Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
sadeshina
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby sadeshina » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:15 am

PinkCow wrote:
sadeshina wrote:
PinkCow wrote:Ok. Being born in Nigeria, is English not your first language? There are many, many consistent grammatical mistakes in here. It feels like many of the common rules of writing (e.g., tenses, plural/singular), you've just missed learning.
By the end though, there are many on this site who will go through your writing with a fine toothed comb and help you fix all of your mistakes.
However, the big problem still remains with WHAT you wrote, not HOW you wrote it. This PS has the potential to be something interesting, but, as it stands, about 60-70% of the content is useless (the WHOLE 2nd paragraph, for instance, tells me nothing about you, and the last paragraph...wut?).

These comments may sound harsh but they're supposed to be. Everyone's capable of coming up with something compelling - don't sell yourself short.


Actually English is my 1st language so that is not the reason why (I know that I have spoken English my whole life). Do you have any specific edits that you think I should make? and I am surprised that you don't find the 2nd paragraph as having enough content. Also like I wrote before, these are very rough drafts. I wrote both PS's in about 30 mins when the ideas came in my head.

Thanks though for the harsh reply.



It wasn't that the 2nd paragraph didn't have enough content, it's just that the content wasn't really relevant. Think about it this way: no matter what form your PS takes, it is, at its heart, a persuasive essay. Why should adcoms be interested in you? Why is law school a good fit for you? Why are you special? Etc etc. 2 pages (typically) is not much at all. To that end, you want to use those 2 pages to make the most compelling case for you as possible. In telling your "story", you will likely have to include things that don't really help your case, but help make it easier for the reader to understand the background. However, this should not dominate your writing. In your case, the 2nd paragraph did that. Some of it could have been useful background info, but it swallowed your paper with its narration and didn't tell me anything about who you are and why I should care about you beyond the fact that you had a stutter and your parents sent you to boarding school.

**Also, P2 tells me about your parents, but you're passive during nearly all of the paragraph (thing were happening TO you, not BY you). That doesn't help.


Ok, now I see where you are coming from. I really didnt think about it from that POV.

I will revise it tonight and repost another draft, after more comments. I really didnt want to go over 2 pages, because I didnt want a PS that goes on and on. Just a PS that will get the point across in 2 pages or less.

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YourCaptain
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby YourCaptain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:21 am

sadeshina wrote:So like I wrote before, I am going to write about 3 personal statements and then decide on which one would be the best at the end of the day. I have written another draft below, which I think is more unique and hits close to home that the one on the OP.

Please read and off your criticisms. As much as some of the comments were unfavorably, It drove me harder to write a more personable PS.

Thanks all.

“My name is uh…. uh…uh…Sa…Sa…. XXXXXXX and I am six years old.” As nerve-wracking as I was on that day, I finally had passed the biggest hurdle of my life till then. From the time I can remember talking, I had always been a habitual stutterer. Introduce something in the first sentence to lend a more natural conclusion that you are a stutterer, don't just say it. I remember it Don't use "it"; having introduced the issue, use a term that indicates adversity being so bad that my peers back then would make fun of me and I would come home crying everyday. The day I started kindergarten, I was so afraid to go that I remembered peeing my bed Delete this; it throws flow off and tried thinking of an excuse to not go to school. My mom answered that request by putting a good amount of spanking on me and I finally realized that going to school, facing my fears and been away from home Grammatical errors as noted, but "facing my fears" is just too obvious; write to lend an inference that this is what you were doing is better than getting spanked early in the morning at 6. My parents were disciplinarians who think about where the belt was first, and questioning later so I knew that I didn’t have a choice but to grew up and leave for school.

According to the Stuttering Foundation of America, stuttering affects about 68 million people in the world and I am glad to proclaim that not only was I one of the 68 million, I am one of the lucky few who have used this “disorder” not as an excuse but as a tool that drives who I am today. You introduce the issue well, and then derail it. Do not make your conclusions and statements so obvious, again, write in a way that your reader comes to the conclusion. Since I was the 1st born in my family and due to the fact that I was the first one who developed a stuttering problem, my parents actually thought that I had a major learning disorder and they told me that they tried to convince the doctor that there was something wrong with me. It took awhile for my family to accept who I was back then Good, wrap this sentence up here - then say something to the tune of "Their natural inclination was to deny my situation, but... and realized that instead of trying to deny the situation, they should accept it and find resourceful information for me to get treatment and be able to adapt to life. Now to make matters worse, No; AGAIN, your reader should come to *this* conclusion naturally I was born and spent the first 12 years of my life in Nigeria,which did not help my case at all even though my form of stuttering wasn’t as severe as some other I knew and met later in life. as Stuttering in Nigeria is so looked down on, that below other major diseases and disorders such as AIDs, down syndrome and autism - move this further down. are seen a curse from God and families have been known to try to eradicate and disown children who they think are curses and may be unfit to live through lives. I was indeed lucky that my parents saw past the “failure” that I was supposed to be and they enjoyed the happiness that I brought them Do not use self-congratulatory language since they were a fairly new couple when I was born. My parents would tell me stories of not just friends, but family members who grew up very conservative about how much problems I would be in their lives and if there was a way I could be sent abroad to family members in England or the U.S. so that I wouldn’t be a burden in their lives. My parents forcefully got past all these criticisms and kept me with them until I attended boarding school in 6th grade because they believe that not only was I a blessing, I would grow up to prove everyone wrong and be as successful as their kids would be. Very wishy-washy; demonstrate how they supported you in an active fashion and helped you to overcome your critics and demonstrate to them that despite their disciplinarian attitude they were proud of you because of X Y Z Life was indeed hard for me Do not plainly state this, lend an inference because I realized how outspoken I could have been growing up, but was dragged down by looking like a fool when I raise my hand up in class trying to answer a question or when I gave that presentation in 7th grade about the assassination of J.F.K. Relevance? *That presentation* what presentation? Not showing overcoming adversity here

