New (and hopefully last) Essay - Please Critique

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dzollman
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:46 am

New (and hopefully last) Essay - Please Critique

Postby dzollman » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:15 am

This is my third and hopefully last try. I think that the last paragraph is definitely weak. I kind of ran out of room and had to end it quickly. This is exactly 700/700 words. Please ignore minor grammar errors for now- help with major concerns is welcome! Please take this apart and offer any suggestions. Thanks!

At fifty-below zero everything seems to change. In Delta Junction, Alaska, my home town, school is cancelled at fifty-below. Businesses remain open, but few people venture out unless it is absolutely necessary. A thick layer of ice fog always accompanies the low temperatures, giving the street lights and business signs an eerie glow. The landscape looks still and cold as if mother nature is huddled up tight, trying to keep the heat in to herself. Any bare skin quickly begins to burn and it feels difficult to breathe. All surfaces seem to bite the bare hand, and the eyes water and sting. Everyone and everything tends to move slower and more reluctantly at this temperature. Everyone that is, except for my father.

My father, [name], is a truck driver who hauls fuel tankers to gas stations and fuel plants over a 300 mile radius. When the temperature drops to fifty below people let their vehicles run longer and turn up the heat in their buildings. Fuel is consumed faster and, in turn, my father must work longer and harder. The semi-truck is not turned off until the end of the day when it is this cold out. Rubber hoses that must be connected to fittings are now inflexible and difficult to work with. Even the fuel seems reluctant to move as it seems to pump slower at fifty-below. Everything about my father’s job becomes difficult and unpleasant in the cold. He has worked for his current company for the past thirteen years, and he has been driving semi-truck ever since I was born. In all of those years, not once has he ever stayed home from work.

I have always been amazed by my father’s work ethic. He always goes to work and, no matter what the circumstance, manages to produce work that he can be proud of. Few men have as much patience, diligence, and dedication as my father does. He completely owns his job, and although a truck driver is not considered to be a prestigious position, I can only hope that I will be as successful as he is.

Ever since I was a child I have tried to live up to my own image of my father. I remember sweeping the garage floor when I was ten. It took me half an hour before I felt that I had done a good enough job for my dad. When I had finished, I realized that the work I had done was not just for him. It made me feel good to look at my finished product and know that I had done the best work possible. I began seeking after this feeling of accomplishment in other aspects of my life. My room was soon kept immaculate, my grades went up, and I know that no one has ever mowed a better looking lawn at that house since. As I got older the “give everything your best” mentality that I had developed became the major building block of my personality.

I attribute all of my successes to the work ethic that I have inherited from my father. Every employer that I have ever had has been reluctant to let me go. They did not want me to leave the gas station because the bathroom had never been cleaner and the rest of the store had never been more organized. When I worked as a Wildland Fire and Resource Technician II for the State of Alaska, my supervisors attempted to talk me out of college because they wanted me to eventually become our station foreman. In college I was really able to work at my full potential. I managed to maintain a near perfect GPA, while continually producing papers and other work that impressed both myself and my professors. Some people think that I have been lucky. They believe that I fell into my jobs and that I somehow always had the easiest professors. I know that I have worked hard for everything that I have done. I now hope to attend law school at [LAW SCHOOL] and to succeed in passing the bar and making my life as successful and fulfilling as possible.

mikstew
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: New (and hopefully last) Essay - Please Critique

Postby mikstew » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:50 am

I like it for two reasons:

Your appreciation for your father does a good job at building ethos? pathos?.. latin for respect.

If you are anything like your father, it sounds like you have top notch qualities however this brings me to what you could improve: I would like to see more of how he influenced you. I believe word for word you spent more time talking about him than yourself. Don't be afraid that you'll come off as self-obsessed; this is called the personal statement for a reason. Had you used more than 700 words , you probably would have done this differently.

Also, I might refrain from doing the [insert name here]. For some schools that's an instant turn off because its easy to tell in this PS that this was a clear case of [insert school name here].

