Recast | Academic Statement Help from the Writing Center Issue #4: Five Types of Seniors (Just for fun!)

From: “Birks, Ariel” <>
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 6:24 PM

The Five Types of Seniors Who Need Support with the Final Academic Statement

(Just for fun!)


The Recent Transfer Student

They ask, “Wait, what is the Academic Statement?”

Fill them in by sharing the chart for reflective writing at Evergreen, which shows overview information on the Orientation Essay, Self Evaluations, the Academic Statements and more. Offer to answer any questions they have, and use the Guide to Writing Your Academic Statements with them to show them the basics from page 6 of our guide: It is an essay; it is part of a cycle of reflection; it is drafted and published. Then ask the about their writing process and/or recommend working with tutors to help carry out what you helped them learn. They might also benefit from working with Academic and Career Advising to learn how to best talk about their Evergreen experience to people outside of Evergreen.


The Perfectionist

They haven’t started it, or, they’ve started it one hundred times. Either way, now they are stuck in a perfectionism/procrastination loop.

Encourage them by sharing that they can trust themselves to write something worthy of the page—after all, there are very few requirements, and they are the only ones who know their story! On the other hand, sometimes perfectionism covers up uncertainty: maybe they have questions about what the Academic Statement is meant to achieve. Answer any questions they have and, of course, let them know that they can work with tutors at the Writing Center to polish their draft with support.They might enjoy our list of affirmations on page 57. Or, they might simply need to settle on an essay style to reduce their uncertainty, which we discuss in our guide on page 32 and in our workshop recording and PowerPoint.


The Hidden Talent

They are bogged down by all the tough or contrasting parts of their college experience. Despite all that, they have developed amazing skills, knowledge, and abilities that they have yet to put into words.

Not many people are at ease talking about their strengths right as they complete something challenging and complex. Offer to illuminate the skills they’ve shown in your course or program or employment/activity area. We  have many reflection exercises and self-interview questions in our guide, our workshop recording, and our PowerPoint. You can also recommend that they work with Academic and Career Advising or any other student affairs area that they commonly frequent to uncover their unique combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities.


The Overloaded Student

They are overwhelmed by too much information, high pressure, and demands on their time.

You might treat this student as you would the “Recent Transfer Student” and first offer to get them up to speed on what is required, if needed. At the same time, they might benefit from considering the best path forward given their life circumstances and working style. The second half of our guide is all about process, starting on page 58. Of course, tutors are available to help writers grapple with their process and help them develop strategies to tackle any writing project, large or small. In a sense, every student this year is an overloaded student. Compassion is always welcome.


The Unmotivated Student/Student with “Senioritis”

This student is so “done” with college—but their Academic Statement is not finished.

Connect these students with audiences who are genuinely curious about their story. You can be this audience; your enthusiasm can do wonders. Show them that you find their story engaging and their successes impressive. Recommend that they make at least one “second look” appointment with someone they trust. Remember, no entity at Evergreen proofreads or corrects their work before it is a permanent, semi-public document. That “second look” person can be you, (other) faculty, (other) staff, tutors, or trusted individuals. You can share our Many Readers Can Support You matrix to help them identify who they could talk to next.

Do these ring true for the students you’ve met this year? Of course all of our students are unique. Who’d I miss in this?

Handouts & Links

Example Academic Statements:

  • You can find six AS samples on our Handouts and Links page.
  • We welcome others to create and support a process for additional samples!

A Guide to Writing Your Academic Statements

  • Point out our new, comprehensive, 70-page guide on the Academic Statement

If your students missed the chance to attend our workshop live, they can still access our PowerPoint slides and an .mp3 recording of our presentation.

Looking for another kind of support?

Other support we can offer to faculty is listed here:

You can also sign up for support by emailing me or by filling out our form:

Support Request: Academic Statement Support from the Writing Center.

Making lemonade,

Ariel Birks
Assistant Director, Writing Center


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