monkeyhead817 wrote:Thanks for all the help so far guys. Can you all give me some specific examples of things? Like here:weejonbu wrote:I think you have a good story to work with here, but the way you are utilizing it seems a little pretentious. An argument that you didn't understand between two Arab men made you decide to enter legal litigation?
Also, it's still a little too "flowery" as others have said. It seems like you swallowed a thesaurus whole and vomitted it on the page. Less is more.
You have a good story to work with, hang in there man.
Is the connection between the argument in the van and my desire to study law the only example of where it sounds pretentious? I also tried to strike a lot of the flowery language. What else should I strike?
I think one of the things others mean when they say "pretentious" is that you have a lot of unnecessary descriptions. By "unnecessary" they (I) don't mean that they contribute nothing to the piece, just that they would contribute more by not being there. Go through each sentence, removing adjectives, adverbs and descriptive phrases wherever possible (e.g., "barreled at inadvisable speeds" -> "barreled"). If you think the sentence works without it, take it out. When you get to the end of a paragraph, you'll be surprised at how much tighter it is.
Another worthwhile exercise is to go through, word by word, and, where possible, replace Latin-based words with their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. It often sounds better and reads easier; if so, keep it.
Sorry I have to be so vague about this -- I know how I would write it, but it's your experience and only you know what you really mean. What I and others are trying to say is that it's simply unbelievable that an experience like this would trigger something so major as the desire for a career in law. It would read much better if you imply that you already had an interest in law, but that this merely helped focus it. Be specific in your anecdotes, but trust me/us that you don't want to be too specific in trying to connect your interest in law to two people shouting on a bus. It just doesn't work -- but it's certainly possible to frame it more advantageously.monkeyhead817 wrote:philosoraptor wrote:I'm a big fan of specifics, but this is a good place to be more general. Even striking the bolded would improve the message. Right now it's structured like so: witness hostilities --> need for mediation. Can you split it up such that: witness hostilities --> political climate --> importance of mediation (if that makes sense)?
You don't think that if I generalize more, the connection between the story and how it makes me a worthwhile candidate for law school becomes tenuous? If not, I can definitely switch that up.
Also, my fault about the name thing. It would look pretty awful to get that wrong.
Back tomorrow when I'm bored at work and not ridiculously tired...