First Draft of Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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ThomasMN
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First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby ThomasMN » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:41 pm

I am looking for some feedback on my personal statement and was wondering if a few people had some time tonight to take a look at it. Just PM me if you are interested and I will email it your way.

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ThomasMN
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby ThomasMN » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:42 pm

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Last edited by ThomasMN on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ahnhub
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby ahnhub » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:46 pm

I think you have a good beginning here, and the subject matter is solid. I also like the theme of learning to become an advocate. I think the tone of the whole thing seems a little too idealistic and generalized--you definitely establish a sense of alienation as an immigrant child, and the fact that you wanted to help the Iraqi translators despite the inclination to show prejudice towards them. These things are real, but they come off sounding a little dreamy and unfocused in this PS. Can you make the reader's sense of these things more solid, more tangible? I would suggest either being more specific about what happened to you as a child or a soldier, going more in-depth into the story, or going more in-depth as to your particular mind-set.

CanadianWolf
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:36 pm

I agree with the above post that your personal statement seems overly idealistic & a touch naive. I find it hard to believe that fellow 9 year old fourth grade students grilled you about whether or not you were a Nazi & whether or not you liked Hitler; this just seems fabricated to me.

Overall, the writing is average to above average & the theme structure & development is very good---although hard to believe.

kublaikahn
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:57 am

Close but not yet ready. First, explain the 4th grade story better and give the lesson learned at that time (what it felt like to be first differentiated, and second, mistrusted because you were different.) Not to discount the recollection, but I think it comes across a bit incredulous that all the kids turned sinister and that the teacher took it in stride. Unless I am mistaken, it was probably some boys or a group that did. I would spin it like that. That the teacher introduced you and the questions started neutrally but superficially. Then some in the class dug deeper and tried to pin you to the nastiness of the Third Reich. Give the lesson that you acknowledged that was wrong, and when you got to Iraq, you saw that mistrust and alienation again from some in your company.

Let go of the advocacy and simply tie in to your ability to empathize and support. You say enough in that alone to state that you can be an advocate, that you can walk in another's shoes and circle the wagons with those outside the dominant circle. Tell the payoff about the value you placed in that relationship and how it brought humanity to an inhumane place and event. Express, as you did, the pain of leaving that valued friendship behind. Talk about metaphorically bringing him home and to law school with you. Perhaps (if true) express how he is pulling for you and praying for you to succeed. You do not need to mention that you have not spoken since.

But you are very close with this piece. Finally, tighten up your writing and eliminate the abundantly overused passive voice.

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ThomasMN
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby ThomasMN » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:47 am

Thank you all for the comments and I think you all hit it on the head that I need to improve the writing and make it more tangible. The events above did all actually happen(I am not one to fib). Trust me when I say that I've heard some off the wall ignorant things said about Germany. My personal favorite is when someone once asked me if most Germans had cars or if they used carriages. Children are often the most ignorant about foreigners due to a lack of education on the subject. It isn't so much that the children in my class asked the questions in a nasty way; they simply asked questions that I believe they thought were innocent and happened to cause me a lot of pain at the time. Perhaps it would be a good idea for me to restructure the beginning to make that clearer.

Thank you again for the comments and I will rework the statement and potentially put up a second draft tomorrow. I would appreciate it a great deal of you would all give it another look when I do so.




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