Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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pugilistjd
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Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:23 pm

Sorry for the obnoxious subject line :D This is the third draft of my fourth PS. That's right. I've changed topics 4 times! Hopefully, I'm getting somewhere. Still, be brutally honest. Just try and do it a helpful way if possible. For example, if you don't like the way I'm using a semi-colon, tell me exactly what is wrong with the usage. Thanks for reading!
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Taken down for editing. Thanks to everyone who gave thoughtful critiques.
Last edited by pugilistjd on Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

lsatcrazy
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby lsatcrazy » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:30 pm

Not sure that stressing how "simple" you are is going to make adcomms swoon...

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:37 pm

lsatcrazy wrote:Not sure that stressing how "simple" you are is going to make adcomms swoon...


This is a reading comp fail.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:46 pm

I don't think disliking vegetables counts as an uncouth taste. Plenty of people dislike vegetables. I wouldn't waste time on such a pedestrian point to make about yourself. I don't disagree with making a point about your personality that bookends your essay, but not vegetables.

Also, in the last paragraph, you do not have to use that many semicolons. That first couple of sentences are behemoths and unnecessary ones at that. Oh and you don't capitalize the first word after the semicolon but that is besides the point because you shouldn't be using one anyway.

ahnhub
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby ahnhub » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:50 pm

Write out "one" and "seven" instead of numericals--or use a.m. and p.m. A couple other typos you should notice with a read-over, too.

This keeps my interest. It's not earth-shattering, but it's pretty good--it definitely won't hurt you, IMO. Maybe try to think of another angle on the value of simplicity, which relates better to intellectual endeavors?

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby bernaldiaz » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:55 pm

I liked the first paragraph and the last sentence. I'm not really sure that it meshed with the rest of the essay though.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:57 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:I don't think disliking vegetables counts as an uncouth taste. Plenty of people dislike vegetables. I wouldn't waste time on such a pedestrian point to make about yourself. I don't disagree with making a point about your personality that bookends your essay, but not vegetables.

Also, in the last paragraph, you do not have to use that many semicolons. That first sentence is a behemoth and an unnecessary one at that. Oh and you don't capitalize the first word after the semicolon but that is besides the point because you shouldn't be using one anyway.


I tend to toss around semicolons thoughtlessly. Thank you, Mr. Reynolds. Your apt criticism makes me swoon. The word I originally used where I've used uncouth was crude which I think relates more to my dislike of vegetables but is more self-deprecatory than uncouth.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:58 pm

ahnhub wrote:Write out "one" and "seven" instead of numericals--or use a.m. and p.m. A couple other typos you should notice with a read-over, too.

This keeps my interest. It's not earth-shattering, but it's pretty good--it definitely won't hurt you, IMO. Maybe try to think of another angle on the value of simplicity, which relates better to intellectual endeavors?


THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOU.

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bigeast03
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby bigeast03 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:02 pm

I PM'd you with a grammatical edit. I think the topic is fairly engaging, but I would consider trying to tie into law school a little more concretely.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:27 pm

bigeast03 wrote:I PM'd you with a grammatical edit. I think the topic is fairly engaging, but I would consider trying to tie into law school a little more concretely.


Actually, your PM gestured at a problem that I want to get sorted out. So, two people have suggested different edits for this sentence:
"my sister and I would make up stories about the miserly kings who lived inside."

One person has confirmed "my sister and I" is correct and another has suggested that "me and my sister" is correct. I think a good test is to omit either the subject or object that is not "I" or "me":

For example, "I would make up stories" is right but "me would make up stories" is not.

At the same time, no one has said that this sentence is ungrammatical: "My mother broke out a couple of decks of cards and taught my sister and I how to play Fan Tan."

The same test leads to this result: "My mother broke out a couple of decks of cards and taught I how to play Fan Tan."

Thoughts?
Last edited by pugilistjd on Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby bernaldiaz » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:29 pm

It's "My sister and I would make up stories" and "my mother... taught me"

Case closed.

