A different approach?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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A different approach?

Postby jdhopeful14 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:59 am

From what I've read over the web, the vast majority of personal statements revolve around a personal story/experience of some sort. This seems to be the "standard". What are the pro's and con's of such an approach, and has anyone used a different approach?

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Re: A different approach?

Postby kitmitzi » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:41 am

So I fall into the majority category and unfortunately cannot speak to having an alternative topic, but I guess the most obvious pro is that it's more unusual so probably more a "breath of fresh air" for the adcomm.

IMO, the pro's and con's of having a personal experience PS (at least for my own PS):

Pro's: it allows you to explain a part of your life you want the adcomm to know but don't want as an addendum, it's easier to make it sound somewhat interesting, can be easier to write since you already have an experience to base your PS off of.

Con's: Your experience can make you seem like a weaker candidate, people sometimes get carried away with the flowery language, your topic might be boring/overused, etc.

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Re: A different approach?

Postby SLIME SLIME SLIME » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:44 am

Wondering the same thing, to be candid, SLIME uncomfortably writhes in his own goop when he reads the recommended personal statements articulated around the concepts of “overcoming adversity,” “why they are the person they are today,” and other undergraduate-application-esque fuzzywuzzydom in the TLS PS section—even in those commended by forum posters as “wonderful” and what have you. No offense; perhaps SLIME is too vicious (or viscous). Is it somehow unadvisable for SLIME to drip his intellectual interests and ambitions re: law, particularly in areas he has conducted extensive independent research on (often as informed by the syllabi of the institutions to which he is applying), with some fuzzywuzzy sprinkles of motivating experience along the way? Suppose, firstly, that he knows the area he’s talking about and, secondly, that he can remain humble but ambitious while articulating his goals. Why hasn’t he seen examples to this effect? Also, with the previous suppositions in mind, is it somehow unadvisable that he does not include his research as a writing sample or extra application material, in order to demonstrate skills to supplement a slightly-less-than-desirable ( < 3.8 ) GPA?


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Re: A different approach?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:58 am

A picture is worth a thousand words.

(Which makes for a messy Yale 250.)

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