My DS is missing something...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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amc987
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My DS is missing something...

Postby amc987 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:13 pm

Deleted. May repost when I think I've improved it.
Last edited by amc987 on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

shoeshine
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby shoeshine » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:14 pm

This way too long. Shorten it up.

horrorbusiness
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby horrorbusiness » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:51 pm

Something about this DS is extremely off-putting. To be honest, I could only get half way through before I skipped to commenting. Part of that is probably because of what the first responder says - this is way too long. (Don't some schools have an addendum page limit of 1 page ? - not sure)

Worse was your paragraph about your black peers' "parlance". I get the impression you're incredibly ashamed of and condescending toward the black people you describe. You seem to be trying to distance yourself from them by using a thesaurus (at least it REALLY seems that way) and overloading that paragraph with an unfortunate amount of "big words" that give it a very affected, forced, and ultimately disingenuous feel. It was a little disturbing. Maybe all the "Jews" (btw, I'm not sure your use of this word in the first paragraph is completely P.C., but I could be wrong) in prep school got to you, and now you have to treat black culture with the measured distance of an anthropologist.

edit: FWIW, you obviously have the material to make this into an amazing DS. I just think it needs some work.

edit 2: After looking over the rest of this DS, I see the "big word" problem is a feature of your entire statement. Your diction does not come off as natural at all. It comes off as so forced that it makes the reader question your motives - why is this person making such a blatant concerted effort to sound intelligent and verbose? Is she self-conscious about being black, since she was raised around affluent whites? Is she trying to distance herself from her perception of how low-down and base other black people are?

That might sound harsh, sorry. But I'm not making this up, and I feel that addressing this might make your DS stronger. At this point, you really don't come off as comfortable with your ethnicity at all.

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lulzalicious
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby lulzalicious » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:11 pm

horrorbusiness wrote:Something about this DS is extremely off-putting. To be honest, I could only get half way through before I skipped to commenting. Part of that is probably because of what the first responder says - this is way too long. (Don't some schools have an addendum page limit of 1 page ? - not sure)

Worse was your paragraph about your black peers' "parlance". I get the impression you're incredibly ashamed of and condescending toward the black people you describe. You seem to be trying to distance yourself from them by using a thesaurus (at least it REALLY seems that way) and overloading that paragraph with an unfortunate amount of "big words" that give it a very affected, forced, and ultimately disingenuous feel. It was a little disturbing. Maybe all the "Jews" (btw, I'm not sure your use of this word in the first paragraph is completely P.C., but I could be wrong) in prep school got to you, and now you have to treat black culture with the measured distance of an anthropologist.

edit: FWIW, you obviously have the material to make this into an amazing DS. I just think it needs some work.


^Exactly what he said. Rework it because it does sound really bad at some points in the beginning. The conclusion is very strong though :) The first three paragraphs are your main problem along with length.

This part in particular seemed dismissive and belittling, I would def change the tone here.

amc987 wrote:At each meeting, someone hoped to be a vessel for Christ’s blessings or tried to empower themselves by praising the Lord. Secular issues salient enough to inspire collective action—the school-to-prison pipeline, responses to campus acts of prejudice, etc.—were not extricated from this rhetoric. I have no idea whether God exists, never mind whether His grace can vanquish secular obstacles.


Not really sure what the other issue is but like the poster above me said it seems like you wrote this w/ a thesaurus in hand and can come across slightly 'fake' because of that.. Really good stuff otherwise, and the second half is solid.

Good luck finishing it up :)

CanadianWolf
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:48 pm

I enjoyed reading your DS. It is a bit of a roller-coaster ride as the conclusion conflicts with your thoughts & emotions shared in the body of this entertaining & absorbing writing.

P.S. I liked your word choices.

P.P.S. "My DS is missing something...". It seems that way because, contrary to your concluding remark, you are not at peace with yourself, is the impression left by your essay.

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amc987
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby amc987 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:36 pm

Thank you all for your suggestions! I will try to shorten it and improve on the writing. Any suggestions about where to cut?

I am concerned that people were so offended by the first 3 paragraphs. I am not biased against black people or against religious people. I don't feel like I'm somehow better than them. Honestly, as long as your religion isn't justifying terrible things and you aren't trying to shove it down my throat, then people should believe whatever floats their boat. What I'm trying to convey in those paragraphs is that I feel like a fish out of water in some predominantly black environments (both religious and non-religious). I don't mean to make moralizing judgments about people's lifestyles, but there are just elements of those environments (the mixture of political and religious goals) and references to traditional AA culture that are completely different from things I've experienced and am able to understand.

Could anyone give me an example of how the first two parts offended them/ how I can make them coincide more with my message? I don't want to misrepresent how I feel, and if it comes across that I hate AAs or Christians, then that's a problem. I also don't want someone to be so turned off by the beginning of the essay that they just cross me off their list without reading the rest of it. Constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated!

CanadianWolf
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:17 pm

I was not offended by any part of your essay; my impression is that you were open & candid about issues with which you are struggling. Honesty, stated in a respectful, although agonizing, manner is refreshing, trusting & sincere.

horrorbusiness
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:26 pm

amc987 wrote:Thank you all for your suggestions! I will try to shorten it and improve on the writing. Any suggestions about where to cut?

