Feedback/Advice on my PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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amc987
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Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:45 pm

Hey all,

I wrote a PS that I need to cut down from 3.5 pages and perfect before I can submit it.

Would anyone be willing to give me feedback/ suggestions about how to cut it down?? I could really use the input!

PM me for details.

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tmplge
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby tmplge » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:07 pm

Post it up and lets have a go at it.

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amc987
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:32 pm

.
Last edited by amc987 on Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jmart154
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby jmart154 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:33 pm

First off, let me say that you are a very talented writer. You have a great story to tell, and I believe with some substantial refinement you can really make this a winner. However, there are a few things you need to address. First, you have a tendency to use flowery language, and you are a bit verbose. Here are some examples of what I mean: "purveyors of maladies", "contumaciously questioning", "unyielding hopelessness" (this does not make sense at all), "virulent barbs". Save this language for Law School, as it has the effect of taking the personal element away from your story. With regards to length, it is indeed very long to read. While your story is compelling, there are a few parts that can easily be shortened or even cut out. For example, I am not so sure two paragraphs devoted to your father's abuses are necessary; I think you can get the message across in a single, concise paragraph. Nevertheless, I think you have written a nice piece, and with a little bit of revision, you can turn this into a impressive essay.

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amc987
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:32 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I will try to cut out some of the more flowery language...Any other takers??

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Diiizzzzoooo
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby Diiizzzzoooo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:29 pm

Excellent essay. But I plug this into Microsoft Word and get almost 5 full pages. How are you getting 3.5???

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rinkrat19
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:41 pm

Cut out at least half of the very long paragraph about the Dalits.

Then you spend 3 paragraphs describing your dad's abusiveness. It's very vivid, but you can pretty much get your point across in one paragraph. Two more paragraphs are just reinforcing it, not adding anything new.

Actually, I get about halfway through most of the paragraphs and think 'ok, what's next?' but you're stuck on the same topic for another five sentences. Almost every paragraph could be trimmed in half.

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amc987
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:59 pm

Diiizzzzoooo wrote:Excellent essay. But I plug this into Microsoft Word and get almost 5 full pages. How are you getting 3.5???


I am using 11 point font and 1 inch margins. Those were HLS's instructions and they shorten things, so I think that's the template I'm going to adopt for schools that don't expressly articulate a different requirement.

I will try to cut down on the abuse parts. I want to retain the same general tone (the point is that I wrote it and my experience is presumably different from other people's. I want them to think my narrative voice stands out.), but truncate it. So I will definitely do some thinking and try to eliminate the things I don't think are essential. Thanks!

BTW, how long do you think a PS would have to be in order to be problematic to adcomms? I am going to try shorten it as much as I can, but there's no way this thing is going to be 2 pages when I'm done unless I drastically change what I'm writing about or write in Hemingway-esque brevity. E.g., I met Untouchables. It was sad. It reminded me of my own abuse, etc.

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Diiizzzzoooo
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby Diiizzzzoooo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:03 am

amc987 wrote:
Diiizzzzoooo wrote:Excellent essay. But I plug this into Microsoft Word and get almost 5 full pages. How are you getting 3.5???


I am using 11 point font and 1 inch margins. Those were HLS's instructions and they shorten things, so I think that's the template I'm going to adopt for schools that don't expressly articulate a different requirement.

I will try to cut down on the abuse parts. I want to retain the same general tone (the point is that I wrote it and my experience is presumably different from other people's. I want them to think my narrative voice stands out.), but truncate it. So I will definitely do some thinking and try to eliminate the things I don't think are essential. Thanks!

BTW, how long do you think a PS would have to be in order to be problematic to adcomms? I am going to try shorten it as much as I can, but there's no way this thing is going to be 2 pages when I'm done unless I drastically change what I'm writing about or write in Hemingway-esque brevity. E.g., I met Untouchables. It was sad. It reminded me of my own abuse, etc.



Each of the 6 schools I am applying to require no more than two pages, double spaced. I am experiencing the same kind of issues with trying to whittle down a very complex piece into something I can submit.

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amc987
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:26 pm

Any other suggestions?? I really could use the advice!!

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SisterRayVU
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby SisterRayVU » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:37 pm

amc987 wrote:Any other suggestions?? I really could use the advice!!


Cut out a lot of adjectives. Honestly just read your essay, think "Is this sentence/paragraph necessary to the larger theme?" If no, scrap it. If yes, can you cut out words or rephrase in a concise manner? One error in a lot of writing is that people read a line, think it sounds good, and move on, but don't realize that when framed by other verbose sentences it just comes off as wordy.

For example, just in your first paragraph you have 'sweltering', 'tiny clusters of gnats', 'bucolic', 'liquid mixture' etc. Are all of those words necessary? Most obviously, you don't need 'liquid'.

I would hesitate to quote directly in any essay, at least a long quote, just because it comes off sort of meh imo. But that could be a personal thing with just my reading. Otherwise, I think you have a strong essay with a consistent theme and progression. Just be thorough in editing and recognize that they're gonna skim this fairly quickly so make it flow easily.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:48 pm

Well written essay offering thought-provoking insights; I cannot imagine any law school for which your numbers are reasonable rejecting you.

NoJob
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby NoJob » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:56 pm

amc987 wrote:Any other suggestions?? I really could use the advice!!


I don't quite get how a law degree will help you accomplish these goals. Some insight into that would help. Also, some shadowing or paralegal experience might demonstrate that you actually know what lawyers do?

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amc987
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:01 pm

NoJob wrote:I don't quite get how a law degree will help you accomplish these goals. Some insight into that would help. Also, some shadowing or paralegal experience might demonstrate that you actually know what lawyers do?


I should have been clearer. I meant to ask whether anyone had additional advice related to PS, not on my decision to attend law school. If you don't like my writing or think I should change things around, great--that's what I'm trying to figure out on this forum. I'd prefer to keep the comments related to what I wrote and how I can improve on it.

You're entitled to your opinion (which, btw, is irritating and not even slightly helpful). Rights tend to be expressed in legal language and therefore, lawyers are uniquely positioned when to argue against human rights violations (both in the advocacy and policy-making arenas). That's why I want to go to law school.

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amc987
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Re: Feedback/Advice on my PS

Postby amc987 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:31 pm

Deleted. Will repost a revised/ shorter version sooner than later.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys!!




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