PS - close to final draft?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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incompetentia
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PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:11 pm

Submitted apps. Thanks to all who showed me my first 18 drafts were crap
Last edited by incompetentia on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:46 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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SullaFelix
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby SullaFelix » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:50 am

indicative of my inclination


painful.

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thecilent
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby thecilent » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:18 pm

OP: can I ask what you got on the lsat? - just curious

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:30 am

Taking it Saturday. Hoping to score ~175 based on practice tests

Destined
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby Destined » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:36 am

I think the subject matter is great, it just seems kindof painful to read because there are a lot of words with more than 8 letters, many of which are just unnecessary

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thecilent
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby thecilent » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:32 pm

I would think about revising. It was really hard to get into for me..

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:58 am

Hm - I thought it was too informal to start with. I'll probably tweak some things.


Any other input? (pleeeease?)

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:54 am

In order to best help your personal statement efforts, my opinion is that this essay needs to be redone. If this piece has been reviewed and approved by your Case Western reserve undergraduate pre-law advisor, you need to seek other opinions. Consider asking a writing instructor or an English professor for help.
To review your own work, start by reading just the first & last paragraphs of your personal statement. Does it make sense ? If not, then you have a major thematic problem that is likely to make your essay confusing. Effective writing requires clarity of thought. Clarity of thought is achieved by knowing your conclusion before writing your introduction & reflecting this goal in your introductory paragraph.
To start over you need to refine your thoughts to one clear, succinct message that you would like to deliver to your readers. Compose an opening paragraph that introduces this thought. Use the next three paragraphs to build on & support your point. Conclude by stating in a clear & concise manner your theme & its corroboration.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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invisiblesun
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby invisiblesun » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:13 pm

Although CanadianWolf's assessment was worded a little harshly, I agree with him in that your essay fails to make a compelling argument (explicit or implicit) for why you're a strong candidate for a law degree. Specific problems:

-You talk about how you've always had a proclivity toward activism, then you talk about how much you love music, then you sound like you're excusing yourself for pursuing music studies rather than setting yourself up to focus on social issues. In short, your essay meanders too much to convince the reader of anything.

-You make these vague statements about the "focus on avant-garde" in your compositional studies and talk about "living away from home" without clearly connecting either of these to your major points. These sentences alone don't tell the reader much, nor do they help your point.

-At the end, you hope to become something really vague- an "active advocate of justice". If your career goals are unclear, then I would advise against discussing your career goals in your PS. Instead convince the reader that there's something about you he/she wants at their law school.

I would suggest that you craft a PS that would grab an adcom's attention and make them want you at their school. Be honest with yourself- do you think this essay is strong enough to make an adcom remember you among thousands of other applicants? If not, I would draw up some more ideas.

HTH

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thecilent
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby thecilent » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:27 pm

I second the advice of the last two posters. Especially CWolf's "refine your thoughts to one clear, succint message that you would like to deliver to your readers."

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:16 pm

I had a feeling I did need more work on this essay - I did find it strange when my prelaw advisor (who also happens to be an English professor) called it "one of the best statements [she's] read"...

Regardless. Are you saying that I need not worry about relating my meandering educational path to where I'm planning to go? One of the primary reasons I started off with this topic in mind was that I felt it might be necessary to explain why I'm committed to my third field of study in about as many years. Certainly this at minimum is unhelpful to the meandering aspect.
I'd like to head toward the public policy side of things, but I also don't want to limit my options because I am relatively inexperienced with matters relating to the law. If this should be stressed more anyway, I can certainly do that.
I'd rather not bring up my age as a central point in my argument, since I would feel somehow morally suspect for using it as a crutch, but otherwise any single point that I'd want to bring up has already been brought up in here. I'm certainly open to changing the direction of what I'm writing, but I don't know what to narrow the focus on, or whether that's even that important as long as I'm somehow interesting.

As it's constructed now, is the essay set up to be significantly hurtful to my application? Either way, I'm going to revise it, but I'm wondering if I should just nuke it and start completely over.

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AreJay711
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:18 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:In order to best help your personal statement efforts, my opinion is that this essay is complete garbage. If this piece has been reviewed and approved by your Case Western reserve undergraduate pre-law advisor, you need to seek other opinions. Consider asking a writing instructor or an English professor for help.
To review your own work, start by reading just the first & last paragraphs of your personal statement. Does it make sense ? If not, then you have a major thematic problem that is likely to make your essay confusing. Effective writing requires clarity of thought. Clarity of thought is achieved by knowing your conclusion before writing your introduction & reflecting this goal in your introductory paragraph.
To start over you need to refine your thoughts to one clear, succinct message that you would like to deliver to your readers. Compose an opening paragraph that introduces this thought. Use the next three paragraphs to build on & support your point. Conclude by stating in a clear & concise manner your theme & its corroboration.


