How's this for a good topic for a PS?

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roranoa
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How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby roranoa » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:13 pm

I've read a sample essay that was on a book called

[55 successful Harvard law school application essays]

The sample essay was about someone doing rock climbing.

The whole essay starts with the author approaching that place in the gym where they have that rock climbing facility thing (I don't know what it's called) and goes on to elaborate how she conquers this "problem" (a very difficult climbing route). Every detail is focused on the process of the climbing and nothing else is mentioned about the author.

and the end.

The review of the essay said that it was a "extended metaphor for her motivation and work ethic."

So my question is do you think it would be okay if i write something like this, say, on boxing, while mentioning nothing else about myself?

Is it too risky?

roranoa
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby roranoa » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:28 pm

Please a little help?

BUMP

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dooterdude11
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby dooterdude11 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:38 pm

In all honesty, I feel like essays such as the one you mention are probably very risky and depend a lot on the response of the particular individuals who read them. Such an abstract essay, with so little substance about the author, might get a favorable review from one person but could really turn off another. I'd play it safer with the PS if it were me.

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kurla88
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby kurla88 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:51 pm

In my experience books like that are a bit failtastic.

But realize that you're writing the essay about your hard work and dedication using boxing as an example, not writing about the technicalities of boxing. I'd write it and see how it comes out; you can always write something new later.

d34d9823
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:56 pm

I have that book, and it's good, but the key thing to realize is that it's essays from people who got into Harvard, not essays from people who got into Harvard on the strength of their essay.

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pkpop
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby pkpop » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:00 am

I actually own this book and there are a couple essays in there that make you go..."what?"

You can read through a book like that and pick up some of the ideas of what the authors are saying in their personal statements. From what I remember, a few of them were really good. You gotta assume though that all of those applications were stellar in some way (numbers or otherwise), and ask yourself how much of a risk you wanna take when writing your PS.

I think that comparing your life to mountain climbing, being a boxer, or using any other metaphor without effectively showing how or why will do you little good.

roranoa
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby roranoa » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:50 am

kurla88 wrote:In my experience books like that are a bit failtastic.



What's "failtastic"??

roranoa
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby roranoa » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:53 am

d34dluk3 wrote:I have that book, and it's good, but the key thing to realize is that it's essays from people who got into Harvard, not essays from people who got into Harvard on the strength of their essay.


Well, while that may be true, the selection of the essays for the book might have been based on the strength of the essays nevertheless.

So one can still think that they are above average?

roranoa
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby roranoa » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:27 am

Bump for just a little more replies please

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bleu
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby bleu » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:53 am

roranoa wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:I have that book, and it's good, but the key thing to realize is that it's essays from people who got into Harvard, not essays from people who got into Harvard on the strength of their essay.


Well, while that may be true, the selection of the essays for the book might have been based on the strength of the essays nevertheless.

So one can still think that they are above average?

??
No they can't, it just means we dont know.

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bleu
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby bleu » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:57 am

roranoa wrote:Bump for just a little more replies please

It is the middle of the night, in the free world.

I think it all depends on how good of a writer you are. The lower your skills are in writing the more standard your ps should be. imo
You just told us some girl who went to harvard wrote about rocks. Should i write about punching people in the face?

Write it, let us see it.

lebroniousjames
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby lebroniousjames » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:26 am

roranoa wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:I have that book, and it's good, but the key thing to realize is that it's essays from people who got into Harvard, not essays from people who got into Harvard on the strength of their essay.


Well, while that may be true, the selection of the essays for the book might have been based on the strength of the essays nevertheless.

So one can still think that they are above average?



above average for the general applicant pool--->most likely

above average for the Harvard applicant pool---->no clue

03121202698008
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:22 am

I wouldn't. Your PS should tell the Adcomms something about you and your personality since they don't do interviews. Harvard does do interviews so I would presume this is less important there than at other schools.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:25 am

Solid replies are unlikely without an actual draft of your proposed essay. If done well, an essay using boxing analogies could be a very effective means of communicating your personal qualities to readers. If not done well, then it is a bad essay & a lost opportunity.

czelede
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Re: How's this for a good topic for a PS?

Postby czelede » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:23 pm

It's a very hit or miss approach that depends purely on your writing skills and capability to convey a key point through an extended metaphor.

I've read the essay in question and I personally liked it, but with that topic alone there are so, so, so many ways it could've gone wrong. Most essays are part topic and part writing skill, but such a topic is 95% writing skill - if you don't have the requisite skill, don't attempt ir.




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