I consider my school as the best school because it supports and encourages every student to do their best and make progress. Fortunately, my school provides the best environment, the best teachers, and the best facilities.

Our Class teacher greets us daily and asks about us. He is quite a cool and kind man. He entertains us along with teaching his subject. We learn a lot of things like discipline, self-help, confidence, and cooperation here. As I enter my classroom I feel quite happy and relaxed.

My School Essay 500 Words

The place where children as the leaders of tomorrow study and where the future of the nation is shaped are called schools. Education is an essential weapon for tomorrow, so the good schools of today are important for the best future of a nation. Schools are the center of learning where we attend classes on various subjects, interact with the teachers, get our queries

answered, and appeared in exams. In my school, learning is more like a fun activity, because of the extra-talented teaching staff.

My school is a government primary school located on the outskirts of the city. Usually, when people think about a government school, they perceive it to be at an isolated location and have poor basic amenities and teaching facilities. But, despite being a government school, my school defies all such speculations. Teachers of my school are not only knowledgeable about the subjects they teach but also are skilled enough to teach through fun activities. For example, our physics teacher explains every concept by stating real-life examples that we could relate to. This way we not only understand the subject better. Moreover, not a moment I remember, when any teacher had ever replied rudely to any of the students. They always patiently listen and provide answers to all the queries posed to them. Learning at my school is fun and it is made possible only because of the teachers.

My school is very important in my life, in a way even more than my family. My family gives me love, care, and affection, and provides for all my other essential needs. But, all of this isn’t enough to make me a good human being and succeed in life.  Favorably, I am lucky enough to be enrolled in a prestigious school, and gaining a wonderful education, looking forward to realizing my dreams one day. The most necessary for success in life is education, and only my school provides it to me. Without my school and the education that it gives, I would be like a confused and wandering soul, almost aimless in life.

My school helps with my educational and overall personality development. It imparts education through classes, tests, and exams to teach me how to conduct myself confidently. It just feels so great to be in my school and be a part of everyday activities, be it lectures, sports, or Something else. While in school, I always feel happy, confident, enthusiastic, and loved. I make friends at school, those whom I will never forget and will always love them. My family supports my materialistic needs, but school is the place where my actual physical, social, and mental development takes place.  I know that every question that crosses my mind will be answered by my teachers. I also know that my school friends will always be at my side whenever I need them to be. As much as the studies, my school also stresses much on These activities as the management thinks that extracurricular activities are very essential for our overall personality development. My school provides dedicated teachers and staff for each extracurricular activity. We have a big sports ground with kits for all the major sports; a covered auditorium for dance and music and a separate basketball court.

The role my school plays in my personality development is fantastic. It not only imparts education in me but also teaches me how to conduct myself and how to behave decently and properly. I get trained in all the other necessary skills of life, like how to keep calm in challenging situations and help others as well. My school teaches me to be a good and evolved human being, to stay composed and progressive always. It also teaches me to be kind and generous to others and not differentiate them based on their caste, religion, ethnicity, or other divisions. These are some of the most essential personality traits that my school imparts to me, something that I will always be thankful for. Every time I think of my school, I think of it as a temple of education. A temple, where my soul meets education, making my life more meaningful and useful to society and the nation as well. It is a place where my aspirations get a wing and I get the strength and confidence to realize them. No other place in the entire world could replace my school and the role that it plays in my life. I will always be thankful to my friends, teachers, and the staff of my school, for making it such a comfortable and Educational place of learning.

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Hacking in Moscow–With an Urban Twist

Professor Nitin Sawhney leads a group discussion during his workshop at the Strelka Institute in Moscow this past July.

From the rise of the Bolsheviks to the trial and sentencing of Pussy Riot , Moscow has long been a site of political struggle. And as Russian society has evolved, so have its citizens’ methods of political action: from the cold war–era samizdat to cyber-dissidence to urban hacking, a movement in which Nitin Sawhney , assistant media studies professor at The New School for Public Engagement, is playing a leading role.

“Urban hacking combines virtual and physical action,” says Sawhney. “We are beginning to see activists using both public and online space as platforms for intervening in public discourse.” This union between the physical and virtual worlds represents a new phenomenon in social action—one involving activity ranging from political activism to community engagement—and the traditionally closed Russian society is beginning to feel its effects.

For ten days in late July, Sawhney and his research assistant, Christo de Klerk, (a MA candidate in media studies at The New School), led 12 design students from Moscow’s Strelka Institute in a series of workshops. Students from the school, in collaboration New School alumna Shriya Malhorta and artist MAKE/ Anton Polsky,  developed projects in which media and technology could be employed to help communities take direct action to improve their urban environment. Local residents identified everyday needs unmet by government agencies—such as crosswalks or public signage—and students worked with them to devise solutions.

