Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
laurgirl
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Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:35 am

Okay, I'm re-writing and scratching that hah. It was pretty brutal...mainly because I had no idea what to write about. I'm just going to be honest (because that was really bullshitted) and straight to the point this time.
Last edited by laurgirl on Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

carpar
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby carpar » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:17 am

I like the idea behind it, but most of the statement makes you sound conceited. Also the many quotes might make some readers lose interest. When I was at the law school forum, I talked to the admissions staff for several schools, and they said to think of the personal statement like a 10 minute interview with admissions staff.

laurgirl
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:13 am

Do you have any ideas on how to tone it down and make it seem less conceited? Personally, I don't think it does. I really just talk about having a spectrum of interests which makes me a strong candidate and being at a scholarship interview, but if you have any suggestions I'm open. Also, i think the quotes are integral to the point i'm making. It was that chapter that influenced me to think that way. But again, I'm open to any specific suggestions are how to change it a bit.

kublaikahn
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:01 pm

This writing is poorly executed. You mostly use dialogue and the words of another to make your point. If you have to insert footnotes in your PS, you need to rewrite it in your own words.

Also, I still have no idea why you want to be a lawyer, which would be fine if that was not the topic of your essay. "The ubiquity of the legal profession is the reason I so ardently strive to become a lawyer." What does that even mean? Lawyers are ubiquitous? Does that mean we are all lawyers? Are you ardently striving?

By the way, your interviews were not asking the question to decide whether to give $50k to a broke student. They were trying to differentiate between 10 exceptional students. They were not worried about protecting their investment.

If you want to stick with this PS, you should rewrite it with a more direct focus. Establish your thesis in the first sentence or at least paragraph. Choose whether you want to explain why law, why you would be good at law, or why you feel it is necessary to be well rounded. But not all three.


FWIW, I do not believe that studying English, Psychology, and Philosophy somehow makes you more well rounded that someone who studies political science and criminal justice. It does not logically follow. Maybe academics will disagree but that is because they tend to rationalize producing graduates that are unemployable.

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A Swift
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby A Swift » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:31 pm

You need to start over. From scratch.

Why did you win your scholarship? I imagine, because you are bright, driven, and curious. You are interested in a "wide spectrum of interests" and motivated to learn about those interest. That's why you won. But you have written an essay which purports to tell us you won your scholarship by answering a single question. And then, right at the end of the essay you say "It was at that moment that during a scholarship interview based on a wide variety of things including academics, athletics, leadership, and overcoming obstacles." Oh, it is? If it is based on all those things, then why am I hearing about this one silly question that does absolutely nothing to show me any of those other things. I want to hear about "athletics, leadership, and overcoming obstacles" not ramblings of Aticus Fitch and Gasset.

As it stands, the theme of your essay is: "I like different things." Tell me what's special about you. You've written an essay about your education, but not about your experiences or what makes you you. Every single applicant is going to have an education that "provided me with an appreciation for order and structure, communication and presentation skills, critical and logical analysis, language and linguistics, and rhetorical logic and interpretation." And most of the other applicants are going to have killer scholarship awards. So merely telling us you possess those things, without telling us how you won the award or how you have applied your education in a meaningful way is a huge missed opportunity.
Last edited by A Swift on Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby pugilistjd » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:02 pm

I agree with what has been said so far. I don't think your undergraduate background affords you some unique advantage that would distinguish you from other students. For example, all of the skills you describe (i.e. linguistics, rhetoric, etc.) are covered in the pre-law emphasis offered by the English department at my UG.

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joeshmo39
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby joeshmo39 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:05 pm

I think some of the conceited comes from the fact you're writing with big words and long sentences. It reads like you're trying too hard to sound smart. Make it simpler.

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Kess
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby Kess » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:13 pm

joeshmo39 wrote:I think some of the conceited comes from the fact you're writing with big words and long sentences. It reads like you're trying too hard to sound smart. Make it simpler.


I agree with this. Try to tell a simply story that tells who you are. There is no need to make it seem like some complex dissertation.

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ilovesf
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby ilovesf » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:21 pm

I don't feel like I know anything about you except that you won a scholarship because you can't decide what to study. This leads me to wonder why you want to go to law school when you're so proud of the fact that you want a broad spectrum of knowledge.. law school does not provide this.

laurgirl
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:23 pm

Of that I was certain. My decision to pursue a law degree is not the result of an epiphanic moment; I have always felt like law is a natural choice for me. Law is a macrocosm for the way I am. As a field built upon the foundations of several interconnected areas including philosophy, psychology, history, and politics, it simply makes sense that someone with a wide spectrum of interests would find themselves hoping for a chance to enter a diverse area of study that can be tailored to a wide array of paths. The ubiquity of the legal profession is the reason

^^ This is the reason I want to become a lawyer, so I don't understand how it is that I don't say why I'm interested in law. Maybe I need to go into it farther and give specific examples??

