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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Cornelius
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Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Very rough first draft, not sure if I even like the topic for this purpose or if I'll try to work with something else, but honestly was coming up blank on a topic. I think it may focus too much on my grandfather and not enough on me, and it's probably weaker than I could manage if I spent more time on it, but I want to get a general sense of how this looks to an outsider (i.e. not me).

New version below.
Last edited by Cornelius on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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cinephile
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:08 pm

It's a great story, but it doesn't really focus on you. Maybe you could use some condensed portion as a starting off point (like a couple introductory lines stating how he's influenced you), and then spend the rest of it talking about what that influence has been -- what you've done with your life thus far and how the attitude/values/etc. that you've learned from him will help you in law school and beyond.

splitmuch
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby splitmuch » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:10 pm

Any adcomm would be a fool not to offer admission to your grandpa

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:00 pm

Take two. Cut out the second paragraph since it didn't add anything, expanded the last. Better? Suggestions?

*removed*
Last edited by Cornelius on Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:28 pm

It's still too much narrative about your grandfather. You talk about achieving academic and professional success, but without backing those up with anecdotes -- this is the area where you could expand the narrative.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:32 pm

cinephile wrote:It's still too much narrative about your grandfather. You talk about achieving academic and professional success, but without backing those up with anecdotes -- this is the area where you could expand the narrative.

Do you think that would be accomplished best by simply adding on to the final paragraph, perhaps splitting it in two? Or should I be doing away with some of the information in the first two paragraphs as well? I really didn't think it was too excessive at this point, and I feel like removing more from the first two would take away from the story.

kublaikahn
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:33 pm

If LS wanted a grandfather statement this would work. Alas, they want a personal statement. Start over.

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cinephile
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:36 pm

Cornelius wrote:
cinephile wrote:It's still too much narrative about your grandfather. You talk about achieving academic and professional success, but without backing those up with anecdotes -- this is the area where you could expand the narrative.

Do you think that would be accomplished best by simply adding on to the final paragraph, perhaps splitting it in two? Or should I be doing away with some of the information in the first two paragraphs as well? I really didn't think it was too excessive at this point, and I feel like removing more from the first two would take away from the story.


The story should be about you, though. Even though you want to describe your inspiration, it's more important to describe your successes.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:03 pm

Forget it.
Last edited by Cornelius on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:05 pm

Sorry dude, but it's still almost entirely about your grandfather. I learn much more about him than I do about you.

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cinephile
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:06 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Sorry dude, but it's still almost entirely about your grandfather. I learn much more about him than I do about you.


Even though you've included more information about yourself, you start each paragraph talking about him.

Maybe you should think of a whole new approach.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:07 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Sorry dude, but it's still almost entirely about your grandfather. I learn much more about him than I do about you.

Despite the numerous specific examples?

cinephile wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Sorry dude, but it's still almost entirely about your grandfather. I learn much more about him than I do about you.


Even though you've included more information about yourself, you start each paragraph talking about him.

Maybe you should think of a whole new approach.

Is that really an issue? I feel like it gives it some more continuity than many of the other "character sketch" type PS I read which are, essentially, story about someone I know -> story about me. Seems disjointed.

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cinephile
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:11 pm

Yeah, but if you're just scanning through it, it can be difficult to determine who you're talking about - you or your grandfather? Ultimately, you want to make this clear and easy to read for the adcoms.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:19 pm

Cornelius wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Sorry dude, but it's still almost entirely about your grandfather. I learn much more about him than I do about you.

Despite the numerous specific examples, all of which you read in the 75 seconds from my post to yours?

That's definitely the way to get people to critique your writing. :roll:

Yes, I read it. I admit, I started skimming about halfway through when you'd already mentioned grandpa enough times for five essays and started three paragraphs in a row with "grandfather" in the first two words...you then proceeded to mention him in the first setence of paragraphs 4-6.

If you would like more detailed feedback, well...
- Your grandfather is the subject of 18 of the 55 sentences (33%). Waaaay too much focus on anyone who isn't the person actually applying to law school.
- Paras 3, 5 and 6 regurgitate a lot of what can be found on your resume.
- Para 4 is a list of "lawyer-ish qualities". You may be all of the listed, but it's not terribly effective because you don't show any of them, you just tell us.
- I like the 'calling' bit to tie your grandfather to your career choice. I just think you can cut about 2/3 of the grandfather stuff and talk more about yoursel.

This would be a fantastic eulogy for a dude who was obviously a great grandfather. What it isn't, however, is an essay that will convince adcomms to admit you.

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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:41 pm

OP, your defensive posture is not suited for asking others for help on the internet. Even if the focus on your grandfather was suitable, the writing is not well done. Now, those who can help you probably will not.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:05 pm

kublaikahn wrote:OP, your defensive posture is not suited for asking others for help on the internet. Even if the focus on your grandfather was suitable, the writing is not well done. Now, those who can help you probably will not.