Sawhney identifies these actions as a form of “urban tactics” in which citizens use both virtual and physical space to solve civic problems. Following this approach, workshop participants split into four teams to collaborate with local activists on projects in neighborhoods across Moscow. For instance, one of Sawhney’s groups set out to help residents share resources and exchange services in the neighborhood of Troparevo. The group created an online public forum and installed physical mailboxes in central locations in which residents without Internet access could physically submit questions to the forum.

Sawhney immediately noticed positive results. “Not only did we have people participating in the online community, but we saw direct action and interaction in the physical world. In just ten days, we witnessed the building of real relationships.”

A kind of barter system developed soon after the mailboxes and online forum were put into place. “We proposed a system where an individual could write a letter offering to exchange services or goods. For example, a babushka [Russian for “grandmother”] offered to cook in exchange for having something fixed in her home. She placed her letter in one of our mailboxes, and it was then published in the online forum,” said Sawhney. “It actually worked.” Sawhney and his teams hope that projects such as the resource-sharing initiative will lead to larger community management efforts.

Other projects were more directly political in nature. One group worked to organize protests against the building of a highway through a neighborhood, while another sought to positively influence a major real estate development that threatened a historic site.

In a political system in which public participation and organizing are heavily scrutinized, interventions such as the one in Troparevo offer new tools to facilitate community integration. To Sawhney, these efforts represent the first steps toward greater public involvement—and, potentially, to civic dissent. Exploring the interaction between virtual and physical worlds involved in the workshop projects serves another purpose, as well: It supports Sawhney’s research efforts to examine the evolution of civil disobedience and collective action.

“Activism in Russia right now is super gutsy,” Sawhney says, emphasizing the extreme limitations on open discourse in Russia. He notes that creating new systems of community engagement brings a special energy to the program: “I think this project would’ve been completely boring anywhere else.”

Pointing out that Russia generally lacks the kind of grassroots organization other established democracies take for granted, Sawhney embraced the opportunity to begin a project of civic activism from scratch. “Of course, the illicit nature of some of our work within the context of Russia, and my fears that we could be subject to arrest, added another level of excitement,” Sawhney says.

Cases like the Pussy Riot trial underscore the need for robust public discourse in the nation—a feature of healthy civil society that the workshop participants hope to help bring about, block by city block.

Learn more about the project here .

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Yale Class of 1963 - 50th Reunion New Haven, CT    May 30-June 2, 2013

Personal Essay

Immediately following graduation from Yale, I went to law school.  I spent one year as a law clerk in the Federal Court of Appeals in New York, and then went to work for the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where I have been ever since.  I have learned a great deal from my clients and from the talented lawyers I have worked with and against.  However, all good things eventually come to an end, and on March 31, 2013, having reached our firm’s mandatory retirement age of 70, I am scheduled to retire from active practice. My first marriage, to Catherine Tolstoy Arapoff, an artist, ended in divorce in 1985.  We have two children, Andrew (a litigation lawyer in Los Angeles) and Cathie (a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School).  Andy’s two children, Elizabeth and Jack, are as yet my only grandchildren. In 1986 I married Marcia Mayo Hill, an interpreter at the United Nations, whose principal career since her retirement in 2004 has been as a master swimmer, swimming competitively at both regional and national levels.  All of you who have seen us together know how much I owe to Marcia, who has made my life anything but ordinary.  We have four children, Frank (a second-year medical student), Guy Jr. (a graduate of SUNY Albany), Beverly (who died at the age of one year following a failed heart operation, and whom we remember constantly), and Elena (whom we adopted in Moscow following Beverly’s death). I am very much in the market for good ideas about what to do in retirement.  For the time being, my principal idea is to go back to what I have always loved to do, namely, learn new things.  Starting the day after retirement, I intend to take the set of textbooks on Anglo-Saxon that my father bought many years ago, and start learning the language. This essay would be incomplete without mentioning how much I have learned from reunions and other activities of our Class over the years.  Perhaps the most educational thing about Yale for me has been the journey we have all taken together since graduation.  I look forward to continuing that journey at our 50th Reunion. The following story will illustrate what I mean.  Ian Robertson is a very good friend, and a stalwart of our 50th Reunion effort.  Our paths did not cross in college.  Recently Ian told me that, during our freshman year, he saw me waiting in line for dinner in Commons, and felt very sorry for me.  As soon as Ian said that, I saw myself then as Ian saw me, an awkward, clueless 16-year-old, and for a moment I felt sorry for myself too.  Then I remembered that the story does not end there, that Ian and I have since gotten to know each other, and that now, half a century later, he and I are fast friends.  That would never have happened but for our continuing involvement with the Class.  

The European Graduate School

Boris Groys

Professor of philosophy at the european graduate school / egs..