I had no idea this ps was THAT bad. very discouraging

laurgirl
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:25 pm

However, I can understand taking out the stuff about Psychology, English, and Philosophy...but then I have an extremely short ps.

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ilovesf
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby ilovesf » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:26 pm

laurgirl wrote:Of that I was certain. My decision to pursue a law degree is not the result of an epiphanic moment; I have always felt like law is a natural choice for me. Law is a macrocosm for the way I am. As a field built upon the foundations of several interconnected areas including philosophy, psychology, history, and politics, it simply makes sense that someone with a wide spectrum of interests would find themselves hoping for a chance to enter a diverse area of study that can be tailored to a wide array of paths. The ubiquity of the legal profession is the reason

^^ This is the reason I want to become a lawyer, so I don't understand how it is that I don't say why I'm interested in law. Maybe I need to go into it farther and give specific examples??

I had no idea this ps was THAT bad. very discouraging

Just my personal opinion, I don't feel like that part flowed very well with the illustration of that afterwards. Everyone's PS starts off roughly, don't be discouraged! I wrote like ten drafts on five different subjects before I was even happy with my first draft.

laurgirl
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:10 pm

My problem is that I have nothing original to say or any personal reasons for wanting to go into law school. I just think it would be an interesting area of study and I like helping people. I haven't really got many extracuriculars to support this though. This was the best I could come up with, which obviously sucks hah.


Dear Law school,
I'm hardworking (like everyone), determined (like everyone), and would like to attend your law school. There's no real reason I want to study law, and I have no extracurriculars that demonstrate my potential for success. Please pick me.
The end.

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Kess
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby Kess » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:17 pm

laurgirl wrote:My problem is that I have nothing original to say or any personal reasons for wanting to go into law school. I just think it would be an interesting area of study and I like helping people. I haven't really got many extracuriculars to support this though. This was the best I could come up with, which obviously sucks hah.


Dear Law school,
I'm hardworking (like everyone), determined (like everyone), and would like to attend your law school. There's no real reason I want to study law, and I have no extracurriculars that demonstrate my potential for success. Please pick me.
The end.


Don't be too discouraged. Not everyone has saved a small village. Pick a personal experience that talks of who are and put a spin on it.

kublaikahn
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:31 pm

laurgirl wrote:Of that I was certain. My decision to pursue a law degree is not the result of an epiphanic moment; I have always felt like law is a natural choice for me. Law is a macrocosm for the way I am. As a field built upon the foundations of several interconnected areas including philosophy, psychology, history, and politics, it simply makes sense that someone with a wide spectrum of interests would find themselves hoping for a chance to enter a diverse area of study that can be tailored to a wide array of paths. The ubiquity of the legal profession is the reason

^^ This is the reason I want to become a lawyer, so I don't understand how it is that I don't say why I'm interested in law.

Partly because this is wierd and unintelligible.

"Law is a macrocosm for the way I am." What does that even mean? You are a smaller version of the law?

Let me let you in on a little secret, you do not have a wide array of knowledge. You have a superficial understanding of a few subjects. English and Philosophy majors make good lawyers because they have already started learning how to reason and write, not because they have been exposed to some worldly knowledge. You are not a renaissance woman, you are a twenty-two year old with no job skills. The real reason English majors go to LS is because they don't want to be teachers or work at Starbucks.

kublaikahn
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:18 pm

laurgirl wrote:My problem is that I have nothing original to say or any personal reasons for wanting to go into law school.

What about these things: a wide variety of things including academics, athletics, leadership, and overcoming obstacles

Younger Abstention
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby Younger Abstention » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:48 pm

.
Last edited by Younger Abstention on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby bernaldiaz » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:41 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:Wow. It's amazing how most pre-law students can't write. At all.

You sound incredibly pompous. Write something simply and non-offensive. Scrap this whole thing. The PS counts for scarcely two percent of your application. Don't blow it with this pseudo-intellectual jargon; you come off as totally naive.


Not to be a pedantic doucher, but when you tell someone that they can't write and then fail to implement the simple rules of parallel structure you look like an idiot.

For your edification, you could have said either "simple and non-offensive" or "simply and inoffensively".

laurgirl
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:35 pm

NEW ROUGH PS**
--- please feel free to be honest, but not downright rude.
This is much closer to the path I wanted to take from the beginning. My only problem is that maybe, in general, I don't talk enough about law. I only really bring it into my ps at the end. Is that not soon enough? Also, yes I'm perfectly aware the stories need alot of work and are very step by step right now. I'm really more concerned about whether this is a potential direction for my ps on "why law".

At an early age my parents instilled in me an important value that I have carried with me my entire life: if you believe something is unfair, say so.

