Personal Statement, please critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 1:51 pm

Personal Statement, please critique

Postby bigben5289 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:39 am

Last edited by bigben5289 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.


Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Re: Personal Statement, please critique

Postby DreamShake » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:54 am

A few thoughts in passing, after a brief skim:
-Generally, the essay is poorly constructed; it reads like a pseudo-biography-cum-resume. You spread yourself too thin and never develop any one narrative thoroughly enough to satisfy the reader.
-Setting off "internal conflict" with quotation marks is unnecessary and annoying to the reader.
-"My multifaceted" sounds awkward and self-aggrandizing. It's also missing "as" before "multifaceted."
-You are not uniquely capable. Guaranteed.


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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: Personal Statement, please critique

Postby pereira6 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:12 am

I'm inexperienced with PS critiquing as far as writing style and ideas go, but I have some ideas as far as sentence structure, commas, etc.

1st PP: 'ask my family:'...make it a comma, not a colon

2nd PP: 'Government, law and justice'...seems repetitive, as you use the same terminology in the prior sentence. Rephrase.
'classes i took and the activities i participated in'...throw some commas before 'and' and after 'in'.

3rd PP: 'others similar to it'...not my cup of tea for word choice, it convolutes the sentence a bit. maybe "other similar incidents"? make it direct what "others" is referring to

'institutions'...not a good word choice...infrastructure might be a better term

'what i took for granted living in the US'...maybe 'what i took for granted as a US citizen'

'government, law, justice'...again, boring repetitive word choice

4th PP

'during my years of debate'...comma

'argument that baffled me was the argument'...omit "the argument", not necessary, repetitive

'other democracies'...comma

'Larry Diamond'...comma

'peace theory'...comma

'taken aback by this argument and the DPT as a whole...'...big long sentence. "taken aback by this argument COMMA and the DPT as a whole PERIOD...then continue.

Okay I'm getting tired of writing about commas haha you need a lot of them. And some rephrasing. Where I stopped being a comma-nazi, read the rest of your PS. If you finish a clause within a sentence, it needs a comma. Or a period. I spotted about 7 more spots where you need commas, and that was just by a quick glance.

Opinions on the PS itself? Boring, really. 23490238752349 people will send PS that say the exact same thing. If there's a way you can write more inspired, more direct, and more persuasive, it would be better. I know it's hard to write that way, when you don't exactly have a topic to write about that's inspirational in and of itself (I know the feeling, check out my PS attempts). Like I said, I'm relatively inexperienced at this, but those are my one and a half cents.

Adcoms will cringe and cringe and cringe some more if you don't fix that sentence structure and commas though.

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