Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
cngreen
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Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby cngreen » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:09 pm

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Last edited by cngreen on Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:15 pm

you just sound bitter about your parents and bitter at christians in general... cut all that out...
I would not admit you with this essay; just to be honest- although you're clearly a good writer.
Additionally "tout" (if you insist on keeping this whole anti-christian anti-parent thing) suggests you are also anti-american (not a good quality in an American law student) since tout has negative connotations.

May be biased though... someone else have an opinion?

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kwais
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby kwais » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:18 pm

I think it's really good. A small thing: I'd take the quotes off of America. I don't think it needs it.
Content-wise: When I got to the part about your parents trying to revoke your scholarship, I wanted to hear more. This could be an opportunity to do more showing where you do mostly telling. Maybe buy some space by condensing the first half and expanding the specific episode with the parents. Just a suggestion. Fun to read though.

I somewhat disagree with the above poster that you sound bitter, but maybe you could tone it down a bit.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:36 pm

I think this is a great, albeit risky, essay. It's clear, powerful, and well written offering genuine insight into who you are as a person.

My only problem is with the analogy used in the last sentence of the 4th paragraph. It makes your perspectives sound reactionary.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:59 pm

I think your story is very interesting, and I don't think you sound overly bitter. Actually, you sound calmer and more level-headed as you relate your tale than I am just reading it!

My only issue is with your use of em dashes. They should be used very sparingly in formal prose, and you use them seven times. I would rewrite all those sentences to use a comma, semicolon or period instead.

I, too, was wondering about your parents trying to have your scholarship revoked. A tiny bit more detail might be appreciated by the readers, if we TLSers are any indication. Did the school stand up to your parents for you? Was there a law or regulation that saved your scholly from their interference? Did your parents change their minds?

Also, what is PHC? Refer to your undergrad by its full name, at least the first time it's mentioned. Google tells me that you probably mean Patrick Henry College (which I'd never heard of), but PHC is not exactly UCLA or MIT in terms of universal and instant recognition.

Your language is good. Enough complexity and variety of structure and vocabulary to show a firm grasp of writing skills, but not so much that it sounds like you're regurgitating a thesaurus to try and sound smart.

If you're worried about the negative connotations that 'tout' may carry for some, 'espouse' would be a good replacement.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:13 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:I think your story is very interesting, and I don't think you sound overly bitter. Actually, you sound calmer and more level-headed as you relate your tale than I am just reading it!

My only issue is with your use of em dashes. They should be used very sparingly in formal prose, and you use them seven times. I would rewrite all those sentences to use a comma, semicolon or period instead.

I, too, was wondering about your parents trying to have your scholarship revoked. A tiny bit more detail might be appreciated by the readers, if we TLSers are any indication. Did the school stand up to your parents for you? Was there a law or regulation that saved your scholly from their interference? Did your parents change their minds?

Also, what is PHC? Refer to your undergrad by its full name, at least the first time it's mentioned. Google tells me that you probably mean Patrick Henry College (which I'd never heard of), but PHC is not exactly UCLA or MIT in terms of universal and instant recognition.

Your language is good. Enough complexity and variety of structure and vocabulary to show a firm grasp of writing skills, but not so much that it sounds like you're regurgitating a thesaurus to try and sound smart.

If you're worried about the negative connotations that 'tout' may carry for some, 'espouse' would be a good replacement.

I agree with all of these points. The only other thing I'll add is that one line, "Religion leads a virulence to abuse", a statement that doesn't quite make sense to me. I'd caution you not to say things as broad as "religion leads to abuse", since most people, even most opposed to religious extremism, are themselves religious and see good in it. (This is a topic I've long struggled with myself.) I hope you agree with this and can modify your statement to indicate you're fighting religious extremism. Taking a stand against religion entirely can be just as extreme as religious extremism is, and you don't want to come across as ultimately being just an extremist of a different color.

I have also found that deeply personal statements along these lines, about adversity and growth, are often greatly rewarded if well-written. Yours is very close to being well-written. Good luck, both with your cycle and your commendable goals.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:20 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I think your story is very interesting, and I don't think you sound overly bitter. Actually, you sound calmer and more level-headed as you relate your tale than I am just reading it!

My only issue is with your use of em dashes. They should be used very sparingly in formal prose, and you use them seven times. I would rewrite all those sentences to use a comma, semicolon or period instead.

I, too, was wondering about your parents trying to have your scholarship revoked. A tiny bit more detail might be appreciated by the readers, if we TLSers are any indication. Did the school stand up to your parents for you? Was there a law or regulation that saved your scholly from their interference? Did your parents change their minds?

Also, what is PHC? Refer to your undergrad by its full name, at least the first time it's mentioned. Google tells me that you probably mean Patrick Henry College (which I'd never heard of), but PHC is not exactly UCLA or MIT in terms of universal and instant recognition.

Your language is good. Enough complexity and variety of structure and vocabulary to show a firm grasp of writing skills, but not so much that it sounds like you're regurgitating a thesaurus to try and sound smart.

If you're worried about the negative connotations that 'tout' may carry for some, 'espouse' would be a good replacement.

I agree with all of these points. The only other thing I'll add is that one line, "Religion leads a virulence to abuse", a statement that doesn't quite make sense to me. I'd caution you not to say things as broad as "religion leads to abuse", since most people, even most opposed to religious extremism, are themselves religious and see good in it. (This is a topic I've long struggled with myself.) I hope you agree with this and can modify your statement to indicate you're fighting religious extremism. Taking a stand against religion entirely can be just as extreme as religious extremism is, and you don't want to come across as ultimately being just an extremist of a different color.

I have also found that deeply personal statements along these lines, about adversity and growth, are often greatly rewarded if well-written. Yours is very close to being well-written. Good luck, both with your cycle and your commendable goals.


I missed that sentence. Perhaps she meant 'lends' instead of leads, meaning abuse with religious origins is particularly virulent.

cngreen
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby cngreen » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:28 pm

Thanks for the comments! And yes, that's what it means. If someone believes that God has sanctioned whatever they are doing, no logic and no standard of common decency will stop them. When abuse receives the sanction of a religion, it is particularly terrible, at least in my experience. I was attempting to describe what it was like to life for 20 years with what seemed "normal" (well, in my community) parents and to suddenly realize that they were willing to break the law and your heart to get what they wanted.

And the school stood up for me. The Chancellor is actually writing my LOR, although I have no idea if he mentions this episode, which he is well aware of.

My mistake on the PHC, I had cut out a sentence where it was spelled out. :shock:

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Personal Statement - please read, out of the ordinary

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:20 pm

i like this. clearly-written and convincing. i feel as though this could have been so easily sensationalized but you did a good job keeping it explanatory rather than dramatic.

however, the last lines:

rinkrat19 wrote: I want to comfort them. I want to arm them with knowledge. And I want to fight for them.
are overkill. I almost expect you to add

"And I want to bring them extra blankets. While they sleep. The kind that heat up. And footies. I want to bring them footies."


Basically, leave one short sentence that summarizes what you want to do for these women.

again, good stuff.




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