Guidelines for Preparing Your Project Completion Form
The description of your project that you provide with your Completion Form serves two very important functions. First, since it will appear on a public document (your Odyssey transcript), it describes for other people, possibly including potential employers or members of graduate school admissions committees, exactly what you did. Therefore, you should use language that is clear, precise, and descriptive, and avoid vague remarks or slang expressions. Think carefully about how your writing will represent you to someone who does not know you well.
Second, the description offers you an opportunity to reflect one more time on the value of the experience you have had. What have you learned? How have you grown or changed personally as a result of the project? This process of reflection is an integral part of the Odyssey objective.
The following are some more specific suggestions:
1. Limit yourself to 150 words and a single paragraph. Multiple paragraphs will be combined into one for the transcript.
2. If at all possible, type your description.
3. Write in complete sentences.
4. First person is preferable to third person, which, while it may seem more formal, is much less natural.
5. Check grammar and spelling carefully for errors.
6. Briefly describe the basic details of your project: who, what, when, where.
7. Avoid using abbreviations that outsiders might not recognize. Remember that people beyond the Hendrix community will not know what is meant by APM, EPA, RA, or OR. The first time you name a company, an organization, a position, or a program, use the full title with the abbreviation in parentheses. After that you can refer to it by the abbreviation.
8. Include one or two sentences about the value of the experience. Try to pinpoint some specific learning outcomes or benefits to your personal growth (e.g. “My communication skills improved.” “I gained insight into the many facets of running a small business.”). Avoid grand generalizations or hyperbolic statements (e.g. “I just loved this country!” “This experience was awesome!”).
9. Finally, be sure to work closely with your faculty or staff sponsor as you craft the language that will appear on your transcript. You should also feel free to consult any of us in the Odyssey Office if you have questions about the content or style of your description.