I am concerned that people were so offended by the first 3 paragraphs. I am not biased against black people or against religious people. I don't feel like I'm somehow better than them. Honestly, as long as your religion isn't justifying terrible things and you aren't trying to shove it down my throat, then people should believe whatever floats their boat. What I'm trying to convey in those paragraphs is that I feel like a fish out of water in some predominantly black environments (both religious and non-religious). I don't mean to make moralizing judgments about people's lifestyles, but there are just elements of those environments (the mixture of political and religious goals) and references to traditional AA culture that are completely different from things I've experienced and am able to understand.

Could anyone give me an example of how the first two parts offended them/ how I can make them coincide more with my message? I don't want to misrepresent how I feel, and if it comes across that I hate AAs or Christians, then that's a problem. I also don't want someone to be so turned off by the beginning of the essay that they just cross me off their list without reading the rest of it. Constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated!


Hey, check this out. The way you describe it in this post is not offensive at all, and comes across in a very natural, candid tone. I think if your essay looked more like this post, it'd be amazing. The problem that I personally found was that your essay sounds very stiff due to your use of language. I think you actually sound smarter when you write like you do in the post above because your natural intelligence can shine through, without an (apparent) need to compensate with big words.

PS: I actually really liked the religion part and what you say.

Aeolia Schenberg
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby Aeolia Schenberg » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:38 pm

Gone
Last edited by Aeolia Schenberg on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nola051
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby nola051 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:37 am

I would agree with those who have said that it needs to be edited, and that the writing should be more natural.

But I actually like the essay a lot. I didn't find it to be un-PC or off-putting at all. I thought the perspective was unique and honest, which is a huge plus in a category that is widely written-on for diversity statements.

Strong start, I think.

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amc987
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby amc987 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:54 am

Thank you all for the comments! They are extremely helpful.

Aeolia Schenberg, I appreciate the reorganization!! I will look at it again and see how to tweak things around to make it into a more cohesive narrative that's less tedious. Maybe focusing on just the most salient examples will help me shorten things as well.

Aeolia Schenberg
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby Aeolia Schenberg » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:53 am

You are welcome. I look forward to seeing your updated revision. I enjoyed your first draft because our culture can be vexing and unforgiving. Your candor was refreshing. Just remember the admission office...has a different point of view form us on this forum.

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JoeMo
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby JoeMo » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:02 am

I have to tell you... do not take the advice of the person that said this was very good.

You have to remember that "Jews" and "WASPs" will make up the majority of the people reading this diversity statement. Do you really want them to know that you think of them as "Jews" and "WASPs"? I don't think either group likes to be associated with the terms in the connotations that you use them.

Also, you do really seem to be condescending toward the image of black America that is portrayed in movies and on television. I think you need to step away from this DS... start over and try to take a more diplomatic approach to explaining your diversity. Rather than trying desperately to distance yourself from certain groups and align yourself with others, just explain your upbringing and what made it unique in its diversity.

I hope this helps you out. As someone pointed out, you have the makings of a good story but the wrong approach but I don't think editing is what you need. I think you need to start over, otherwise you're going to end up submitting a watered down version of this statement that is still going to sound off putting.

PS - Step Away From The THESAURUS! Do yourself that favor.

sparty99
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby sparty99 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:23 am

Your essay is too long and the word usage is horrible and it makes the essay weak.

Additionally, you used their words WASP and JEWS. Then you talk about black culture. The culture that you talk about is the stereotypes that are portrayed on television. You sound immature and ignorant. You sound "uppity." Hence, "I do not begrudge other African-American students for conducting themselves in a way that gels with their sense of truth—on some level everyone tries to reconcile how they behave with how they believe they fit into the world."

As a black male, I would think you would write an essay that would celebrate black culture and move past the stereotypes. However, your essay does the opposite. It exacerbates the idea that being black means having nappy hair and using ebonics. Your essay does a disservice to yourself and Afircan Americans.

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JoeMo
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby JoeMo » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:30 am

sparty99 wrote:Your essay is too long and the word usage is horrible and it makes the essay weak.

Additionally, you used their words WASP and JEWS. Then you talk about black culture. The culture that you talk about is the stereotypes that are portrayed on television. You sound immature and ignorant. You sound "uppity." Hence, "I do not begrudge other African-American students for conducting themselves in a way that gels with their sense of truth—on some level everyone tries to reconcile how they behave with how they believe they fit into the world."

As a black male, I would think you would write an essay that would celebrate black culture and move past the stereotypes. However, your essay does the opposite. It exacerbates the idea that being black means having nappy hair and using ebonics. Your essay does a disservice to yourself and Afircan Americans.


I kind of have to agree with this. The person of the DS is to highlight your diversity yet the OP seems to be trying to get the credit for being black (please don't take this as face value, you know what I mean) while at the same time denouncing everything the world at large believes to be black. (is what I'm getting from the OP, that's not how I feel)

CanadianWolf
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:33 am

I don't read the OP's essay as denouncing anything or anyone. Seems as if he is honestly sharing some inner struggles. Political correctness shouldn't deny honest thoughts, observations & conflicts.

melsaye
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby melsaye » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:42 am

AS's Recycle of this essay is great...i think it hits everything on the nose...good work AS!

Aeolia Schenberg
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Re: My DS is missing something...

Postby Aeolia Schenberg » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:18 pm

Thank you melsaye. Unfortunately, people are not reading the edited version. The first draft is rough and will not be liked by most people. Starting over is an option but there is more substance in the second half of this DS.




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