Review My Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Review My Personal Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:50 am

Deleted. Edit
Last edited by thederangedwang on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:02 am

Needs minor edits, but this is an effective personal statement, in my opinion. The ending is strong. Very enjoyable to read as it is original & offers insights into who you are as well as an insight that can benefit all readers (i.e., keep an eye on something within your control, not just on the goal).
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

quetzal_bird
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:45 am

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby quetzal_bird » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:10 am

I don't like all the cliches or the analogies to light and fire. You don't need that trope to indicate you are passionate. I think your passion comes across better just with your storytelling. However, I do think its a strong statement

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:14 am

quetzal_bird wrote:I don't like all the cliches or the analogies to light and fire. You don't need that trope to indicate you are passionate. I think your passion comes across better just with your storytelling. However, I do think its a strong statement


I was going for a multi-layered metaphor. First, ice (the coldness of which he insulted me) and fire (my passion and desire). Secondly, the "battle" or struggle between the two. Third, how ice and fire corresponds to my geographical locations (ice=new England and where I want to go to law school), (fire-florida).

I do go heavy on the metaphors though

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:15 am

thederangedwang wrote:
quetzal_bird wrote:I don't like all the cliches or the analogies to light and fire. You don't need that trope to indicate you are passionate. I think your passion comes across better just with your storytelling. However, I do think its a strong statement


I was going for a multi-layered metaphor. First, ice (the coldness of which he insulted me) and fire (my passion and desire). Secondly, the "battle" or struggle between the two. Third, how ice and fire corresponds to my geographical locations (ice=new England and where I want to go to law school), (fire-florida).

I do go heavy on the metaphors though

probably want to tone that down a bit

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

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:21 am

Although I agree with the above posters' comments, consider only minor changes or edits as this personal statement is enjoyable to read, memorable & has a lot of "you" in it. Plus with 173/4.0 numbers, an important objective of your PS is to allow admissions officers to get to know you & to like you--both of which you have accomplished. (Your Yale 250, however, should be polished, clever & original.)

P.S. Based on your tennis background, is Stanford your first choice law school ?

quetzal_bird
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:45 am

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby quetzal_bird » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:40 am

I understood the ice vs. fire thing, and maybe you will choose to stick with it. As a reader though, I feel like it can interrupt the flow of the narrative. I did enjoy reading it, but some of the language made me snicker. "The embers flared. the fire burned," for example, seemed a bit overdone.

User avatar
moopness
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:45 am

I'm confused, why aren't you trying to be a professional tennis player rather than a lawyer? This whole personal statement talks about passion, so why didn't you take that passion into professional tennis?
This personal statement doesn't actually tell anyone what actually drove you towards law, it just says that "here are some qualities that I think makes a strong lawyer/law student." I'd try to figure out the former before you try to display the latter.

User avatar
moopness
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:50 am

I look forward to bringing these on court qualities in court.

Also, this is an absolutely horrible sentence.

User avatar
JordynAsh
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:20 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby JordynAsh » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:56 am

I had a very negative reaction to this PS. I found the fire/ice stuff overly dramatic and at the end I'm left wondering why you want to go to law school. Your numbers are fantastic so what is a strange PS IMO probably won't really matter, but I would recommend dropping/reworking some of the tennis stuff and adding more about how your skills relate to you wanting to go to law school/be a lawyer.

I dunno maybe I'm way off here, as some of the earlier commenters seem to think this is a strong PS. At any rate, congrats on your strong stats!

freestallion
Posts: 944
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby freestallion » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:12 pm

I liked the topic you chose to focus on, but as other commenters have already said, I thought the ice/frozen/avalanche/fire metaphors were a bit too much. I was overwhelmed by the metaphors and didn't like them. Being a bit more straightforward would be better as it slightly comes off as gimmicky.

I was impressed by your skill in tennis, though, and I don't think a PS necessarily has to relate to "Why law." I mean, this is a hobby/skill/extracurriculars. I am passionate about law, but I can also have other skills in life, right? It doesn't seem necessary to focus on Why law. I think the perseverance you displayed is a positive trait.

But I think some of the language is just a bit overblown or seems slightly manufactured. It might be better to simplify and tone down some of the language and you'll be in better shape.

