250 first draft. Be harsh.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Ragged
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250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Ragged » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:49 am

“America has won World War II”. That is the fact that I had to face when I first started attending middle school in the United States. It was quite a revelation to me, since the whole time living in Russia I only heard about the heroic efforts of the Red Army, with hardly any mention of American, and even less, British contribution to the war effort. Indeed, different perspectives often result in different ways history is recorded. Often one nation’s success is another nation’s failure and histories of such nations are likely to reflect that. It is the job of historians and archeologists to use the power of reason and constant scrutiny in order to shed as much bias from the historical accounts as possible and bring our understanding closer to the elusive concept of objective reality. Because of the inherent bias common to all people, the popular opinion amongst philosophers of science is that objective truth can never be obtained. True as that may be, especially for a discipline so heavily reliant on subjective accounts as history, the constant pursuit of that objective truth should be of the paramount importance to a society which values the freedom of its citizens. The powerful of our world often attempt to mislead the public for their own political or financial gain. Without the people firmly committed to uncovering the truth such attempts would succeed more often and their success would be more lasting.




Thank you! I'll be glad to return the favor.

jasonc.
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby jasonc. » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:57 am

Ok statement ,but the last two sentences needs to be reworked

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2807
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby 2807 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:03 am

I think you start well, but you lost me at the sentence that links history and archeology. That is an awkward link. Drop archeology and stick with the theme of bias in historical perspective.

I was a history major. We do not address archeology. You have a good lead-off with the juxtaposition of WW2 and your exposure to the differing views. Run with that.

Basically, you are personally aware of the power of bias and interpretation to create reality-- try focusing on that more? That was the beginning, and the best part. It gets heavy-gibberish in the middle to the end... The simple and powerful beginning is much better. Stay more simple and direct. Be less flowery. <-- this will be easier when you simplify your thesis, focus, and just SAY IT.

Try that!

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3|ink
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby 3|ink » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:14 am

It's fine writing, but there's surprisingly little focus on yourself.

Cassius Sterling
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Cassius Sterling » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:22 am

This essay is not good enough for Yale--to which I assume you're applying if you're writing a 250 word supplement. Really, no offense, it's just that Yale is the hardest graduate school to get into in the history of the world, so to be accepted, you'll have to do better than this draft. Also, FYI, you start off the 2nd and 3rd sentences with expletive construction.

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Ragged
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Ragged » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:23 am

Thanks for quick replies guys.

jasonc. wrote:Ok statement ,but the last two sentences needs to be reworked


Yea the last two sentences I kinda dropped the ball on. Will rework that tommorow.

2807 wrote:I think you start well, but you lost me at the sentence that links history and archeology. That is an awkward link. Drop archeology and stick with the theme of bias in historical perspective.

I was a history major. We do not address archeology. You have a good lead-off with the juxtaposition of WW2 and your exposure to the differing views. Run with that.

Basically, you are personally aware of the power of bias and interpretation to create reality-- try focusing on that more? That was the beginning, and the best part. It gets heavy-gibberish in the middle to the end... The simple and powerful beginning is much better. Stay more simple and direct. Be less flowery. <-- this will be easier when you simplify your thesis, focus, and just SAY IT.

Try that!



Thanks. That's what I kinda thought too. I was delibaretly trying to be flowery because I wanted the paper to have a serious feel to it. I guess I overdid so the point of it being incoherant. I used archeology, just because I felt like some of the historical facts are discovered through archeological findings. But sticking to history is probably a good idea.


3|ink wrote:It's fine writing, but there's surprisingly little focus on yourself.



Yea I wasn't sure whether I should talk about myself more. I kinda decided to talk about ideas I feel are important and touch on direct experience only incidentally. You think that was the wrong way to go? From the blog it seemed that there was nothing in particular that she is looking for.


Thanks for your invaluble input guys. Excuse the spelling errors. Going to slee-- .. ... . ..

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Ragged
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Ragged » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:25 am

Cassius Sterling wrote:This essay is not good enough for Yale--to which I assume you're applying if you're writing a 250 word supplement. Really, no offense, it's just that Yale is the hardest graduate school to get into in the history of the world, so to be accepted, you'll have to do better than this draft. Also, FYI, you start off the 2nd and 3rd sentences with expletive construction.


What is that? Why is that bad?

Cassius Sterling
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Cassius Sterling » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:46 am

I apologize for being unclear. Expletive construction is beginning a sentence with a vague pronoun or with no noun at all--in your case, "That is" ('That' is an adjective) and "It was" ('It' refers to a vague concept). My comment was very technical, though. Expletive construction is common in the vernacular, and I doubt the Yale adcomm would even pick up on it. You merely said to be harsh, which I attempted to be. As far as whether "it is bad," no... probably not.

