My very rough first draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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paulshortys10
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My very rough first draft

Postby paulshortys10 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:27 pm

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Last edited by paulshortys10 on Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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paulshortys10
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby paulshortys10 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:18 pm

Can anyone help me out and read my First draft? It's very very rough still, haven't even looked at it since I wrote it. I want to know whats strong, what's weak, what should I work on, and if I'm heading in the right direction. I realize my introduction my be too strong or lame, so please criticize it.

Thanks a lot


paulshortys10 wrote:

Last edited by paulshortys10 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:34 am, edited 4 times in total.

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paulshortys10
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby paulshortys10 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:18 pm

Here is my first draft.

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StillHerexxx
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby StillHerexxx » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:15 am

I am learning how to write a PS myself right now, so I can't really help you much with that, but I do have one writing suggestion. You use a lot of compound and complex sentences (using , as well as ,and ,or). One way to really make your writing better is to try to vary your sentence structure. This not only makes it easier to read, but a simple sentence after a couple of complex or compound ones can really stand out and hit your point on the head. I don't know how helpful that is.

CanadianWolf
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:29 am

Outstanding. Hard to believe that this is an unedited draft. Flows well. Sincere & genuine tone.

P.S. Political speech-writing may be in your future.

Some minor corrections "hanging clothes", "come home tired" & streamlining the final sentence so that it is not redundant. "I plan on accepting the challenge of law school and working hard to achieve that dream."
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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3|ink
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby 3|ink » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:46 am

Other people may disagree with me, but I have always felt that alluding to tragic events of the past for sympathy is never a good move. When you do that, you come off as the kind of person who makes excuses for himself. Moreover, it is implied that you somehow had things worse than others. Then again, everyone else on this forum keeps saying that adcoms love that sort of thing. I find that very hard to believe.

My advice is to stop arguing why you deserve law school and start arguing why you were meant for law schools.

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StillHerexxx
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby StillHerexxx » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:10 am

It really is a compelling past, but everyone and everything I have read says you should make it about you and how you are ready for law school, but it seems more about the other people in the experiences.

JJDancer
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby JJDancer » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:52 pm

I just wrote a basic outline of my DS and I think it is pretty horrific lol but I will try to give you feedback even if it's just what works and what doesn't, and not exactly how to improve.

I think mentioning Obama in your first sentence makes it seem like you are going to compare your life to his ... I guess what I mean is, by reading the details of your childhood adcoms will see that you overcame hardships, but you don't need to set it up with the audacity of dreaming. If you can't think of a diff intro I think the essay would still be strong by beginning with the "Until the age of 8, grew up in south central" line.

"I have vivid memories of the day my family came home to find most of the things in our apartment had been stolen, or (should be and?) the morning when I
found our dog beaten almost to death by thieves trying to steal our clothes being hanged.
Are you saying they were stealing clothes that were hanging? I think this could be re-phrased

At the age of 8 I had become impervious to gun shots being fired, it became background noise when I slept. --> you already mentioned your age so I think no need to say it again. Also think this sentence should be re-phrased.

Overall, I think you should cut down the part about your parents - you can still say how they worked hard and influenced you but it needs to be more about your changes.. you mention what it's like growing up but not feeling the allure of that life, or being disgusted or terrified of it or anything.

"Both my parents repeatedly stressed the importance of education. I learned from their repetition that I could strive and succeed to be something better through education. "
It seems like they had been telling you edu was imp since the beginning, so why did it really click later on..? I think the essay would be much more powerful if you describe how you did in school/your approach to edu and how that changed in high school.. what did you do to ensure that you would be accepted to college when you vowed to go.. also of course you wanted to make your hardworking parents proud but maybe say something about how YOU saw the value of edu and what it could mean for YOU.


Through my struggles in life, I have learned how to endure and work towards a goal,
Maybe your transcript/resume "shows" this but I wanted to "See" how you worked hard.. some concrete example like "upon entering college I took advantage of bla bla

I don't think I said anything harsh but I was just trying to be constructive and again, it's just my opinion. Good luck.

