Personal Statement Help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
Hannibal
Posts: 2213
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:00 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby Hannibal » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:48 pm

Hannibal wrote:I definitely liked V3 better, but it's not perfect.

For one, Glen is relegated to the first and last paragraphs, making him more of an example than a theme. I think you could incorporate the character of Glen as one to call upon throughout the statement.

You're still using your passive voice where it's not necessary. For example, the words "strongly believed" and "seemed." There's nobody to argue against you, so there's no point in leaving leeway.

Your paragraph in which you see the improvement is overly telly IMO. It could be condensed or used to make really strong examples.

Don't get discouraged. I've been there, wondering if I should just go for a PS that wouldn't hurt me rather than try for one that would actually help me. I didn't get what I was supposed to do until about revision nine. Not that you'll have to do that many since BPM is clearly extremely good material to work with.


You DO have evidence. The educational improvement and dedication to the project are great indicators of maturity, and to some degree, confidence in success.

User avatar
gendefect
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby gendefect » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:56 pm

Alright. Adjustments came much easier this time. I'm continually surprised that this thing can keep getting better. I guess there's something good in there somewhere, and I'm just digging around until it shows its face.

I think 'V4' should address some of your concerns. I added Glen in the middle and tried to make that paragraph less telly. I also went through and dropped the passive voice everywhere I thought I saw it. If you still notice it anywhere, please let me know. The one part I left was where I say, "I strongly believed that the program would increase students’ self-confidence..." I felt it important to leave it that way because at that point, it was just a hypothesis. I didn't KNOW it was going to work, I just suspected it would. In some sense, I think it's actually better that way, because I went ahead and gave it a shot, not knowing that it would work out in the end.

Anyway, I'm excited to hear any other comments anyone might have.

User avatar
gendefect
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby gendefect » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:00 am

Does anyone have any further comments, or does it seem, dare I say, ready for submission?

Thanks!!

afa_brandon
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby afa_brandon » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:42 am

My victory had been achieved—one notch in a belt I intend to make quite perforated.


i don't like this line.
that phrase has a way of objectifying the people involved in the so-called notch. its other connotations are killing cowboys or sleeping with women, ffs. furthermore, perforated is a peculiar word in this context. i think if it were mine, and i know this is nitpicky, i'd stick with something like 'one more step down a road the end of which i can't see, and i wouldnt' have it any other way.'

User avatar
gendefect
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby gendefect » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:53 am

afa_brandon wrote:
My victory had been achieved—one notch in a belt I intend to make quite perforated.


i don't like this line.
that phrase has a way of objectifying the people involved in the so-called notch. its other connotations are killing cowboys or sleeping with women, ffs. furthermore, perforated is a peculiar word in this context. i think if it were mine, and i know this is nitpicky, i'd stick with something like 'one more step down a road the end of which i can't see, and i wouldnt' have it any other way.'


Hmm. Interesting. I wouldn't have considered that at all, and I guess I didn't know that's where the saying comes from. But that's good to know. Maybe I'll try to re-adjust. Otherwise, you thought the statement was achieving what it needed to? Thanks for your input!

afa_brandon
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby afa_brandon » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:49 am

i'm bored at work, so here you go. never say in 10 words what you can say in 3--i think that overarching advice would benefit this essay greatly. don't go out of your way to use academic-sounding words. your bachelor's degree indicates your education, you don't need to showcase it more. it's a great essay, but some fine-tuning couldn't hurt.

V4

Yet, when so much else in life seemed preordained or gerrymandered, the song awarded Glen complete control.


love the message of this line, but those words are really stuffy. why not just say predetermined?


What I found was Hip Hop, never a musical genre that particularly spoke to me, but one that had a powerful appeal over high school students across New York City.

i think "appeal" is incorrect. things don't "appeal over" people, they appeal to. i would change appeal or change "over"

, but it would be one I felt fully capable of effectuating, and one of which I could be proud.


would you ever use this phrase in conversation during, say, a job interview? "capable of effectuating?" too stuffy imho.


As both the students and I gingerly learned to navigate one another’s needs and goals, the program began to show dividends.

gingerly seems like an inappropriate adverb here, but furthermore navigate doesn't really make sense in the context of needs and goals. are you trying to say that you learned to work in a manner that was most conducive to meeting one anothers' needs and goals? and if so, were your students working hard so you could meet your goal? confusing. and i think "results" or something similar over dividends, as those are most often paid, not "shown."


Glen was one of the first to open up, talking about his lyrics and how they related to his experiences. Then others followed suit. The trust we established bred confidence, and that confidence began to manifest itself in the classroom, as my student’s

students'
After more than 6 months of workshopping every Saturday, the improvement in their educational career was incontrovertible.


really ugly passive voice
Nearly every single BPM student saw her grades
his or her

“That’s one hit down,” Glen said. “A few more records-worth to go.”

I couldn’t agree more.


the framework i think could be better executed. instead of beginning in the middle of a recording session and then tacking this line on in the end to remind the reader of the setting, add at least one or two lines in the body of the essay that continues the story-telling aspect. you scratch the surface of a really cool model: telling a story while weaving in background and revelations into that story, but there's not enough emphasis on the story. maybe discuss how glen's progress through your program demonstrated itself in specific instances of his recording style.


finally, and please don't take offense to this, but this essay seems more focused on detailing YOUR achievement, not the kids'. if possible, i would consider that in your last revisions: do you want to come across as though you're bragging for what you did for the kids and how valuable you were to them, or how you learned a lot about yourself and your abilities in watching the children blossom and shine? frankly, i prefer the latter

User avatar
2807
Posts: 578
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:23 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby 2807 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:18 am

I see people are giving you great help. I will not interject additional opinion on topic and format, as I believe you are getting enough of that. Be patient and edit edit edit. Mine was 6 pages when I found out they could only be 2. In time I was able to edit it down to a nice little piece. You will too.

My only suggestion (at the moment..) is: Watch your use of contractions. "Didn't" is used 3 times in the first paragraph. You may be trying to present this paper as an informal dialogue between you and admissions, but I certainly doubt it.

NO CONTRACTIONS. EVER. (in formal academic writing). Think "would Darth Vader say this" and if the answer is yes, then you are headed in the right direction. Short, declarative sentences!

No kind of, I thought I may, was going to go, to ....PASSIVE VOICE !

Here is a quote, "I had recently left behind the small business I had founded...." NO NO NO. Darth Vader would say: "I recently left the small biz I founded". PERIOD. DECLARE IT ! And kill a Jedi with your pointed words. You never use passive voice when you argue. Remember that. You know when not to do it, this is one of those times. Your confidence in your writing is reflected in the voice. Do not be passive.

Darth Vader never uses passive voice. Follow him my son.

User avatar
gendefect
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement Help

Postby gendefect » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:47 am

Thanks 2807 and afa_brandon. This sure seems like an unending process, but all of your comments are really helpful and will clearly help me to keep improving my statement. I'll get to work and repost once I've managed to take your input into account. Thanks again!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.