Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:38 pm

Any critique is greatly appreciated. It was tough to find a direction, and this is what I put together today.

Thanks in advance for your help.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Life is but a journey. A journey in which we are all faced with decisions that guide us. A journey that we as a people share, yet each of us have our own story to tell. My story began as a fortunate middle class boy of a family of five in New Jersey. From my upbringing I learned to live passionately, listen, and benevolence is never passé. In the face of irony, I quote a man who lived over two thousand years ago to sum up everything I have learned on my own. “The only thing that I know, is I know nothing,” - Socrates.
While I have learned much from my experiences, each day has proven there are endless questions to be raised. Absolutes seem scarce while humility often beckons. The prospect of unearthing a piece of the bigger picture is what drives me as an academic in my pursuit of a career in law. I appreciate the practicality of the law and within it, its dependence on and faith in the Constitution, a document which recognized human imperfections and varying perceptions. When I was younger, the acknowledgement of my imperfections may not have ranked high on my list of priorities but my sisters frequently assumed the role of reminders.
Growing up with two sisters created tension and ultimately many arguments. In presenting my case to my parents, I had to listen to my sisters and then apply careful reasoning. As juvenile as the process had seemed, I slowly realized the bigger picture. I learned that listening and understanding another’s perspective is an important aspect of argumentation and life. Listening seems to be a forgotten art, or at best, overlooked. In a world that loves to linger in the “grey”, listening is a crucial aspect in the understanding of any scenario. I understand that as a student, friend, family member, and eventually as an attorney, listening will prove invaluable. These skills had already helped me as a teammate and leader in sports and the classroom.
As a leader, one should never blindly dictate orders. One should lead with a clear goal in mind while caring and understanding those who are listening. A good leader brings out the best in his followers. As a leader of many group projects throughout college, I listened to my teammates, found out their strengths, and assigned duties accordingly. As a catcher in baseball, I was faced with similar responsibilities. A catcher needs to know what pitch to tell the pitcher to throw, what kind of batter is up to the plate, and make sure that all defensive players are positioned appropriately. A leader must process the influx of information quickly and adapt, much like an attorney processes details of a new case. A smart attorney leads by exuding confidence to their clients and employees, and to their boss’s that they are adept at the task. I began to realize that the skills I had been refining my entire life will aid me in my pursuit of the law.
I learned to listen and lead, and cooperate with care. Life is not fulfilling if one only asks, “what can I get today,” instead of, “how can I help right now?” In helping others, one receives reward. The reward is boundless in knowing a difference was made in another’s life. I have witnessed this first hand when I decided to reinforce my decision to pursue law by working at a law firm. An attorney has the ability to make a difference not only in one’s life, but in the world, because although our stories differ, we are all apart of a similar journey.
With this application to _____________________, I seek the opportunity to learn with my colleagues and professors on my pursuit to swear to uphold the humble document that defines our country.

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TTTennis
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:12 pm

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby TTTennis » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:58 pm

I think you could do a better job of organizing it. You introduce the quote "the only thing I know, is I know nothing," yet you go on to talk about how much you know about being a leader and so on. I was expecting that quote to be the backbone of your PS, but it is dropped right after it is introduced and is never brought up again. However, I do like that you give examples of how your experiences are going to benefit you as a lawyer.

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby JustDude » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:58 pm

Life is but a journey. A journey in which we are all faced with decisions that guide us. A journey that we as a people share, yet each of us have our own story to tell.

My cliche-o-meter shows some extraordinary big values. Also, probably you meant "we all are faced".
My story began as a fortunate middle class boy of a family of five in New Jersey.

So you family had upper class children, and lower class??/.. Thats an interesting organisation.
From my upbringing I learned to live passionately, listen, and benevolence is never passé.

Atrocious sentence structure.
In the face of irony, I quote a man who lived over two thousand years ago to sum up everything I have learned on my own. “The only thing that I know, is I know nothing,” - Socrates.

