Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
halostarbucks
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:31 pm

Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby halostarbucks » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:25 pm

First of all, I would like to thank the reader for taking time from what is no doubt a busy and hectic schedule to review my application to the U of X law school. My case for admission succinctly stated; is that I want you to allow me to the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge for a career in a field of expertise in which I am passionate and in which I can find personal fulfillment while making positive contributions to society. This field is, of course, the practice of law, and I am passionate about law because I am fascinated by language and the way we use words to describe our relationship to ultimate reality. Please allow me to explain.

I was raised in a very restrictive and isolated religious sect, the Independent Baptist denomination, and I spent most of my life viewing the world through a narrow prism that portrayed life as an unambiguous struggle between good and evil, heaven and hell, light and darkness, and my tradition as the paragon of virtue in righteous opposition to the monolithic evil of a sinful world. The fragmentary knowledge I have gained through my studies, coupled with a very harrowing experience in which my younger brother was diagnosed with a terminal illness, have, however, made such a narrow worldview untenable and unsatisfactory to my mind and my conscience as I have grown older.

During the past few years of college in which I have pursued a dual major in Paralegal Studies and Spanish, I have, like many college students, found myself grappling with the “big questions”. What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What does it mean to be human? Why is there so much suffering in the world? My search for answers has only intensified with the deluge of information I have been required to process, not only in courses directly pertaining to either of my majors, but also within the many other courses that I have taken as part of a very diverse general education curriculum including Literature, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Political Science, Philosophy and a few of the Natural Sciences. I began the study of Spanish with the naïve impression that I would simply need to learn new words for the existing concepts I already possessed. Learning a language in which every word is masculine or feminine, there are over a dozen verb tenses as opposed to three or four, and in which there are different states of being, to name but a few examples, forced me to realize that learning a language is synonymous with acquiring a completely different manner in which to view the world. It is language that separates us from the lowest animals and makes civilization possible by uniting us into common cultures.
Unfortunately, language also divides us and language barriers are one of the greatest sources of human conflict and misery. This is nowhere more obvious than in the current debate in this country over illegal immigration. Without delving into a discussion of that very complex and controversial subject, suffice it to say that it is a subject in which I am thoroughly interested. I have had a brief opportunity to work for a local immigration attorney for whom I translated documents, and I wish to pursue a career in immigration law in the future.

If I could say that there is one particular insight I have gained in college that I can truly say has helped me make sense of my life, it is the realization that our conception of reality is inextricable from our use of language, and that reality is subsequently, something beyond our most fervent efforts to describe it. Being able to see the suffering in my life as a contingent property of my culture and conditioning rather than an inherent quality of existence has given me an ability to view hardship with a degree of equanimity. After many sleepless nights, countless books, and heated debates and discussion with relatives and professors, I cannot say that I know the meaning of life, or if there is one, but I can say that I have a balanced perspective with which to view my place within this beautiful, tragic, vast, and unfathomably intricate world. I see life as neither the black and white panorama as represented by the tradition in which I was raised, nor as a barren wasteland of meaninglessness and nihilism but rather as a blank neutral canvas upon which I can create a work of art by living authentically and striving for excellence. I would be very grateful, if the University of X would help me achieve this vision.

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

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby cubswin » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:42 pm

Pardon my bluntness, but your thread title requested it.

halostarbucks wrote:First of all, I would like to thank the reader for taking time from what is no doubt a busy and hectic schedule to review my application to the U of X law school. [Cut this pandering bullshit out, you sycophant.] My case for admission succinctly stated; [Succinctly stated should be enclosed within commas, and you need to have a complete thought in place before using a semi-colon. Using one incorrectly makes you like both stupid and pretentious. Think of a semi-colon as a period.] is that I want you to allow me to the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge for a career in a field of expertise in which I am passionate and in which I can find personal fulfillment while making positive contributions to society (So much wrong here. I won't even ridicule you for its content, but this sentence is a stylistic abomination.). This field is, of course, the practice of law ("Law" is a field. "The practice of law" is not a field.), and I am passionate about law because I am fascinated by language and the way we use words to describe our relationship to ultimate reality. Please allow me to explain. (Not sure if I want to allow you, at this point.)

