Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
FiveSermon
Posts: 1507
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:51 am

I would really be grateful if people could provide their opinions or let me know if they see any spelling/grammar errors!


I sat anxiously in the courtroom among the many others who were about to take the Oath of Allegiance. My journey to becoming a United States citizen had finally neared its end. As I waited for the judge to enter I couldn’t help but to notice an elderly man who reminded me of my father. Just like my father his hair was whiter than black and his face appeared to be fixed in a permanent frown. My father had the appearance of a sullen man but beneath the exterior he was perhaps the most caring person I have met and I knew he was the reason I could be there in the courtroom waiting to be sworn in as a United States citizen.
My family’s journey to the United States began when my father was transferred to a bank branch located in New York. Like many immigrants I found the transition to America initially daunting and it was with a resigned reluctance that I came here. Upon my arrival, what gave me the most difficulty adapting to America was not learning English but instead adapting to the social and cultural differences. Rules that prohibited teachers from hitting students were completely new to me because in Korea it was routine for teachers to hit their students as punishment. The cultures of South Korea and America were at total contrast which each other but instead of acting as polar opposites the interaction between the two transformed me.
I not only came to adjust to my new life but also to passionately endorse my identity as an Asian American. I still love my native country of South Korea but it was clear that the culture that I had come to endorse was neither purely Korean nor American - but Asian American. My life had changed not only by learning the culture of America but by living it. I was captivated by my life in America and citizenship had become a dream. When I came here it was with resigned reluctance but when my father was transferred back to South Korea I found myself desperate to stay. My parents also shared this desire as they recognized how happy I was in America and how much opportunities it afforded me.
After our family decided to pursue a United States citizenship we had to sacrifice much in the process. My mother and father abandoned their successful careers in Korea. They opened up a liquor store and worked seven days a week. I could see the toll it was taking on my parents as their previous jobs as teacher and bank manager had left them unsuited for the physical labor required in the business. Seeing one’s father get hit in the face by a shoplifter and having to call the police or waking up in the middle of the night because a burglar had set off an alarm in an attempt to rob the store sometimes made me question whether the decision to stay in America had been the right one.
Nevertheless, I do not regret my choice to stay in America. America received me with open arms and gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. I took my chance to participate in this country’s life and it has been worth the hardships. As an immigrant who is culturally engaged in both worlds I know the difficulties that face many future immigrants. The process is long and arduous and can take its toll on both an individual and a family. By pursuing law school I hope to utilize my experiences as an immigrant and as a naturalized citizen to help those who are also dreaming of living in America.

User avatar
DieAntwoord
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:17 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby DieAntwoord » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:05 am

FiveSermon wrote:I would really be grateful if people could provide their opinions or let me know if they see any spelling/grammar errors!


I sat anxiously in the courtroom among the many others who were about to take the Oath of Allegiance. My journey to becoming a United States citizen had finally neared its end. As I waited for the judge to enter I couldn’t help but to notice an elderly man who reminded me of my father. Just like my father his hair was whiter than black and his face appeared to be fixed in a permanent frown. My father had the appearance of a sullen man but beneath the exterior he was perhaps the most caring person I have met and I knew he was the reason I could be there in the courtroom waiting to be sworn in as a United States citizen.
My family’s journey to the United States began when my father was transferred to a bank branch located in New York. Like many immigrants I found the transition to America initially daunting and it was with a resigned reluctance that I came here. Upon my arrival, what gave me the most difficulty adapting to America was not learning English but instead adapting to the social and cultural differences. Rules that prohibited teachers from hitting students were completely new to me because in Korea it was routine for teachers to hit their students as punishment. The cultures of South Korea and America were at total contrast which each other but instead of acting as polar opposites the interaction between the two transformed me.
I not only came to adjust to my new life but also to passionately endorse my identity as an Asian American. I still love my native country of South Korea but it was clear that the culture that I had come to endorse was neither purely Korean nor American - but Asian American. My life had changed not only by learning the culture of America but by living it. I was captivated by my life in America and citizenship had become a dream. When I came here it was with resigned reluctance but when my father was transferred back to South Korea I found myself desperate to stay. My parents also shared this desire as they recognized how happy I was in America and how much opportunities it afforded me.
After our family decided to pursue a United States citizenship we had to sacrifice much in the process. My mother and father abandoned their successful careers in Korea. They opened up a liquor store and worked seven days a week. I could see the toll it was taking on my parents as their previous jobs as teacher and bank manager had left them unsuited for the physical labor required in the business. Seeing one’s father get hit in the face by a shoplifter and having to call the police or waking up in the middle of the night because a burglar had set off an alarm in an attempt to rob the store sometimes made me question whether the decision to stay in America had been the right one.
Nevertheless, I do not regret my choice to stay in America. America received me with open arms and gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. I took my chance to participate in this country’s life and it has been worth the hardships. As an immigrant who is culturally engaged in both worlds I know the difficulties that face many future immigrants. The process is long and arduous and can take its toll on both an individual and a family. By pursuing law school I hope to utilize my experiences as an immigrant and as a naturalized citizen to help those who are also dreaming of living in America.

