Help please! Should I just start over?

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

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Help please! Should I just start over?

Postby daydreamer » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:21 pm

Last edited by daydreamer on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Help please! Should I just start over?

Postby sold123 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:40 pm

Solid PS, but not great. You are missing specifics, and there is too much "telling" rather than "showing." As a writer, you did convey an importance that Albert had in assisting your recovery, but you never give us a specific example, instead showering us with concluding phrases like:

"Albert’s ability to inspire and support has also had a substantial effect on me. When I was in the hospital, I had no idea of how to deal with my situation, but Albert used his knowledge and experience to help me get beyond the effects of cancer."

This is an empty description, borderline useless, and unconvincing without a specific example to back it up. You must amplify your intimate details: maybe a more personal description of Albert, or a phrase (such as the one you cited in one of your introductory paragraphs) that is broken down, with every word suggesting a greater depth or meaning that resonated within you.

This may seem coarse, but I am not convinced that Albert was a true source of inspiration for you. I say that not because I do not believe that Albert was not a source of inspiration, but because as a writer you did nothing but tell me that he was a source of inspiration. I believe you can push yourself to write a far superior PS with a bit of editing, and a bit of magnifying.

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Re: Help please! Should I just start over?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:40 pm

You're trying too hard to sound sophisticated, and all the unnecessarily big words and overly complex phrases make it sound stilted in places. And you use way too many adverbs.

My mother smiled weakly at me in an effort to portray a strong and confident image, but I could tell she was as petrified as I was.

My mother smiled at me, trying to project confidence, but I could tell she was as frightened as I was.

Says the same thing, with fewer words and a smoother flow.


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Re: Help please! Should I just start over?

Postby anewaphorist » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:51 pm

Seconded, rinkrat. The PS is thrusting the ultra-sentimental, "benevolent stranger" rapier through my optic nerve a little too hard. In the interests of background info, OP, did you not have close friends or family members motivating you to recover after the surgery, in physical therapy, etc.? You have an experience of hardship that is uncommon and intriguing, and that should be where you focus (i.e. on the health-care system, which you do get to later in the PS, or on the effects of the experience on your intellectual life). Less Albert, more Mother Superior.

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