Review My First Draft PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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broker02
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Review My First Draft PS

Postby broker02 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:42 pm

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Last edited by broker02 on Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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hncsarge34
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby hncsarge34 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:48 pm

The thread topic says PS but your OP says DS. Which one is it?

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broker02
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby broker02 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:49 pm

I meant DS = double-spaced. Didn't realize that could mean the other DS. I'll edit it.

shoop
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby shoop » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:19 pm

I was tempted to stop when I saw "prima facie" but kept going because I have a similar topic for my DS. I liked it generally and hope someone comments on some of the minor prose clean-up issues. Overall, because it's a PS and not a DS, I don't know if I need to ask you to tell us more about how your statistically-atypical-for-top-law-students experiences have shaped your perspectives (above and beyond lighting a fire under your ass generally). Did being financially disadvantaged make you more compassionate? More aware of the plight of the truly poor? More appreciative of the positive impact good parenting can have?

I would also suggest you try chopping the first paragraph and incorporating some of the best bits of it into later paragraphs, and opening with your second paragraph's first sentence. My personal preference would be to swap something like "At first glance" for the "prima facie" bit, but I find the first sentence of the second paragraph generally a bit catchier than the present lead-in.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:04 pm

This is not a good personal statement. Everything that you wrote could & should be condensed into a few sentences, if it should be used at all.

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broker02
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby broker02 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:07 pm

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Last edited by broker02 on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 pm

Now, is it an early lunch, or later? This is a relevant detail, and perhaps one you could add to your PS.

Seriously though, the following paragraph is a prime example of certain weaknesses in this essay:

broker02 wrote:I spend only a short time discussing my circumstances, as I would rather focus on how I overcame them and what I learned in the process. Moreover, the more important thing to me is what I have done with what I have been given. Through all of this, I’ve learned one thing: Your future success depends on YOU. It does not depend on your family background, how much money you did or did not have – it is what you did with what you did have. One’s degree of success results from an overflow of one’s desire to take advantage of all life has to offer, after all, we all only get one chance.


You shouldn't write about what you're doing in your own essay. "And now I'm going to spend less time on my third paragraph, because it's getting a little long." Sounds awkward--right?

Also, do not have words in all caps. (YOU)

Do not simply state things that can be much better conveyed through the describing of experiences. That's just a longwinded way of stating -- show don't tell.

So, there are these issues with voice, with structure, and technicalities. Also, however, I'd say there are issues with theme. Specifically, this whole idea of one being able to pull themselves up from the bootstraps is a bit myopic. Do you honestly think that success has nothing to do with circumstance? Inspirational stories spurred by personal experience are great, and I by no means want to discredit what you've achieved, but perhaps you should at least concede to the difficulties of such a mantra (the mantra being "your future success depend on YOU" [without the misplaced cap letters, of course]). That might give your essay a little bit more depth.

You end up with -- determination and perseverance have shaped you into the person you are today, but where did this all come from? What led you to possess so much of both? You cannot, to be sure, maintain you have something, if you haven't proved that you have that something in your essay. You can't just say it, you have to make the reader believe it.

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broker02
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby broker02 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:46 pm

Thanks for the specifics and attention to detail, that's certainly much better than "this sucks" or "rewrite". This is just a first draft, I have a ways to go, but I appreciate all of the input.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Review My First Draft PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:07 am

Unfortunately, I still think that this essay should be scraped. At best, it should be reduced to a few sentences as there is not much substance in this first draft. Seems as if you don't have much to write about.




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