JoeShmoe11 wrote:Hello all, I'd like you to rape, pillage, burn, maim, and violate my opening paragraph to help me in my pursuit of the perfect essay. Well not literally but as long as you have a constructive contribution I'm down with however you do so. It's been fudged a bit because I still haven't come to trust forums full of total strangers. Sorry, TLS! D:Laboring to pull myself away from the warmth of my cozy bed, I squinted at the iridescent light of my alarm clock: six-oh-two. The pitched shrills of a two-year old somehow penetrate the deepest recesses of the human mind; even the strongest cup of coffee pales in comparison. As her caretaker for the weekend I stumbled frantically to Sophia’s crib and cries were soon replaced by giggles; her toothy smile always lifted my spirits. Cradling her in my arms I made my way to the kitchen where the two of us momentarily enjoyed a quiet breakfast - toast and eggs for me and vomit-colored baby mush for Sophia. As we ate I felt the slightest tug and saw the sleepy blue eyes of my younger sister Giavonna looking up at me. Her small hand rubbed her face, “The babies are awake Michael.” To complete the cavalcade, the cries of Max and Sophia echoed through the empty house. I secretly wondered if my mother had only birthed me to have a built-in babysitters for her future children.
This is the most dramatic representation of a typical day I've read on TLS I think. Words and phrases you don't need: "iridescent", "Pitched shrills", "cavalcade"
"The pitched shrills of a two-year old somehow penetrate the deepest recesses of the human mind"<-This whole sentence is melodramatic. It's a crying toddler. Children cry; They don't penetrate your psyche.
You write well, but you need to resist the temptation to write in an overly flowery narrative voice. I figured this out after writing 3 or 4 drafts of my PS, but simpler language is better. Don't get bogged down in minutiae. What you and your niece had for breakfast is irrelevant to saying anything about you and is wasting precious space in the 2 pages you are limited to for most schools. I hate this phrase that is lobbed around on TLS, but you need to "show, not tell". You could reduce that whole paragraph you wrote to a couple sentences about how your parents have made you a caretaker for your siblings.
My advice: dial it back. Make it simpler. Let your numbers speak about your intellect, and your PS speak about who you are and what you're interested in.