PS please help!! tear it to shreds

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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salsahips
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PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby salsahips » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:21 pm

I've posted the new edit as a new thread, check it out! Any and all suggestions are welcome
Last edited by salsahips on Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:38 pm

This is not a good personal statement. Poorly written, boring due to repetition & lack of meaningful insights, and monotone should render this essay ineffective at helping you gain admission to competitive law schools.

Unfortunately, the primary accomplishment of your personal statement is to show that your writing skills are weak. Try to write in crisp, clear sentences while delivering a succinct message.

P.S. Your writing overuses the pronoun "I".

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:46 pm

Rethink your theme. Using your father's difficulties & lack of accomplishment as motivation to succeed paints you in an unfavorable light. Although many are motivated by family situations, your personal statement presents your inspiration in a bit of a degrading manner toward your father and that reflects poorly on your character & maturity.

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salsahips
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby salsahips » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:17 pm

Thanks for your candor, I appreciate it...

Could you be more specific as to what elements of my writing needs improvement? Is any particular section better or worse than the rest?

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:19 pm

Bluntly speaking, the first paragraph is promising, the rest is disappointing. Unfortunately, your message is that your life goal is to not be like your father.

You use too many words to express minor thoughts. Your writing lacks style & depth of thought. Writing in crisp,clear sentences is a method of delivering one's message in a succinct fashion. Every sentence and/or thought does not need to be expressed using the pronoun "I".

The final paragraph is horrendous. It's impact is to make the reader dislike you. A primary goal of one's personal statement should be to allow readers to know, understand & like you. Consider developing a new theme.

jim-green
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby jim-green » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:20 am

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Your writing overuses the pronoun "I".
Others have told me to write in the active voice. I see this as conflicting with your words here.

thederangedwang
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:54 am

jim-green wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Your writing overuses the pronoun "I".
Others have told me to write in the active voice. I see this as conflicting with your words here.


what i think canadianwolf meant was overuse of the simple construction of "I (verb)"......i did this, i did that, i achieved this, i worked hard...........this sentence construction is overused...the op could vary the construction without it affecting voice. Plus it would make the ps more interesting

dani_burhop
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby dani_burhop » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:55 pm

The father-was-a-drug addict story would work as a DS topic; what have you accomplished that you are proud of, or what interests have you cultivated, that will make you stand out in your personal statement? The PS is your opportunity to say "here is a story that illustrates my character and worth." Do some brainstorming, and come back to this process fresh - that's my recommendation.

I do agree that the prose here, overall, is weak. Aim for complex sentences and smooth paragraph transitions. Show the adcomms that you are able to contextualize and analyze your experiences. Give them reason to believe you are thoughtful, considered, and clever.

best, Dani

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salsahips
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby salsahips » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:16 am

Thanks for all the advice. The draft I posted was essentially a free write, I guess I should have worked on it a bit before posting it up cause I can definitely see where all of you are coming from.

I started up a new intro, what do you guys think? Its just a start so I haven't included any of my accomplishments, but I plan to jump right into them. Just to be sure, dani, do you think the experiences and accomplishments I put in my original draft were weak? I guess the 2nd grade example might be too far off, but the legislation in Student Senate?


“We came here for you,” this is what my grandmother told me when, as a young boy, I asked her why she decided to immigrate to the United States with my mother. It was difficult to understand what she meant at the time because I was not yet born when she emigrated, but I have come to realize what she meant. Opportunity was a rare commodity in Castro’s Cuba and if her children and grandchildren were to have the chance to make something of themselves, leaving the country was her only choice. The idea that my family decided to uproot itself and start a new life has always been my inspiration to take advantage of the opportunity they have laid before me.
Growing up was at times a struggle. My mom had to support me and my younger brother by herself. My father struggled with a drug addiction and was hardly around. My mom was a receptionist and although she only just made enough to make ends meet, it was a steady job, and it was not manual labor. My grandmother had always been engaged in some form of manual labor and at this point she was cleaning hotel rooms. Together my mom and grandmother represented the glaring reality of the progress that even one generation could make.
My grandmother accepted her reality with strength and worked hard so that her children would be better off, and now my mom was doing the same. She was forced to quit high school early to help bring in money, but she made sure that would not happen to me. I was motivated from very early on by a sense that I had to work hard to achieve my goals so that my family’s sacrifices would not have been in vain.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:30 am

Your original version is much better than the revised offering. The essay in your original post in this thread contains 12 paragraphs. DELETE the last two paragraphs & KEEP the first three paragraphs. Of the remaining total of ten (10)paragraphs, you need to revise & condense paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9.

P.S. Your personal statement should end with paragraph ten (10) of the original offering, but should be less than 10 paragraphs due to revising & condensing paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. Try to delete or soften the negatives about your father contained in paragraphs 4 through 9 inclusive.

As a final note: If you did nothing beyond deleting the final two (2) paragraphs of your original draft, your personal statement would improve dramatically. The negatives in the final 2 paragraphs overwhelm & destroy the rest of your essay. Everything in the final 2 paragraphs should be deleted, in my opinion.

bmore
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby bmore » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:41 am

And stop using "mettle".

sven
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby sven » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:07 pm

..
Last edited by sven on Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dani_burhop
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby dani_burhop » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:40 pm

Hi - If your goal is to crack T14, you'll need to start from scratch, IMHO. You should also sit down and decide what you're going to put in your PS, and what you're going to put in your DS. Based on what I've read of yours so far, you should definitely have both a PS and DS. Since you won't be repeating content between the essays, differentiating between them early may help you focus.

Best, Dani

salsahips wrote:Thanks for all the advice. The draft I posted was essentially a free write, I guess I should have worked on it a bit before posting it up cause I can definitely see where all of you are coming from.

I started up a new intro, what do you guys think? Its just a start so I haven't included any of my accomplishments, but I plan to jump right into them. Just to be sure, dani, do you think the experiences and accomplishments I put in my original draft were weak? I guess the 2nd grade example might be too far off, but the legislation in Student Senate?


“We came here for you,” this is what my grandmother told me when, as a young boy, I asked her why she decided to immigrate to the United States with my mother. It was difficult to understand what she meant at the time because I was not yet born when she emigrated, but I have come to realize what she meant. Opportunity was a rare commodity in Castro’s Cuba and if her children and grandchildren were to have the chance to make something of themselves, leaving the country was her only choice. The idea that my family decided to uproot itself and start a new life has always been my inspiration to take advantage of the opportunity they have laid before me.
Growing up was at times a struggle. My mom had to support me and my younger brother by herself. My father struggled with a drug addiction and was hardly around. My mom was a receptionist and although she only just made enough to make ends meet, it was a steady job, and it was not manual labor. My grandmother had always been engaged in some form of manual labor and at this point she was cleaning hotel rooms. Together my mom and grandmother represented the glaring reality of the progress that even one generation could make.
My grandmother accepted her reality with strength and worked hard so that her children would be better off, and now my mom was doing the same. She was forced to quit high school early to help bring in money, but she made sure that would not happen to me. I was motivated from very early on by a sense that I had to work hard to achieve my goals so that my family’s sacrifices would not have been in vain.

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salsahips
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Re: PS please help!! tear it to shreds

Postby salsahips » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:24 pm

hey I posted my edit as a new thread, check it out

btw thanks everyone for the help




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