PS - close to final draft?

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

Postby aquasalad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:30 pm

Seriously though, not bad (2nd one is better), but you're not out of the woods yet. I would recommend getting a little more metaphysical with it, in addition to what you've done outlining your experiences- spend a little time explaining the significance of your academic history/development on some deep level pertaining to why you feel you are a qualified candidate. Each paragraph/idea/observation of yourself needs to form a cohesive whole that creates a 3d image of who you are.

From my 1st read, you sound like each of my 3 high school band teachers.

Also, I'm not all for cheesy first sentences- I prefer bold statements that make one think "this will be interesting."

Just my 2c's

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:57 pm

Been trying to work on adding depth - I'll definitely focus on that still.

More thoughts?

JJDancer
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby JJDancer » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:38 pm

Thoughts on the first one:
"However, through a discussion of Cage, his work, and experimentalism in general, many students reexamined and ultimately changed their attitudes toward avant-garde music, and were persuaded to approach new musical ideas more openly. " I think it would be stronger to show how you brought about this openness in them rather than just saying that they changed their attitudes through a discussion of Cage

Also would be stronger if you "showed" not "told" this: "It was only after taking part in these discussions from the perspective of the teacher that I truly realized the power of words and ideas, both in writing and in speaking, and their influence on beliefs and thought."

I know you changed your ideas on writing but this particular sentence seems too negative for a PS, especially about a skill that the legal practice is rooted in.. "avoid writing as much as possible. "

Since my unique educational and ethnic background afforded me a unique perspective on society and other issues --> don't use unique twice in one sentence.

explore more complex concepts such as social and cultural issues that I considered important. tell them which issues you considered important

I think up to this point the structure/connection with music and writing is fine.. it gets more muddled here:
" I started to engage in a more diverse set of topics with my writinglike..?. Although my lyrical writing and supporting ideology were both personally important, it was through my teaching experiences that I realized the influence even a single person could exert on numerous others. (I don't think this is how you should go back to the teaching topic. Maybe create a new paragraph with this line and give a concrete example of why teaching showed the importance of words, or of your influence..)

Since then, I have attempted to showcase my unique perspective on cultural and political phenomena in the hopes that it can challenge them (students?) to more carefully examine themselves and their surroundings. "

The connection was almost a no-brainer --> cliche, don't say this.

The end is weak because although you say that you used words to express yourself politically, the end ends up being about the power of words, rather than YOUR power WITH words, or why using words in law is right for YOU. It sounds like you're just saying "wow words can be used to talk about important things" Why not say something about how you're excited to be a student in LS and engage in those discussions and analyze legal issues etc with your new attitude on writing and words, that you didn't have in UG classes.
HTH!

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:00 pm

you use too many adverbs. they should be used sparingly.

imo, you haven't written any essays. you've simply listed certain points in your life. there's no meaning, no feeling, no personality.


you should just scrap what you've written center your paper on one thing: one strength, one passion, one interest. don't just pile 'em onto a word document and call it a day.

incompetentia wrote:I started to cull ideas from current events, and before long the primary focus of the lyrics were subjects such as court decisions, legislative debates, and the hot-button issues of the day


none of this. because it means nothing.

OR

you could always just make the PS version of Cage's piece and send in 2 blank pieces of paper, and title it "2 Pages Double Spaced" that'd be AWESOME. crisis averted.

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:25 am

ShuckingNotJiving wrote:you could always just make the PS version of Cage's piece and send in 2 blank pieces of paper, and title it "2 Pages Double Spaced" that'd be AWESOME. crisis averted.

This would indeed be awesome (and probably move me to 'reject' at every single school I apply to).
imo, you haven't written any essays. you've simply listed certain points in your life. there's no meaning, no feeling, no personality.

I feel the only aspect of my (absent) personality that I haven't touched on centers on my sociopolitical philosophy, which, although it may garner attention and certainly be personally meaningful and probably plenty emotional, might not go over so well with the adcomms perhaps? I don't know, maybe that's the direction I should go with this..."if they don't like it then to hell with them man"
you should just scrap what you've written center your paper on one thing: one strength, one passion, one interest. don't just pile 'em onto a word document and call it a day.

I feel like it's become about as strictly narrow as I can plausibly write and structure it without leaving out some seemingly essential part of my motivations. What kind of subject matter are you referring to?

incompetentia wrote:I started to cull ideas from current events, and before long the primary focus of the lyrics were subjects such as court decisions, legislative debates, and the hot-button issues of the day


none of this. because it means nothing.

