Seeking opinions on second draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
zahunter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Seeking opinions on second draft

Postby zahunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:30 pm

:shock:
Last edited by zahunter on Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zahunter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Seeking opinions on second draft

Postby zahunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:44 pm

Nothing huh? I know the last paragraph needs editing at least...

zahunter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Seeking opinions on second draft

Postby zahunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:12 pm

It's that bad?

lemony
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:56 pm

Re: Seeking opinions on second draft

Postby lemony » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:31 pm

Hi zahunter,

Your personal statement definitely has an interesting topic, but it isn't as fully developed as it could be. Here are a few things that can be improved on:

1) Grammar/syntax: Some of your sentences are too long (pretty much run-on sentences). Make sure you add commas, semicolons, and appropriate punctuation in the right places because long sentences are tedious to read (and don't reflect well on you). Don't be afraid to split long sentences into shorter ones. You'll still be able to convey the same thought, just with more grammatical elegance.

2) Main point: I don't really understand it. You set up imagery very well, but I feel like I get lost in several of these details and I miss the main point of your Naval experience. Also, you reference your 'unconstructive and disorderly' home, but you don't really mention it after that. If you plan to include this in your PS, you should elaborate a little more on how this impacted your decision to join the Navy and/or apply to law school.

3) "Why law school?": Your last paragraph is what I think you need to expand and sharpen. What do you mean 'the health of society' in the United States? You mention two reasons for wanting to study law. If you're having issues with the word count, you should focus on one reason instead of briefly mentioning two; it will help your PS end on a more thorough note.


So basically in a nutshell, I think that you could trim down the anecdotal imagery and ornamental adjective-filled prose and elaborate more on how your experience in the Navy has impacted your decision to apply to law school. That said, I do think that your experience in the navy is a solid PS topic. I hope my commentary was helpful. Good luck!

smscat
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: Seeking opinions on second draft

Postby smscat » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:49 am

The view from the flight deck of the USS John F. Kennedy in the Indian Ocean contrasted hard steel with soft unending ocean and sky. This sentence is awkward...the view contrasted is a weird way of putting things...Maybe "what I saw was a contrast of hard steel against soft (also a weird word) unending ocean"The ship was a little city in a big sea and the unobstructed horizon was admirable but it often caused my mind to wander when it was unsafe to do so. “Keep your head on a swivel” was the going catch phrase which referenced the need to constantly avoid things like screaming engines, live explosives, and moving aircraft, semicolon always before howeverhowever comma after however it might have been better to say, “Have eyes on all four sides and have night vision also.” The flight deck was a fraction of the size of a major airport comma before yetyet it supported a similar flight schedule comma again so oneone sounds impersonal - I/we/fellow whoever proceeded with caution. There were good and exceptional days and there was no place on the ship I would have rather been than on the flight deck troubleshooting, fixing, and launching F/A-18 Hornets. This last sentence is awkward...There was no place I'd rather be than the flight deck, where I fixed etc....or something...flight deck troubleshooting all looks like one word. Also, this paragraph had nice description but I felt like I was reading the intro to a novel - who are you? What is your point ? What's going on?

My first term in the navy as a Hornet technician was a transformational period when I traveled domestically and internationally, experienced different cultural backgrounds, and worked in an environment that was highly-structured, gravitational, and camaraderie-centric. Okay so now I know what's going on... I think you should make this clear earlier, and make your opening pack more of a punch and make it more personalDuring this period, I developed into an eager, confident, and focused individual concerned with accomplishing my goals so when my obligation ended I separated to pursue other endeavors. This sounds run on....I became a confident, focused individual (kind of an overused word - maybe person). My goals/purpose in life finally became clear, so when my obligation ended, I separated to pursue them... My top priority was finishing my bachelor degree that I had started after I joined but very important were family values and the desire to have one. Very awkward sentence...My top priority was earning the Bachelor's Degree that I had put on hold when I joined the navy, but I also wanted to start a family. Ultimately, I wanted to provide not just for myself but also for my future wife and childrenand to make a home quite different from the unconstructive not a word...maybe say dysfunctional or unproductive and disorderly one I grew up in.

I joined the Naval Reserves and got to work finishing the second half of my bachelor degreeBachelor's Degree....I was then selected... then was selected to attend Officer Candidate Schoolcomma not as a pilot like I wanted on account of bad eyesight (shorter)because my eyesight was less than perfect, but as an Aerospace Maintenance Officer. StillStill what? What is that in reponse to? I'm guessing that you mean even though you didn't get your dream position, you still decided to join, but the way you phrased it is not grammatically correct. Put a positive spin on it and you won't have to worry about the grammatical stuff. Say, Despite my inability to serve as a pilot, I was thrilled to serve..., I would never have passed up the opportunity to serve as a Naval Officer for at least one term since it was a dream of mine that developed while the dream wasn't in the enlisted ranks...you were! Say when I wasin the Enlisted ranks. It was a resume builder sounds a little unprofessional....say it was good experience that I thought would help me develop as a person and gain skills that could help me in the future with my law school ambitions. Also, you haven't yet mentioned why you want to go to law school or even that you want to, so it seems random. Give context.also and I thought the added work experience would help me prepare for future challenges like law school.

At OCS, drill instructors with smoky bears, digital fatigues and robot dashlike speech immediately made it clear who was in charge for the next 13 weeks. Our first hour long meeting in the open bay berthing we lived in for a week consisted of performing a variety of calisthenics targeted at our breaking point while they tried to see how loud they could make us yell. What are very odd traditions are normalthat doesn't make sense - maybe it was routine to do seemingly crazy exercises and a typical day was filled with screaming, rigorous exercise, personal inspections, rifle drill, and highly procedural chow hall visits. As a class, we stuck together and developed a team orientation that helped many candidates get through it. Upon completion we went into the fleet as highly motivated Ensigns ready for tasking.

The responsibilities and experiences I had as an Ensign and Lieutenant enlightened me. In a competitive and bureaucratic agency commawords, persuasion, and reputation can shape people’s ideas, opinions, and decisions whereinstead of where, maybe say in situations in which some policies and directives are subject to interpretation. My interests expanded and I became more passionate about our national security, environment, and the health of society in the United States. Awkward sentence...I became more passionate about the national security, environmental health, and overall condition of the US One reason I want to study law is because I want to know more about the governing body that determines the way we live. Another is that a legal education will give me the ability to read, write and interpret law while securing a foundation from which to build a future career in law.
[/quote]You need more of a closing, and more of a point Instead of just using good imagery about your experiences in a memoir-like way, you have to make the most of your very limited space to talk about YOU. A lot of people don't understand the difference between talking and themselves and talking about their experiences. Obviously, you should discuss your experiences, but you need to talk more about YOURSELF in the context of them. Give a specific example of a task/challenge you faced and you how handled it, and why you have considered a career change. Do you want to go back into the navy world and practice law/admin there? You need to make things more clear.

Hope that helped -sorry for being harsh. PM me with any questions.

zahunter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Seeking opinions on second draft

Postby zahunter » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:16 pm

Lemony/SMSCat,

Thank you very much. I am revising now.




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