Boris Groys (b.1947) is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist and an internationally renowned expert on Soviet-era art and literature, specifically, the Russian avant-garde. He is a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, and a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS. His work engages radically different traditions from French poststructuralism to modern Russian philosophy, yet is firmly situated at the juncture of aesthetics and politics. Theoretically, Boris Groys’s work is influenced by a number of modern and post-modern philosophers and theoreticians, including Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze and Walter Benjamin.

Born in the former German Democratic Republic, Groys grew up in the USSR. He studied philosophy, mathematics, and logic at Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University). While a student, he immersed himself in the unofficial cultural scenes taking place in Leningrad and Moscow, and coined the term “Moscow conceptualism.” The term first appeared in the essay “Moscow Romantic Conceptualism,” published in 1979, in the art magazine  A-YA . During this time in the Soviet Union, Groys published widely in a number of samizdat magazines, including  37  and  Chasy . Between 1976 and 1981, Boris Groys held the position of Research Fellow in the Department of Structural and Applied Linguistics at Moscow State University. At the end of this fellowship, he left the Soviet Union and moved to the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1992, Groys earned his doctorate in philosophy from the Universität Münster, where he also served as an assistant professor in philosophy from 1998-1994. During this time, Groys was also a visiting professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by another appointment at the University of Southern California, also in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature. From 1994 to 2009, Groys was Professor of Art History, Philosophy, and Media Theory at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, where he remains a senior research fellow. In 2001, he was the Director of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and from 2003 to 2004, he spearheaded the research program  Post-Communist Condition , at the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany. He assumed the position of Global Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science at New York University in 2005 and in 2009 he became a full Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU. Groys is also a senior Fellow at the International Center for Cultural Studies and Media Theory at the Bauhaus Universität (Weimar); a member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art (AICA); and has been a senior scholar at the Courtauld Institute of Art (London); and a fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (IFK, Vienna), Harvard University Art Museum, and the University of Pittsburg.

In the Anglo-American world, Boris Groys is best known as the author of  The Total Art of Stalinism  (1992), and for introducing the western world to Russian postmodernist writers and artists. His contributions stretch across the field of philosophy, politics, history, and art theory and criticism. Within aesthetics, his major works include  Vanishing Point Moscow  (1994) and  The Art of Installation (1996). His philosophical works include  A Philosopher’s Diary  (1989) , The Invention of Russia  (1995), and  Introduction to Antiphilosophy  (2012). More recently, he has also published  Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of the Media  (2000) , Ilya Kabakov: The Man Who Flew into Space from his Apartment  (2006) ,  and  The Communist Postscript  (2010). In addition to these works, other significant works in art, history, and philosophy include:  History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism  (2010),  Going Public  (2010),  Art Power  (2008),  The Total Enlightenment: Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960-1990  (2008),  Dream Factory Communism: The Visual Culture of the Stalin Period  (2004),  Apotropikon  (1991), and  Thinking in Loop: Three Videos on Iconoclasm, Ritual and Immortality  (DVD, 2008), which is a trilogy of video-text syntheses, wherein Groys reads the composed text superimposed onto a collage of footage fragments taken from movies and film documentations.

As a prominent contemporary art theorist and critic, Boris Groys has also curated a number of notable exhibitions, including:  Fluchtpunkt Moskau  at Ludwig Forum (1994, Aachen, Germany),  Dream Factory Communism  at the Schirn Gallery (2003-2004, Frankfurt, Germany),  Privatizations  at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art (2004, Berlin, Germany),  Total Enlightenment: Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960–1990 at the Kunsthalle Schirn (2008-2009 Frankfurt, Germany; Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain),  Medium Religion  with Peter Weibel at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (2009, Karlsruhe, Germany),  Andrei Monastyrski  for the Russian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011, Venice, Italy),  After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer , at BAK Utrecht (2012, Netherlands).

While Boris Groys teaches, lectures, and writes on philosophy, politics, and history, it has been his work in aesthetics, and his co-mingling of ideas through aesthetics, that has brought him the most recognition and where he has made his most significant contributions. Groys proposes and underscores the involvement of the Russian avant-garde in the Bolshevik movement as well as in the early stages of the Bolshevik State. Following this premise, Groys’s work explores the implications of this relationship. One of his fundamental theses is that these artists––like their political counterparts––tried to outpace the developments of modernity, and so, they, like the Bolsheviks themselves, attempted to skip the steps supposed to be necessary and constitutive of historical progress.

