general PS question..

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Schang1
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:58 pm

general PS question..

Postby Schang1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:10 pm

I read about 15+ personal statements that are posted on this forum and compared it to mine, and I feel like mine looks like shit. The reason being.. I feel like all these people's PS start with some sort of narrative setting and uses flowery + descriptive language that you would encounter in some sort of novel. Also, I've realized that a majority of the personal statements deal with a very tragic event in their lives.. I'm now considering whether I should re-write my whole personal statement... mine literally starts with the sentence: "I used my time in college to prepare for law school." and it goes on to talk about this one special hearing that I sat on when I was in honor council. I saw nothing wrong with it until I read other people's PS and really felt crappy. Does it look bad if I just get to the point and be straight forward? Will the admissions committee not like this?? I could have totally started my opening paragraph by saying stuff like "Two minutes passed.. and another five minutes passed.." etc (just trying to give some sort of dramatic effect). But I just didn't because I felt like that was a waste of space and just wanted to get to the point. Now I'm seriously doubting my polished PS. Also, just to add, what I had "experienced" isn't at all nearly as dramatic as what other people might have experienced in their lives.. I just wrote about this because it related to some of the skills that I learned through this experience that I believe will help me in law school -- I was not a victim of anything... so yeah.. *sigh* :| any thoughts?

iowalum
Posts: 326
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: general PS question..

Postby iowalum » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:34 pm

Even though some people make it work, I think the whole 'flowery language/tragic event/over-dramatizing' thing is incredibly juvenile. Straight forward can work, just make sure you express to the adcoms something about who you are and why law school is important to you. So many of these unnecessarily dramatic PS's seem both childish and kind of an insult to the intelligence of the adcoms. If you genuinely do have a big event that defined your decision to go to law school, use it, but otherwise don't make something up just to make it sound like the rest of them. Go for a mature, focused tone and come across as a professional.

Schang1
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:58 pm

Re: general PS question..

Postby Schang1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:52 pm

iowalum wrote:Even though some people make it work, I think the whole 'flowery language/tragic event/over-dramatizing' thing is incredibly juvenile. Straight forward can work, just make sure you express to the adcoms something about who you are and why law school is important to you. So many of these unnecessarily dramatic PS's seem both childish and kind of an insult to the intelligence of the adcoms. If you genuinely do have a big event that defined your decision to go to law school, use it, but otherwise don't make something up just to make it sound like the rest of them. Go for a mature, focused tone and come across as a professional.


Ah, I feel relieved. Thanks :)

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: general PS question..

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:14 pm

An essay that starts out with "I used my time in college to prepare for law school." should be about how you used college to prepare for LS or, alternatively, about something else you used other time to achieve. If you do not use an attention grabber, in a piece of this size, you first sentence should probably be your thesis.

You have not posted your PS, but I wonder if you start out with a thesis statement about preparing for LS and then wrote an essay about student government. If that is the case, you may come across as naive in thinking that student politics prepares one for law school. It may teach leadership or organization or relationship skills but these are generalized skills. If you are preparing for LS you should be learning to read dense materials, analyze ambiguous problems, and write concise arguments.

So post it and we can let you know if you are on the right track.

Schang1
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:58 pm

Re: general PS question..

Postby Schang1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:25 pm

You made a good point. :)
Last edited by Schang1 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Yeshia90
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:23 am

Re: general PS question..

Postby Yeshia90 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:30 am

Hint: when you leave blank the name of your college in one place, you should probably eliminate all instances of it.

HTH.

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NiccoloA
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: general PS question..

Postby NiccoloA » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:58 am

I like the part where you recognized the possibility of others having made up their minds before hearing the full side of the story. And overall this is a fine subject to write about. I never saved a child from a burning building either, my personal statement is just about losing a lot of weight during a summer - granted, it was 100lbs that I lost, but in the grand scheme of things does that compare to some of these other statements? I don't think so. It's all just about how you connect it. The statement should come off as literally a personal statement of you. It should give them insight into the type of person that you are, if you feel it does that then it is a good personal statement.

Now...

I think that you might go too in detail with your experiences on the council. I don't know that they need to hear your reasons specifically, just that you recognized that he fit into the "extenuating circumstances" bubble.

As far as the writing itself goes, you'll clean that up as you revise it over and over again, but there are grammar errors and fragmented sentences (no big deal for a draft, God knows I have plenty).


Overall, staying with this topic is a fine choice. Don't let the "sample" PS's deter you from writing about what you want to write about.

Schang1
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:58 pm

Re: general PS question..

Postby Schang1 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:57 pm

NiccoloA wrote:I like the part where you recognized the possibility of others having made up their minds before hearing the full side of the story. And overall this is a fine subject to write about. I never saved a child from a burning building either, my personal statement is just about losing a lot of weight during a summer - granted, it was 100lbs that I lost, but in the grand scheme of things does that compare to some of these other statements? I don't think so. It's all just about how you connect it. The statement should come off as literally a personal statement of you. It should give them insight into the type of person that you are, if you feel it does that then it is a good personal statement.

Now...

I think that you might go too in detail with your experiences on the council. I don't know that they need to hear your reasons specifically, just that you recognized that he fit into the "extenuating circumstances" bubble.

As far as the writing itself goes, you'll clean that up as you revise it over and over again, but there are grammar errors and fragmented sentences (no big deal for a draft, God knows I have plenty).


Overall, staying with this topic is a fine choice. Don't let the "sample" PS's deter you from writing about what you want to write about.


Thanks for the great feedback!! I really really appreciate it! :)




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