I was raised in a very restrictive and isolated religious sect (Pieces are falling into place.), the Independent Baptist denomination, and I spent most of my life viewing the world through a narrow prism thatportrayed life as an unambiguous struggle between good and evil, heaven and hell, light and darkness, and my tradition as the paragon of virtue in righteous opposition to the monolithic evil of a sinful world (One hell of a sentence you've crafted there.) . The fragmentary knowledge I have gained through my studies, coupled with a very harrowing experience in which my younger brother was diagnosed with a terminal illness, have, however, made such a narrow worldview untenable and unsatisfactory to my mind and my conscience as I have grown older.

During the past few years of college, in which I have pursued a dual major in Paralegal Studies and Spanish, I have, like many college students, found myself grappling with the “big questions”. ( :roll: ) What is the meaning of life? ( :roll: :roll: ) Why am I here? What does it mean to be human? ( :oops: ) Why is there so much suffering in the world? My search for answers has only intensified with the deluge of information I have been required to process, not only in courses directly pertaining to either of my majors, but also within the many other courses that I have taken as part of a very diverse general education curriculum including Literature, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Political Science, Philosophy and a few of the Natural Sciences (Blatant attempt to take up space. PS: No one cares.) . I began the study of Spanish with the naïve impression that I would simply need to learn new words for the existing concepts I already possessed. Learning a language in which every word is masculine or feminine, there are over a dozen verb tenses as opposed to three or four, and in which there are different states of being, to name but a few examples, forced me to realize that learning a language is synonymous with acquiring a completely different manner in which to view the world. It is language that separates us from the lowest animals (Plus ethics/morality, art, abstract thought, etc.) and makes civilization possible by uniting us into common cultures. (Say this another way.)
Unfortunately, language also divides us and is language barriers are one of the greatest sources of human conflict and misery (This might be overstating your case.) . This is nowhere more obvious than in the current debate in this country over illegal immigration. (Uh...) Without delving into a discussion of that very complex and controversial subject (Why even bring it up, then?) , suffice it to say that it is a subject in which I am thoroughly interested (OMFG). I have had a brief opportunity to work for a local immigration attorney for whom I translated documents, and I wish to pursue a career in immigration law in the future. (Dude. You're just now bringing this up? It must be really brief. You should seriously start over and pick a story to tell from your experience working for this immigration attorney. All the platitudes about education and language above are going to be of no interest to your reader.)

If I could say that there is one particular insight I have gained in college that I can truly say has helped me make sense of my life, it is the realization that our conception of reality is inextricable from our language, and that reality is subsequently, something beyond our most fervent efforts to describe it. Being able to see the suffering in my life as a contingent property of my culture and conditioning rather than an inherent quality of existence has given me an ability to view hardship with a degree of equanimity. After many sleepless nights, countless books, and heated debates and discussion with relatives and professors, I cannot say that I know the meaning of life, or if there is one, but I can say that I have a balanced perspective with which to view my place within this beautiful, tragic, vast, and unfathomably intricate world. I see life as neither the black and white panorama as represented by the tradition in which I was raised, nor as a barren wasteland of meaninglessness and nihilism but rather as a blank neutral canvas upon which I can create a work of art by living authentically and striving for excellence. I would be very grateful, if the University of X would help me achieve this vision.

halostarbucks
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby halostarbucks » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:00 pm

Damn... you don't have to beat around the bush like that just tell me how you feel? LOL I take it either you enjoyed my last paragraph or you were to burned out to read that far? :lol:

Thank you though.

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13918
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:05 pm

halostarbucks wrote:First of all, I would like to thank the reader for taking time from what is no doubt a busy and hectic schedule to review my application to the U of X law school. My case for admission succinctly stated; is that I want you to allow me to the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge for a career in a field of expertise in which I am passionate and in which I can find personal fulfillment while making positive contributions to society. This field is, of course, the practice of law, and I am passionate about law because I am fascinated by language and the way we use words to describe our relationship to ultimate reality. Please allow me to explain.


No, no, no, no, definitely not.

The rest is getting somewhere, but the intro paragraph is all wrong.

You don't need to thank the adcoms for reading your essay. It's their job. They actually get paid to review your app. They're not doing you a favor. Don't "succinctly state" your "case for admission," or ask them to "allow you to explain." They know you're applying to law school, you don't have to inform them of what your essay topic will be. Presumably they will discover that as they read it.