While it is widely acknowledged in modern Russian art history that an opposition developed among artists during the revolutionary period between those constituting an avant-garde and those complicit with the state sanctioned art of the Soviet Union, Boris Groys contends that this was the result of a split and not a continuation of a pre-Revolutionary division. More specifically, Groys posits a more refined understanding of the period such that these artists cannot be simply and uniformly grouped as having been in partnership with the state Party and then, slowly, over the period split off into an opposing position. Indeed, he contends that much of the avant-garde remained on the ideological side of the state Party well past its early stages. Moreover, these artistic developments entered the political field and thereby became its extension. Under the leadership of the state, Soviet realism helped fulfil the avant-garde’s dream of demiurgic power. It is in this respect that Groys then posits the relationship between romanticism and twentieth century Russian avant-garde art. The partnership between Soviet realism and the state Party’s ideology resulted in (authorized) artworks as understood as the realization of socialism, thereby abolishing the supposed boundaries between life, art, and politics. According to Groys, the  Lenin Mausoleum  stands as the embodiment of this achievement of synchrony. Complicating and pushing this position further, Groys finds this phenomenon not at all exclusive to the Soviet Union, but in fact points to its uncanny parallel in the readymades of Marcel Duchamp.

Much of Groys’s work has centered on exploring the consequences of this suture resulting in a particular framework in which to think post-Stalinist art. With the fall of Stalinism, and its “iron laws of history,” Russian artists, both of the post-Stalin period of the Soviet Union and the post-Cold War period, have had to confront the difficult task of overcoming a notion of utopia without falling out of history, or rather, how to dissolve the notion of teleology without falling into the abyss of the end of history. Within this framework, Groys investigates not only the historical, political, and aesthetic relations in the Soviet Union and Russia, but as well specific artistic and literary works such as those by Ilya Kabakov, Komar and Melamid, and Prigov.

Without pronouncement, Boris Groys’s work, in all its varied forms, appears to follow a sustained thesis: art is a symptom of society. While the majority of his work is within aesthetics, his thesis is not exclusive to aesthetics. Rather, Groys tends to think politics, and philosophy, with and through the medium of art. This idea is underscored in a conversation between John-Paul Stonard and Boris Groys while he was Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum, which was transcribed and published in the Institute’s journal,  immediations  (Vol.1, No. 4, 2007). In response to Stonard’s question as to whether “philosophers have a naturally closer relationship with artists than do art historians?” Groys responded, “We can look at artists in two ways. First, as if we were biologists, trying to construct a neo-Darwinian story of ‘art species’; how artists developed, how they succeeded, failed, survived. In these terms art history is formulated a little like botany or biology. The second way of considering art history is as part of the history of ideas. We have the history of philosophy, the history of science, the history of cultural history, just as we can have the history of art. So the question is whether we define art history more like botany, or more like the history of philosophy – and I tend more to the latter, because, as I have suggested, the driving force of art is philosophical.”

––Srdjan Cvjeticanin

Kommunisticheskiy Postskriptum , Groys, Boris. Kommunisticheskiy Postskriptum. Ad Marginem, 2014.  ISBN: 5911031817

Google: Words beyond Grammar/Google: Worte jenseits der Grammatik , Groys, Boris. Google: Words beyond Grammar/Google: Worte jenseits der Grammatik. Hatje Cantz, 2011.  ISBN: 3775728953

Unter Verdacht: Eine Phänomenologie der Medien , Groys, Boris. Unter Verdacht: Eine Phänomenologie der Medien. Carl Hanser Verlag, 2010.  ISBN: 3446236023

Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of Media , Groys, Boris. Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of Media. Translated by Carsten Strathausen. Columbia University Press, 2012.  ISBN: 0231146183

Going Public , Groys, Boris. Going Public. Sternberg Press, 2010.  ISBN: 1934105309

History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism , Groys, Boris. History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism. MIT Press, 2010.  ISBN: 0262014238

Einführung in die Anti-philosophie , Groys, Boris. Einführung in die Anti-philosophie. Carl Hanser, 2009.  ISBN: 3446234047

An Introduction to Antiphilosophy , Groys, Boris. An Introduction to Antiphilosophy. Translated by David Fernbach. Verso, 2012.  ISBN: 0231146183

Art Power , Groys, Boris. Art Power. MIT Press, 2008.  ISBN: 0262518686

Drei Videos über das Ikonoklastische: Rituelle und Unsterbliche/Thinking in Loop: Three Videos on Iconoclasm, Ritual and Immortality. , Groys, Boris. Drei Videos über das Ikonoklastische: Rituelle und Unsterbliche/Thinking in Loop: Three Videos on Iconoclasm, Ritual and Immortality. ZKM/Hatje Cantz, 2008.  ISBN: 3775723374

Die Kunst des Denkens , Groys, Boris. Die Kunst des Denkens. Philo Fine Arts, 2008.  ISBN: 3865726399

Ilya Kabakov. The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment , Groys, Boris. Ilya Kabakov. The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment. Afterall/MIT Press, 2006.  ISBN: 1846380049

Das Kommunistische Postskriptum , Groys, Boris. Das Kommunistische Postskriptum. Suhrkamp, 2006.  ISBN: 351812403X

The Communist Postscript , Groys, Boris. The Communist Postscript. Verso, 2010.  ISBN: 1844674304

