The Final Product.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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StillHerexxx
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:58 pm

The Final Product.

Postby StillHerexxx » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:41 pm

....
Last edited by StillHerexxx on Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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StillHerexxx
Posts: 325
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Re: The Final Product.

Postby StillHerexxx » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:51 pm

Anybody?

Learic
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:51 pm

Re: The Final Product.

Postby Learic » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:22 pm

My $.07,

I don't want to sound overly critical, however, I think you can do much better. Honestly, I expected much more from an English major. You brought your "literary abilities" and "literary skills" to my attention by mentioning them throughout, but as I read through your PS, I felt you were lacking fluid transitions and analogies that made sense. Here is an anecdote that I can give to better explain what I am trying to express to you. There was this comedy tour maybe 10 or 12 years ago called The Kings of Comedy tour. Steve Harvey was the headlining comedian for that tour, but for many cities he was getting booed because instead of coming out and telling great jokes for the crowd to laugh, he spent about 15-20 minutes defending just how funny he was and that the crowd was going to love him. After spending so much time setting up the crowd with just how funny he was, he proceeded to tell a long joke about some shoe salesman that took the remainder of his set to finally get to the punchline and it was totally unfunny. The moral of that story was, let us(or the adcoms) be the judge on if your joke(writing) is truly worthy.

Generally speaking your opening paragraph should set the groundwork for what will come later in the PS, but yours didn't do anything for me, almost as if it didn't originally start out as being your opening paragraph when you originally sat down to write it. Your spending a week with a lawyer had nothing to do with your maturity as an english major.

To me, the football side story, while generally well written, can be removed all together because it doesn't add to your law strengths any. There were no hardships to overcome with that. You weren't a star player only to get injured and you had to redirect your focus to academics, etc.

I felt you had 3 different stories that didnt quite tie into each other at all. You spent a week shadowing a lawyer and learned a lot which will prepare you for law school. You were an average/above average football player from a rural town that didn't get scholarships so you had to pay for a less expensive school and you figured out what you wanted to be there when you grew up. You express how writing moves you. Of these three, I'd either work on your growth as a english major/writer which can eventually translate to your desire for (maybe a legal writing) career, or expand more on other literary works that inspired you to pursue law.

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bergg007
Posts: 412
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 12:21 am

Re: The Final Product.

Postby bergg007 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:35 pm

Learic wrote:My $.07,

I don't want to sound overly critical, however, I think you can do much better. Honestly, I expected much more from an English major. You brought your "literary abilities" and "literary skills" to my attention by mentioning them throughout, but as I read through your PS, I felt you were lacking fluid transitions and analogies that made sense. Here is an anecdote that I can give to better explain what I am trying to express to you. There was this comedy tour maybe 10 or 12 years ago called The Kings of Comedy tour. Steve Harvey was the headlining comedian for that tour, but for many cities he was getting booed because instead of coming out and telling great jokes for the crowd to laugh, he spent about 15-20 minutes defending just how funny he was and that the crowd was going to love him. After spending so much time setting up the crowd with just how funny he was, he proceeded to tell a long joke about some shoe salesman that took the remainder of his set to finally get to the punchline and it was totally unfunny. The moral of that story was, let us(or the adcoms) be the judge on if your joke(writing) is truly worthy.

Generally speaking your opening paragraph should set the groundwork for what will come later in the PS, but yours didn't do anything for me, almost as if it didn't originally start out as being your opening paragraph when you originally sat down to write it. Your spending a week with a lawyer had nothing to do with your maturity as an english major.

To me, the football side story, while generally well written, can be removed all together because it doesn't add to your law strengths any. There were no hardships to overcome with that. You weren't a star player only to get injured and you had to redirect your focus to academics, etc.

I felt you had 3 different stories that didnt quite tie into each other at all. You spent a week shadowing a lawyer and learned a lot which will prepare you for law school. You were an average/above average football player from a rural town that didn't get scholarships so you had to pay for a less expensive school and you figured out what you wanted to be there when you grew up. You express how writing moves you. Of these three, I'd either work on your growth as a english major/writer which can eventually translate to your desire for (maybe a legal writing) career, or expand more on other literary works that inspired you to pursue law.


I agree 100 percent with you. The Writing was interesting enough, and had a narrative voice but it was completely unfocused. I still have no idea why you want to be a lawyer, or why writing made you want to go to Law School. I don't know why your football skills matter at all. I don't really know what you got out of shadowing that small town lawyer. In essence I know just as little about you as I did before I read this essay.

Most importantly, stop talking about your literary prowess; no one cares. Great writers don't talk about being great writers; they write. Let your writing speak for itself.

Overall I'd say this PS won't keep you out of schools but it won't get you in either. It's very neutral.

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BruceBarr
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:26 pm

Re: The Final Product.

Postby BruceBarr » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:55 pm

Most importantly, stop talking about your literary prowess; no one cares. Great writers don't talk about being great writers


Ding ding ding.


Yea dude, all I got out of this is that you thought you were the shit at football, now you think you're the shit at writing, soon you want to be the shit as an attorney. If you want to study law, take it from a law student, you need to learn that everything you want to say can't actually be said: it has to be inferred. For instance...

My girlfriend is trying to go to grad school right now. She got a 630 on her GRE in the category she needed to do a 700ish. I told her that, instead of explaining that you're a less than exceptional test taker, talk about your anxiety (something she "suffers" from) and how you'e overcome it and such. Talk about how it was hard to do that through school, work, etc. Let the school connect the dots that you aren't the best test taker.

You, in essence, need to do the same thing. Don't tell them you are a good writer: Write better than you did and let them figure that out for themselves.

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StillHerexxx
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:58 pm

Re: The Final Product.

Postby StillHerexxx » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:21 pm

I am concerned now, because I wasn't trying to point out being an awesome writer. I was doing the hwole personal growth thing--from my realization of what I wanted to do, then back tracking to how I only cared about sports until it came down between paying for football or going to a better school, then the beginning of my academic growth (terrible writer at first, is this the paragraph that makes it sound like I am saying I am a great writer?), then a class that really pushed me towards my english aspirations but also opened my eyes to needing something real, not literary. Is that the basic outline one gets from it?

I forgot who asked, but in an earlier draft of the PS the intro was the conclusion, but I thought it would be more intersting and easier to read if I started with that and brought them right into it. Not effective?

quetzal_bird
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:45 am

Re: The Final Product.

Postby quetzal_bird » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:56 pm

I think there are things to work with here. I like the idea that you have used the lessons football has taught you, like discipline, to further your success as an English major. I think you could push the analogy further. Do you see being a lawyer related, in any way, to being a football player? I think the point of this paper is not one week spent with a lawyer, its about all the experiences before that that made it meaningful. So, I'd start chronological (football --> English --> law) I feel like it would be more powerful to say something like,

'I can remember practicing every day until I was sick, tired, and sore. I can remember needing to practice the same arm motions, the same drills, every single day for weeks until they were perfected. I was just a kid, but the lessons I have learned by playing football - discipline, patience, strength - made me a stronger person as I became a man. I moved on from football, found a new passion with its own set of challenged in college. My attempts to be a successful English major, also required practice...."

And then maybe tying in the lessons you have learned from football and your English major to the next stage of your life, law....

Also, I wouldn't mention that you switched from ideas about a PHD to a JD. Its not needed and might raise concerns for adcomms, I don't know.




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