Personal statement. Please critque.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:36 pm

As I lay on the sand just waking from consciousness, the possibility of what might have just happened finally set in: I could be paralyzed. A beautiful day at the beach along the Jersey Shore turned out to be one of the most defining moments of my life. The events of that day and the experiences I gained as a result of that have forever shaped me into a different person.
The ocean was very rough that particular day; June 1st 2006 was the date. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, I had developed a very strong swimming ability. The fact that the waves were extremely big did not even make me think twice about entering. I had swum in the ocean many times before and I did not see this day to be any different. I couldn’t have been more wrong. While body surfing on a wave, I had been tossed the wrong way, sending me head first into the shallow sand below. I smashed the top of my head with such force that I was completely knocked out. I awoke to my mother, who was nearby when this happened, and paramedics loading me on to a stretcher to be taken to the hospital.
The pain that I felt in my neck and back at that moment was unbearable. After taking an x-ray and MRI, the results were conclusive: I had broken six vertebrae in my thoracic spine. My mind was in a whirlwind at this point. This injury made me question if I would ever be able to do the physical things in life I truly enjoyed such as exercising, playing football, hanging out with my friends, and swimming. The subsequent days after this injury, as I lay in my bed waiting to hear from my doctor what my next move should be, I wondered how drastically my life would be altered as a result of this. At that very moment I decided that if I wanted to get over this and move on with my life I needed to be mentally and physically strong, have hope, and demonstrate large amounts of courage.
After fully committing myself to my rehabilitation, I made great strides in a very short amount of time. I was doing everything I possibly could to get myself better. Everything I did from there on out was geared towards making a full recovery. I had rigorous physical therapy sessions, read volumes upon volumes of literature related to spinal injuries, researched the latest breakthroughs in spinal injury rehabilitation, and ate a meticulous diet to ensure that my muscular and skeletal systems were being adequately nourished. I became obsessed with improving. Eventually, it paid off. I was able to do everything I wanted again. I even became an all-state football player my senior year. The adversity that I overcame garnered statewide media attention. My dedication and hard work was chronicled throughout many different news outlets around New Jersey.
My injury taught me to not take anything for granted, give 100% in everything you do, and never ever quit. Throughout my college experience, I have used these morals to develop and polish my academic abilities. The motivation that I learned over five years ago I have now funneled into my intellectual development. I don’t want to simply be a good student; I want to be the best student. My passion to gain acceptance into law school is the next goal that I have set forth. I believe that my full recovery from a broken neck is a testament to my strong work ethic and drive to succeed. These characteristics that I posses will make me a positive asset to _____ law school.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby sparty99 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:46 pm

You have a number of awkward sentences. In addition, you ramble. The essay is okay, but it's not something I would write as my main statement (unless you really clean it up). I would, however, include this as a diversity statement.

You focus on a single incident and I think you can do a better job talking about your rehab and how you overcame.

"read volumes upon volumes of literature related to spinal injuries" - poor sentence

"and ate a meticulous diet to ensure that my muscular and skeletal systems were being adequately nourished" - so? I eat steak and eggs so I can get a six pack and be healthy.

"The motivation that I learned over five years ago I have now funneled into my intellectual development" - poor sentence

ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:20 pm

First off, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to look over and critique my essay. My purpose for writing those sentences that you deemed awkward were to give the reader an idea of my attention to fine detail and motivation to achieve an extremely difficult task. The point I am trying to make is that if I could succeed in a near impossible rehabilitation of a broken neck than I can succeed in law school. Although the two are not correlated, I am attempting to draw a connection between the two by demonstrating my supreme desire and ability to succeed.

cubswin
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby cubswin » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:39 pm

