Second draft needing opinions

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
nhkjackson
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:15 pm

Second draft needing opinions

Postby nhkjackson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:53 pm

---

Thanks for the help!
Last edited by nhkjackson on Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Sauer Grapes
Posts: 1222
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:02 am

Re: First draft needing opinions

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:03 pm

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mattymatt
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:58 pm

Re: First draft needing opinions

Postby mattymatt » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:34 pm

Starting by just tacking a quote up there is not a good idea. In any situation, it's important to contextualize the quote. If you start with the quote and don't talk at all about why it's significant to you as a person--much less your PS--until the end, then the reader just wonders the entire time why you put the quote in.

Sauer Grapes wrote:I would put the paragraphs in a different order that was more chronological.


I'm inclined to agree. Your story about the squatter is interesting, and certainly captivating, but the way you have it makes it hard to follow what it is that you are trying to say.

Also, your first paragraph is written in a way that I've always felt is a bit weak. Writing in the pseudo-present tense like that always seemed like a cheap way to create a sense that the reader is actually there. In reality, it just comes out trite, and is a little ineffectual, considering that the topic of your PS isn't the experience itself, but rather what it meant to you. That's not to say you shouldn't talk about the motel room situation. I definitely think you should, but just write it in the past tense as if you were just telling someone a story. Also, you switch verb tenses in the first sentence, so if you do decide to stick with that opening, I'd at least make the tense consistent throughout.

nhkjackson
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:15 pm

Re: First draft needing opinions

Postby nhkjackson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:07 pm

I'm curious as to whether everyone thinks that:

1) the alternating paragraphs are hard to follow
2) the quote isn't contextualized

I feel like it may be slightly complex, but followable nonetheless. Should a PS be so straightforward?

nhkjackson
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:15 pm

Re: First draft needing opinions

Postby nhkjackson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:30 pm

mattymatt wrote:Also, you switch verb tenses in the first sentence, so if you do decide to stick with that opening, I'd at least make the tense consistent throughout.


Thanks for the help.

As to your final suggestion, that is not an error. In the beginning of the first paragraph, I am writing about a situation prior to now in the present tense. What I am describing when I switch verb tenses is a situation prior to the situation prior to now. I think that works?

mattymatt
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:58 pm

Re: Second draft needing opinions

Postby mattymatt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:52 pm

nhkjackson wrote:As to your final suggestion, that is not an error. In the beginning of the first paragraph, I am writing about a situation prior to now in the present tense. What I am describing when I switch verb tenses is a situation prior to the situation prior to now. I think that works?


I got what you were going for, but it just reads a bit awkwardly, especially since you use the same verb in two different tenses. I'd recommend for the first sentence something like, "With police officers looking over my shoulder, I stepped carefully...".

While it may be grammatically correct, the switch interrupts the flow of the sentence, and is a stylistic flaw.

I only persist because I am neurotic about my own writing, and proofreading/editing is something I have always really enjoyed.

dlee975
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Second draft needing opinions

Postby dlee975 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:01 pm

I had a rather difficult time following the story. In the beginning I thought Mike was dead and you sound like Dexter going to do a blood splatter analysis. :lol: It seems you might find a better quote, I agree with mattymatt, it doesn't seem to fit the context. I would work on making the flow a bit easier to follow. Hope this helps.

dlee975
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Second draft needing opinions

Postby dlee975 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:01 pm

mattymatt wrote:I only persist because I am neurotic about my own writing, and proofreading/editing is something I have always really enjoyed.



would you mind reading over my DS? :D :D

User avatar
LawandOrder
Posts: 611
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:36 pm

Re: Second draft needing opinions

Postby LawandOrder » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:30 pm

Second Draft? Psh you kids don't know nothing. Back in 'Nam we had real draft cause all our boys kept gettin' killed by those God damn commies.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.