Le Post-scriptum Communiste , Groys, Boris. Le Post-scriptum Communiste. Translated by Olivier Mannoni. Libella/Maren Sell, 2008.  ISBN: 2355800057

Postscriptum Comunista , Groys, Boris. Postscriptum Comunista. Translated by Gianluca Bonaiuti. Metemi Melusine, 2008.  ISBN: 8883536738

Die Muse im Pelz , Groys, Boris. Die Muse im Pelz. Literaturverlag Droschl, 2004.  ISBN: 3854206720

Topologie der Kunst , Groys, Boris. Topologie der Kunst. Carl Hanser, 2003.  ISBN: 3446203680

Kommentarii k Iskusstvu , Groys, Boris. Kommentarii k iskusstvu. KhZh, 2003.  ISBN: 5901116089

Politik der Unsterblichkeit: Vier Gespräche mit Thomas Knöfel , Groys, Boris. Politik der Unsterblichkeit: Vier Gespräche mit Thomas Knöfel. Carl Hanser, 2002.  ISBN: 3446201394

Politique de l’Immortalité , Groys, Boris. Politique de l’Immortalité. Quatre entretiens avec Thomas Knoefel. Translator Olivieri Mannon. Maren Sell Editeurs, 2005.  ISBN: 2350040232

Dialogi , Groys, Boris, and Ilya Kabakov. Dialogi. Ad marginem, 1999.  ISBN: 593321003X

Logik der Sammlung , Groys, Boris. Logik der Sammlung. Carl Hanser, 1997.  ISBN: 3446189327

Kunst-Kommentare , Groys, Boris. Kunst-Kommentare. Passagen, 1997.  ISBN: 3851652916

Die Kunst der Installation , Groys, Boris, and Ilja Kabakov. Die Kunst der Installation. Carl Hanser, 1996.  ISBN: 3446185275

Die Erfindung Russlands , Groys, Boris. Die Erfindung Russlands. Carl Hanser, 1995.  ISBN: 3446180516

Über das Neue , Groys, Boris. Über das Neue. Versuch einer Kulturökonomie. Carl Hanser, 1992.  ISBN: 3446165428

On the New , Groys, Boris. On the New. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. Verso, 2014.  ISBN: 1781682925

Sobre lo Nuevo , Groys, Boris. Sobre lo Nuevo. Pre-textos, 2005.  ISBN: 848191648X

Du Nouveau , Groys, Boris. Du Nouveau: Essai d’économie culturelle. Jacqueline Chambon, 1995.  ISBN: 2877111156

Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Moskau: Von der Neo-Avantgarde zum Post-Stalinismus ,Groys, Boris. Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Moskau: Von der Neo-Avantgarde zum Post-Stalinismus. Klinkhardt u. B., 1991.  ISBN: 3781403033

Die Kunst des Fliehens , Groys, Boris, and Ilya Kabakov. Die Kunst des Fliehens. Carl Hanser, 1991.  ISBN: 3446160779

Dnevnik filosofa , Groys, Boris. Dnevnik Filosofa. Beseda/Sintaksis, 1989.

全体芸術様式スターリン/ Zentai Geijutsu Yōshiki Sutārin , Groys, Boris. 全体芸術様式スターリン/ Zentai Geijutsu Yōshiki Sutārin. Translated by Ikuo Kameyama and Yoshiaki Koga. 現代思潮新社, 2000.  ISBN: 4329004119

Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin , Groys, Boris. Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin. Translated by Desiderio Navarro. Pre-textos, 2008.  ISBN: 848191925X

Lo Stalinismo Ovvero l’Opera d’Arte Totale , Groys, Boris. Lo Stalinismo Ovvero l’Opera d’Arte Totale. Translated by Emanuela Guercetti. Garzanti, 1992.  ISBN: 8811598346

The Total Art of Stalinism: Russian Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. , Groys, Boris. The Total Art of Stalinism: Russian Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Translated by Charles Rougle. Verso, (1992) 2011.  ISBN: 1844677079

Staline: Oeuvre d’Art totale , Groys, Boris. Staline: Oeuvre d’Aart totale. Jacqueline Chambon, 1990.  ISBN: 2877110370

Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin , Groys, Boris. Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin. Die Gespaltene Kultur in der Sowjetunion. Translated by Gabriele Leupold. Carl Hanser, (1988) 2008.  ISBN: 3446187863

Edited Works

Moscow Symposium: Conceptualism Revisited

Groys, Boris, ed.  Moscow Symposium: Conceptualism Revisited . Sternberg Press, 2012.  ISBN: 3943365115

Empty Zones: Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Action

Groys, Boris, Claire Bishop, and Andrei Monastyrski, eds.  Empty Zones: Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Action . Black Dog, 2011.  ISBN: 1907317341

Die totale Aufklärung: Moskauer Konzeptkunst 1960-1990/The Total Enlightenment: Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960-1990

