Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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spaceman82
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Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

Postby spaceman82 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:57 am

I'm wondering if my statement comes across as a generic travel essay or if it might actually interest an adcomm. I've been told both so far and would really appreciate hearing from some other people so I can decide which direction to go in. Thanks!

Personal Statement
Last edited by spaceman82 on Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

hijodehombre
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Re: Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

Postby hijodehombre » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:26 am

This experience has the potential to be a great PS, but let me just express an initial apprehensiveness I felt. I get the sense that from beginning ("dingy motel" in a place that's "not necessarily backwards") to end ("a foreigner" who could never be a "permanent member") is divisive. It sort of reinforces the myth that the US and its people are distrusted in the world.

Another issue related to the one above is that you characterize that culture as a homogenous one, but isn't that precisely why you criticize them? Isn't it the case that they distrust you because they see you as part of a homogeneous US culture?

Perhaps you should focus more on your adventurous trek through different nations and your desire to learn new languages, meet new people and enage different points of views. Highlight the way you've been able to build bridges and not on the differences between, for example, the comfortable hotels you stay in when you're in the US and the dingy motels abroad.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:26 am

This is a poorly written generic travel essay at best.

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spaceman82
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Re: Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

Postby spaceman82 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:42 am

CanadianWolf wrote:This is a poorly written generic travel essay at best.


Do others concur? CanadianWolf was one of the initial reviewers I mentioned...

SortOfObsessed
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Re: Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

Postby SortOfObsessed » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:41 am

I don't normally post, but I thought you could use a bit of constructive advice.

Your topic doesn't convey very much about you. Nothing is concrete or specific. I don't know a single thing that you did in this country because you're only telling me your "thoughts" about not fitting in, having to learn how to be a person, being foreign, etc. I'd recommend you pick a specific example and event, and focus your topic around that to SHOW your audience what it was like for you to get acclimated in that environment.

Your writing also needs to be more concise, less verbose, more exciting. You must have some interesting anecdotes in the six years that you spent in this country to be able to give the reader a concrete idea of what this place is like and how it has impacted you.

I recommend you rework this piece completely. Perhaps start with "I have been in _______ for a total of almost six years now, as a teacher, a student, and an editor. What began as a year long experiment to see more of the world, has led to me to...-continue essay-"

Additionally, I think you have a wealth of information to work with. You're just currently not presenting it in a way that reveals the richness of the experience you've had in this foreign country. Six years is a long time, I think you definitely have a story to tell!

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spaceman82
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Re: Looking for some second opinions on my first draft

Postby spaceman82 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:59 am

Thank you for taking the time to post. I think what you're saying makes a lot of sense, and I'm going to try to rework my statement as you have suggested. Hopefully I'll be able to come up with something a little less abstract and a little more compelling. Thank you again.




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