What do you mean by "in the face of irony"?. When you faced with ironic remark? Orrrrr....................

While I have learned much from my experiences, each day has proven there are endless questions to be raised.

No shit
Absolutes seem scarce while humility often beckons.

Try again.
The prospect of unearthing a piece of the bigger picture is what drives me as an academic in my pursuit of a career in law. I appreciate the practicality of the law and within it, its dependence on and faith in the Constitution, a document which recognized human imperfections and varying perceptions. When I was younger, the acknowledgement of my imperfections may not have ranked high on my list of priorities but my sisters frequently assumed the role of reminders.

I am not following the transition from imperfections recognized by constitution (whatever you meant by that) to imperfections rediculed by your sisters.

Growing up with two sisters created tension and ultimately many arguments. In presenting my case to my parents, I had to listen to my sisters and then apply careful reasoning. As juvenile as the process had seemed, I slowly realized the bigger picture. I learned that listening and understanding another’s perspective is an important aspect of argumentation and life. Listening seems to be a forgotten art, or at best, overlooked. In a world that loves to linger in the “grey”, listening is a crucial aspect in the understanding of any scenario. I understand that as a student, friend, family member, and eventually as an attorney, listening will prove invaluable. These skills had already helped me as a teammate and leader in sports and the classroom.

So you argued with your sisters and it prepared you to be a leader and a lawyer. Are you Stan Marsh?. Did you argue with your GF?

As a leader, one should never blindly dictate orders. One should lead with a clear goal in mind while caring and understanding those who are listening. A good leader brings out the best in his followers.

e-mail this to obama
As a leader of many group projects throughout college, I listened to my teammates, found out their strengths, and assigned duties accordingly. As a catcher in baseball, I was faced with similar responsibilities. A catcher needs to know what pitch to tell the pitcher to throw, what kind of batter is up to the plate, and make sure that all defensive players are positioned appropriately. A leader must process the influx of information quickly and adapt, much like an attorney processes details of a new case. A smart attorney leads by exuding confidence to their clients and employees, and to their boss’s that they are adept at the task. I began to realize that the skills I had been refining my entire life will aid me in my pursuit of the law.

Please dont tell what attorney should do.

I learned to listen and lead, and cooperate with care.

We heard this like 5 times already.
Life is not fulfilling if one only asks, “what can I get today,” instead of, “how can I help right now?” In helping others, one receives reward. The reward is boundless in knowing a difference was made in another’s life. I have witnessed this first hand when I decided to reinforce my decision to pursue law by working at a law firm. An attorney has the ability to make a difference not only in one’s life, but in the world, because although our stories differ, we are all apart of a similar journey.
With this application to _____________________, I seek the opportunity to learn with my colleagues and professors on my pursuit to swear to uphold the humble document that defines our country.


Whatever.

Lonestar87
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:45 pm

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby Lonestar87 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:08 pm

I agree with JustDude, yet I do not put much emphasis on the haste. Your PS seems like a poem to me. It seems that you are trying to over impress either with your writing or philosophy. Law schools want to know who YOU are. After reading that and losing attention span half way through, I would suggest you illustrate a better characterization about yourself and how you have come to the point in your life of applying to law school. The baseball thing is very corny, and if your sister was your motivation do tell on how she was and how you have come to be the person you are today. Personal statement should also involve how you are the most unique of candidates and what you will bring to the table.

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phoenix323
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby phoenix323 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:20 pm

This PS, in its current state, is not portraying you in the best possible light. It is very lofty and it seems as if you talking at the reader, telling them life lessons, speaking down to them (using phrases such as "in life, one must..." sounds slightly pompous). In addition, anyone could have written this PS. It tells the admissions committee absolutely nothing about you as an individual. A great personal statement will give the adcomm a glimpse of you that cannot be found anywhere else in your application. Use the PS wisely. Think of a formative event, or experience that can serve as a vehicle for why you want to become a lawyer. And please revise the first paragraph. Use an intro that will demand the adcomm's attention.

