Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
MichaelB123
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Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby MichaelB123 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:35 pm

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Last edited by MichaelB123 on Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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esq
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby esq » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:40 pm

Feelings of boredom accompanied by thoughts of [chewing my arm off because pain would be more exciting than this PS] clouded my mind.
Last edited by esq on Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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merichard87
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby merichard87 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:43 pm

I don't think what you have is so bad but I feel like I need an intro into what you are talking about.

MichaelB123
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby MichaelB123 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:44 pm

Yea, I kind of thought so too. Any suggestions how I could make this less boring?

Should I try to avoid the story format?

Any help is appreciated as I am havign a lot of trouble writing this thing.

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esq
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby esq » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:47 pm

I think you need to get to the point a lot sooner. There is nothing compelling enough about attending a philosophy class to drag out your explanation as long as you did. I think that after about the second sentence I was thinking "when is this guy going to get to his point?" Even if it had been a more exciting point, it might have lost its impact because I was so disinterested by your PS by the time the point - I took a philosophy class - came around.

MichaelB123
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby MichaelB123 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:51 pm

esq wrote:I think you need to get to the point a lot sooner. There is nothing compelling enough about attending a philosophy class to drag out your explanation as long as you did. I think that after about the second sentence I was thinking "when is this guy going to get to his point?" Even if it had been a more exciting point, it might have lost its impact because I was so disinterested by your PS by the time the point - I took a philosophy class - came around.


Thanks.

Yea my entire application is good to go except for the PS. I'm really just looking to write a personal statement that won't hurt me because I'm not really applying to any top schools.

Any other suggestions will be appreciated.

czelede
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby czelede » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:00 pm

It was the day prior to the of beginning spring break. I had just finished packing and I was on the way to the airport to head home.
Why does it matter what time of year it was, or that you had finished packing? This intro is about you attending a philosophy class as a catalyst, and the first two sentences are just unnecessary, irrelevant, and really not very interesting to the setup.

Beforehand, however, I was making a stop by campus to attend a lecture in completely unfamiliar territory, the philosophy department. My roommate, who was taking an ethics class in order to fulfill a core requirement, was attending the lecture for extra credit. For the purpose of convenience, I agreed to accompany him so we could depart to the airport immediately afterward. We were both business majors at the time and I had no clear idea of what ‘philosophy’ actually was.
Again, a lot of irrelevance in this section. You could benefit from some major tightening. All this is a lot of "telling", which can be integral to certain stories if you really can't "show", but a lot of these details just seem to take up extra space - you only have 2 pages to show adcomms who you are, why waste that explaining that your roommate was needed to fulfill a core requirement and was attending for extra credit? Just say that you agreed to attend your roommates ethics lecture and the same thought would be conveyed.

It was a major that I had never even entertained the thought of taking a class in and it seemed utterly useless.
You really don't need to tell adcomms that you felt philosophy was utterly useless

Additionally, the title of the lecture was “Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue ethics,” an absolutely foreign topic. I was anxious for the lecture to begin only because that would mean we were closer to the end of it.
I do like this last sentence

Feelings of boredom accompanied by thoughts of what spring break had in store for me clouded my mind. However, the speaker began the lecture with an exposition of the infamous “trolley problem,” and not but five minutes into the talk, my boredom and inattention vanished and transformed into complete captivation. Looking back, attending this lecture triggered the most significant, albeit very subtle and prolonged change of my life.
This is the very definition of "telling". And also, is there not a better way to describe that this change was significant and subtle and prolonged?

---

Overall thoughts:

Not a terrible premise but poor execution for an intro. I am neither intrigued when I begin reading nor am I intrigued when I finish the paragraph. Basically, you thought philosophy was pointless, attended an interesting lecture, and voila your life changed. As for the actual lecture, the reader is left with very little detail about what it actually entailed (apparently it was ethics related, had a fancy title that bored you, and touched upon the trolley problem. Oh, and there was a speaker instead of a professor, so perhaps we can guess that it was not part of the class? But altogether, it was the catalyst that changed your life?). I don't know how you plan to carry out the rest of your PS either, but if your focus is to talk about your philosophy major I certainly hope there are better ways to open it with.

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birdmann783
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Re: Personal Statement Introduction. Please read and critique

Postby birdmann783 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:51 am

i've learned from writing my own personal statement and getting ripped by 2 law professors to cut the fat....

my friend....this first paragraph is obese




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