Currently, it can be seen that not only have I taken control of this “disorder” in my life, but I tackle what everyone around me see as a flaw in my life. Again, INFERENTIAL writing; "Having lived with what is termed a disorder, I have a great appreciation for those with their own seemingly debilitating issues, because...I credited my speech teacher in 6th grade who helped me develop technics like thinking ahead before speaking and dissecting information in my brain so that I won’t go back to that kid in kindergarten who hated every time he had to talk to a friend, talk to a teacher, or give a presentation in middle school.When I realized that I wanted to be learn and hopefully practice law, I wasn’t just trying to speak for myself when it comes to the law, I see myself as a piece of a puzzle when it comes to expression of speech. Good, now EXPAND on this. I could have allowed stuttering to take control of my life, but I pushed on cliche and with the help of some peers and a determined teachers in my life, I can be seen as a success story, instead of what the end result could have been. Now, I am the first one in a class to raise his hand, or give a presentation and not feel like a burden or look like a fool in front of my peers.

Now to the other 67,999,999 people in the world who has some sort of stuttering, this statement is for them and hopes that they live life to the fullest, because the only obstacle in life is one that we allow to be an obstacle.


Many cliches, poor grammar, etc. I like the idea, but this needs serious work done

sadeshina
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby sadeshina » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:24 am

YourCaptain wrote:
sadeshina wrote:So like I wrote before, I am going to write about 3 personal statements and then decide on which one would be the best at the end of the day. I have written another draft below, which I think is more unique and hits close to home that the one on the OP.

Please read and off your criticisms. As much as some of the comments were unfavorably, It drove me harder to write a more personable PS.

Thanks all.

“My name is uh…. uh…uh…Sa…Sa…. XXXXXXX and I am six years old.” As nerve-wracking as I was on that day, I finally had passed the biggest hurdle of my life till then. From the time I can remember talking, I had always been a habitual stutterer. Introduce something in the first sentence to lend a more natural conclusion that you are a stutterer, don't just say it. I remember it Don't use "it"; having introduced the issue, use a term that indicates adversity being so bad that my peers back then would make fun of me and I would come home crying everyday. The day I started kindergarten, I was so afraid to go that I remembered peeing my bed Delete this; it throws flow off and tried thinking of an excuse to not go to school. My mom answered that request by putting a good amount of spanking on me and I finally realized that going to school, facing my fears and been away from home Grammatical errors as noted, but "facing my fears" is just too obvious; write to lend an inference that this is what you were doing is better than getting spanked early in the morning at 6. My parents were disciplinarians who think about where the belt was first, and questioning later so I knew that I didn’t have a choice but to grew up and leave for school.

