Too much adversity in my PS?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby spring2012hopeful » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:43 am

Down for revision. Thanks for all of the feedback!
Last edited by spring2012hopeful on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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holdencaulfield
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:12 pm

Re: Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby holdencaulfield » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:49 am

I hate 90% of personal statements. Most are over the top, self-righteous, pity-parties, or annoying.



That said....I really liked your PS. I'd absolutely admit.

spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Re: Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby spring2012hopeful » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:12 am

Thank you so much for your opinion! :D

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MrHaephestus
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby MrHaephestus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:21 am

Some comments,

1) you've got several punctuation errors in your statement, and I would definitely correct them. There are several ands missing commas, and the use of the ellipses (...) is really a no-no here. Change the ellipses to a semicolon, or a dash. I'd go with the dash in this case.

2) Clear out as much passive voice as you can. For example, I think you wrote "Meanwhile my marriage was coming to an end," or something to that effect. Try "meanwhile my marriage ended" and go from there. You can't, and shouldn't kill off the passive voice entirely as it exists for a reason, but do all that you can to root out as many TO BE style verbs as possible.

3) The subject falls into the triumph over adversity category, but fortunately you give a concrete example of how that triumph leads to law school. Thus, the statement flows fairly well.

4) I think you have the bones, and even the muscles, of a fine PS here, but you need to tighten up the writing and bit and watch the grammar.

5) Go get 'em girl - let nothing stand in you way!

spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Re: Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby spring2012hopeful » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:31 am

Thank you for the feedback. I will absolutly keep your comments in mind during revision. :)

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13910
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:36 pm

Great story, writing needs some attention.

Cut out some of the cliché phrases: 'grand scheme of things,' 'look before I leap,' 'life was a whirlwind,' 'coming of age,' 'I'm living proof,' etc. Use these extremely sparingly. You need to show off your writing, not someone else's.

Your timeline hops around a bit and is confusing. You were a mother to four children, but your 'only daughter at that time' passed away. Six months after she died, you started school, but were you still having kids at that point? I have no idea what order things happened in.

Too many adverbs, sometimes completely wrong for the sentence.

Too many contractions, which are generally considered too informal for this type of writing. Overall your style just borders on too informal. A few changes in word choice could tidy it up.

As someone else mentioned, way too much passive voice. You sound detached from the story, as if you were an outside observer. That could be an understandable defense mechanism to protect yourself, but it also makes the writing weaker.

This paragraph is a mess:
spring2012hopeful wrote:The marriage finally came to a calamitous end as my house was set ablaze on ironically the same day that my divorce was filed. I was now faced with the arduous task of beginning again alone while caring for my three young sons, but I did it. In so doing, I was reminded that I am strong and capable – facts that I will never overlook again. The destruction of my home ironically forced me to rebuild myself, and the demolition of my marriage significantly contributed to that reconstruction.
You use 'ironically' twice, neither time correctly. Also, did someone burn your house down? That's kind of an obvious question that is left unanswered in the current version.

I am not sure that one "goes" pro se. Phrasing it like that sounds like lawyer slang. (Just a 0L, so someone else should answer this. I could totally be wrong.)

user11
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: Too much adversity in my PS?

Postby user11 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:09 pm

Get rid of the passive voice, fix the punctuation, and replace the cliche phrases.

Great story and has the potential to be a great PS. Good job!




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