Wondering what this means.

JJDancer wrote:[concerns about showing vs telling, some weaknesses at the end, other things]

I did have some length concerns with the way I had it organized...I know you're talking about some changes as well that would expand the essay. Working on trying to make those fit definitely if I do keep this one.
The conclusion's been a problem since I wrote the first PS draft I had. I like what you're saying, so we'll see how it comes out.

Regardless, moving right along. More thoughts?

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:41 pm

incompetentia wrote:you could always just make the PS version of Cage's piece and send in 2 blank pieces of paper, and title it "2 Pages Double Spaced" that'd be AWESOME. crisis averted.

This would indeed be awesome (and probably move me to 'reject' at every single school I apply to).



i guess acceptance > awesomeness.


I feel the only aspect of my (absent) personality that I haven't touched on centers on my sociopolitical philosophy, which, although it may garner attention and certainly be personally meaningful and probably plenty emotional, might not go over so well with the adcomms perhaps? I don't know, maybe that's the direction I should go with this..."if they don't like it then to hell with them man"



um, wut? if it's not going over so well with the adcomms, then who would it be "garnering attention" from? moreover, if it's personally meaningful then, saying as how you're writing a personal statement, i think that's EXACTLY what you should be writing about.


I feel like it's become about as strictly narrow as I can plausibly write and structure it without leaving out some seemingly essential part of my motivations. What kind of subject matter are you referring to?


you have chemistry, music, legal debates, the campaign your independence, and others that i'm leaving out. how is that strictly narrow? why not just focus on one of those things? the most effective ps's focus on one or two things, not because the writer is not motivated by anything else, but because the litany of one's motivations is not what a ps needs to center on.

incompetentia wrote:I started to cull ideas from current events, and before long the primary focus of the lyrics were subjects such as court decisions, legislative debates, and the hot-button issues of the day


none of this. because it means nothing.

Wondering what this means.


i meant the parts in the essay where you are unnecessarily verbose and not saying much. so, none of this (verbose language) because it means nothing (in the sense that it adds nothing) to your draft. the example i cited, upon a second reading, isn't the best example of this, because you actually are saying something there.

but i mean, i'm one person with one opinion, who's bored and inclined to comment. if your essay works for you, then it's golden.

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:40 pm

ShuckingNotJiving wrote:i guess acceptance > awesomeness.

Play the game to beat the game, or something. (But, this gives me a revision/rewrite idea.)
you have chemistry, music, legal debates, the campaign your independence, and others that i'm leaving out. how is that strictly narrow? why not just focus on one of those things? the most effective ps's focus on one or two things, not because the writer is not motivated by anything else, but because the litany of one's motivations is not what a ps needs to center on.

If I illustrated these as glimpses into an overarching trend in my motivations, I'd imagine that could be effective if done the right way? I do return to certain things which I feel leaving out would misrepresent my goals, but I'm not sure that mentioning all these things wouldn't necessarily work.


(By the way, a general question - would a title help focus things? Or would a PS with a title be treated pretty much the same as if it didn't have a title?)

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:49 pm

NEW DRAFT UP. I SWEAR THIS IS THE LAST REWRITE SO IF Y'ALL HATE IT THEN TOUGH BACON.


But seriously, I am going to be really angry if I get compelling evidence that this format is just not going to work swimmingly

Hedwig
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby Hedwig » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:52 am

I'm not sure if I'm the best authority to critique its purpose (haven't written my first draft yet) but I have to say, your "unconventional age" thing totally made me think you were like 30 or 40, haha. Obviously that was wrong, I just thought I'd throw that out there.

I also really liked the writing in your piece. It is heavily focused on the music, though, so it kind of makes me go "well, why aren't you doing music if you like it so much" but there might be enough just "identity" stuff to make it just about you in general rather than you liking music or whatever.

Again, I have no expertise, so do not rely upon my opinion!

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incompetentia
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Re: PS - close to final draft?

Postby incompetentia » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:46 am

I KNOW WHO I AM DAMMIT SOMETHING SOMETHING or other.
I was actually trying to hammer a paragraph in there about law school...didn't work so well. Could sort of imply it more strongly I guess in a couple places.


Besides, who says I'm not 30 or 40? I uh graduated in 1993? *looks around*




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