Rough Draft 1st paragraph

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
lawguy87
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:00 pm

Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby lawguy87 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:37 am

Here is a rough draft of my 1st paragraph. Read and let me know what you think.


-Thanks


Here I am, it’s 3 am and I’m on the opposite side of the door playing “negotiator”, trying to convince my close relative to open the door, telling them that they have much to live for in an attempt to prevent there suicide. I have had to diffuse fights and arguments amongst family members before but this, this is new and strange. After this close brush with death which was successfully diffused, it first dawned on me how scary, exhilarating, and challenging life really could be. This would be the first time I would think about the journey that would give me similar challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds like this one I faced. Of course I would not want to have to convince someone not to take their own life again, but a challenging curriculum surrounded by problem solvers excited me. Having been the person looked upon for advice from my family and peers during my adult life empowered me with a humbling leadership role which altered my mindset. These experiences spawned the thought that if I am to give advice and counsel to people in any capacity let it be through the legal system, let it be through law.

cartercl
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby cartercl » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:22 am

.
Last edited by cartercl on Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

cartercl
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby cartercl » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:23 am

Here I am, it’s 3 am and I’m on the It was 3 am and there I was, on the opposite side of the door playing “negotiator”, trying to convince my close relative to open the door. telling them that they have much to live for in an attempt to prevent there suicide. Convinced that life was not worth living anymore, they were ready to take their life; however, I was not about to let that happen. Despite the fact that this situation was much more grave than the typical argument amongst family members, I succeeded in convincing [family member] that his/her life still had purpose. I have had to diffuse fights and arguments amongst family members before but this, this is new and strange. After this close brush with death which was successfully diffused, it first dawned on me just how scary, exhilarating, and challenging life could really be. This would be the first time I would think about the journey that would give me similar challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds like this one I faced. In the wake of this event I realized my own purpose in life. Of course I would not want to have to convince someone not to take their own life again, but a challenging curriculum surrounded by problem solvers excited me. I have always been the one looked to for advice from my family and peers, and each time I was empowered with a humbling leadership role. // still not quite sure what you're trying to say here, but I tried. These experiences spawned the thought altered my mindset and made me realize that if I am to give advice and counsel to people in any capacity let it be through the legal system, let it be through law.


1. The topic is excellent. You can really do a lot with this.
2. You have some spelling and grammar issues that you should focus on when writing the remainder of your essay.
3. You have some rhetorical issues; you're saying things in a really confusing way. In short, you're over-complicating some of your sentences. Don't try to sound too "smart"; just be clear and concise.
4. I think you want to focus on how this situation helped you narrow your focus to the legal field. I don't think you want to sell this as a situation that, by itself, made you want to be a lawyer. Keep it focused on the "tools" you used to help your family member and I think you should be fine. Just my 2 cents.

User avatar
ShuckingNotJiving
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:24 am

Re: Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:25 am

lawguy87 wrote:Here I am, it’s 3 am and I’m on the opposite side of the door playing “negotiator”, trying to convince my close relative to open the door, telling them that they have much to live for in an attempt to prevent there suicide. I have had to diffuse fights and arguments amongst family members before but this, this is new and strange. After this close brush with death which was successfully diffused, it first dawned on me how scary, exhilarating, and challenging life really could be. This would be the first time I would think about the journey that would give me similar challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds like this one I faced. Of course I would not want to have to convince someone not to take their own life again, but a challenging curriculum surrounded by problem solvers excited me. Having been the person looked upon for advice from my family and peers during my adult life empowered me with a humbling leadership role which altered my mindset. These experiences spawned the thought that if I am to give advice and counsel to people in any capacity let it be through the legal system, let it be through law.


Yes, there are spelling/grammar issues. The incorrect use of the "their" homophone is glaring from the first sentence, and makes you lose a bit of your credibility right from the start. Sorry, but it's true.

Your tone is too informal "but this, this is new," is an example.

You repeat diffuse. Diffuse isn't a word you should use more than once in an entire essay, let alone one paragraph.

The first sentence would be stronger if it were shorter, while still revealing a bit more about your setting. For example:

"It was 3am and there I was on the opposite side of my [cousin, auntie's don't just say relative] [what room door? bedroom? bathroom? outhouse?] door playing negotiator."


After that sentence is a good opportunity for a bit of dialogue, to explain what, exactly, you were negotiating. What did your relative say to you? What did you respond? Perhaps you can convey that suicide is the topic at hand through brief dialogue instead of the rather longwinded way that you have.


I'm still not completely understanding how convincing your relative to not commit suicide signified a close brush with death for YOU. I also don't buy having to mediate disputes among family members, being a "leadership role." Surely you have something else in your college career that speaks for this.

"amongst" should be "among." This isn't Beowulf.

As poster above said, this makes for a great story, and a good way for the reader to understand where you come from. However, you need to review the technical aspects of writing, and present your thoughts more organically--there's no real voice coming through in this draft.

User avatar
lawguy87
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:00 pm

Re: Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby lawguy87 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:52 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. I know the grammatical errors standout and are significant and I plan addressing them. This was posted to get opinions on the content, but I know I have plenty of work to do. Thanks for the suggestions.

User avatar
lawguy87
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:00 pm

Re: Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby lawguy87 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:38 am

Here is a revised draft of my intro paragraph. Let me know what you think of the changes.


-Thanks

It’s 3 am and there I was, on the opposite side of the door playing “negotiator”, trying to convince my (relative) to open the door. Convinced that life was not worth living anymore she was at her breaking point ready to end it all; I was not about to let that happen. Despite the fact that this situation was much more grave than the typical argument amongst family members, I succeeded in showing my [relative] that her life still had purpose. After this close brush with death it dawned on me how scary, exhilarating, and challenging life really could be. In the wake of this event I realized my own purpose in life, I knew that I wanted to help people make life altering decisions, and make them correctly. This incident forced me to passionately debate with my (relative) about the importance of life for hours on in, and after it was over, I was left exhausted but fulfilled. Experiences like this altered my mindset and made me realize that if I am to give advice and counsel to people in any capacity let it be through the legal system, let it be through law.

hijodehombre
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: Rough Draft 1st paragraph

Postby hijodehombre » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:57 am

You have to be consistent. You can't say "It (is) 3 am and there I was...". Either present or past, but not both. Also, it should say "for hours on end".




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.