ErikC25 wrote:As I lay on the sand just waking from consciousness [how does one wake from consciousness?, the possibility of what might have just happened finally set in: I could be paralyzed [AH You said the same thing three different ways! Maddening.. A beautiful day at the beach along the Jersey Shore turned out to be one of the most defining moments of my life. The events singular or plural? it was a single moment in the last sentence of that day and the experiences I gained One does not "gain experiences" in the sense you are employing. One can gain experience at, say, Tennis, but that's a different sense of "experience." as a result of that have forever shaped me into a different person.
The ocean was very rough that particular [Puff word!] day; June 1st 2006 was the date. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, I had developed a very strong swimming ability. The fact that the waves were extremely big did not even make me think twice about entering. I had swum in the ocean many times before COMMA and I did not see this day to be any different. I couldn’t have been more wrong AHHH. While body surfing on a wave, I had been tossed the wrong way, sending me head first into the shallow sand below. I smashed the top of my head with such force that I was completely knocked out. I awoke to my mother, who was nearby when this happened, and paramedics loading me on to a stretcher to be taken to the hospital.
The pain that I felt in my neck and back at that moment was unbearable. After taking an x-ray and MRI, the results were conclusive: I had broken six vertebrae in my thoracic spine. My mind was in a whirlwind at this point. This injury made me question if I would ever be able to do the physical things in life I truly enjoyed such as exercising, playing football, hanging out with my friends, and swimming. The subsequent days after this injury, as I lay in my bed waiting to hear from my doctor what my next move (pun intended?) should be, I wondered how drastically my life would be altered as a result of this. At that very moment I decided that if I wanted to get over this and move on with my life I needed to be mentally and physically strong, have hope, and demonstrate large amounts of courage.
After fully committing myself to my rehabilitation, I made great strides in a very short amount of time. I was doing everything I possibly could to get myself better. Everything I did from there on out was geared towards making a full recovery. I had rigorous physical therapy sessions, read volumes upon volumes of literature related to spinal injuries, researched the latest breakthroughs in spinal injury rehabilitation, and ate a meticulous diet (this sounds awkward to me, possibly because of your verb choice.) to ensure that my muscular and skeletal systems were being adequately nourished. I became obsessed with improving. Eventually, it paid off. I was able to do everything I wanted again. I even became an all-state football player my senior year. The adversity that I overcame garnered statewide media attention. My dedication and hard work was chronicled throughout many different news outlets around New Jersey.
My injury taught me to not take anything for granted, give 100% in everything you do, and never ever quit. Throughout my college experience, I have used these morals to develop and polish my academic abilities. The motivation that I learned over five years ago I have now funneled into my intellectual development. I don’t want to simply be a good student; I want to be the best student. My passion to gain acceptance into law school is the next goal that I have set forth. I believe that my full recovery from a broken neck is a testament to my strong work ethic and drive to succeed. These characteristics that I posses will make me a positive asset to _____ law school.


I don't have the time to make all the corrections that need to be made here, and I think it would be a waste of my time anyway. You have a really compelling story to tell, and I feel like you squandered its potential with this essay. These lines say it all for me:

"I became obsessed with improving. Eventually, it paid off."

Sorry for my bluntness, but I figured you'd prefer it from some anonymous person on the internet rather than an ad-comm. Best of luck.

ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:38 pm

No need to apologize. Although I may not necessarily agree with everything you said, it is appreciated. Any other feedback from anyone is greatly appreciated!!

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

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:46 pm

Poorly written.

P.S. I had a very minor version of your experience.

User avatar
Leira7905
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby Leira7905 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:51 pm

I'd have to say I agree with cubswin's critique and edits. The story itself is good, but your sentence structure and use of language needs major work.

My advice: Put it down for a week. Don't even look at it. Then read it again with fresh eyes, and you may see what the rest of us are seeing. Either way, you should re-write it, and next time try just keeping it simple. Sometimes less is more.

ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:53 pm

Do you guys believe that I at least have a good topic? The draft I posted on here was very very rough and I didn't even check for grammatical errors. I simply wanted a basis for which to gauge my essay. I thank everyone for their feedback and more is certainly welcomed. Should I make it longer? Shorter? Should I further explain a particular idea? Thanks again.

User avatar
Leira7905
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby Leira7905 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:11 pm

The length isn't the issue... you have to abide by your page limits anyway. The story itself is excellent PS material, but the writing isn't so great. It really seems like you're trying too hard.

You need to cut out some of the flowery language and rethink sentences like, "The motivation that I learned over five years ago I have now funneled into my intellectual development." I get what you're trying to say, but there are better ways to say it.

Also, sentences like this are just wrong: "My passion to gain acceptance into law school is the next goal that I have set forth."
"Passion" is not a "goal." "Acceptance into law school" is the goal. In other words, you need to rephrase the thought. Further, "I have set forth?" Do you really talk like that? Probably not.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby sparty99 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm

Leira7905 wrote:The length isn't the issue... you have to abide by your page limits anyway. The story itself is excellent PS material, but the writing isn't so great. It really seems like you're trying too hard.

You need to cut out some of the flowery language and rethink sentences like, "The motivation that I learned over five years ago I have now funneled into my intellectual development." I get what you're trying to say, but there are better ways to say it.

Also, sentences like this are just wrong: "My passion to gain acceptance into law school is the next goal that I have set forth."
"Passion" is not a "goal." "Acceptance into law school" is the goal. In other words, you need to rephrase the thought. Further, "I have set forth?" Do you really talk like that? Probably not.


+ 1 Like I said earlier, awkward sentences.....

ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:43 pm

Lol obviously I don't talk like that. I am attempting to demonstrate some decent writing ability to admissions. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that someone should write on their personal statement like the way they talk. These awkward sentences that you all speak of.. What can I do to improve them? Should I further emphasize a particular point?

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby sparty99 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:57 pm

No. That's your problem, you are too wordy and add unecessary words.

