Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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ThreeRivers
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Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:29 pm

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Last edited by ThreeRivers on Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:57 am, edited 8 times in total.

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upalittletoolate
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby upalittletoolate » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:33 pm

I feel like I just read your brother's PS. If you still stick with his story, which I don't think you should, find a way to talk about how it specifically changed you. You come across as trying to cash in on his hardships, instead of discussing more how you were affected and how you rose to meet a challenge.

(Typing quick- sorry if that seems harsh.)

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ThreeRivers
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:38 pm

upalittletoolate wrote:I feel like I just read your brother's PS. If you still stick with his story, which I don't think you should, find a way to talk about how it specifically changed you. You come across as trying to cash in on his hardships, instead of discussing more how you were affected and how you rose to meet a challenge.

(Typing quick- sorry if that seems harsh.)

I actually worried about that too so no, not harsh... I'm really upset with how horrible I am writing this. My problem is:

1. This is the biggest event that has effected me in my life without a doubt... So I feel it'd be good for PS / idk what else to write about at all other than this, but Idk how to express this well at all

2. If I don't write a story there's no way I can write about 2-3 pages of bsing why I'd be a great law student..

Really stuck right now lol

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upalittletoolate
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby upalittletoolate » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:50 pm

ThreeRivers wrote:
1. This is the biggest event that has effected me in my life without a doubt... So I feel it'd be good for PS / idk what else to write about at all other than this, but Idk how to express this well at all


Ok, let's assume that this is what you stick with (though really dig deep- any volunteer/leadership roles that you can really spin? Do you live in a tornado/earthquake/hurricane area where you helped with relief work? Really gut your resume- see if you can find something more directly related to you). But let's go back to your brother's story. Did you take on any extra responsibilities while he was in the hospital? Or maybe you'd like to practice law that in some way relates to the insurance company that almost didn't pay for his tests (I made that up, and I know I'm reaching here, but you get the idea). Admissions people don't want to just hear that you got motivated- they want to know how it changed you, and how you're going to use it moving forward.

The PS is the only time (other than your resume and maybe a DS) to really sell yourself- don't hold back. Don't make stuff up, but seriously- spin your strengths till they're blue in the face and begging to get off the ride.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:55 pm

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Last edited by ThreeRivers on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

in2win
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby in2win » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:56 pm

I honestly don't think its that bad. I think you need to shift your focus however. I am writing on a very similar PS topic which is a disease my brother had which seriously affected my entire family greatly. i think you will want to shorten the paragraphs about your brother just to paint a picture of the main facts of the situation, how difficult it was, and how it affected you. Focus on the lessons you learned from your brothers battle and explain in greater detail how they have made you a stronger person, determined person, etc. its a very moving story so you definitely have a good topic to write on. i think you just need to make it more about it affected you and will continue to affect you.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:01 pm

in2win wrote:I honestly don't think its that bad. I think you need to shift your focus however. I am writing on a very similar PS topic which is a disease my brother had which seriously affected my entire family greatly. i think you will want to shorten the paragraphs about your brother just to paint a picture of the main facts of the situation, how difficult it was, and how it affected you. Focus on the lessons you learned from your brothers battle and explain in greater detail how they have made you a stronger person, determined person, etc. its a very moving story so you definitely have a good topic to write on. i think you just need to make it more about it affected you and will continue to affect you.

Thanks, yea I got that feel I made it too much about him... I've never been able to write about myself, kind of sucks now lol I'm thinking maybe add a paragraph before I start about whatever institution I'm applying to that's just purely based one me... should be able to squeeze 6 of those sentences in lol

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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:29 am

Write about your brother. Just write better. Expose yourself more. No one will punish you for honoring and admiring his courage. If you think about it more deeply, I think you will realize that he needed you more than this story gleans.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 2: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:25 pm

Bumped for draft 2 (see first post)

kublaikahn
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Re: Updated Draft 2: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:13 pm

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Last edited by kublaikahn on Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 2: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:27 am

Thanks... I'm currently writing my third draft and I feel this one is starting to look more like a decent PS

