Please criticize my PS- draft 2

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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kedinik
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Please criticize my PS- draft 2

Postby kedinik » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:02 pm

Hello, I would really appreciate feedback on my personal statement.

I'd be happy to return the favor.

e: This is the second draft- the original ending cut, the charity sermon condensed, and a lot of details and events added to support the new conclusion.

e2: Think that'll do it. Thanks again to everyone who offered advice.
Last edited by kedinik on Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 6 times in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:58 am

It's a interesting piece but I would start over. Truth is, I like you when I read this, so it works in that sense. But the big fail is that you are essentially quoting yourself from a semon you gave awhile back. Come up with a new story.

Also, this is not really a PS in that it does not tell me very much about you other than your struggle with mormon faith and how you reconcile that with your secular life, admirably I might add.

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esq
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby esq » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:45 am

First thing that I want to point out is that this:

”You seem like you’d be a good lawyer. Think you might like that kind of work?”

“That sounds like a really good idea,” I replied.

Is almost always a bad idea. Your desire to practice law should be deeper than someone suggesting "you'd be a good lawyer." Everyone has heard it, it's cliche as hell, and you should spend some time developing out a more thoughtful reason that you can point do for your desire to practice law.

" I have struggled, I have strived, I have succeeded and I have failed. I’ve been scarred by tragedy and I’ve taken time to heal."

^I want to hear about it. Right now all that I have to go on is "I'm not a part of my church, but I once gave a talk in church. This is what I said:" I think that there needs to be more of a logical progression to your experience. Maybe: Why did you eventually leave? What did you learn from that experience? Is there anything that you have learned from that experience that has shaped you into the kind of person that would succeed in law school? Examples?

And if you want to lead with this "charity must be performed without any reward in mind" theme, I also think that you need to then give examples of how you actively followed this belief. That might strengthen your theme.

ps. As of now your theme reads as a self righteous lecture: "Charity is performed for the sake of charity itself people, not to make yourselves feel good! I like to run marathons, I like it a lot."

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kedinik
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby kedinik » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:40 pm

kublaikahn wrote:It's a interesting piece but I would start over. Truth is, I like you when I read this, so it works in that sense. But the big fail is that you are essentially quoting yourself from a semon you gave awhile back. Come up with a new story.

Also, this is not really a PS in that it does not tell me very much about you other than your struggle with mormon faith and how you reconcile that with your secular life, admirably I might add.


Thanks for the advice. I've had some trouble incorporating the topic into an appropriate PS, but I think it's the best way to explain what kind of person I am and how I got this way.

Do you think the PS would seem more personal/appropriate if I condensed the speech and expanded on it with relevant events/details from my life instead? That's starting to seem like a good idea.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:54 pm

I really enjoyed the first nine paragraphs, but the last two trivialize both your past & your future.

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kedinik
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby kedinik » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:02 pm

esq wrote:First thing that I want to point out is that this:

”You seem like you’d be a good lawyer. Think you might like that kind of work?”

“That sounds like a really good idea,” I replied.

Is almost always a bad idea. Your desire to practice law should be deeper than someone suggesting "you'd be a good lawyer." Everyone has heard it, it's cliche as hell, and you should spend some time developing out a more thoughtful reason that you can point do for your desire to practice law.

Thanks for the advice. It's bad, I'll cut it.

" I have struggled, I have strived, I have succeeded and I have failed. I’ve been scarred by tragedy and I’ve taken time to heal."

^I want to hear about it. Right now all that I have to go on is "I'm not a part of my church, but I once gave a talk in church. This is what I said:" I think that there needs to be more of a logical progression to your experience. Maybe: Why did you eventually leave? What did you learn from that experience? Is there anything that you have learned from that experience that has shaped you into the kind of person that would succeed in law school? Examples?

And if you want to lead with this "charity must be performed without any reward in mind" theme, I also think that you need to then give examples of how you actively followed this belief. That might strengthen your theme.

I'll try condensing the charity speech and adding one or two specific examples establishing the theme in action.

As far as establishing my ability to succeed in law school, I'm hoping the rest of my application can address that while I focus the personal statement on my personality, my convictions, and the experiences that built them.

ps. As of now your theme reads as a self righteous lecture: "Charity is performed for the sake of charity itself people, not to make yourselves feel good! I like to run marathons, I like it a lot."

Yeah, I'm trying to keep the PS interesting by making the anecdotes detailed, but mentioning running a marathon might seem obnoxious. It does end pretty poorly in general. I'll cut that.

Thanks again.
Last edited by kedinik on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kedinik
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby kedinik » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:03 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I really enjoyed the first nine paragraphs, but the last two trivialize both your past & your future.

Thanks for the advice. I was worried it might seem too glib.

A lot of people have criticized the last few paragraphs. I'll cut the end and think of a better way to conclude.

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Ernert
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Re: Please criticize my PS

Postby Ernert » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:58 am

Honestly, I think you are a very talented writer. There were certain points where I just read a line over simply because I loved the way it sounded. I loved the the description of the Mormon place of worship as "hallowed, hollow," and the description of your baptism and how you felt afterwards was striking.

I agree with the posters above that the last two paragraphs seem to feel extremely forced and arbitrary, but I think that it reflects a more general lack of direction in the story. I think that you have heard about some of the faults, including a lack of detail about the actual struggles you have gone through and how you used those to reconcile your personal beliefs with your religion. I didn't feel that the actual speech on charity added very much at all.

I read the line, "I have lived my life according to secular ideals enhanced by the most admirable aspects of Mormon morality," and found it surprising to be randomly placed in the middle of the essay. To me, that felt like more of a solid conclusion you could build to, noting personal experiences where you had conflicts between your Mormon teachings and your own ideas, and perhaps how resolving that conflict also built strengths that might help you in law school/the practice of law.

Overall, I think that given your skill with words, and what seems to be a fascinating intellectual/cultural background, you just need to find a strong direction. As is, the feeling I had at the end was, "Wow, that was well written. But what was the point? Why is this his law school personal statement?"

As a potential idea, I might start with the image of your baptism (which I really liked), then, through specific examples/stories (dropping or condensing the speech) explain how you learned to reconcile with Mormonism. Or go in a totally different direction :wink:




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