Groys, Boris, Max Hollein, and Manuel Fontan del Junco, eds.  Die totale Aufklärung: Moskauer Konzeptkunst 1960-1990/The Total Enlightenment: Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960-1990 . Exhibition catalogue. Hatje Cantz, 2008.  ISBN: 377572124 X

Die Neue Menschheit

Groys, Boris, and Michael Hagemeister, eds.  Die Neue Menschheit . Suhrkamp, 2005.  ISBN: 351829363 X

Am Nullpunkt

Groys, Boris, and Aage Hansen-Löve, eds.  Am Nullpunkt . Suhrkamp, 2005.  ISBN: 3518293648

Zurück aus der Zukunft. Osteuropäische Kulturen im Zeitalter des Postkommunismus

Groys, Boris, and Anne von der Heiden, eds.  Zurück aus der Zukunft. Osteuropäische Kulturen im Zeitalter des Postkommunismus . Suhrkamp, 2005.  ISBN: 3518124528


Groys, Boris, ed.  Privatisierungen/Privatisations . Revolver, 2004.  ISBN: 3865882285

Dream Factory Communism: The Visual Culture of the Stalin Era

Groys, Boris, and Max Hollein, eds.  Dream Factory Communism: The Visual Culture of the Stalin Era . Hatje Cantz, 2003.  ISBN: 377571328 X


Groys, Boris, ed.  Kierkegaard . Schriften. Diederichs, 1996.  ISBN: 3424012874

Fluchtpunkt Moskau

Groys, Boris, ed. Fluchtpunkt Moskau. Cantz, 1994.  ISBN: 3893226125

Utopia i Obmen

Groys, Boris, ed.  Utopia i Obmen . Izd-vo Znak, 1993.  ISBN: 5877070010

Today’s Legacy of Classical Modernism

Thinking Media and the Man-Machine Relation

Alexandre Kojève

Read the Latest on Page Six


New york public schools top the nation’s class for costly failure.

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a press conference to announce new subway safety measures at NYCTA Rail Control Center on March 6, 2024

Gov. Hochul proposes to increase public-school funding by $825 million next year.

But school districts and the teachers union are angry because her budget would stop guaranteeing districts won’t get less funding than they did the year before — even if they are serving fewer students. 

“Why are we funding a program for kids who aren’t there?” Hochul rightly asked. 

New York’s public-school enrollment dropped by 180,000 from 2002 to 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, public schools lost another 160,000 students.

It makes sense to stop giving schools money for these students.

But the state Senate and Assembly would continue giving cash to districts for students no longer there.

New Reason Foundation  research  raises more questions about whether New York’s public schools effectively use their taxpayer funding.

The study found that between 2002 and 2020, before the massive infusion of federal COVID-19 aid for schools, New York led the nation in inflation-adjusted public-school spending, going from $18,054 to $30,723 per student.

Despite losing more than 6% of their students, the state’s public schools added thousands of new staff. 

Taxpayer money is increasingly shifted to pay these employees’ rising benefits, including pensions and health insurance: New York’s education-benefit spending grew by 141% from 2002 to 2020 and now costs the equivalent of $7,000 per student, the highest in the nation.

With such spending, parents and taxpayers might expect New York to have world-class public schools.

But its National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores barely budged from 2003 to 2019, ranking in the bottom half of states in the four reading and math assessments Reason Foundation examined.

Worst of all, the state’s fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores actually fell. 

The news was also bad for low-income students, whose scores stagnated.

New York’s low-income fourth graders ranked 41st in the country in math, behind students in states like Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia, where far less money is spent on public schools. 

New York’s poor returns on its K-12 education dollars show public-school funding doesn’t guarantee results.

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How dollars are spent is more important, which Florida can offer a lesson on. 

The Sunshine State ranked 43rd in the nation in spending growth since 2002 and spent $19,000 per student less than New York in 2020 but still got impressive results, ranking in the top 10 for student improvement in all four NAEP exams. 

Not only that — Florida’s low-income fourth graders ranked first in the nation in both reading and math, fueled by large gains from 2003 to 2019.

A critical difference: Florida’s public schools must compete for students, while New York’s have little incentive to improve.

When Florida parents are dissatisfied with public schools , they can take their funding to a private school by participating in one of several school-choice programs. 

Around 1.7 million of Florida’s students — or nearly half of all K-12 students —  participate in some form of school choice.

There are more than 700 charter schools to choose from, and parents can enroll their children in any public school thanks to a robust open-enrollment policy, which allows students to transfer to any public school with open seats.  

In comparison, New York is one of only 18 states without a private school-choice program, and its charter-school law sets an arbitrary cap at 460 charters statewide. 

New York also has one of the most restrictive open-enrollment laws in the country and allows public schools to charge tuition to transfer students, effectively allowing wealthy suburban public schools to block low-income transfer students.