I like it. Perhaps it is a little tautological and tell instead of show. It seems like you have some interesting areas you can elaberate on, like the liquor store stuff. I would try to end a little more powerfully; I could guess what the next sentence was going to say for the whole last paragraph.

User avatar
DieAntwoord
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:17 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby DieAntwoord » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:09 am

Personally I would start with a short tale about your father getting punched in the face. Then go into the background and your passion. And then talk about how you want to help and maybe even specifically how you would have helped your family if you had a legal education.

FiveSermon
Posts: 1507
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:23 am

DieAntwoord wrote:
FiveSermon wrote:I would really be grateful if people could provide their opinions or let me know if they see any spelling/grammar errors!


I sat anxiously in the courtroom among the many others who were about to take the Oath of Allegiance. My journey to becoming a United States citizen had finally neared its end. As I waited for the judge to enter I couldn’t help but to notice an elderly man who reminded me of my father. Just like my father his hair was whiter than black and his face appeared to be fixed in a permanent frown. My father had the appearance of a sullen man but beneath the exterior he was perhaps the most caring person I have met and I knew he was the reason I could be there in the courtroom waiting to be sworn in as a United States citizen.
My family’s journey to the United States began when my father was transferred to a bank branch located in New York. Like many immigrants I found the transition to America initially daunting and it was with a resigned reluctance that I came here. Upon my arrival, what gave me the most difficulty adapting to America was not learning English but instead adapting to the social and cultural differences. Rules that prohibited teachers from hitting students were completely new to me because in Korea it was routine for teachers to hit their students as punishment. The cultures of South Korea and America were at total contrast which each other but instead of acting as polar opposites the interaction between the two transformed me.
I not only came to adjust to my new life but also to passionately endorse my identity as an Asian American. I still love my native country of South Korea but it was clear that the culture that I had come to endorse was neither purely Korean nor American - but Asian American. My life had changed not only by learning the culture of America but by living it. I was captivated by my life in America and citizenship had become a dream. When I came here it was with resigned reluctance but when my father was transferred back to South Korea I found myself desperate to stay. My parents also shared this desire as they recognized how happy I was in America and how much opportunities it afforded me.
After our family decided to pursue a United States citizenship we had to sacrifice much in the process. My mother and father abandoned their successful careers in Korea. They opened up a liquor store and worked seven days a week. I could see the toll it was taking on my parents as their previous jobs as teacher and bank manager had left them unsuited for the physical labor required in the business. Seeing one’s father get hit in the face by a shoplifter and having to call the police or waking up in the middle of the night because a burglar had set off an alarm in an attempt to rob the store sometimes made me question whether the decision to stay in America had been the right one.
Nevertheless, I do not regret my choice to stay in America. America received me with open arms and gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. I took my chance to participate in this country’s life and it has been worth the hardships. As an immigrant who is culturally engaged in both worlds I know the difficulties that face many future immigrants. The process is long and arduous and can take its toll on both an individual and a family. By pursuing law school I hope to utilize my experiences as an immigrant and as a naturalized citizen to help those who are also dreaming of living in America.

I like it. Perhaps it is a little tautological and tell instead of show. It seems like you have some interesting areas you can elaberate on, like the liquor store stuff. I would try to end a little more powerfully; I could guess what the next sentence was going to say for the whole last paragraph.