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bigeast03
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby bigeast03 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:39 pm

Yeah, my mom didn't teach I, she taught me. And my sister tagged along.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:45 pm

bump bump

Incubateus
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby Incubateus » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:18 pm

This PS is by no means bad, but it is certainly not memorable. It tries to cover a bit too much -- jumping from being simple to childhood difficulties and optimism to college work and debating -- it just seems too piecemeal. If you leave it as is it probably won't hurt you. But if you take some time and whittle it down to a more refined thought, it could certainly carry more weight.

This is how I would approach a revamp:

1. Get a copy of Shrunk and White "The Elements of Style".
2. Take each of those ideas within the statement (being simple, working overnight, etc.) and write a few pages (maybe 1000 words) on just that subject. Stephen King calls it "uncovering the fossils that lie beneath". Think of it as excavating as much as you can without breaking the bones.
3. Take a few days off.
4. Read each personal statement and see if there are any that don't strike you as being honest. If you feel that way at all, throw it out.
5. If one of the remaining PS's truly resonates (and still answers the question) keep it.
6. If you still have a few PS's have others read them and see which ones they would keep.
7. When you have one left over (and it still consists of about 4 or 5 pages), start using "The Elements of Style". Make sure your writing aligns to the book as a whole, but focus of Rule 17. "Omit Needless Words." If you do this properly, you will end up with about 1-2 pages of pure, honest material that your reader will remember.

For example, I originally wrote under #2, "Think of it as excavating as much of the story as you can without breaking the bones." With one quick read through I realized that I could cut out "of the story" while retaining the same meaning. I probably have a lot more I could cut out but you get the idea.

As a side note, I would try to stay away from the debating section of your PS. It would be safe to assume that a lot of applicants have this quality and the admissions offices know this. Think of their job as collecting an interesting group of people for each class. The personal statement in effect provides a window into what perspective/background you can bring to make each class interesting. Thus, if a quality is generally shared throughout the law school population, it might be wise to stay away from that angle.

Best of luck.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:01 pm

Awesome feedback so far.. bumpity bump.

thestillpoint
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby thestillpoint » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:21 pm

At the same time, I should probably try and enjoy vegetables more.


Should be: "try to enjoy vegetables more."

While "try and" is a generally accepted idiom, "try to" is grammatically correct and more appropriate for formal writing. Plus, "try and" seems to separate trying and enjoying, while "try to" links them. Small edit, but since it's your last sentence, thought it might be helpful.

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pugilistjd
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby pugilistjd » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:26 pm

thestillpoint wrote:
At the same time, I should probably try and enjoy vegetables more.


Should be: "try to enjoy vegetables more."

While "try and" is a generally accepted idiom, "try to" is grammatically correct and more appropriate for formal writing. Plus, "try and" seems to separate trying and enjoying, while "try to" links them. Small edit, but since it's your last sentence, thought it might be helpful.


I think I was channeling you when I made this correction yesterday. So weird!

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:03 am

One person has confirmed "my sister and I" is correct and another has suggested that "me and my sister" is correct.


These are both incorrect. It should be "my sister and me".

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bigeast03
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby bigeast03 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:18 am

BuckinghamB wrote:
One person has confirmed "my sister and I" is correct and another has suggested that "me and my sister" is correct.


These are both incorrect. It should be "my sister and me".



That's actually incorrect, grammatically. The placement of me in the sentence has no grammatical impact. It may be an issue of politeness and etiquette to place yourself last, but there is no grammatical obligation to do so.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Bad Writter Dont Do Good Pursunal Statmant

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:54 am

That's actually incorrect, grammatically. The placement of me in the sentence has no grammatical impact. It may be an issue of politeness and etiquette to place yourself last, but there is no grammatical obligation to do so.


Hmmm, well nevermind then. Even if it's just an issue of politeness, might as well err on the side of caution--although I can't imagine it would be a deal breaker or maker...here's to over-analyzing!!




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