Personal Statement--Please give feedback

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kfeinst
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:40 pm

Personal Statement--Please give feedback

Postby kfeinst » Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:44 pm

My personal statement is below---- not finished yet. This is still draft form. If anyone could please give feedback or any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” –Andre Gild

Heat searing into tanned skin, humid air wet enough to quench thirst: this is Palm Beach. Growing up here, I never lost sight of the shore. Five minutes and the gritty shells were felt beneath my toes, warm water oozing beneath my feet. The frosty fizz left behind from the endless waves egging me to dive in. Yet, I never could accept what the city had to offer. While my childhood was filled with beaming, sun-filled days and damp, bug-filled nights, it was also marred by the rich and vibrant drug industry, something South Floridians know well. I never indulged, but still have trouble counting on one hand how many I knew who did. The drug chain became a part of my childhood, my teenage years and as an adult, is a part that I cannot seem to change.
In college, I decided that I wanted to become a part of that change. Perhaps my passion was renewed after my three-month journey as a camp counselor in Eustis, Florida, working with terminally ill children, one of which had the AIDS virus, contracted through her mother due to drug use. My belief that this 9 year old girl would be leading a life for years to come, had it not been for drugs, only furthered my drive. Or possibly I had never needed a renewal at all. While much of my experience rests with endless hours spent grammatically and structurally altering hundreds of research papers at the University’s Writing Center; my passion ends with a career set in the heart of the drug industry. Whereas it would seem natural that my hometown would be the epitome of my desired career, I know that I cannot discover another path without losing sight of the one that brought me to where I am now.
In becoming the Editor in Chief of the University’s Literary and Arts Magazine, my eyes were opened to students who had passionate stories expressed through numerous outlets of art. While scanning thousands of lines of text for the slightest of errors, leading juried sessions of the dismissal of works, I realized that my story is also one based out of passion. While some might view my craving for a career in law as a rejection of English and editorial work, I view it as an opportunity to discover a new ocean; one that may, in some way, make a small difference in the lives of others, much like the constant scrutiny of my pen has done to so many papers.
And so I desire to attend Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in order to leave the familiar shores of my past, and to discover the oceans of my future. I aspire to study under Professor Don Cochran of the Trial Advocacy Program, so that one day, I will be able to take part in the change that I know will make a difference.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Personal Statement--Please give feedback

Postby DocHawkeye » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:58 pm

This is not very good writing at all, I'm afraid. Some general criticisms: 1) You have no thesis statement. I have no idea what this essay is about. 2) Your sentences are too long and complicated. Strive for simple, clear, concise writing. 3) You need to think about the structure of your paragraphs. By this, I mean that they have none. Think topic sentences. 4)
You sound like a pretentious douchebag in this writing. You probably aren't but you judge other people and brag a lot. A LOT.

My specific comments are in bold below.

kfeinst wrote:My personal statement is below---- not finished yet. This is still draft form. If anyone could please give feedback or any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” –Andre Gild It is very trite to begin with a quotation. It is even more trite to begin with a epigraph that doesn't seem to have very much to do with your statement

Heat searing into tanned skin, humid air wet enough to quench thirst: this is Palm Beach. Growing up here, I never lost sight of the shore. Five minutes and the gritty shells were felt beneath my toes, warm water oozing beneath my feet. Passive voice? Why?The frosty fizz left behind from the endless waves egging This is a very odd word choiceme to dive in. Yet, I never could accept what the city had to offer. I don't have any idea what you mean by this While my childhood was filled with beaming, sun-filled days and damp, bug-filled nights, it was also marred by the rich and vibrant drug industry, something South capitalizationFloridians know well. I never indulged, but still have trouble counting on one hand how many I knew who did. I don't think you need to be from south Florida to know six people who have taken drugs in their lifetime. The drug chain became a part of my childhood, my teenage years and as an adult, is a part that I cannot seem to change. Again, this statement is meaninglessly vague
In college, I decided that I wanted to become a part of that change. What change? You haven't identified any change. Perhaps my passion was renewed What passion? How was it renewed when we didn't know it had faltered? after my three-month journey as a camp counselor in Eustis, Florida, working with terminally ill children, one of which had the AIDS virus, The virus is HIV, the condition caused by HIV is AIDS contracted through her mother due to drug use. This sentence is too long and very unclear. It should probably be broken into at least two My belief that this 9 year old girl would be leading a life for years to come, had it not been for drugs, only furthered my drive. Your drive for what? I still have no idea what you're talking about. Also, this sentence is very awkward. Or possibly I had never needed a renewal at all. A renewal of what? While much of my experience rests with endless hours spent grammatically and structurally altering hundreds of research papers at the University’s Writing Center; my passion ends with a career set in the heart of the drug industry. Um, what? I thought e were taking about a dying nine-year-old girl. How did we get to the writing center? Also, I feel sorry for the students using the writing center if this is the best help they get. Also, this sentence is too long. Look to be concise. "grammatically and structurally altering"? I think everyone who will read this knows what a writing center does. Whereas Conclusory word choice. Poor. it would seem natural that my hometown would be the epitome of my desired career, What, by the way is your desired career? Helping dying children? Working in the writing center? Escaping Florida? Using drugs? You haven't given us a clue what you're talking about.I know that I cannot discover another path without losing sight of the one that brought me to where I am now. I have no idea what this means. Where are you right now?
In becoming the Editor in Chief of the University’s Literary and Arts Magazine, This isn't the time to brag on your resume. Make this point worth somethingmy eyes were opened to students who had passionate stories expressed through numerous outlets of art. "numerous outlets of art" is an empty worthless phrase. Tell me what you did and why I should care. While scanning thousands of lines of text for the slightest of errors, leading juried sessions of the dismissal of works, How is any of this relevent to your desire to enter hatever your desired career? I realized that my story is also one based out of passion. "Based out of passion"? Awkward.While some might view my craving for a career in law as a rejection of English and editorial work, Probably nobody will and let's be honest, editing a university literary mag isn't really editorial work. Most people who go to law school have careers before they get there and will find the idea that you had some kind of "career" in editing laughable. I view it as an opportunity to discover a new ocean; one that may, in some way, make a small difference in the lives of others, much like the constant scrutiny of my pen has done to so many papers. Rule of thumb - more than four punctuation marks means the sentence is too complicated.
And so I desire to attend Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in order to leave the familiar shores of my past, and to discover the oceans of my future. I aspire to study under Professor Don Cochran of the Trial Advocacy Program, so that one day, I will be able to take part in the change that I know will make a difference.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Personal Statement--Please give feedback

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:34 pm

"...was also marred by the rich and vibrant drug industry, something South Floridians know well."
That's one of my least favorite writing styles --you haven't mentioned anything about south floridians or where palm beach is. I guess you're saying that you know it well. And what exactly is known? That your childhood was marred by a rich and vibrant drug industry? Why would a rich and vibrant industry "mar" your childhood? You know people who indulged in the industry but can't count them..."still"? And then you start talking about a "drug chain" as if that is well known thing...(it's not to me). Then you start saying you can't change it, but then say that you wanted to part of "that" change as if you just described a specific type of change that was feasible (but you didn't).

I stopped reading when you suggested that AIDS is a virus.


I don't want to be harsh but I think you should consider starting over and picking a different subject.




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