According to the Stuttering Foundation of America, stuttering affects about 68 million people in the world and I am glad to proclaim that not only was I one of the 68 million, I am one of the lucky few who have used this “disorder” not as an excuse but as a tool that drives who I am today. You introduce the issue well, and then derail it. Do not make your conclusions and statements so obvious, again, write in a way that your reader comes to the conclusion. Since I was the 1st born in my family and due to the fact that I was the first one who developed a stuttering problem, my parents actually thought that I had a major learning disorder and they told me that they tried to convince the doctor that there was something wrong with me. It took awhile for my family to accept who I was back then Good, wrap this sentence up here - then say something to the tune of "Their natural inclination was to deny my situation, but... and realized that instead of trying to deny the situation, they should accept it and find resourceful information for me to get treatment and be able to adapt to life. Now to make matters worse, No; AGAIN, your reader should come to *this* conclusion naturally I was born and spent the first 12 years of my life in Nigeria,which did not help my case at all even though my form of stuttering wasn’t as severe as some other I knew and met later in life. as Stuttering in Nigeria is so looked down on, that below other major diseases and disorders such as AIDs, down syndrome and autism - move this further down. are seen a curse from God and families have been known to try to eradicate and disown children who they think are curses and may be unfit to live through lives. I was indeed lucky that my parents saw past the “failure” that I was supposed to be and they enjoyed the happiness that I brought them Do not use self-congratulatory language since they were a fairly new couple when I was born. My parents would tell me stories of not just friends, but family members who grew up very conservative about how much problems I would be in their lives and if there was a way I could be sent abroad to family members in England or the U.S. so that I wouldn’t be a burden in their lives. My parents forcefully got past all these criticisms and kept me with them until I attended boarding school in 6th grade because they believe that not only was I a blessing, I would grow up to prove everyone wrong and be as successful as their kids would be. Very wishy-washy; demonstrate how they supported you in an active fashion and helped you to overcome your critics and demonstrate to them that despite their disciplinarian attitude they were proud of you because of X Y Z Life was indeed hard for me Do not plainly state this, lend an inference because I realized how outspoken I could have been growing up, but was dragged down by looking like a fool when I raise my hand up in class trying to answer a question or when I gave that presentation in 7th grade about the assassination of J.F.K. [b]Relevance? *That presentation* what presentation? Not showing overcoming adversity here[/b]

Currently, it can be seen that not only have I taken control of this “disorder” in my life, but I tackle what everyone around me see as a flaw in my life. Again, INFERENTIAL writing; "Having lived with what is termed a disorder, I have a great appreciation for those with their own seemingly debilitating issues, because...I credited my speech teacher in 6th grade who helped me develop technics like thinking ahead before speaking and dissecting information in my brain so that I won’t go back to that kid in kindergarten who hated every time he had to talk to a friend, talk to a teacher, or give a presentation in middle school.When I realized that I wanted to be learn and hopefully practice law, I wasn’t just trying to speak for myself when it comes to the law, I see myself as a piece of a puzzle when it comes to expression of speech. Good, now EXPAND on this. I could have allowed stuttering to take control of my life, but I pushed on cliche and with the help of some peers and a determined teachers in my life, I can be seen as a success story, instead of what the end result could have been. Now, I am the first one in a class to raise his hand, or give a presentation and not feel like a burden or look like a fool in front of my peers.

Now to the other 67,999,999 people in the world who has some sort of stuttering, this statement is for them and hopes that they live life to the fullest, because the only obstacle in life is one that we allow to be an obstacle.


Many cliches, poor grammar, etc. I like the idea, but this needs serious work done


Wow thanks for this, very big help. I am sure that I will be able to use some of this when I revise it.

sadeshina
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby sadeshina » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:31 pm

So I have written another P.S. which I think I can use. I need volunteers to help me critique it. I am not however going to post in this thread though. I would like to inbox anyone who would like go over it for me so any volunteers, please post in this thread after this post.

Thanks.

Train951
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:48 pm

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby Train951 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:11 pm

I'll volunteer

dani_burhop
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby dani_burhop » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:54 pm

The stuttering topic would work well in a diversity statement - it's directly about hardship, and what makes you different.

Re: passive voice - here is a resource that might help - you do sometimes use the passive voice, but not as often as some folks have pointed out:

http://www.towson.edu/ows/activepass.htm

It usually takes applicants 3-10 drafts of a personal statement before they really have something excellent. My advice to you is to slow down, read these aloud, take a breath, and take your time.

Best of luck, Dani

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Scrutinize my PS (Very, very rough draft)

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:26 am

dani_burhop wrote:Re: passive voice - here is a resource that might help - you do sometimes use the passive voice, but not as often as some folks have pointed out:

This is technically correct, yet still dangerous advice, IMHO. In more general terms, passive writing includes obscuring the subject/actor and using state of being and transitive verbs that lack action. For example:
It was exactly 10am on a rainy, but blustery day in May 2010. I shuttered from the unusual cold and bluster as I walked to the auditorium that May morning. It was awfully cold for a day in the month of May, but happiness was in the air. I was finally walking across the stage to get my B.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Computer Forensics. HHowever, happiness was in the air as a warmly crossed the stage to pick up my B.S. diploma in Criminal Justice. It had been a long journey in the four years I have been in college and have faced a lot of difficulties that almost derailed my plans in life. I had to overcome many trials on the difficult journey I travelled to arrive at that podium. There were the issues of switching majors three times, getting an underage violation a month before I turned 21 and the ups and downs of being a college student, but finally the day has come. I switched majors three times until I found a pursuit that drove me to excel. I paid for my youthful mistakes like violating drinking rules prior to turning 21. I struggled against the backdrop of financial hardship and coming of age without effective role models, and yet still, I arrived at this dais. ...so on and so forth.




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