To be more "harsh," however, I will continue. "Since" in the third sentence is also technically used incorrectly because "since" is supposed to refer to a timeframe. "In which" should follow "ways." A comma should be after "nation's failure." You use expletive construction again in the next sentence. Take out "in order." That sentence is also constipated. I'm backtracking here, but the second sentence should be "to attend," not "attending."

And just on a general level, the last two sentences seem to go beyond the scope of your original argument. I'm not trying to use the common logical flaw here... From what I'm reading, though, you're talking about the tendency of history to have different accounts, and suddenly, you jump to history's necessity to freedom and how powerful people control it.

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Ragged
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Ragged » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:52 am

Cassius Sterling wrote:I apologize for being unclear. Expletive construction is beginning a sentence with a vague pronoun or with no noun at all--in your case, "That is" ('That' is an adjective) and "It was" ('It' refers to a vague concept). My comment was very technical, though. Expletive construction is common in the vernacular, and I doubt the Yale adcomm would even pick up on it. You merely said to be harsh, which I attempted to be. As far as whether "it is bad," no... probably not.

To be more "harsh," however, I will continue. "Since" in the third sentence is also technically used incorrectly because "since" is supposed to refer to a timeframe. "In which" should follow "ways." A comma should be after "nation's failure." You use expletive construction again in the next sentence. Take out "in order." That sentence is also constipated. I'm backtracking here, but the second sentence should be "to attend," not "attending."

And just on a general level, the last two sentences seem to go beyond the scope of your original argument. I'm not trying to use the common logical flaw here... From what I'm reading, though, you're talking about the tendency of history to have different accounts, and suddenly, you jump to history's necessity to freedom and how powerful people control it.



Thank you for the thorough breakdown.

Back to the drawing board. I might post a diffferent draft with all you'lls comments in mind i n the coming week.

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AreJay711
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:05 pm

I loved the beginning but after that it was ehhh. It was probably better before you cut it down to 250 words so just lesses the scope. I wouldn't go into what philosophers of science think or the job of historians. I think it would be better to tie write into about how truth can be manipulated and then move on from there if you want to talk epistemology.

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Flips88
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Flips88 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:38 pm

Cassius Sterling wrote: ('That' is an adjective)


er, pronoun?

WhirledWorld
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby WhirledWorld » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:36 pm

.
Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ninoprudence
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Ninoprudence » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:47 pm

Great hook at the beginning. But, I concur with other posters that you get lost in your own words. Keep the beginning and stick with the topic. It is just theoretical enough to fit in perfectly with YLS.

Two suggestions:

1. Drop the negativity. No one wants to read that. If you are being negative, you need more than 250 words to justify it.

2. Legal writing is about communicating ideas as fluidly as possible. Your 250 reminds me how I wrote in college, not law school. Don't try to be elegant; try to be straight forward.

Regarding the focus not being on yourself, I think that is good/ok. I'm a YLS transfer, so I wrote two 250s. My first one was about me, and it didn't do the trick (although there was a controlling variable). My second 250 was about as theoretical as yours is now. Take that as you will.

Good luck. You won me over with your hook. I hope to call you a classmate.

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The Stig
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby The Stig » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:53 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:
Ragged wrote:“America has won World War II”. That is the fact that I had to face when I first started attending middle school in the United States. It was quite a revelation to me, since the whole time living in Russia I only heard about the heroic efforts of the Red Army, with hardly any mention of American, and even less, British contribution to the war effort. Indeed, different perspectives often result in different ways history is recorded. Often one nation’s success is another nation’s failure and histories of such nations are likely to reflect that. It is the job of historians and archeologists to use the power of reason and constant scrutiny in order to shed as much bias from the historical accounts as possible and bring our understanding closer to the elusive concept of objective reality. Because of the inherent bias common to all people, the popular opinion amongst philosophers of science is that objective truth can never be obtained. True as that may be, especially for a discipline so heavily reliant on subjective accounts as history, the constant pursuit of that objective truth should be of the paramount importance to a society which values the freedom of its citizens. The powerful of our world often attempt to mislead the public for their own political or financial gain. Without the people firmly committed to uncovering the truth such attempts would succeed more often and their success would be more lasting.


At Yale, which is a US institution, common AP punctuation usage has periods and commas within the quotation, e.g. "America has won World War II."


See Yale's Admissions Blog :wink: ...Asha writes an entire post on "tucking in" your punctuation marks! http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... users.aspx

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MysticalWheel
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby MysticalWheel » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:12 am

Our boys totally won dubya dubya 2...lol. But seriously, it's polished but it seems only a step or so removed from boilerplate sentiment regarding prevailing political history. My advice: Fire it up!

MW

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Ragged
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Re: 250 first draft. Be harsh.

Postby Ragged » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:18 am

Thank you for all your responeses guys.

I will be happy to look over anyone's 250. So just PM me.




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