Thanks! I agree...creative writing isn't my strong suite at all. I'm more of a formal cut and dry type of writer. I've really tried to seem more personal and invoke my own emotions but when I attempted that it seemed insincere and unlike what I would usually write.

Do you think the rigid structure and the "tell instead of show" is too much? I'll try to work on it but I really want to get this app out before this week! :)

User avatar
DieAntwoord
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:17 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby DieAntwoord » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:34 am

I thought it was good. It was just that it seemed like you were saying the same thing a couple times, when your story seems like it could be really interesting. You give a broad overview of some ideas, enmshed cultures ..etc.. but I would like to hear at least one detailed experince not just an abstract description, if that makes sense.

As far as emotions go you dont have to pull tears or anything. It doesnt even have to be emotional at all, dry is ok. But dont catorgarize yourself as part of a group. But instead make yourself an individual in the context of the group. You want the admins to form a relationship with your personality by bringing them your unique experiences. The broader you make the experiences the less personal they are.

User avatar
DieAntwoord
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:17 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby DieAntwoord » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:41 am

:mrgreen: paragraph one: describe the time your father was punched in the face. how you felt. the fear. blah blah blah. Then talk about all of the sacrifices your parents made to be in that position, just to have the chance in america. (that would give it an ironic twist)

paragraph two: Then you could talk about immigrants in general blah blah and about specific things that you carry with you being Korean and American (I would leave out the teacher thing it is not relevant to who you are)

In conclusion: talk about what you would do to mitigate some of the issues. And conclude.

Just MHO

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:26 pm

This is not a good personal statement for law school since it reveals little about you & offers no real insight into your mental framework. The tone of your essay is somewhat negative. Consider deleting all references to hitting. Overall my impression is that you did not enjoy writing this piece & that you were unsure of a compelling theme for this essay.

FiveSermon
Posts: 1507
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:20 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This is not a good personal statement for law school since it reveals little about you & offers no real insight into your mental framework. The tone of your essay is somewhat negative. Consider deleting all references to hitting. Overall my impression is that you did not enjoy writing this piece & that you were unsure of a compelling theme for this essay.


Thanks! I'll take out the references to violence. I totally get what you are saying by a "negative tone", maybe I'll try to end on a somewhat more positive note...

Do you think it's at least around a mediocre personal statement? Or that it's so bad that it would hurt me? It's getting so late that I'm just thinking of throwing in apps anyways!

User avatar
3|ink
Posts: 7331
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Late Apps! Critique Final Draft Please!

Postby 3|ink » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:56 pm

My thoughts on your personal statement are below:

Paragraph one:
• I don’t think that the old man resembling your father makes for a good transition here. The reader expects you to go into detail about the old man, but instead you only describe two physical features he shared with your dad. You need to think of another way to move the focus from the present moment (courtroom) to the past (your father’s background in paragraph 2).

Paragraph two:
• If I had to name the message of this paragraph, it’d be “America and S. Korea are different and I had a hard time coping.” However, it takes a long time for you to get to that. Honestly, I think this material belongs in a diversity statement. Is this a PS or a DS?

Paragraph three:
• More redundancy. Are you aware that the first two sentences of this paragraph say the exact same thing in different terms? Hemmingway once said ‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’
• This paragraph makes it clear to me that you are attempting to tell a very brief version of your life’s story up to this day. I think you should focus your personal statement a story that focuses on a fragment of your life – particularly the fragment of your life that made you want to become a lawyer.

Paragraph four:
• For starters, that last sentence is way too long. It has to go.
• Whether or not you intended it, this comes off as a ‘I had a hard life up until now so if you don’t accept me it will be on your conscience’ statement. Giving these people a list of the tragic events of your life is not going to convince them to accept you.

Paragraph five:
• Redundancy. Your second and third paragraphs say the same thing in different words.
• The old ‘US immigration is a pain in the butt and I want to help others who choose my path’ technique is overplayed IMO. Your statement will not stand out from the rest if you choose this route.

Summary: Go back to the drawling board. You need to be more concise with your writing. Grammar is an issue, but that problem pales in comparison to your redundant (repetitive) writing. Reconsider your main theme. Immigration is overused.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.