Wording challenge

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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brickman
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Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:45 pm

Re-write, thanks for comments/suggestions.
Last edited by brickman on Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby plenipotentiary » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:52 pm

Is this a flame? The problem is not that your writing is inaccessible. The problem is that it's bad.

Omit needless words.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:54 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:Is this a flame? The problem is not that your writing is inaccessible. The problem is that it's bad.

Omit needless words.


Not flame, just bad, apparently. Can you be more specific?

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ads222
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby ads222 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:56 pm

This was difficult to read. Have you ever heard of purple prose?

I don't mean to be harsh, but clear and concise language wins out over "cheerfully undertak[ing] the forthcoming crucible" and the general ability to use a thesaurus (even if you didn't, it sounds like you did, and it's not impressive, just annoying).

Also...is this your personal statement? About how you wanted to do well on the LSAT, didn't score so hot, and apparently used the LSAT of all things to motivate you to restructure your behavior? Um. Really stimulating.

I kind of want this to be a parody.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:02 am

brickman wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Is this a flame? The problem is not that your writing is inaccessible. The problem is that it's bad.

Omit needless words.


Not flame, just bad, apparently. Can you be more specific?


You write like constipated people poop.

Look, most law school applicants have access to a thesaurus (though I imagine that yours is exceptionally dogearred). Your vocabulary is not going to impress anyone.

Your topic is pretty terrible, and you talk way too much about your feeeeeeelings. Cut all the parts that wouldn't matter to a stranger. Which would be all of it.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:04 am

plenipotentiary wrote:
brickman wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Is this a flame? The problem is not that your writing is inaccessible. The problem is that it's bad.

Omit needless words.


Not flame, just bad, apparently. Can you be more specific?


You write like constipated people poop.

Look, most law school applicants have access to a thesaurus (though I imagine that yours is exceptionally dogearred). Your vocabulary is not going to impress anyone.

Your topic is pretty terrible, and you talk way too much about your feeeeeeelings. Cut all the parts that wouldn't matter to a stranger. Which would be all of it.



It is certainly an essay about myself, that much I understand. I actually don't own a thesaurus or frequent its online counterpart, I just enjoy language a bit much. What would suggest is a more appropriate topic?

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:04 am

ads222 wrote:This was difficult to read. Have you ever heard of purple prose?

I don't mean to be harsh, but clear and concise language wins out over "cheerfully undertak[ing] the forthcoming crucible" and the general ability to use a thesaurus (even if you didn't, it sounds like you did, and it's not impressive, just annoying).

Also...is this your personal statement? About how you wanted to do well on the LSAT, didn't score so hot, and apparently used the LSAT of all things to motivate you to restructure your behavior? Um. Really stimulating.

I kind of want this to be a parody.


Gotcha, I can understand why people don't like the writing, though it was certainly a slow process in choosing words that I thought were appropriate.

Unfortunately I don't have a choice in determining what caused me to restructure my behavior and I don't wish to be dishonest about my actual motives.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:07 am

brickman wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:
brickman wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Is this a flame? The problem is not that your writing is inaccessible. The problem is that it's bad.

Omit needless words.


Not flame, just bad, apparently. Can you be more specific?


You write like constipated people poop.

Look, most law school applicants have access to a thesaurus (though I imagine that yours is exceptionally dogearred). Your vocabulary is not going to impress anyone.

Your topic is pretty terrible, and you talk way too much about your feeeeeeelings. Cut all the parts that wouldn't matter to a stranger. Which would be all of it.



It is certainly an essay about myself, that much I understand. I actually don't own a thesaurus or frequent its online counterpart, I just enjoy language a bit much. What would suggest is a more appropriate topic?


Something that doesn't make you sound infantile and self-involved. Unfortunately, based on this essay, I have no idea what that might be.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:11 am

I can appreciate the fact that it is infantile, unfortunately there is nothing I can do about the level of my emotional maturity. Could you be more clear in what you mean by self-involved? Do you mean overly self-reflective?

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:13 am

brickman wrote:I can appreciate the fact that it is infantile, unfortunately there is nothing I can do about the level of my emotional maturity. Could you be more clear in what you mean by self-involved? Do you mean overly self-reflective?


Yes, that's what I mean. You are just too candid, introspective, and erudite for my taste. Carry on!

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catsparka
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby catsparka » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:13 am

Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.

dakatz
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby dakatz » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:15 am

OP, think of a personal statement this way: You are given 2 minutes to sit across from the admissions committee and speak to them. Those two minutes are your stage to convey something about yourself, anything you desire, and in any way you desire. If this is what you would choose to convey, and how you would choose to convey it, then you need to overhaul your perception of what you think people would want to hear.

The wording sounds downright silly. This is not the type of document where you play dress-up with words that have no need to be dressed up. Doesn't matter how much you "love language".

As for the topic, I think you can do better than this, personally. Again, this is your 2 minute audition. Given all the things in the world you can talk about while that stage is yours, I feel like you must have something that would allow you to take a bit more advantage than a story about your LSAT studying.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:16 am

catsparka wrote:Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.


