Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Moving forward I should?

Edit this draft
2
25%
Rewrite
6
75%
 
Total votes: 8

hotshot234512
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:52 am

Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby hotshot234512 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:51 pm

thanks.
Last edited by hotshot234512 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hotshot234512
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby hotshot234512 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:06 am

bump

abl
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby abl » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:17 am

I like your writing, and made it to the end of the piece, which is a first for me for reading personal essays online. That said, it felt a bit diffuse...I think picking one specific area of "redemption" and focusing a bit more once you get into the college area of the story could be more effective. How's it on length? Focusing the essay more could be as simple as cutting some of the frat stuff.

Best of luck! Out of curiosity, what sort of range of schools are you aiming for (a Stanford personal statement probably shouldn't look exactly like a Depaul personal statement).

hotshot234512
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby hotshot234512 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:12 am

I'm applying to all of the top ten and hoping for admission to most (3.96, 175). The PS as it currently stands is just under two pages. Thanks for the input abl. I'd love to hear more opinions; the more feedback I get from a wide range of posters, the better I can understand what is good and what needs to be refined.

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bk1
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:24 am

I don't like it. Every sentence seems to bleed with clichéd writing.

I might consider a different topic altogether. Also, you start regurgitating your resume about halfway through the PS.

hotshot234512
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby hotshot234512 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:41 am

Resume regurgitation will be noted. I'm not sure I understand how my writing bleeds of cliche as i've read many and don't see any that are very similiar, in writing style or content. Moreover, I don't see my writing style morphing for this personal statement, especially since it is a personal statement.

kayljsh
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby kayljsh » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:53 am

I see slightly what bk1 is saying, though cliched is perhaps not the word I would choose.

Just a sampling:

hotshot234512 wrote:

They came early, they came often, they came by mail, and email. My volley of undergraduate applications was returned by a barrage of rejections, the appropriate consequence of compounding ambitious applications with a mediocre high school career. English papers before breakfast, math homework with lunch, and video games after dinner was my recipe for underachieving. I remember sitting at my weathered black leather computer chair, the venerable command center for so many strategic victories, but this was not a video game. Instead, I was preparing to open a letter from a certain university to which I was hopeful to gain admission. The letter was a little light, but my parents anxiously peering from the doorway could not feel it’s almost feathery nothingness. I held the envelope vertically and tapped it against the desk making a “clink” each time. I ripped open the flap, slid the contents out onto my desk, read the first sentence, and dropped the paper in a succinct set of motions. My parents knew. I still remember my dad sympathetically patting my back. Worse than the rejection was the look of utter disappointment in my mother’s eyes – there was no malice or disgust, just a dawning realization that my slacking had caught up to me. Both parents acted out of love and both deserved better. I wish this moment could be classified as an epiphany, but there would be none, only a catalyst that inspired gradual growth, not instant change, and even that would only come later.
I begrudgingly tore myself out of bed after a healthy session with the snooze button and trudged to class. The air-conditioning was hard at work as I walked into a small Scott Hall classroom, which was no small privilege in the sweltering heat. A quick scan of the classroom revealed that it was a small, diverse group composed of upperclassmen calmly getting ready for class, friends sharing a laugh, and some students who I assumed were freshmen since they appeared to be as nervous as me.


I don't know you, so maybe you usually write like this, but it seems kind of like you've used a lot of synonyms/big words. And they're not like CRAZY random words, but reading this I definitely noticed the huge variety of vocabulary as well as the enormous number of adjectives.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:27 am

Again, for one sporting a 3.95 GPA & a 175 LSAT, you can do better. This is an adequate, workman-like presentation that lacks cleverness in the respect that it does not challenge the reader beyond comprehending the obvious.
There are some corrections needed. For example, your use of the word "connote" in the third prargraph seems awkward. "(which was my first college assignment)" should be blended into the body of the sentence in a shortened version. In the fifth paragraph your claim that "In high school my course motivation was..." seems to contradict your claim above that you only excelled in classes that were of interest to you during high school. Paragraphs 6 & 7 seem to be a regurgitation of your resume & you should consider presenting these activities in a more condensed & subtle manner.
Other than your use of the word "connote", your word choices seem appropriate. Your essay does show intelligence, hard work & creativity while offering basic personal insights.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:29 pm

This draft is riddled with irrelevant details:


hotshot234512 wrote:I shed 40 pounds freshmen year than I gained 15 pounds back, but this time it was muscle because I put in the work at the gym.


And then you, what, went tanning and did laundry? Why is this important?

I agree with CW. If you can pull a 3.96 and get a 175 on the LSAT, then you can do much, MUCH better than this. The problem is, you have too many ideas, too many topics. It's the problem of our generation's over-acheivers - -we do so much that we lose sight of why we're doing it. Try to answer this question -- so you've done all this stuff, and accomplished all these feats -- so what? Why does that matter besides the lessons of determination and persistance that everyone learns when faced with a challenge?

Answering that might lead you in a better, less muddled direction. Cohesiveness is key.

hotshot234512
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby hotshot234512 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:11 pm

thanks to everyone who responded

abl
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby abl » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:34 am

Yea, I have to say, actually with the schools you're aiming for, you should be doing better. Think about it this way--you have a real shot at HYS...but you don't get into HYS (at least not YS) without a compelling story. While you do have a compelling story (albeit not the most original out there), you're not really telling it now. I still think that a more focused version of this story could work, but I wonder if you have something better that you're not writing about.

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bk1
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Re: Personal Statement please critique with a poll!

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:30 pm

kayljsh got what I was trying to get at. I meant that while your PS as a whole is not cliche, your phrases are. This is mainly due to the excessive use of metaphors that he noted above like "volley of ____," "barrage of ____," etc.




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