Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

What was the theme of your PS?

Story about a specific event/occurrence
18
78%
General picture of you as a person
5
22%
 
Total votes: 23

vkgarrett
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby vkgarrett » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:17 pm

Hello everyone,

So I am figuring out my PS right now... and I've been reading through a lot on here. I drafted the first part of my PS, and after reading the PS on this forum, I noticed that MOST of the PS are a sort of short story about one event in a persons life. When I was reading the "guidlines" for PS I got more of the impression that adcoms wanted some more general "themes" as opposed to a story about one event. Now I could be completely wrong, which is why I'm posting this. I just dont feel like I can find one specific "event" to write about that would accurately get across what I want to convey as an applicant (OK scores, but have a lot of leadership/great WE). I don't want to turn my PS into a second resume at the same time.

Thoughts?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:26 pm

i vote a short story that helps promote a theme (message about you) that you are trying to get across to adcomms :P

jpal13
Posts: 278
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby jpal13 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:39 pm

This is my question too. When I read any statement anyone writes I cringe. When I read my drafts I cringe. Whenever someone posts anything they write everyone on forum cringes. Whenever someone says "tell a story that says something about you" I cringe. This is a very hard task.

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tmon
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby tmon » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:44 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:i vote a short story that helps promote a theme (message about you) that you are trying to get across to adcomms :P

This, mainly. If you're going to paint a picture of yourself it helps to use specific examples or it'll turn into a boring, vague, and unsubstantiated PS. I think you're a lot more likely to be successful if you pick what you want to get across and find an example that communicates this.

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theadvancededit
Posts: 315
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby theadvancededit » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:50 pm

Either method works, actually. For instance, if your life has been a trajectory straight to law school-- model congress, intern for a senator/biglaw firm/ngo, etc.-- then you can talk about how your experiences all have worked to bring you to this point. However, most people don't fall into that category, and find writing an anecdote creatively is easier and more freeing. It all really depends on how well you can sell yourself and to choose the most effective way to do that.

snestor20
Posts: 10
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby snestor20 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:14 pm

I think telling a story is suggested because it's really pretty easy to tell a story about yourself and tie skills and characteristics that law schools look for in a student's personality.

The big picture thing can be comprised of characteristics with evidence or examples given. Sort of "making a point and backing it up" with the examples. Some don't recommend this approach because it can be pretty long winded for a PS.

A student at my UG wrote a PS with a brief introduction followed by sub-headings which specified types of promises/commitments she has made to herself throughout her legal education, career, and life; this approach turned out to be successful for her. Something unique can be great, but has to be carefully done. I suggest thinking out of the box, but there are, of course, risk/reward factors there. Like mentioned above, do what sells you as a student best.

vkgarrett
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby vkgarrett » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:39 pm

tmon wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:i vote a short story that helps promote a theme (message about you) that you are trying to get across to adcomms :P

This, mainly. If you're going to paint a picture of yourself it helps to use specific examples or it'll turn into a boring, vague, and unsubstantiated PS. I think you're a lot more likely to be successful if you pick what you want to get across and find an example that communicates this.


this helps, although I'm afraid that one event wont really be able to get across the things i want to say... I feel like telling a story about an "event" would sound too cliche... and i'm pretty sure if i'm not into writing it the admissions department wont be into reading it... haha'

do your stories focus on one aspect of you or several?

vkgarrett
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby vkgarrett » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:45 pm

theadvancededit wrote:Either method works, actually. For instance, if your life has been a trajectory straight to law school-- model congress, intern for a senator/biglaw firm/ngo, etc.-- then you can talk about how your experiences all have worked to bring you to this point. However, most people don't fall into that category, and find writing an anecdote creatively is easier and more freeing. It all really depends on how well you can sell yourself and to choose the most effective way to do that.


My life hasn't been a straight trajectory towards law school, but i think there are three major aspects of my life (both of my current jobs as well as my history on a sports team) that all come together to really make me a good candidate for law school/being a lawyer. I think I have learned certain qualities from all three of those parts, and thats what i want to get across. So, as a result, I can't really think of "one" story.

Sigh, if anyone wants to PM me to help I'd love it :) i need some honest opinions ha.
Last edited by vkgarrett on Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:38 am

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Yoga blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

That's what I heard you say. Most PS's are epiphany statements, tragic statements, or retarded over-glorifications. None of which really seem to work. Write about something that makes you interesting.

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kwais
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby kwais » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:13 am

the problem with general PS "trajectory" type shit, is that is reads like a resume. Taking an event in your life and telling it in a way that illuminates a quality or two of your personality is a far more effective use of the PS. Please don't write the "and then I, and then I, and then I, and therefore law school" shit.

vkgarrett
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby vkgarrett » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:22 am

kwais wrote:the problem with general PS "trajectory" type shit, is that is reads like a resume. Taking an event in your life and telling it in a way that illuminates a quality or two of your personality is a far more effective use of the PS. Please don't write the "and then I, and then I, and then I, and therefore law school" shit.


got it, I will try and steer away from this. thanks


kublaikahn wrote:Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Yoga blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

That's what I heard you say. Most PS's are epiphany statements, tragic statements, or retarded over-glorifications. None of which really seem to work. Write about something that makes you interesting.



hahah yeah I know... thanks for your help.

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theadvancededit
Posts: 315
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Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby theadvancededit » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:25 pm

vkgarrett wrote:My life hasn't been a straight trajectory towards law school, but i think there are three major aspects of my life (both of my current jobs as well as my history on a sports team) that all come together to really make me a good candidate for law school/being a lawyer. I think I have learned certain qualities from all three of those parts, and thats what i want to get across. So, as a result, I can't really think of "one" story.


It all depends on what the person feels most comfortable writing about for 1,000-1,200 words. The main goal is to sell yourself as a good candidate. So, it doesn't really matter which style you choose as long as you make this argument effectively. Just choose the one you're most comfortable with and go for it.

vkgarrett
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby vkgarrett » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:11 pm

Thank you everyone for your help. I was able to find a story that I think pretty well describes me and my drive for law school. Open to trade PS if anyone wants to review!

Thanks again :)

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Telling a story in your PS vs General Picture

Postby shoeshine » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:31 pm

The best personal statements do both.




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