Missing a few commas but hey thats just grammar :)

cheers

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: New (and hopefully last) Essay - Please Critique

Postby LSATclincher » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:30 pm

Para 1 is a waste of space. You purpose is to prove Alaska is REALLY cold, but it takes you a whole para to do so. I like the story of your father, and the PS works as you compare yourself to him. If you eliminate para 1, that will free up more space to talk about you. I was interested in your position as a Wildland Fire and Resource Technician II for the State of Alaska. But you didn't talk too much about this. Are you an older applicant? It appears you worked this job before college? Eliminate the school stuff in the final para. Adcomms can view your GPA on your report. From our transcripts, adcomms can infer we are all good students. Also avoid discussing the school in a single para at the end of the PS. It comes across as forced.

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dzollman
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:46 am

Re: New (and hopefully last) Essay - Please Critique

Postby dzollman » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:57 am

Thank you for the suggestions. This was what I came up with..

At fifty-below zero bare skin quickly begins to burn and the air feels difficult to breathe. All surfaces seem to bite the bare hand and the eyes water and sting. Everyone and everything tends to move slower and more reluctantly at this temperature. Everyone that is, except for my dad. My father is a truck driver who hauls fuel tankers to gas stations and fuel plants over a 300 mile radius in central Alaska. When the temperature drops to fifty below, people tend to turn up their thermostats and let their vehicles run longer. This means that more fuel is consumed and, in turn, my father must work longer and harder. The semi-truck is not turned off until the end of the day when it is this cold out. Rubber hoses that must be connected to fittings are now inflexible and difficult to work with. Even the fuel seems reluctant to move as it seems to pump slower at fifty-below. Everything about my father’s job becomes difficult and unpleasant in the cold. He has worked for his current company for the past thirteen years, and he has been driving semi-truck ever since I was born. In all of those years, not once has he ever stayed home from work for any reason other than illness.

I have always been amazed by my father’s work ethic. He always goes to work and, no matter what the circumstance, manages to produce work that he can be proud of. Few men have as much patience, diligence, and dedication as my father does. He completely owns his job, and although a truck driver is not considered to be a prestigious position, I can only hope that I will be as successful as he is.

Ever since I was a child I have tried to live up to my own image of my father. I remember sweeping the garage floor when I was ten. It took me half an hour before I felt that I had done a good enough job for my dad. When I had finished, I realized that the work I had done was not just for him. It made me feel good to look at my finished product and know that I had done the best work possible. I began seeking after this feeling of accomplishment in other aspects of my life. As I got older the “give everything your best” mentality that I had developed became the major building block of my personality.

I attribute all of my successes to the work ethic that I have inherited from my father. I can admit that I was not made captain of any of my high school sports teams because of any superior athletic ability. My coaches and teammates looked on me as a role model because I tried my hardest to know every play, finish every sprint, and to give my best in every practice and game. Any employer that I have ever had has been reluctant to let me go. Even our local gas station did not want me to quit because the entire store had never been cleaner or more organized before I had worked there. While working as a Wildland Fire and Resource Technician II for the State of Alaska I was able to see how far my attitude could really take me. It was here I began to really develop my leadership abilities. I discovered that managing people and inspiring through my own efforts, attitude, and encouragement would give me a great sense of accomplishment. I made sure that my engine, helicopter, and hand-tool crews were always highly motivated and trained above normal expectations. My supervisors and employers were always disappointed when they could not persuade me to give up on college and my dream of attending law school.

I believe that staying with forestry or even becoming a truck driver would have allowed me to lead a successful and fulfilling life. When I look at my father, I see a man that I would like to become. To me this means that I must be completely satisfied in knowing that I have given my best effort in everything, including law school.

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JoeShmoe11
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:16 pm

Re: New (and hopefully last) Essay - Please Critique

Postby JoeShmoe11 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:04 am

Like your new first paragraph MUCH better!




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