When I was roughly six years old, my friend and I were playing a game that we creatively named “spy on the neighbours”. Sometimes we would learn juicy but irrelevant gossip about people we did not know; other times we would overhear boring conversations about tedious topics such as the weather. However, on this particular day we witnessed something that has haunted me my entire life. A few yards down from our “target”, with our stomachs flat against the ground, we spread the bushes of a shrub and peered through. We could hear a man yelling and swearing but we didn’t understand at whom because, other than his dog, he was alone. It turned out that it was his dog that had infuriated him, because just seconds later we watched him hit the dog over his back with a shovel. Upon hearing the dog cry out, I burst into tears. I was so appalled that I gathered up the courage (from behind the bush of course) to scream “You’re a horrible person, so you’re going to jail”. Not my best argument, but I was young, terrified, crying hysterically, and had no idea what else to say. We never told anyone because we were scared and entirely convinced that we would be his next target. In the end, the man got away with what he did. That night I remember sitting on my bed thinking about how unfair it was that such a cruel act, that probably occurred frequently, could go unpunished. Was there no way to prevent this?

When I was around 14 years old, I loaned my friend fifty-five dollars so she could buy her boyfriend a birthday present. When we got into an unrelated argument a few days later, she refused to give me my money back. I was so mad I told her what she was doing was illegal and if she didn’t repay me I was going to sue her and subsequently put her in jail. Again, a weak argument, but at least I said something. Later that evening, in complete seriousness, I asked my parents if I could I sue her. They told me to let it be a lesson and move on. She never gave me my money back and I moved on. What else could I do?

When I was 18 years old, while walking with my friend through a puddle-filled parking lot on the way to lunch, a woman with a red car came so close to hitting me that I felt my jacket brush against her car. She parked the car, stepped onto the pavement, and began accusing me of being in the wrong. I could not believe it, so I did the only thing I could think of at the time and put together a pretty strong argument supported by the facts that demonstrated that she did not know how to drive. I think that angered her. When we turned away and continued walking toward the restaurant, she followed us in. She stood there while the waitress smiled and showed us to our table. I sipped on my water as I attentively watched the woman approach the waitress. The waitress glanced back at us and immediately I knew what was about to happen. Our server marched over to our table and told us we had to leave. I logically stated that what occurred in the parking lot minutes earlier was completely irrelevant to our entitlement, as paying customers, to service at the restaurant. I thought it was a strong argument; however, she was not persuaded. To this day I believe that because we were teenagers, she unwarrantably assumed we were causing trouble. I left angrily. Why was my argument not taken seriously?

I wish the man who hit his dog had been punished, I wish the money I sympathetically loaned to a friend had been repaid, and I wish that I had been allowed to eat the meal that I was entitled to. While some of these incidents may seem minor, they have each raised significant questions that are responsible for my interest in a legal career. While I have always known to speak up when I was under the belief that something was unfair, I have not yet learned the answers to any of my questions. In truth, I cannot say what it means to be a lawyer and I do not know how I could have altered the outcome of these situations, but I am eager to find out.
Last edited by laurgirl on Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby bernaldiaz » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:38 pm

Are you British? If not, don't spell it "neighbours". That type of colourful spelling is just annoying.

laurgirl
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby laurgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:41 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:Are you British? If not, don't spell it "neighbours". That type of colourful spelling is just annoying.


I'm Canadian, to my knowledge that's how we spell it here.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby bernaldiaz » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:42 pm

laurgirl wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:Are you British? If not, don't spell it "neighbours". That type of colourful spelling is just annoying.


I'm Canadian, to my knowledge that's how we spell it here.


Alright, so you're from the Commonwealth. Carry on.

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Kess
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby Kess » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:16 pm

I think that this is definitely heading in a better direction than your previous draft.

I wouldn't be so concerned with making it all "why law", so long as it doesn't make the reader think, "well why law and not x?" Just focus on making sure it speaks to who you are as a person and I can see this paper heading that way. Good luck!

kublaikahn
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby kublaikahn » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:46 pm

I still don't like it. Sorry. The concept is neither terrible nor terribly deep. Your first story is about injustice. But the next two are more about controversy. And you arguments make you sound intellectually weak. You theaten your ex-friend with jail in a civil matter. You make a logical leap from brushing you with a car to not knowing how to drive.

The big problem is that you start by announcing your thesis which is speaking up in the face of injustice, and then you tell stories that are injustice--those are not the same thing.

kublaikahn
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Re: Be brutally honest with my PS! (very rough draft)

Postby kublaikahn » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:58 pm

laurgirl wrote:If you believe something is unfair, you should say so. And I have never had trouble speaking my mind. When I was six years old, my friend and I witnessed something that has haunted me ever since. Lying with our stomachs flat against the ground, we spread the branches of a shrub and peered through at the commotion. We could hear a man yelling and swearing but we did not understand at whom because, other than his dog, he was alone. Just seconds later he resolved our confusion when he brought a heavy gardening shovel down across his dog's back. We heard the crunch, the panicked yelp, and the whimpering submission that followed. In tears, I rose from my hiding place to scream, “You’re a horrible person, you’re going to jail!” Later that night I sat on my bed upset, but thinking.

Words, alone, were not enough...




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