New York’s public schools receive more money per student than any other state.

Despite massive enrollment losses in recent years, Gov. Hochul’s plan would still boost overall state education funding by $825 million.

The only ones who should complain about public-education funding are students and parents, who aren’t getting nearly enough for what’s spent.

Aaron Garth Smith is director of education reform at Reason Foundation and author of the new study  “ Public education at a crossroads: A comprehensive look at K-12 resources and outcomes. ”

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Students in a Moscow School Debate the Once-Undebatable

By Philip Taubman, Special To the New York Times

  • Oct. 20, 1988

Students in a Moscow School Debate the Once-Undebatable

For years the study of Soviet history at Secondary School 831 in Moscow was less an exercise in understanding the country's heritage than in denying it.

Yevdokiya Syto, a teacher, had relatives who were expelled from the Communist Party and imprisoned, but the history curriculum did not allow her to tell students about the great terror that swept the country in the 1930's.

Maksim Pechnikov, now in his last year of high school, was told by his parents about family members who were thrown out of the party and executed by firing squad under Stalin, but he dared not mention the cases to his classmates.

The history textbooks long used at the school treated the 1930's as a time of economic achievement, making no mention of the famine and purges that killed millions.

All that is changing now. With the encouragement of Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, School 831 and thousands of others across the country have set aside old textbooks and fears and are openly confronting a turbulent past that teachers and students knew existed but could barely acknowledge in the classroom.

The students still dress in navy blue school uniforms, and classrooms are still adorned with posters extolling the virtues of Communism, but the intellectual atmosphere - in topics ranging from history to economics to capitalism - is bubbling with curiosity and candor.

''The things my grandmother once told me in whispers - about her brother who was sent to prison, another who was executed - we can now talk about at school,'' Mr. Pechnikov said.

''The atmosphere is entirely different,'' he added.

The absence of a single, officially approved version of history forced the cancellation last spring of written history exams for 10th-form students like Mr. Pechnikov, the equivalent of American high school seniors. No decision has been made yet on whether to resume written exams at the end of the current school year.

As with many of the other changes initiated by Mr. Gorbachev, the remaking of high school history courses has not been easy and is far from complete. It was clear during a recent visit to School 831, a spartan, three-story concrete building in northern Moscow, that the evolution of the curriculum has produced unusual spontaneity and uncertainty in the classroom.

Teachers at the school, which in American terms covers grades 3 through 12, have substituted current journals, magazines and newspapers for the outdated, circumscribed textbooks that were for decades the bibles of high school history classes.

Andrei Y. Kulakov, a history teacher, shook his head when a visitor asked about the books. ''They are almost useless,'' he said.

The choice of reading material, Mr. Kulakov said, is his alone, a startling departure from the traditional system in which every source of information was screened and sanitized by the authorities. Shortcomings Discussed

During a discussion with 10th form students about economic differences between Communism and capitalism, Mr. Kulakov encouraged a spirited debate about the benefits of each system, and several students talked openly about shortcomings in the Soviet system. There was little sign of the rote learning that has long dominated Soviet education.

When Mr. Kulakov raised the issue of how manufactured goods are valued, the dozen or so students in his corner classroom, paired off two to a desk, consulted among themselves for a few moments, and then hands shot up.

''Many Soviet enterprises work on obsolete equipment,'' one student said. ''That means many of the goods are costly to produce, but because their quality is low, their utility value is essentially zero because no one wants to buy them.''

Unfazed, Mr. Kulakov replied, ''You're right, and such a situation can be viewed as a burden on society.'' A Sense of Liberation

Mr. Kulakov, whose enthusiasm and willingness to tackle controversial material apparently made him something of a maverick at the school, reported a sense of liberation among some of his colleagues as curriculum controls have eased.

''It's possible to be honest now in a way it was not even two or three years ago,'' he said.

For Mrs. Syto, an energetic woman who has been teaching history for more than two decades, the expanding boundaries of discussion have lifted a veil that separated her personal and professional lives.

''I lived in that time,'' she said of the 1930's. ''So much is in my memory, so many people in my family suffered, but there was little I could say in class. I mentioned some things, but we could not go into much detail.'' Stalin 'Not a Simple Figure'

Students, freed from the rigid constraints of earlier years, have discovered differences of opinion.

''Stalin is not a simple figure to analyze,'' said Irina Prytkova, a 10th form student. Like most of her classmates, she is 16 years old.

''His brutality and assertion of the cult of personality were reprehensible, but he has also a genius. Look at the way he handled the postwar conference at Potsdam.''

Maksim Pechnikov, her classmate, reddened as Miss Prytkova talked. ''I can't agree,'' he interrupted. ''How can you call a man great who was a sadist?'' he asked. 'Up to His Elbows in Blood'

Yevgeny Leizarovich, another classmate, interjected: ''Don't forget his treatment of Bukharin and the destruction of other Communists. He was up to his elbows in blood.''