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paulshortys10
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby paulshortys10 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:16 pm

thanks for the feedback guys..I appreciate any and all criticism.. I'll make the necessary changes based on this.

Any other feedback?

AP-375
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby AP-375 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:57 pm

I think the substance is great, but you could tighten up the prose to make it a little more compact. It is a little long, and some things could be more concise. I think if you could deliver the same substance in a more concentrated punch, it would be fantastic. Just my .2

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paulshortys10
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby paulshortys10 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:50 am

Could you give me some specific exAmples of what you mean? Thanks

AP-375
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby AP-375 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:07 am

Sure, a couple (now 10) examples/suggestions. I just spent way more time on this than I expected. Okay, none of these relatively minor suggestions, by themselves, will make that big of a difference, but if you can these kind of changes throughout your statement, I think it will be a tight knockout. I'm not telling you how to rewrite anything, I'm just showing you ways that I would do it at first glance. If you can tighten your prose, I think that the logical and emotional appeal of your statement will be much sharper.

Please let me know how you feel about this feeback. I'm always hesitant to make this kind of a critique, but you asked. I really like your statement, which is probably why I've spent so much time on it, but I think it could go from solid to awesome. Best of luck.

1)
paulshortys10 wrote:The audacity of hope is a phrase popularized by President Barack Obama during his successful presidential campaign. This quote summarizes the way I have lived life.

Try: "President Barack Obama's powerful phrase, the audacity of hope, summarizes (the way I have lived) my life."

2)
paulshortys10 wrote:Up until the age of 8, I grew up in South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood notorious for it's high crime rate where drugs, gangs, and violence run rampant.

Try: "Until the age of eight, I grew up in South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood notorious for its rampant drugs, gangs, and violence."

3)
paulshortys10 wrote:or the morning when I found our dog beaten almost to death by thieves trying to steal our clothes being hanged.

Try: "or the morning when I found our dog beaten almost to death by thieves."

4)
paulshortys10 wrote:Although my parents tried to instill in me the idea that education was the key to success

Try: "Although my parents tried to teach me that education was the key to success..."

5)
paulshortys10 wrote: into a nice suburb city with a primarily Caucasian population

Try: "into a nice primarily Caucasian suburb."

6)
paulshortys10 wrote:This led to my fellow third grade classmates calling me a “wetback” and a “beaner”, words that I did not understand at the time.

Try: As a young child, I didn't understand what my classmates meant when they called me a "wetback" and a "beaner."

7)
paulshortys10 wrote:This challenge was later met by an even greater obstacle, my parent's separation

Try: "I was later challenged by an even greater obstacle, my parents' separation."

8)
paulshortys10 wrote:Throughout my life my parents have been an example that it's not too audacious to hope for better when you have nothing.

Try: "Throughout my life my parents showed me that it's never too audacious to hope for better when you have nothing."

9)
paulshortys10 wrote:Although my intellectual and analytic abilities will get me into law school, I believe the hard work ethic I learned through them,

Try: "I believe that the hard work ethic they taught me..."

10)
paulshortys10 wrote: ...I plan on accepting the challenge of law school and giving it my full effort and work hard in order to succeed.

Try: I plan on accepting the challenge of law school and giving it my full effort to succeed."

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paulshortys10
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Re: My very rough first draf

Postby paulshortys10 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:10 pm

Great feedback man...thanks for even taking the time to do that...I will probably use about 7 of the changes you suggested ...I like the simplicity you use....thanks again

elonlawgrad
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby elonlawgrad » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:17 pm

AP375- fully agree with the sentence structure suggestions. Paulshorty-well done, but AP's suggestions make it more polished and get your points across in a more concise fashion. Best of luck to you!!

elonlawgrad
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby elonlawgrad » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:23 pm

oh, one other thing....rather than say, You plan on accepting the challenge of law school, say you accept the challenges law school presents. Tell them you are ready now to accept the challenge. That's all.

AP-375
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby AP-375 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:12 pm

My pleasure. Glad it worked for you. Keep polishing. Best of luck.

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paulshortys10
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Re: My very rough first draft

Postby paulshortys10 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:55 pm

once again, thanks for the feedback

any help on grammar, spelling and such?




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