The reason I wrote like that is that I wanted to capture a concept in as compact as a manner as possible. There is a spacial limit (2 pages, I believe). Further, I don't think the way one talks is necessarily the way one should write. Consider the medium, you have an opportunity to revise and distill to make your point in less words by using words that carry a larger informational punch.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:17 am

dakatz wrote:OP, think of a personal statement this way: You are given 2 minutes to sit across from the admissions committee and speak to them. Those two minutes are your stage to convey something about yourself, anything you desire, and in any way you desire. If this is what you would choose to convey, and how you would choose to convey it, then you need to overhaul your perception of what you think people would want to hear.

The wording sounds downright silly. This is not the type of document where you play dress-up with words that have no need to be dressed up. Doesn't matter how much you "love language".

As for the topic, I think you can do better than this, personally. Again, this is your 2 minute audition. Given all the things in the world you can talk about while that stage is yours, I feel like you must have something that would allow you to take a bit more advantage than a story about your LSAT studying.


back to the drawing board it is! Thanks for the perspective.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:18 am

brickman wrote:
catsparka wrote:Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.


The reason I wrote like that is that I wanted to capture a concept in as compact as a manner as possible. There is a spacial limit (2 pages, I believe). Further, I don't think the way one talks is necessarily the way one should write. Consider the medium, you have an opportunity to revise and distill to make your point in less words by using words that carry a larger informational punch.


You think this is less words? For realz? Maybe you should look up the word "less" in the dictionary.

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catsparka
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby catsparka » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:20 am

brickman wrote:
catsparka wrote:Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.


The reason I wrote like that is that I wanted to capture a concept in as compact as a manner as possible. There is a spacial limit (2 pages, I believe). Further, I don't think the way one talks is necessarily the way one should write. Consider the medium, you have an opportunity to revise and distill to make your point in less words by using words that carry a larger informational punch.


The impression I got after reading your PS was "Wow, this person is super pretentious." Not sure if that's what you're going for with the adcomms.

Also, if "captur[ing] a concept in as compact as a manner as possible" was one of your objectives in writing like this, I guess we have very different ideas of what "compact" actually means.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:20 am

plenipotentiary wrote:
brickman wrote:
catsparka wrote:Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.


The reason I wrote like that is that I wanted to capture a concept in as compact as a manner as possible. There is a spacial limit (2 pages, I believe). Further, I don't think the way one talks is necessarily the way one should write. Consider the medium, you have an opportunity to revise and distill to make your point in less words by using words that carry a larger informational punch.


You think this is less words? For realz? Maybe you should look up the word "less" in the dictionary.


I'm just trying to describe things that I feel need describing in order to give an accurate picture of the concept. So yes, I understand that some elements have a bit of language attached to them.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:21 am

catsparka wrote:
brickman wrote:
catsparka wrote:Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.


The reason I wrote like that is that I wanted to capture a concept in as compact as a manner as possible. There is a spacial limit (2 pages, I believe). Further, I don't think the way one talks is necessarily the way one should write. Consider the medium, you have an opportunity to revise and distill to make your point in less words by using words that carry a larger informational punch.


The impression I got after reading your PS was "Wow, this person is super pretentious." Not sure if that's what you're going for with the adcomms.

Also, if "captur[ing] a concept in as compact as a manner as possible" was one of your objectives in writing like this, I guess we have very different ideas of what "compact" actually means.


This is the difficulty I run into, in all honesty this was a very sincere piece of writing. Like i noted, the challenge is finding language that makes sense for me doesn't necessarily line up with other people apparently.

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catsparka
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby catsparka » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:26 am

brickman wrote:
catsparka wrote:
brickman wrote:
catsparka wrote:Many of your sentences are very long and filled with unnecessary words. I felt like I couldn't breathe while reading your PS.

"post my behavioral re-structuring" <- does anyone actually talk/write like this? I feel like your PS in general sounds very artificial.


The reason I wrote like that is that I wanted to capture a concept in as compact as a manner as possible. There is a spacial limit (2 pages, I believe). Further, I don't think the way one talks is necessarily the way one should write. Consider the medium, you have an opportunity to revise and distill to make your point in less words by using words that carry a larger informational punch.


The impression I got after reading your PS was "Wow, this person is super pretentious." Not sure if that's what you're going for with the adcomms.

Also, if "captur[ing] a concept in as compact as a manner as possible" was one of your objectives in writing like this, I guess we have very different ideas of what "compact" actually means.


This is the difficulty I run into, in all honesty this was a very sincere piece of writing. Like i noted, the challenge is finding language that makes sense for me doesn't necessarily line up with other people apparently.


Okay I am now 90% convinced this whole thread was a joke. But if you really are serious, I think constructing proper sentences is a higher priority than employing excessively florid and ostentatious language.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:33 am

fair enough, rewrite. Thank you all for your comments, much appreciated.

WayBryson
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby WayBryson » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:50 am

This thread is brilliant.

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rso11
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby rso11 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:51 am

Man, you have been embedded in academia for too long. Or something. Read some personal statement examples in the Example thread. I was an English major-on-the-cusp-of-academia and I stopped reading after 2 sentences to go: wtf?

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sundance95
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby sundance95 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:52 am

Stop writing in the passive voice. HTH.

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northwood
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby northwood » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:03 am

you got to sell the story of you. You're not in reference book sales right? then dont write an essay that will force the reader to look up something or ask for clarification after every other sentence.

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brickman
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Re: Wording challenge

Postby brickman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:05 am

Thank you all very much, this has been a much needed kick in the ass to remember what it is like to actually be writing for an audience that isn't necessarily captive.




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