Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
kcdc
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Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kcdc » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:12 pm

(remove)
Last edited by kcdc on Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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verklempt
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby verklempt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:28 pm

I am not sure why the story about your sister is included in the PS. It's not uninteresting, but in this version (I didn't read your previous draft) it's unconnected to you. You devote a lot of space to something that isn't that connected to the main part of the PS. In general, you should lead with your strengths.

The rest of the PS flows well and you make a good case for law school and a specific program. I did get caught on the sentence "However, at the risk of sounding trite, my experiences have left me with the strong desire to make the world a better place." No matter how you try to modify it, it is trite. I'm not sure you need most of that paragraph at all.

kcdc
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kcdc » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:55 pm

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Last edited by kcdc on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kcdc
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kcdc » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:42 pm

(removed)
Last edited by kcdc on Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:24 pm

At best, this is a very rough draft lacking in insight & likely to harm your chances of admission to highly selective law schools. When reading your essay, I envisioned two women with smoking cigarettes dangling from their lips while wearing curlers at the laundry folding clothes & talking mindlessly at the same time.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Flustercluck
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby Flustercluck » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:28 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:At best, this is a very rough draft lacking in insight & likely to harm your chances of admission to highly selective law schools. When reading your essay, I envisioned two women with smoking cigarettes dangling from their lips while wearing curlers at the laundry folding clothes & talking mindlessly at the same time.


con·struc·tive [ kən strúktiv ]

adjective

Definition:

1. useful: carefully considered and meant to be helpful

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_18615 ... ctive.html

CanadianWolf
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:30 pm

If you want constructive advice spelled out, then scrap this essay & try to share some insights that have affected your life. Reads as if you want to share every thought that has crossed your mind without any purpose. Your personal statement is too superficial & lacks substance. This is little more than backyard gossip, in my opinion.

P.S. Your first & last paragraphs are totally unrelated. This is a major weakness in your essay. Try to formulate an opening paragraph that leads into & supports the concluding paragraph. This, in turn, should help keep your middle paragraphs on a coherent course.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:47 pm

Another thought that may help you design a more effective personal statement: Try to think of a personal statement as an opportunity to let law schools know what type of person they will be admitting. As is, your writing portrays an individual with a very messed up personal history that wants to go to law school. Is that the impression that you were hoping to create ?

kcdc
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kcdc » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:52 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:At best, this is a very rough draft lacking in insight & likely to harm your chances of admission to highly selective law schools. When reading your essay, I envisioned two women with smoking cigarettes dangling from their lips while wearing curlers at the laundry folding clothes & talking mindlessly at the same time.



a. That wasn't me that wrote the definition for "constructive", but I appreciated the post.

b. This IS what has affected my life. A crazy, junkie, abusive sister, a philandering and absent father, and all the crap that goes along with it. I've shared this stuff with very few people (hence why I'm going on an anonymous website to have my PS reviewed), and to say the least they were surprised, given where I am now. I consider this an "overcoming adversity", I guess.

c. I can cut it down some to avoid painting pictures like the one you described, but the bottom line is that my sister is a tyrant who tries to destroy everyone around her. The reason I want to go to law school is to put people like her behind bars, or at least in psych wards.

I do appreciate the feedback, a lot. If people are reading this and just not commenting because they're getting impressions like CanadianWolf's... please let me know!

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Flustercluck
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby Flustercluck » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:59 pm

kcdc wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:At best, this is a very rough draft lacking in insight & likely to harm your chances of admission to highly selective law schools. When reading your essay, I envisioned two women with smoking cigarettes dangling from their lips while wearing curlers at the laundry folding clothes & talking mindlessly at the same time.



a. That wasn't me that wrote the definition for "constructive", but I appreciated the post.

b. This IS what has affected my life. A crazy, junkie, abusive sister, a philandering and absent father, and all the crap that goes along with it. I've shared this stuff with very few people (hence why I'm going on an anonymous website to have my PS reviewed), and to say the least they were surprised, given where I am now. I consider this an "overcoming adversity", I guess.

c. I can cut it down some to avoid painting pictures like the one you described, but the bottom line is that my sister is a tyrant who tries to destroy everyone around her. The reason I want to go to law school is to put people like her behind bars, or at least in psych wards.

I do appreciate the feedback, a lot. If people are reading this and just not commenting because they're getting impressions like CanadianWolf's... please let me know!


So, obviously I disagree with Canadian Wolf's approach, and I PMd you some edits/suggestions. Your discussion of your finding somethin you were passionate about is well laid out and progresses naturally, you DO make a good case for why you should be admitted and it ties through logically. Don't let those comments get under your skin.

I would say you do need a little more cohesion from your intro to your conclusion, but you can check the PM for those details

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3|ink
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby 3|ink » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:16 pm

Paragraph one
• I think the first paragraph is better off without your parents’ professions.
• I don’t immediately see how their separation is not surprising.