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 3: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Bumped for draft 3

kublaikahn
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Re: Updated Draft 3: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Originally my reaction was one that was a state of shock. Shock soon gave sway to confusion. How could all this be happening to my brother?when [H]e was only 25 and otherwise completely healthy. I did not believe these types of things happened to people like him. Another thought entered my mind: why him and not me? if it could happen to him that meant that it could have just as easily happened to me.[this sounds self centered and needs to be rephrased (i.e. I lost my illusion of imperviousness.) and moved down in the grieving process, bring it up after you discuss how you supported your bro and then how he inspired you] Overtime [two words] throughout the hospital visits and the highs and lows of chemotherapy treatment my initial reaction of shock transformed into one of inspiration. [before you talk about how your bro inspired you, you need to talk about being there for him. Say how hard it was to go in and see him suffer. Then turn to, but his optimism began to buoy. He behaved as though he would beat the disease, studying, living, enjoying our rekindled closeness...blah blah blah]

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NiccoloA
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby NiccoloA » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:23 pm

It is an endearing story that makes me want you to succeed because I can relate to that sinking feeling of seeing a sibling struggle.

upalittletoolate wrote:I feel like I just read your brother's PS. If you still stick with his story, which I don't think you should, find a way to talk about how it specifically changed you. You come across as trying to cash in on his hardships, instead of discussing more how you were affected and how you rose to meet a challenge.

(Typing quick- sorry if that seems harsh.)


Unfortunately, I have to echo this sentiment.


Maybe approach it from the perspective of answering a question.

Why do these feelings motivate you to attend law school? What from this experience pushes you to do law?

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ThreeRivers
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Re: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:15 pm

NiccoloA wrote:It is an endearing story that makes me want you to succeed because I can relate to that sinking feeling of seeing a sibling struggle.

upalittletoolate wrote:I feel like I just read your brother's PS. If you still stick with his story, which I don't think you should, find a way to talk about how it specifically changed you. You come across as trying to cash in on his hardships, instead of discussing more how you were affected and how you rose to meet a challenge.

(Typing quick- sorry if that seems harsh.)


Unfortunately, I have to echo this sentiment.


Maybe approach it from the perspective of answering a question.

Why do these feelings motivate you to attend law school? What from this experience pushes you to do law?

Thanks for the input, sadly I've been trying to make it more and more about me with every new draft (should have seen first draft it was way too much about him). I'll continue to put more focus on me on the next draft (it is really hard for me for some reason)

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 3: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:16 pm

Thanks again for the input kublaikahn, I feel like your advice is definitely improving my PS... back to the drawing board

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:58 pm

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:26 pm

Bumped for draft 4

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mandolin
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby mandolin » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:08 am

Should be "shock gave way to confusion," unless I'm just reading it wrong.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:13 am

mandolin wrote:Should be "shock gave way to confusion," unless I'm just reading it wrong.

Some definitions of sway

To fluctuate, as in outlook.
To cause to incline or bend to one side

So I think it works there, but if others disagree / thinks it looks awkward let me know

Any other comments / thoughts on this last draft?

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esq
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby esq » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:34 am

I agree with some of the posters above. Your bro is an inspirational guy. If I'm an adcom, I'm taking this as his letter of rec and accepting him. Good job on this one, if your bro can just get one more like this, his application is complete.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:44 am

esq wrote:I agree with some of the posters above. Your bro is an inspirational guy. If I'm an adcom, I'm taking this as his letter of rec and accepting him. Good job on this one, if your bro can just get one more like this, his application is complete.

Seriously? I'm not being sarcastic, just really discouraged if it still reads like that... those comments above were when my first draft almost completely read as a story about him. I've followed suggestions and changed it so that only the introduction is about him, took out all the details, and tried to focus everything else on its impact on me / how it influenced my desire for law, etc..

I really am not sure how it differs than any introduction story at this point / how to make it less about him any more

CanadianWolf
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:52 am

Enjoyable read. Convincing of your desire to become a lawyer to battle insurance companies. Not sure why you capitalized the word "democracy" or why this sentence is in your essay. Try to redo the final sentence as it shifts the focus to your brother when it should be on your desire to attend Pitt & become an attorney in order to hammer unethical insurance companies that allow, and cause, their clients to suffer.

