Targeted Personal Statements

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ahnhub
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:14 pm

Targeted Personal Statements

Postby ahnhub » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:24 am

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Last edited by ahnhub on Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thederangedwang
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby thederangedwang » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:57 am

ahnhub wrote:Question about PS:

A lot of people seem to be suggesting that a 'Why School X' essay really helps you, especially at certain schools. I have a fairly interesting PS topic to write about-- my tours in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Army, in which I helped to train the Afghan and Iraqi National Police. I was planning to write my essay about that experience, without mentioning any specific schools (actually, without even mentioning the specific reasons I want to go to law school).

Good or bad idea? My numbers are average for T-14 (170/3.88), aiming for MVPB--so I figure I'm not a lock anywhere, but I'm a pretty good candidate for MVPB, longshot CCN. I guess I'm aiming to grab the interest of whoever's reading my PS, as opposed to thoroughly explaining myself and my commitment to their school--and I'm wondering if something a little more bland would be safer. (And I'm hesitant to just throw in a '...and thus, all of this demonstrates that I am committed to going to Michigan Law School" at the end because it seems so artificial)

Thanks for any input!


It's probably better not to even mention the schools because most schools will see right through the token references and know that you changed the names for every application.

Besides, if schools wanted to know why you want to go to their law school, they would have as a requirement a why [insert school name] essay.

You are fine writing a general personal statement without mentioning ANY school names


Having said that, not all personal statements are interchangeable. Read the requirements for UChicago and UT Austin.

Austin wants a "diversity" personal statement while Chicago wants a more standard personal narrative. As a result, although you can use the same theme for both, your essays for both of those schools SHOULD NOT be exactly the same.

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TommyK
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby TommyK » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:29 am

Definitely don't go more bland to make it more targetted. You can always do your awesome PS about your service (btw, thank you for your service), then do an additional "Why X" essay. Best of both worlds, no?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:37 am

Do why X's whenever you have something relevant to say about a specific school, not just when they ask for it. It's usually not best to put in your PS for reasons mentioned above

freestallion
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby freestallion » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:57 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Do why X's whenever you have something relevant to say about a specific school, not just when they ask for it. It's usually not best to put in your PS for reasons mentioned above


Hmm, I was thinking of adding a few (2-3) lines of why I want to go to my top choices like NYU and Columbia. I really do love these schools, but I was told not to do a Why X for those schools because 1) they know they are great, and 2) they don't specifically ask for them. Would this not be a good idea?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:16 pm

freestallion wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Do why X's whenever you have something relevant to say about a specific school, not just when they ask for it. It's usually not best to put in your PS for reasons mentioned above


Hmm, I was thinking of adding a few (2-3) lines of why I want to go to my top choices like NYU and Columbia. I really do love these schools, but I was told not to do a Why X for those schools because 1) they know they are great, and 2) they don't specifically ask for them. Would this not be a good idea?

That's more of a thing for HYS than the other top schools.
2 isn't really accurate. If you have a valid reason for liking the schools, the fact that they don't ask for them doesn't matter

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billyez
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby billyez » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:32 pm

ahnhub wrote:I was planning to write my essay about that experience, without mentioning any specific schools (actually, without even mentioning the specific reasons I want to go to law school).

Good or bad idea?


Good idea. Artificiality is the death of sincerity. Schools know you want to be there because you're applying there. If you want to send a targeted statement to them, that should be your LOCI - not your PS, unless there's a compelling reason for it; for instance, if your PS is so strongly tied to a specific school that it makes sense for it to be like that.

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fltanglab
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Re: Targeted Personal Statements

Postby fltanglab » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:05 pm

My opinion is to do only those things to which you can give your full attention. So all or nothing. To answer OP's musings, I would say don't mention the school unless you're REALLY going to target each PS to the school.




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