That being said, I know how hard it is to write a PS. Personally, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to write. I know that with focus you can write something infinitely better that will truly allow the adcomm to see you as unique individual.

Good luck on your PS and your cycle!

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:24 pm

Yeah, the sentence structure and overall organization need to be tweaked.

Just Dude, harsh, but thanks for the criticism. You should appreciate the words FIRST DRAFT.

I wasn't too impressed with it myself.
Last edited by Santiago and Dunbar on Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:33 pm

phoenix323 wrote:This PS, in its current state, is not portraying you in the best possible light. It is very lofty and it seems as if you talking at the reader, telling them life lessons, speaking down to them (using phrases such as "in life, one must..." sounds slightly pompous). In addition, anyone could have written this PS. It tells the admissions committee absolutely nothing about you as an individual. A great personal statement will give the adcomm a glimpse of you that cannot be found anywhere else in your application. Use the PS wisely. Think of a formative event, or experience that can serve as a vehicle for why you want to become a lawyer. And please revise the first paragraph. Use an intro that will demand the adcomm's attention.

That being said, I know how hard it is to write a PS. Personally, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to write. I know that with focus you can write something infinitely better that will truly allow the adcomm to see you as unique individual.

Good luck on your PS and your cycle!



Ugh, I know, thanks phoenix.

I kind of just free wrote and then did some minor editing. While I was writing I definitely felt there wasn't much personality if any, and I do kind of sound pompous. Weak.

Back to work.

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phoenix323
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby phoenix323 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:03 pm

Santiago and Dunbar wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:This PS, in its current state, is not portraying you in the best possible light. It is very lofty and it seems as if you talking at the reader, telling them life lessons, speaking down to them (using phrases such as "in life, one must..." sounds slightly pompous). In addition, anyone could have written this PS. It tells the admissions committee absolutely nothing about you as an individual. A great personal statement will give the adcomm a glimpse of you that cannot be found anywhere else in your application. Use the PS wisely. Think of a formative event, or experience that can serve as a vehicle for why you want to become a lawyer. And please revise the first paragraph. Use an intro that will demand the adcomm's attention.

That being said, I know how hard it is to write a PS. Personally, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to write. I know that with focus you can write something infinitely better that will truly allow the adcomm to see you as unique individual.

Good luck on your PS and your cycle!



Ugh, I know, thanks phoenix.

I kind of just free wrote and then did some minor editing. While I was writing I definitely felt there wasn't much personality if any, and I do kind of sound pompous. Weak.

Back to work.


Don't beat yourself up too bad. It's only the first draft. I'll be sending good thoughts your way!

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Please critique my PS. FIRST DRAFT.

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:17 pm

phoenix323 wrote:
Santiago and Dunbar wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:This PS, in its current state, is not portraying you in the best possible light. It is very lofty and it seems as if you talking at the reader, telling them life lessons, speaking down to them (using phrases such as "in life, one must..." sounds slightly pompous). In addition, anyone could have written this PS. It tells the admissions committee absolutely nothing about you as an individual. A great personal statement will give the adcomm a glimpse of you that cannot be found anywhere else in your application. Use the PS wisely. Think of a formative event, or experience that can serve as a vehicle for why you want to become a lawyer. And please revise the first paragraph. Use an intro that will demand the adcomm's attention.

That being said, I know how hard it is to write a PS. Personally, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to write. I know that with focus you can write something infinitely better that will truly allow the adcomm to see you as unique individual.

Good luck on your PS and your cycle!



Ugh, I know, thanks phoenix.

I kind of just free wrote and then did some minor editing. While I was writing I definitely felt there wasn't much personality if any, and I do kind of sound pompous. Weak.

Back to work.


Don't beat yourself up too bad. It's only the first draft. I'll be sending good thoughts your way!


I just deleted the whole thing. I read some other statements, and all I read are stories. I guess if that's what is successful then hey.


I have to find a new direction.




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