This PS is not as far off as this guy thinks. It is OK. The thing is that an OK PS doesn't help -- it is just a non-factor. I do disagree, however, that your first and last paragraph have to coincide like that. The purpose of a personal statement is so they will get to know you beyond numbers. You don't need to have a formalistic argument to do that. Read Anna Ivey's book and you will see that her favorite personal statements had no real arguments at all (one was about a summer spent on a Brazilian beach reading novels) and don't mention law at all. She was the Dean of Admissions at Chicago for years. Still, if you can provide an argument you should, and I believe you can in this instance.

As far as the intro, 3 paragraphs, and conclusion nonsense that is some middle school garbage. Write what you need to write, how you need to write it. You are writing a personal statement here not a high school English paper. The most important thing is that it is readable and makes the adcoms like you. What you need in this case is just a tad bit better framing. This PS is about your move in you interest from Chem to Music to social issues... frame it as such.

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:56 am

[redacted]
Last edited by incompetentia on Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gemini
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby Gemini » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:51 pm

I think your writing style is excellent. A strong vocabulary.

However, I personally don't think you need to defend your choice of majors. You can explain it, but I don't think you should make the entire essay about that.

The thing that bother me the most is the fact that the essay ends up sounding a little bit like "I tried these things, it didn't work out, this is the best alternative". It doesn't sound A LOT like that, but I do get a small notion of it, whether or not it is intentional.

Hope this helps a bit!

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:01 pm

@AreJay711:
Judging by your posted personal statement, I don't think that you are the best to judge the writings or critiques of others.

MichaelB123
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:@AreJay711:
Judging by your posted personal statement, I don't think that you are the best to judge the writings or critiques of others.


And judging by your lack thereof, you don't seem to have any credibility either.

OP, I think the personal statement is great.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:07 pm

This is little more than expounding upon your resume. The end result is that some readers may be left with the impression that a law degree will just be another line on your education laden resume. Your personal statement is neither enlightening nor convincing. Try to share more about what has influenced your view of the world.
The first paragraph was fine until the last sentence. The remainder needs to be redone.

P.S. MichaelB123's post is just a childish attempt to gain attention after being outed for his consistently unhelpful & discredited remarks throughout his short posting history. MichaelB's posting history shows that he is just here to insult others & be disruptive. Sounds like someone who is in urgent need of a diaper change.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MichaelB123
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:14 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This is little more than expounding upon your resume. The end result is that some readers may be left with the impression that a law degree will just be another line on your education laden resume.
The first paragraph was fine until the last sentence. The remainder needs to be redone.

P.S. MichaelB123's post is just a childish attempt to gain attention after being outed for his consistently unhelpful & discredited remarks throughout his short posting history. MichaelB's posting history shows that he is just here to insult others & be disruptive. Sounds like someone who is in urgent need of a diaper change.


Hm. Your consistent ad hominem remarks seem to imply the reverse.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:16 pm

No, I was just addressing your post above. Plus your posting history speaks volumes by itself.

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lalalawya
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby lalalawya » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:23 pm

I am sure the OP is finding your guys argument very helpful!..........

OP, I think you have an excellent writing style, but your PS seems to be a little weighed down. Perhaps focus on only one or two of your accomplishments and expand upon them. While all of your experiences are certainly impressive, I am left not knowing much more about you than I would if I were to simply read your transcript or resume.

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DukeCornell
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby DukeCornell » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:06 pm

:arrow:

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:22 pm

Yeah, I'm not really worried about my writing style...usually it'll take a day or two but I can at least get it to the point where it sounds relatively professional.

I have an idea for yet another rewrite...I think I'm at least getting better at writing about myself through this process, whether or not that'll end up being useful.

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:53 am

New rewrite. Let me know how I failed this time.

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URMdan
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby URMdan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:22 am

incompetentia wrote:I had a feeling I did need more work on this essay - I did find it strange when my prelaw advisor (who also happens to be an English professor) called it "one of the best statements [she's] read"...



Your law advisor was probably messing with you as to not burst your bubble.

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aquasalad
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby aquasalad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:17 pm

You went to XXX?




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