Mentioning Religion

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Re: Mentioning Religion

Postby romothesavior » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:00 am

bk187 wrote:
BigBuckey wrote:Thank you for your comments. Some of you are obviously jerks and give no indication of why you think it is a bad personal statement. Others mentioned that there are grammatical errors without specifying where these errors might exist. The fourth sentence appears grammatically correct to me.

I have read the e-book that Ken has published along with dozens of other personal statements and am personally sick of the narrow topics that some of the writers have chosen. I elected to write a life-story type to illustrate that I am a hard worker, an intellectual, and am highly motivated. I realize there are a couple of sentences that do not flow well - this is a rough draft. I also understand that I made some decisions in my life that could cause one to question my motivation (what caused me to become a Christian, why did I decide to study law and pursue a legal career, and why would I study theology at AC rather than seeking a more career-oriented degree). These were good points and I will certainly attempt to clarify my motivation behind those decisions. I do feel that studying theology has increased my ability to read critically and actively and has taught me to write well.

The last paragraph is not meant to say that I am a brainwashed individual who copied this from a baptist tract. Its purpose is to show the admission committee that I am motivated by love and not money or fame. Because I love my neighbor, I want to provide them with outstanding legal service at a fair price and not practice law immorally (this also implies that I believe in an objective morality).

Is it really a serious "no-no" to write such a broad personal statement? I'll consider this and gladly receive any USEFUL criticism that you have to offer. It does NO GOOD to flippantly state "This is a bad PS". Tell me why, quote from my PS, and give me reason to believe what you're saying is good advice.

1. You list a bunch of stuff that is completely irrelevant: the year you become religious, the year you got married, that you got married, the year your kid was born, his name, etc, etc. Nobody cares. It has no value to your PS. Cut it. Realize that just because you care about things doesn't mean an AdComm wants to hear about it.

2. You mention ridiculously typical conservative talking points: family, religion, Ronald Reagon, the Constitution, the framers, being working class, etc. Did you just watch Glenn Beck prior to writing this PS? While religion, family, being working class, etc would be fine on their own, when amalgamated with all the other talking points all you do is reinforce yourself as a pedestrian conservative American who eats up what pundits say. It makes you seem stupid, ignorant, and without a mind of your own.

3. You regurgitate your resume. 'Nuff said.

4. You talk about your programming like it is a serious accomplishment. Honestly it isn't. Most people who have any sort of programming experience would find it underwhelming. On top of that, you mention version numbers like you think it has any sort of relevance to AdComms.

5. Your conclusion is cliche. If you are going to mention religion, be able to talk about it in a profound way, not in the same exact words you would hear from some backwater hick. Also, don't go out of your way to make it seem like you are obsessed with your religion even if you are. You should avoid mentioning the fact that your son is named after a mythical character and saying things along the lines of "Jesus > all" because it makes you seem like an OCD Bible-thumper. Whether you are or not, I doubt AdComms would consider that a plus.

There, ya happy now?

This was about 10 times more harsh than I was planning to say it (I'm a nice guy, really!), but it gets the job done. Spot on points, all the way around. Big +1 to bk)


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Re: Mentioning Religion

Postby 09042014 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:13 am

No school that takes 156's reads personal statements. Send her in pal!

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Re: Mentioning Religion

Postby Marionberry » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:21 am

Desert Fox wrote:No school that takes 156's reads personal statements. Send her in pal!

Sadly, there's probably a lot of truth to this. OP, whether you write a religious PS, a secular PS, or even a really good PS, your cycle is probably going to end up the same with your numbers:

Out at UT
Out at SMU
Very very slight possibility of Spring or Summer start at Baylor.
Very very slight possibility at OU
Probably in at Texas Tech.
In at Texas Wesleyan
In at UNT's new law school (snicker)

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