Maybe if you gave something that would constitute help instead of glib remarks, the posture would be something other than defensive.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:19 pm

Cornelius wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:OP, your defensive posture is not suited for asking others for help on the internet. Even if the focus on your grandfather was suitable, the writing is not well done. Now, those who can help you probably will not.

Maybe if you gave something that would constitute help instead of glib remarks, the posture would be something other than defensive.

There are perhaps two comments in this entire thread that could (barely) be considered glib. And they're still spot on.

You need to learn to take constructive criticism. Your essay is not as good as you think it is, and will not serve you well in the application process in its current form. That's not a judgement on you as a person. Or on your grandfather. (Sorry, was that too glib?)

Seriously, dude. You got good advice. It wasn't what you wanted to hear, but a good writer knows when to kill their baby and start over. Being defensive isn't going to convince anyone that your essay is awesome.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:22 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
Cornelius wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:OP, your defensive posture is not suited for asking others for help on the internet. Even if the focus on your grandfather was suitable, the writing is not well done. Now, those who can help you probably will not.

Maybe if you gave something that would constitute help instead of glib remarks, the posture would be something other than defensive.

There are perhaps two comments in this entire thread that could (barely) be considered glib. And they're still spot on.

You need to learn to take constructive criticism. Your essay is not as good as you think it is, and will not serve you well in the application process in its current form. That's not a judgement on you as a person. Or on your grandfather. (Sorry, was that too glib?)

Seriously, dude. You got good advice. It wasn't what you wanted to hear, but a good writer knows when to kill their baby and start over. Being defensive isn't going to convince anyone that your essay is awesome.

Now who's being defensive? There's nothing wrong with constructive criticism if you're actually getting it, but comments like "it'd be great if law school asked for a grandfather statement" are so glib as to be useless. Further, I never claimed my essay was great. Actually, I believe I started off by saying just the opposite, that it was a very rough first draft and that I wasn't even sure if I felt I could write a convincing PS on the topic. The amount of assumptions, and apparently poor reading skills, displayed here are ironic given the tone and subject of your post.

Cinephile, thank you for your constructive comments.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Deleted

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:35 pm

I was going to flounce out of here acting all huffy, but I see OP beat me to it.

Well, back to not working at work. 8)

kublaikahn
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Cornelius wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
Cornelius wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:OP, your defensive posture is not suited for asking others for help on the internet. Even if the focus on your grandfather was suitable, the writing is not well done. Now, those who can help you probably will not.

Maybe if you gave something that would constitute help instead of glib remarks, the posture would be something other than defensive.

There are perhaps two comments in this entire thread that could (barely) be considered glib. And they're still spot on.

You need to learn to take constructive criticism. Your essay is not as good as you think it is, and will not serve you well in the application process in its current form. That's not a judgement on you as a person. Or on your grandfather. (Sorry, was that too glib?)

Seriously, dude. You got good advice. It wasn't what you wanted to hear, but a good writer knows when to kill their baby and start over. Being defensive isn't going to convince anyone that your essay is awesome.

Now who's being defensive? There's nothing wrong with constructive criticism if you're actually getting it, but comments like "it'd be great if law school asked for a grandfather statement" are so glib as to be useless. Further, I never claimed my essay was great. Actually, I believe I started off by saying just the opposite, that it was a very rough first draft and that I wasn't even sure if I felt I could write a convincing PS on the topic. The amount of assumptions, and apparently poor reading skills, displayed here are ironic given the tone and subject of your post.

Cinephile, thank you for your constructive comments.


Sorry if I was too indelicate for you. I was trying to get your attention bc you seemed to think this garbage could be edited to work. My advice was the more succint last sentence, "START OVER!" Glib, by the way, means superficial or informal, not sarcastic.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:41 pm

Sorry if I was too indelicate for you. Glib, by the way, means superficial or informal, not sarcastic. My advice was more succint, "START OVER!"

Glib:
showing little forethought or preparation
lacking depth and substance

kublaikahn
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:43 pm

Cornelius wrote:
Sorry if I was too indelicate for you. Glib, by the way, means superficial or informal, not sarcastic. My advice was more succint, "START OVER!"

Glib:
showing little forethought or preparation
lacking depth and substance


Is that what you thought? Our comments lacked forethought? Snicker snicker.

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Cornelius
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Re: Critique my very rough PS

Postby Cornelius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:47 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
Cornelius wrote:
Sorry if I was too indelicate for you. Glib, by the way, means superficial or informal, not sarcastic. My advice was more succint, "START OVER!"

Glib:
showing little forethought or preparation
lacking depth and substance


Is that what you thought? Our comments lacked forethought? Snicker snicker.

I'm not sure why I'm surprised given the general tone of your posts in this subforum.




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