User avatar
moopness
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:20 pm

freestallion wrote:I was impressed by your skill in tennis, though, and I don't think a PS necessarily has to relate to "Why law." I mean, this is a hobby/skill/extracurriculars. I am passionate about law, but I can also have other skills in life, right? It doesn't seem necessary to focus on Why law. I think the perseverance you displayed is a positive trait.

What perseverance?

User avatar
albusdumbledore
Posts: 1132
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby albusdumbledore » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:34 pm

JordynAsh wrote:I had a very negative reaction to this PS. I found the fire/ice stuff overly dramatic and at the end I'm left wondering why you want to go to law school. Your numbers are fantastic so what is a strange PS IMO probably won't really matter, but I would recommend dropping/reworking some of the tennis stuff and adding more about how your skills relate to you wanting to go to law school/be a lawyer.

I dunno maybe I'm way off here, as some of the earlier commenters seem to think this is a strong PS. At any rate, congrats on your strong stats!

I don't think you need to address why law school necessarily, but definitely drop the colorful language. I mean the personal statement is supposed to be about you, and I think you've hit on aspects and qualities that are admirable without coming off as arrogant. That said, the metaphors really detracted from this for me. It felt hokey and too contrived. I think it's a good start but definitely needs more work.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:16 pm

Thanks for all the comments guys. just some general responses

1) yes I will ease up on the metaphors

2) Canadian wolf, you seriously freaked me out when you stated my stats...i was like WTF, how did this guy know wat i got when i didnt even post it in my profile? Then i realize u prob checked all of my previos posts and saw that i had posted my scores in another discussion

3) no stanford is not my first choice, in fact, i am not applying to it

4) I purposely stayed away from talking about law school at all in my PS. If you examined my application as a whole, you would see why I want to be a lawyer and why talking about it in my ps is not neccessay. My resume is filled with tons of public policy/law/government internships...in addition, my recommenders have all talked about my interest in law in their letters. Furthermore, I am applying straight out of undergrad....for these reasons, i felt it to be unneccessary to state "why Law" in my ps as all my other application materials would have answered that question

5) i am not going to be a pro tennis player cause im tired of sweating and doing laundry

User avatar
fltanglab
Posts: 555
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:44 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby fltanglab » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:33 pm

I think you tried and were mildly successful with your metaphor use. It reads well and I think some of the imagery is really powerful. I disagree with the people who think you have to say why law. I think you're showing off personal traits in the statement that imply why you are a fit for law school. As for improving the metaphors, I write by feel, so something like too much imagery would get cut on a second read. If it helps, you can try to plan where you want to incorporate images; for example, draw out the arc of the story and circle areas where emotions run high (literally or in your mind).

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

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:41 pm

OP: The reason that I like to know an applicant's numbers when reading a personal statement is to determine what the primary objective of that particular applicant's PS should be. Since your numbers are outstanding, your primary objective is to get the reader to know you & like you as opposed to overcoming a deficiency in your application.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:04 pm

Thanks guys

Could you guys specifically tell me which metaphors or parts of metaphors you would cut out?

For instance, the face glaciation part I would cut out, but I dont know where else to...

I would still like to keep the general ice vs fire/light theme intact however

dsosah
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:30 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby dsosah » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:29 pm

I think the essay as a whole needs polishing, especially your use of punctuation (or lack of). Pay attention to comas, especially in the 1st paragraph (you need to work out those sentences so the ideas flow better). I thought the 1st and 2nd paragraphs where confusing. I like the idea of the John/ Jonathan thing, but the way you tell this story just looks very confusing and it can make the reader a little bit bored (it made me a little tired reading the John/Jonathan thing so I wold try to simplify the story and be more clear). Definitely cut the fire/ice metaphors, they are first of all very cliche, and second they do not relate to the language you where using in the other paragraphs, it just looks forced and unoriginal. Overall, simplify your story and try to be more eloquent. It is a good story, just needs polishing.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:12 pm

dsosah wrote:I think the essay as a whole needs polishing, especially your use of punctuation (or lack of). Pay attention to comas, especially in the 1st paragraph (you need to work out those sentences so the ideas flow better). I thought the 1st and 2nd paragraphs where confusing. I like the idea of the John/ Jonathan thing, but the way you tell this story just looks very confusing and it can make the reader a little bit bored (it made me a little tired reading the John/Jonathan thing so I wold try to simplify the story and be more clear). Definitely cut the fire/ice metaphors, they are first of all very cliche, and second they do not relate to the language you where using in the other paragraphs, it just looks forced and unoriginal. Overall, simplify your story and try to be more eloquent. It is a good story, just needs polishing.


