Personal Statement Themes

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

Postby admisionquestion » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:50 am

Hi,

I have seen a bunch of "good" personal statement samples. I have a general feel of what makes a good personal statement. Generally, pick a particular experience or anecdote and explain how it has effected your development/life/goals in a way that sheds light on what you will bring to the school.

What I don't get is aside from following that formula and writing well, what do you think adcoms look for?

Obviously this is all subjective and dependent on who happens to read your letter BUT in your opinion what themes (i.e. overcoming adversity, leadership, service, unique talent) make the best personal statements.

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cinephile
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Re: Personal Statement Themes

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:42 am

Like you said, as long as you write well and use a narrative to explain how it's helped you develop/why law school, that's all that matters.

Besides that, I suppose it's best to use a theme that's not a cliche. Something genuine.

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billyez
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Re: Personal Statement Themes

Postby billyez » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:32 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Hi,

I have seen a bunch of "good" personal statement samples. I have a general feel of what makes a good personal statement. Generally, pick a particular experience or anecdote and explain how it has effected your development/life/goals in a way that sheds light on what you will bring to the school.

What I don't get is aside from following that formula and writing well, what do you think adcoms look for?

Obviously this is all subjective and dependent on who happens to read your letter BUT in your opinion what themes (i.e. overcoming adversity, leadership, service, unique talent) make the best personal statements.


I've read a lot of personal statements and there is no theme that's better than another. The theme is effective because it crystallizes the story in a few meaningful words, in a concise and someitmes passionate manner. It connects the threads of a story together. It's what the reader remembers because it reverberates throughout the entirety of the piece because it rings true.

The best theme is the one that communicates and crystallizes your story best. I'd suggest writing out your story first and then mulling out your theme. But that's certainly not the only way of doing it.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Personal Statement Themes

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:18 pm

If it were written well enough, a PS about your favorite way to eat Oreos could be compelling.

Some people don't have the writing chops to pull off a tricky topic and would be well-advised to stick with something more traditional or less controversial, but I don't think there's any topic (ok, maybe a graphic description of the writer dismembering a baby) that is totally beyond hope.

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fltanglab
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Re: Personal Statement Themes

Postby fltanglab » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:35 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:If it were written well enough, a PS about your favorite way to eat Oreos could be compelling.

Some people don't have the writing chops to pull off a tricky topic and would be well-advised to stick with something more traditional or less controversial, but I don't think there's any topic (ok, maybe a graphic description of the writer dismembering a baby) that is totally beyond hope.


Although quite revolting, I think some profound twist to the dismemberment could make it workable (it's definitely unique and raises a ton of questions). I briefly contemplated writing about the decaps of small rodents until I realized I lack humor and I nearly passed out from that experience.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Personal Statement Themes

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:43 pm

fltanglab wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:If it were written well enough, a PS about your favorite way to eat Oreos could be compelling.

Some people don't have the writing chops to pull off a tricky topic and would be well-advised to stick with something more traditional or less controversial, but I don't think there's any topic (ok, maybe a graphic description of the writer dismembering a baby) that is totally beyond hope.


Although quite revolting, I think some profound twist to the dismemberment could make it workable (it's definitely unique and raises a ton of questions). I briefly contemplated writing about the decaps of small rodents until I realized I lack humor and I nearly passed out from that experience.


Yeah, now that I think about it, there are people who could legitimately write about chopping up a dead baby (a coroner or a med student changing careers to law, for instance)!

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Personal Statement Themes

Postby Eichörnchen » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:51 pm

fltanglab wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:If it were written well enough, a PS about your favorite way to eat Oreos could be compelling.

Some people don't have the writing chops to pull off a tricky topic and would be well-advised to stick with something more traditional or less controversial, but I don't think there's any topic (ok, maybe a graphic description of the writer dismembering a baby) that is totally beyond hope.


Although quite revolting, I think some profound twist to the dismemberment could make it workable (it's definitely unique and raises a ton of questions). I briefly contemplated writing about the decaps of small rodents until I realized I lack humor and I nearly passed out from that experience.

Haha in a neuro lab I assume? Unless you just like doing that. :|




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