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esq
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby esq » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:01 am

ThreeRivers wrote:Seriously? I'm not being sarcastic, just really discouraged if it still reads like that... those comments above were when my first draft almost completely reads as a story about him. I've followed suggestions and changed it so that only the introduction is about him, took out all the details, and tried to focus everything else on its impact on me / how it influenced my desire for law, etc..

I really am not sure how it differs than any introduction story at this point / how to make it less about him any more


Yeah, seriously. Think about it, the first 4 paragraphs straight are all about your brother. The last 3 are the only ones that attempt to talk about you, and still there is a definite sprinkling about your brother and his role in this, which again makes it more about him motivating you than you motivating you. Overall, however, after 4 paragraphs that really do not relate to you and your struggle to develop, you've lost the reader. An adcom, which will be sorting through hundreds, if not thousands, of PS' will be no different. Also, this PS, imo, will not bode well with the adcoms who are looking for folks who are extremely self motivated to get through a difficult 3 years.

The next thing I notice is substance. So you became motivated, so what? A: you moved from reading books in the library to looking up the admissions process for Pitt online. You daydreamed about protecting democracy, whatever that means, through practicing law. Nothing here separates you from the lowest common denominator that is applying to law school. Think about it, every person applying, whether they have scored a 140 - 180, will have done what you have framed as your biggest motivational accomplishments.

You need more substance here before any adcom will look at your PS and truly think that you are a motivated individual, and this is aside from the reality that your argument should also be framed around your merits and how you developed them.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Updated Draft 4: In SERIOUS need of help

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:14 am

esq wrote:
ThreeRivers wrote:Seriously? I'm not being sarcastic, just really discouraged if it still reads like that... those comments above were when my first draft almost completely reads as a story about him. I've followed suggestions and changed it so that only the introduction is about him, took out all the details, and tried to focus everything else on its impact on me / how it influenced my desire for law, etc..

I really am not sure how it differs than any introduction story at this point / how to make it less about him any more


Yeah, seriously. Think about it, the first 4 paragraphs straight are all about your brother. The last 3 are the only ones that attempt to talk about you, and still there is a definite sprinkling about your brother and his role in this, which again makes it more about him motivating you than you motivating you. Overall, however, after 4 paragraphs that really do not relate to you and your struggle to develop, you've lost the reader. An adcom, which will be sorting through hundreds, if not thousands, of PS' will be no different. Also, this PS, imo, will not bode well with the adcoms who are looking for folks who are extremely self motivated to get through a difficult 3 years.

The next thing I notice is substance. So you became motivated, so what? A: you moved from reading books in the library to looking up the admissions process for Pitt online. You daydreamed about protecting democracy, whatever that means, through practicing law. Nothing here separates you from the lowest common denominator that is applying to law school. Think about it, every person applying, whether they have scored a 140 - 180, will have done what you have framed as your biggest motivational accomplishments.

You need more substance here before any adcom will look at your PS and truly think that you are a motivated individual, and this is aside from the reality that your argument should also be framed around your merits and how you developed them.

I want people to slam my PS so I'm not trying to get into an argument and I definitely will take some of your comments into consideration, but the 1st 4 are about my brother? There are 5 paragraphs:

Paragraph 1 - Introduction story about brother having cancer
Paragraph 2 - His struggle became my inspiration
Paragraph 3 - How it influenced me
Paragraph 4 - Why I want to attend X law school / why I would be good for X law school
Paragraph 5 - Closing / wrapped it up

You stating that it took 4 out of my 5 paragraphs makes me believe you didn't even read my PS really / just looked at other individuals comments from previous drafts (in which case they were correct).

edit: Actually you seem to think there are 7 paragraphs, when there are actually 5.. idk

Still, I thank you for your input and will definitely take it into consideration for my next draft
Last edited by ThreeRivers on Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:16 am, edited 3 times in total.




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