Miss Prytkova, who said she wants to be a lawyer, defended her position. ''You may not like everything he did,'' she said, ''but Stalin made certain there was discipline. Some of the measures he used - insisting on tough control against fraud and embezzlement - some of these policies would be useful today.''

Mr. Pechnikov, who hopes to make a career in the military, said: ''But Ira, all those controls were based on sheer terror. It was not rational.''

When Miss Prytkova suggested that at least Stalin was a great war leader, her classmates looked livid.

''He practically destroyed the officer corps during the purges,'' Mr. Pechnikov said. Startled by Reactions

Somewhat startled by the vehement reactions, Miss Prytkova made a tactical retreat.

''I know,'' she said, ''that no matter how great a genius Stalin was, he can never atone for his crimes before the Soviet people.''

When asked by an American visitor whether they were changing their view of other historical figures, including Trotsky, long depicted as the archvillain of the revolution, Mr. Pechnikov said: ''Trotsky was portrayed strictly as a negative figure. Anything about his contributions was omitted. I think we need a more balanced view.''

How much of the current openness will be reflected in the new textbooks is unclear. Mr. Kulakov questioned whether credible new textbooks could be written by the historians who prepared the last ones.

A few days after Mr. Kulakov expressed his doubts, Mr. Gorbachev, addressing a commission that is preparing a new history of the Communist Party, offered some advice that echoed the changed atmosphere at School 831.

The new history, he said, must ''give an honest and frank analysis of the causes of deformations, and thoroughly investigate why the emergence and growth of authoritarian bureaucratic distortions and their consequences were not prevented.''

7 Surefire Signs That ChatGPT Has Written an Essay Revealed

new school essay

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have revealed the seven telltale signs that a piece of written content was generated by ChatGPT , after carefully analyzing more than 150 essays written by high school students and undergraduates.

They found that ChatGPT loves an Oxford Comma, repeats phrases and spits out tautological statements practically empty of meaning at a much higher frequency than humans.

While the findings are interesting, the sample size is quite small. There's also no guarantee that the linguistic habits and techniques identified couldn’t and wouldn't be used by a human. What’s more, AI content detection tools are largely unreliable; there’s still no way to know for certain that any given written content is AI-generated.

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The 7 Telltale Signs Content is AI-Generated

The researchers at Cambridge analyzed 164 essays written by high school students with four essays written with a helping hand from ChatGPT.

The ChatGPT-assisted essays were generally more information-heavy and had more reflective elements, but the markers at Cambridge found that they lacked the level of comparison and analysis typically found in human-generated content. 

According to UK-based publication The Telegraph , which broke the story, the researchers identified seven key indicators of AI content:

  • Frequent use of Latin root words and “vocabulary above the expected level”
  • Paragraphs starting with singular words like “however”, and then a comma 
  • Lots of numbered lists with colons
  • Unnecessary clarificatory language (e.g. “true fact”)
  • Tautological language (“Lets come together to unite”)
  • Repetition of the same word or phrase twice 
  • Consistent and frequent use of Oxford commas in sentences

Are There Any Other Ways to Spot ChatGPT Plagiarism?

Yes and no. There are many tools online that claim to be able to detect AI content, but when I tested a wide range of them last year, I found many to be wildly inaccurate.

For instance, OpenAI’s own text classifier – which was eventually shut down because it performed so poorly – was unable to identify that text written by ChatGPT (effectively itself) was AI-generated.

Even Turnitin has been using automated processes to detect plagiarized content in academic work for years, and they’ve also developed a powerful AI content checker. The company has always maintained that verdicts arrived at by their tools should be treated as an indication, not a cast-iron accusation.

“Given that our false positive rate is not zero” Turnitin explains in a blog post discussing its AI content detection capabilities.

Surfshark logo

“You as the instructor will need to apply your professional judgment, knowledge of your students, and the specific context surrounding the assignment”.

None of these tools are infallible – and worse still, many of the free ones you’ll find lurking at the top of the Google Search results are completely and utterly useless.

Is It Wrong to Use AI for School or College Work?

While asking AI tools like ChatGPT and Gemini to write you an essay isn’t quite “plagiarism” in the same way copying content written by other people and passing it off as your own is, it’s certainly not advised.

Whether it’s objectively plagiarism or not is likely irrelevant – the educational institution you’re enrolled in has probably created guidelines explicitly banning generative AI. Many universities have already taken a similar approach to peer review and other academic processes.

Besides, the whole point of writing an essay is to consider the range of ideas and views on the topic you’re writing about and evaluate them using your head. Getting an AI to do it for you defeats the whole point of writing the essay in the first place.

Our advice – considering the consequences of being accused of plagiarism while at university – is to stick to the rules. Who knows – you might learn something while you're at it!

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at [email protected]

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