"After fully committing myself to my rehabilitation" needs to read "After COMMITTING MYSELF TO MY REHABILITATION"

I mean I can go on and on, but I don't want to waste my time. I suggest you contact that person who does those FULL LINE edits. Pay them $20.00. They seem to know what they are talking about. Or go to your college's writing center.

Your story is fine. However, your writing is clumsy and I'm amazed that you are a college student. This is a professional program that puts a premium on solid writing skills. You need to focus on this skill-set. Perhaps take a writing course before you go to law school.

User avatar
Leira7905
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby Leira7905 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:00 pm

You're missing the point. Those sentences don't demonstrate decent writing ability. They do the opposite of that. No, you're not going to write your PS exactly the way you speak. You'll want to use an educated vocabulary, but you're overdoing it. Additionally, the vocabulary (and the story itself) will be completely overshadowed by the poor sentence structure and the overly ornate language.

What you're trying to do is evident, but you're not succeeding.

ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:12 pm

I agree that it is overly wordy. Like I said, it's a rough draft and I am a long way from submitting this to any law school. As for sparty, I am a math major with a 3.62 gpa and 171 lsat. I think that might qualify me as a college student. Maybe. I appreciate the feedback but your condescending and pompus attitude is not needed.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:47 am

ErikC25 wrote:I agree that it is overly wordy. Like I said, it's a rough draft and I am a long way from submitting this to any law school. As for sparty, I am a math major with a 3.62 gpa and 171 lsat. I think that might qualify me as a college student. Maybe. I appreciate the feedback but your condescending and pompus attitude is not needed.


Not overly wordy, poorly written. This PS is in no way commensurate with your LSAT/UGPA. I think your big challenge is to put down the shield and accept some constructive advice.

ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:47 am

I am more than willing to accept criticism. But when someone insults my intelligence I take it offensively.

User avatar
gothamm
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:10 am

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby gothamm » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:05 am

ErikC25 wrote:I am more than willing to accept criticism. But when someone insults my intelligence I take it offensively.


You should be glad that TLS posters are so forthcoming and willing to provide you with their honest opinions.

Advice on a personal statement is no place to have your ego stroked, brah :roll:

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:44 pm

ErikC25 wrote:As I lay on the sand just waking from Regaining consciousness, the possibility of what might have just happened finally set in: I could be paralyzed I squinted up into the warm beach sun to see a crowd of scared and alarmed faces looking back at me. As a became more alert, the lack of feeling in my arms and legs was replaced by a feeling of panic. In a flash, A beautiful bright and sunny day at the beach along the Jersey Shore quickly turned pitch black as a huge wave lifted me high in the air and slammed me face first into the sand bar. out to be one of the most defining moments of my life. The events of that day changed the course of my life and the experiences I gained as a result of that have forever shaped me into a different person path that now lay before me, shaped my into the person I am today.

The ocean was very rough that particular day; June 1st 2006 was the date. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, I had developed a very strong swimming ability. The fact that the waves were extremely big did not even make me think twice about entering. I had swum in the ocean many times before and I did not see this day to be any different. I couldn’t have been more wrong. While body surfing on a wave, I had been tossed the wrong way, sending me head first into the shallow sand below. I smashed the top of my head with such force that I was completely knocked out. I awoke to my mother, who was nearby when this happened, and paramedics loading me on to a stretcher to be taken to the hospital.

The MRI confirmed what the agonizing pain in my neck and back were screaming, The pain that I felt in my neck and back at that moment was unbearable. After taking an x-ray and MRI, the results were conclusive: The rogue wave I had broken six vertebrae in my thoracic spine. My heart pounded and my mind was in a whirlwind at this point raced frenziedly upon hearing the news. This injury made me question if I would ever be able to do the physical things in life I truly enjoyed My passion in life had always been centered around active things--swimming, such asexercising, playing football, and hanging out with my friends, and swimming. What kind of life would I have now?

The subsequent days after this injury, as I lay in my bed waiting to hear from my doctor what my next move should be, I wondered how drastically my life would be altered as a result of this. weeks of recovery, while I lay in my hospital bed waiting for the pain and swelling to subside and my doctor to evaluate my prognosis, At that very momentI decided that if I wanted to get over this and move on with my life I needed to be mentally and physically strong, to have hope, and demonstrate large amounts of courage to face my future head on, whatever that future might hold.

[Continue editing here. Stay focused on the rehab and getting back into life. Let us learn about your character and talents in this process. It is not paramount to the story but the reader is going to be interested in the progression of your recovery (we don't really know how serious the injury was--paralysis, etc.), so I would hit on some milestones and talk about how you accomplished them and how that made you feel/grow stronger, etc.]


ErikC25
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Personal statement. Please critque.

Postby ErikC25 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:46 pm

Kubla- thank you so much for help. It is greatly appreciated. I will take what you said and do my best to improve. Thanks again! More feedback is welcomed!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.