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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
slg123
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:29 pm

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Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:44 pm

Thanks!
Last edited by slg123 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:17 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Flips88
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby Flips88 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:30 pm

I think you need to work on clarity. I couldn't tell if you were working at a restaurant or a nursing home until the end of it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:46 pm

Although your essay is clear, the writing style is too workman-like & awkward for someone claiming a 3.9 GPA & a 171 LSAT score. The final sentence is atrocious.

slg123
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:07 pm

Thanks both of you for reading.

CanadianWolf wrote:Although your essay is clear, the writing style is too workman-like & awkward for someone claiming a 3.9 GPA & a 171 LSAT score. The final sentence is atrocious.


What do you mean by this?
I also hate the last sentence... closing is hard for me.

CanadianWolf
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:10 pm

In this instance, it means that your essay does not flow well & fails to achieve its goal of helping your law school applications. Reads as if you are trying too hard to craft your personal statement. Your writing made me uncomfortable & confused as to your objective. Overall, this essay constitutes a wasted opportunity.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

slg123
Posts: 38
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:In this instance, it means that your essay does not flow well, uses extraneous words & fails to achieve its goal of helping your law school applications. Reads as if you are trying too hard to craft your personal statement. Your writing made me uncomfortable & confused as to your objective. Overall, this essay constitutes a wasted opportunity.


do you find one reason it doesn't flow well is because there's no transitions between people?

CanadianWolf
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:22 pm

Although you created several interesting paragraphs, you failed to write a cohesive personal statement. Consider co-ordinating your first & last paragraphs in a more clever fashion. Try to paint a complete picture rather than offering fragments & a concluding thought.
The final paragraph does not fit in as well as it should. Great pieces, poor puzzle. Beautiful brush strokes, weak painting. The net effect is that your writing seems awkward & unconvincing.

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

Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:29 pm

thanks, this is helpful. The thread that binds them should be that they are three examples of how I matured due to my experiences with people. I took out any obvious mentions of that, as well as sentences that set up the paragraphs because of people repeatedly telling me to show and not tell. For instance, if I have to say, "I matured," I must not have showed that I matured well enough for adcomms to see that or I just put it in as fluff since the adcomms can infer it themselves. I will try to work on the flow somehow.

CanadianWolf
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:32 pm

Your personal statement reminds me of movies that are told in multiple vignettes.

el pan de platano
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby el pan de platano » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:36 pm

I like your idea but feel like it would flow better if you varied your sentence length and structure a bit more. Replacing periods with semi-colons doesn't count. Also, you could perhaps transition to the next person at the end of the paragraph before so that it isn't quite as abrupt.

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

Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:37 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Your personal statement reminds me of movies that are told in multiple vignettes.


lol. I'm still trying to figure out if that's a bad thing. It definitely is if you're not getting the connection between them. Still hate my conclusion, though.

bigwillie
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby bigwillie » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:46 pm

I actually really like the three separate mini-stories with one theme that carries throughout your statement. I think it works with the stories you're telling and the impact that each of these people had on your life. However, the last paragraph is somewhat weak. I would try scrapping it and writing something that brings some more cohesion to the three separate stories.

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Flips88
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby Flips88 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:55 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Your personal statement reminds me of movies that are told in multiple vignettes.


Law School J'taime

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

Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:56 pm

I'm trying to decide if I should speak directly about maturity in the new conclusion. Should I then directly relate it to law school?

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djjf39
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby djjf39 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:59 pm

slg123 wrote:I'm trying to decide if I should speak directly about maturity in the new conclusion. Should I then directly relate it to law school?


Yes

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

Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:14 pm

deleted.
Last edited by slg123 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Saltqjibo
Posts: 271
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby Saltqjibo » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:29 pm

Alright, you're problem is too many stops. You use commas and periods too much. I know a lot of writing books stress using less word, cleaner sentences etc. But only to a degree. The amount of punctuation make it seem stop and go and difficult to read. For instance

Ruth took care of her husband, who was mean, but helpless; he was battling Alzheimer’s.


Could easily be changed to

"Ruth took care of her husband who was mean and helpless as a result of his battle with Alzheimer's disease"

I know its longer, but sometime the reader needs a bit of space to get into the flow of the prose.

Your writing and ideas seem fine. I just think you are over punctuating at the expense of style

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

Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby slg123 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:37 pm

Saltqjibo wrote:Alright, you're problem is too many stops. You use commas and periods too much. I know a lot of writing books stress using less word, cleaner sentences etc. But only to a degree. The amount of punctuation make it seem stop and go and difficult to read. For instance

Ruth took care of her husband, who was mean, but helpless; he was battling Alzheimer’s.


Could easily be changed to

"Ruth took care of her husband who was mean and helpless as a result of his battle with Alzheimer's disease"

I know its longer, but sometime the reader needs a bit of space to get into the flow of the prose.

Your writing and ideas seem fine. I just think you are over punctuating at the expense of style


Thanks, this is a good tip. I think it's probably what el pan de platano was saying with sentence variety.

Saltqjibo
Posts: 271
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Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby Saltqjibo » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm

skimmed it again, and I definitely think that is your problem. I actually really like your 'sketches' having given it a second look over (but for the love of god, yes - sentence variety). The content shown that you have insight, maturity, and a sense of responsibility.

bigwillie
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:48 pm

Re: close to a final draft, please critique!

Postby bigwillie » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:21 pm

slg123 wrote: For years I was living what people saw as a ‘mature’ life. Despite hardships at home, I had graduated high school and moved out of my mother’s house at eighteen. I supported myself financially and enrolled in college. Yet, my experience working at the diner and meeting people like Ruth, Harry, and Tom showed me just how immature I still was. I appreciate the opportunity it gave me to grow, an experience I was never going to attain in undergrad. It is with maturity in thought that I have approached my life since, and will continue to do in law school and beyond. It allows me to engage in perspective-taking, think critically about situations and motivations, and prioritize what is important.


Rather than immature, I think a different wording might sound a little better.

Additionally, I think the sentence: "I appreciate the opportunity it gave me to grow, an experience I was never going to attain in undergrad" could be reworded to make it sound like your experiences in the diner complemented your undergrad experience.

I'm not sure how I feel about "perspective-taking" either, but overall I feel like this conclusion is much improved.




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