Your intro needs to draw the reader in. Make them interested in your story and want to learn more about you. Don't tell them what they already know.

halostarbucks
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby halostarbucks » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:17 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
halostarbucks wrote:First of all, I would like to thank the reader for taking time from what is no doubt a busy and hectic schedule to review my application to the U of X law school. My case for admission succinctly stated; is that I want you to allow me to the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge for a career in a field of expertise in which I am passionate and in which I can find personal fulfillment while making positive contributions to society. This field is, of course, the practice of law, and I am passionate about law because I am fascinated by language and the way we use words to describe our relationship to ultimate reality. Please allow me to explain.


No, no, no, no, definitely not.

The rest is getting somewhere, but the intro paragraph is all wrong.

You don't need to thank the adcoms for reading your essay. It's their job. They actually get paid to review your app. They're not doing you a favor. Don't "succinctly state" your "case for admission," or ask them to "allow you to explain." They know you're applying to law school, you don't have to inform them of what your essay topic will be. Presumably they will discover that as they read it.

Your intro needs to draw the reader in. Make them interested in your story and want to learn more about you. Don't tell them what they already know.


Honest to God, the intro is the hardest part of writing this essay. I despise vignettes, anecdotes, and quotations, so I decided to begin by directly addressing the reader but looking at it now, that really does seem patronizing and lame.

MoneyBags
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:39 pm

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby MoneyBags » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:23 pm

Hey bud,

Didn't like the intro, but I guess you are already probably going to change that. I would encourage really expounding upon your experiences with the immigration lawyer. could be really good.

halostarbucks
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby halostarbucks » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:30 pm

MoneyBags wrote:Hey bud,

Didn't like the intro, but I guess you are already probably going to change that. I would encourage really expounding upon your experiences with the immigration lawyer. could be really good.


Well, it was two cases in which I translated some documents like a birth certificate and some medical records, took me a grand total of 10 hours over three or four days!

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

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby sparty99 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:11 pm

This essay isn't any better than the first draft.

"I was raised in a very restrictive and isolated religious sect, the Independent Baptist denomination, and I spent most of my life viewing the world through a narrow prism that portrayed life as an unambiguous struggle between good and evil, heaven and hell, light and darkness, and my tradition as the paragon of virtue in righteous opposition to the monolithic evil of a sinful world."

- WTF......This makes NO SENSE. Stop with the "high brow" writing. Dang. You need to be succinct. "Monolithic evil of a sinful world" - you are not winning ANY POINTS trying to write like you're Geoffrey Chaucer. STOP this NOW. You're making me question how you even managed to graduate from college. This writing needs significant development.

halostarbucks
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:31 pm

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby halostarbucks » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:20 pm

sparty99 wrote:This essay isn't any better than the first draft.

"I was raised in a very restrictive and isolated religious sect, the Independent Baptist denomination, and I spent most of my life viewing the world through a narrow prism that portrayed life as an unambiguous struggle between good and evil, heaven and hell, light and darkness, and my tradition as the paragon of virtue in righteous opposition to the monolithic evil of a sinful world."

- WTF......This makes NO SENSE. Stop with the "high brow" writing. Dang. You need to be succinct. "Monolithic evil of a sinful world" - you are not winning ANY POINTS trying to write like you're Geoffrey Chaucer. STOP this NOW. You're making me question how you even managed to graduate from college. This writing needs significant development.


Okay, more efficient vocabulary. I'll make that a priority in my next draft. Thank you.

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

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:17 am

CONSIDER: Reducing the entire first paragraph to one sentence:

" I am passionate about law because I am passionate about language & the way we use words to describe our relationship to perceived realities."

The entire second paragraph is fine. I disagree with sparty99, as I think that the long sentence in the second paragraph is well done & effectively illustrates sect members' frame of mind.

In the final paragraph, the second & third sentences need revision. Consider simplifying or eliminating them. (I would reduce these two sentences to one short sentence noting that your goal is to "achieve a balanced perspective".)

P.S. The phrase "...our most fervent efforts..." reminds me of Paul Newman's closing argument in "The Verdict".

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

Re: Here is my second draft, hit me with your best shot!

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:28 pm

Use the immigration and law angle and write a serious essay that conveys your ability to see complexity, not just abandon one set of dogma for another.

Edited.




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