Don't get me wrong but I can't find anything wrong punctuation/grammar wise with the first paragraph. And it is very simple, straight-forward construction so I am not sure how you could be confused

sold123
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:39 am

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby sold123 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:47 pm

Enjoyed this PS. I actually like the fire/ice symbol; wasn't exactly natural, but good themes don't always have to be 100% "organic". The idea of being "thawed" is unusual, and worth keeping.

As a reader, the main beef I have with the fire/ice symbol is that you welded it awkwardly at times, i.e. icy complexion, glaciated serenity, etc. In other words, you have some sentences that need to be banished or reformed so that the reader's train is not derailed.

Only full paragraph that made me pause was paragraph 6 and discussions of "light". Made me think of religion. That's a personal bias, but one you may want to account for. Nothing wrong with a personal philosophy, but be wary in the way you describe it.

EDIT: Also to balance out concerns that the fire/ice symbol makes you seem like a douche, try to add some self-deprecating humor. Passion is good, but passion without self-awareness is douchey in the reader's eyes.

quetzal_bird
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:45 am

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby quetzal_bird » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:03 pm

Honestly, I would cut out the entire ice/fire thing. If you are going to keep it, I'll point out where I had problems.

1st paragraph:
I don't like the second sentence. Try to avoid asking the reader questions in general. "why not the opposite?" isn't a strong way of saying "why can't Jonathans be Johns too"
You don't need to say "in my state of...." Just say the state name
A week should be "one week" I think
The ranking system erred? The ranking system isn't a person.
"my ranking of around 100" could be shortened to "my 100th or 99th or w/e ranking"

2nd paragraph:
"introduce myself to him" - say Jonathan, don't have vague pronouns
"with the intention of gaining" could just be "so that I could gain" and it would read better
"coolly strolled" sounds silly. Why not just "approached"
"an icy complexion" and "glaciated the serenity" both sound bad
"the avalanche that I had started" sounds bad

3rd paragraph:
In your first sentence you say you remember little, then go on to describe a lot you seem to remember. I'd cut the first sentence

4th paragraoh
"add fuel to the fire" is bad
"action was required" - I don't think this sentence is needed and I don't like it
"I would have to" - not strong voice here, find better verbs
"The embers flared, the fire burned" - bad

5th paragraph"
"hours a day" should be "hours per day"
"threatened to extinguish my progress" is awkward
I think "so" shouldn't start sentences typically
"fanned my flames" and esp. "hit my hot streak" are bad

6th paragraph
"guided by light" is odd and uncomfortable
I had the most problems with this paragraph because I don't think it says anything. Its filler and you are sermonizing to your reader instead of telling the rest of your story. The last two sentences are not supported by anything else in the PS

7th paragraph
"carried tennis beyond the lines" is awkward
"that shattering encounter" should be specified better - "encounter with Jonathan." This sentence is also in the passive voice and thus, reads weirdly
The last sentence is simply melodramatic

8th paragraph
"in a better position" for what? vague statement
"court qualities in court" isn't good.
"eyes of the prize" sentence is very cliche.
"I am on the ball" - horrible sentence
I would end this paragraph with "what it means to be John." Why introduce this completely new metaphor - thousand steps - in the last paragraph? Why not stick with the ice/fire thing here if you like it? Or just the John thing which is better?

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

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby sparty99 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:46 pm

This is a decent start, but for the love of god, GET RID OF THE METAPHORS. You are trying too damn hard and it is confusing and takes away from your message. I was like, damn. This guy is messing up a decent personal statement. What a SHAME.

I also thought the John/Johnathan part was getting a little confusing when you were explaining it. Clear that up.

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

Re: Review My Personal Statement

Postby sparty99 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:57 pm

Get rid of those metaphors at the end and finish strong. For example,

"Through Tennis I have learned persistence, dedication, and motivation. It is these charateristics that I will bring to Harvard Law. I am John Smith; and I am ready for my next challenge."

Or something like that.....




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.