Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
djeter2
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:41 pm

Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby djeter2 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:09 pm

Hey Everyone,

I'm just about done with my personal statement, but I am unsure of the sentence I've included below. I don't know if it needs a comma, and I am not sure about its structure. I would appreciate advice regarding the comma and/or suggestions for a complete revision of the sentence. I don't think the comma is necessary because the clause that follows the "but" is not independent, but I'd appreciate your insights.

Damned Sentence:

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy but (COMMA?) was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.

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MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby MrKappus » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:17 pm

djeter2 wrote:Hey Everyone,

I'm just about done with my personal statement, but I am unsure of the sentence I've included below. I don't know if it needs a comma, and I am not sure about its structure. I would appreciate advice regarding the comma and/or suggestions for a complete revision of the sentence. I don't think the comma is necessary because the clause that follows the "but" is not independent, but I'd appreciate your insights.

Damned Sentence:

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy but (COMMA?) was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.


The mother refused not out of personal negligence or apathy, but because past difficulties with the legal system left her with no faith in it.

Maybe? It's kind of an unwieldy sentence/idea, isn't it...

slg123
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:29 pm

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby slg123 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:25 pm

djeter2 wrote:Damned Sentence:

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy but (COMMA?) was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.



The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy; it was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.

My $.02.

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2807
Posts: 579
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:23 pm

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby 2807 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:26 pm

You are correct. No comma.

And, it is not that it is "not needed" it is that it is "not appropriate". You do not get to choose.

Be happy and move on. It is fine.


Always confirm at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/

this free site is great!

djeter2
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby djeter2 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:16 pm

2807 wrote:You are correct. No comma.

And, it is not that it is "not needed" it is that it is "not appropriate". You do not get to choose.

Be happy and move on. It is fine.


Always confirm at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/

this free site is great!


Thank you!

WayBryson
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby WayBryson » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:05 pm

It is correct as written, and using a comma would have been incorrect. This sentence is a bit awkward though. Perhaps the following:

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy, but rather, it was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.

or

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy. Rather, it was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.

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s0ph1e2007
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:37 pm

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:06 pm

slg123 wrote:
djeter2 wrote:Damned Sentence:

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy but (COMMA?) was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.



The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy; it was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.

My $.02.


titcr

djeter2
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: Comma Question/Revision of One Sentence

Postby djeter2 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:29 am

slg123 wrote:
djeter2 wrote:Damned Sentence:

The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy but (COMMA?) was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.



The mother’s refusal was not the product of personal negligence or apathy; it was the consequence of a past marked by negative experiences with the legal system.

My $.02.


After looking over all of the suggestions, I think this is my favorite option. Thanks to everyone for their input!




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