Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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bedefan
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Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby bedefan » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:04 pm

Most PS-writing advice is to hide the ball: don't mention what it is you're trying to prove/disprove in your PS.

So, if you're trying to demonstrate that you're more than just your average straight-from-UG applicant, you don't say "While I am applying straight from college, and while this might seem to make my application indistinguishable from various others, this is not so. It is not so because..."

Or if you're switching later in your career, you don't say, "I was, ultimately, dissatisfied with my career. I am also aware that there is a certain stereotype that some career-switching law school applicants do so merely out of dissatisfaction with their work, and without much forethought about what the study and practice of law requires. This stereotype does not apply to me, however, for the following reasons..."

Anyone writing a PS that doesn't hide the ball? I'm on draft number bajillion and am starting to feel like the whole "gripping anecdote --> expansion --> why law --> tie-in to the anecdote --> close" form of the PS is so much BS. Why not just get to the point? Say, here's what makes me interesting; here are the obvious doubts you might have about a person like me entering law; here's why these doubts are misplaced in my case; here's my upside again/sum up.

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bk1
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Re: Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:06 pm

You don't necessarily need to say "why law?"

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bedefan
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Re: Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby bedefan » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:13 pm

I think when you are several years out of UG it's supposed to come at that point in your PS.

For recently out of UG, you're right, excise it.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby GATORTIM » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:17 pm

I showed the ball, but only because hiding it would be exactly what they expected and the reader was likely left thinking "if this guy has showed me the ball, is it possible that the applicant has two balls?"

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Marionberry
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Re: Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby Marionberry » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:21 pm

I think part of it may be the idea that if you deliver the anecdote with enough authenticity, insight, and effectiveness, it serves as proof that you really possess all the qualities that you claim to. I think the difficulty in doing this is part of what makes writing a memorable personal statement so challenging.

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bedefan
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Re: Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby bedefan » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:31 pm

Marionberry wrote:I think part of it may be the idea that if you deliver the anecdote with enough authenticity, insight, and effectiveness, it serves as proof that you really possess all the qualities that you claim to. I think the difficulty in doing this is part of what makes writing a memorable personal statement so challenging.


It could also just prove that you're a skilled writer. They must know this.

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Marionberry
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Re: Anyone dare not "hide the ball"?

Postby Marionberry » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:39 pm

GATORTIM wrote:I showed the ball, but only because hiding it would be exactly what they expected and the reader was likely left thinking "if this guy has showed me the ball, is it possible that the applicant has two balls?"


This is strikingly similar to the topic of my personal statement.




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