Paragraph two
• Get rid of this. Giving us a list of the shitty things your sister has done to you is a waste. You have a very limited space to express yourself in your statement.

Paragraph three
• Telling the reader a brief history of your childhood is something to avoid.

Paragraph four
• More history, but this time we learn about some of your strengths. This has to go.
• A resume is for selling yourself. A personal statement is for expressing yourself. Therefore, I recommend refraining from selling yourself in your resume. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t aim to write the best personal statement you can. It just means that you shouldn’t be so direct about it. Instead of writing statements like ‘I realized I was an effective communicator’ in your statement, you should demonstrate this in your statement.

Paragraph five
• More life history. It has to go.
• Take Obama’s name out of there. Stay out of politics.
• As with communication - Instead of directly telling us your strength is persuasion (easy), you should be demonstrating that (hard).

Paragraph six
• “my experiences have left me with the strong desire to make the world a better place” Take that out immediately. Believe me. (See Things you should almost never or never mention in your PS., vanwinkle’s post). viewtopic.php?f=18&t=138105
• You’re probably better off getting rid of this entire paragraph to be honest.

Paragraphs seven and eight
• This stuff should be on your résumé. No need to include it in your personal statement.

I’m going to have to concur with CanadianWolf. You are better off scrapping this and starting from scratch. Don’t let that bother you. I had to throw out three of my own drafts and I still don’t feel great about my final version. Don’t let the fear of starting from scratch keep you from throwing out a draft. This happens all of the time. You learned some valuable lessons from this draft. Now it is time to move on to the next one. With your next draft I recommend you focus your time on specific events that have shaped you. The personal statement samples thread is full of statements like this.

quetzal_bird
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby quetzal_bird » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:25 am

I would be careful in your treatment of your sister's mental illness. I read your first draft and this one, and I think that by introducing her as bipolar and then discussing her cruelty makes it seem that one flows from the other

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kitmitzi
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kitmitzi » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:53 am

I also realized I was smart—smart enough to declare Mechanical Engineering as my major.


This sounds kind of conceited. And you don't have to be smart to declare a major, you have to be smart to do well in a major. I would rephrase this sentence.

kcdc
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kcdc » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:10 am

kitmitzi wrote:
I also realized I was smart—smart enough to declare Mechanical Engineering as my major.


This sounds kind of conceited. And you don't have to be smart to declare a major, you have to be smart to do well in a major. I would rephrase this sentence.



Thanks. I have reworked that part. "Smart" was meant to describe the decision of picking Mechanical Engineering, not my actual level of intelligence. Though I did love my classes, it was mostly a strategic move.

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ach24
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby ach24 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:23 pm

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Last edited by ach24 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:38 pm

kcdc wrote:
b. This IS what has affected my life. A crazy, junkie, abusive sister, a philandering and absent father, and all the crap that goes along with it. I've shared this stuff with very few people (hence why I'm going on an anonymous website to have my PS reviewed), and to say the least they were surprised, given where I am now. I consider this an "overcoming adversity", I guess.


I didn't dislike the essay but saw a completely new side of you (passionate, strong, f*** off) with this response. CWs edits are always pointed but never frivolous. I think you can intro with those first two sentences of your retort and grab the AdComm by the balls as you discuss how you've overcome the cards that life dealt, therein becoming a person they want to know and want to admit.

dddhhh
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby dddhhh » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:56 pm

Just adding to what others have said...

Really back up what you're saying: when you say you are persuasive- share an experience perhaps from your campaign work that shows this quality.

I really think that your family history and experiences are important to share because it is who you are, that being said be very careful on how you share it. Some parts come off very angry and resentful, instead try to write it like you have dealt with it and are a stronger person because of it. Share more insight on how these experiences have shaped your worldview and clearly state how they have motivated your actions to fulfill needs that you witnessed growing up.

I think doing these things will give it a more polished feel.

Good luck :D

kcdc
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby kcdc » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:02 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I'm going to rework now. NonTradHealthLaw, I like your suggestion... definitely going to try that out.

Also, Quetzel_Bird, you made a great point. I wanted the "repeatedly refused treatment" to come across as the cause for her behavior, not the illness itself.

quetzal_bird
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Re: Draft 2, minus prayer quote + new conclusion...

Postby quetzal_bird » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:34 pm

OP, I figured that was why you included her refusal of treatment, just be careful with the way adcomms may read it. I don't know your situation, or why your sister refused treatment, but people with bipolar disorder often refuse treatment or fail to take their medications and sometimes that isn't their fault, its the fault of the disease. I just think that, to avoid any sense that your are criticizing her because of her illness, you should introduce it after you discuss her treatment of you as long you decide to keep this theme.

I've lived my whole life with my mother's mental illnesses and eating disorders, but I didn't include it in my personal statement. Obviously, it has affected my life, but it hasn't been MY life. It's her life and her disease. With my DS, I talked about how her absence in my life pushed me to feel close to her by connecting with my Mexican heritage. Just make sure you find a balance with your PS where the story you are telling is yours.




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