Revised draft, I could really use some feedback.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
UMatti
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Revised draft, I could really use some feedback.

Postby UMatti » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:00 pm

[Edit] SEE BELOW for revised statement.
Last edited by UMatti on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

UMatti
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: Critique my PS! First draft.

Postby UMatti » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:29 am

I know everyone is very busy with their own statements and would like to add that I would be more than willing to read over others. Just send me a PM or post it.


[edit] 40+ views, no comments/ideas?

theaether
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:17 am

Re: Critique my PS! First draft.

Postby theaether » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:11 pm

why are you talking about high school? "Under this direction I headed into my first year of high school motivated and excited by the challenges I would soon face."

this essay is so meandering, starting off with a congress job then talking about farm animals with no clear connection. you never actually define what "4-H" is; I had to google it.

are you using "disenfranchised" correctly? you're basically complaining that volunteering takes up your time, probably not a good stance to take when law schools highly value community service.

"I wrote the essays. I sent my transcript. I forwarded letters of recommendation. I was accepted." riveting.

What i'm getting from your essay is that you got a good work ethic on the farm, did not like school, and then liked working in congress. now can you build that into an actual statement? if you can't find a way to be clearer, i would start over

UMatti
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: Critique my PS! First draft.

Postby UMatti » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:18 pm

Do you think nixing much of the hs stuff, deemphasizing 4-H, and focusing more on college would be better? I'm having a hard time figuring out what is worth stating versus what isn't. Is 4-H valuable in my statement? I could, alternatively, focus on being a page, research and my internship.

Thank you for the feedback, btw

theaether
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:17 am

Re: Critique my PS! First draft.

Postby theaether » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:25 pm

if you could limit the 4H stuff to 1-2 condensed paragraphs, using those to show that that's who you are, and then show how it applied to your experiences (internships, jobs) and differentiated you from others, or allowed you to succeed...

i think that's an idea that could work. definitely cut 90%+ of the hs stuff otherwise though

UMatti
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: Critique my PS! First draft.

Postby UMatti » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:35 pm

I like that idea. I'll revise and repost tonight. Thanks again.

[edit] Added my revised version. I took your advice and believe that this draft is significantly better than the first. I hope that you and everyone else will take a serious look at it and provide more invaluable advice and recommendations. Thanks again!

---------
[redacted, because I disliked it and thought it was too stiff]

UMatti
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: Critique my PS! First draft.

Postby UMatti » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:19 am

I would love for comments from anyone willing to leave them. I would also be more than willing to critique anyone else's.
--


It was a warm day in February. Driving to the farm, the sun was already setting as I concentrated on the road watching for deer and snow drifts. Despite the unseasonably warm day, the ice on the roads remained firm and hidden beneath the snow pack.

I had left school in a particularly anxious mood. I lamented over my qualifications after a lunchtime presentation from state college representatives. Undoubtedly, my biggest asset was my lifelong participation in 4-H: a youth group synonymous with raising animals to show in local and state fairs. From the age of eight I had raised and shown a variety of livestock: chickens, rabbits, pigs, and sheep. As a youngster, I loved spending days on our family farm caring for the animals and enjoying the independence offered by 80 acres of wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the U.P.). This has without a doubt left me with a unique perspective on the many activities I have engaged myself in since. Furthermore, it has instilled in me a work ethic that demands individual responsibility and independence.

Despite this, I feared the very real probability that this would put me on track for mediocrity. I did not want and was not content settling for this, but opportunities to demonstrate my character and identity were scarce. So as I drove, on this warm February day languishing over my situation I was primed to jump on the next prospect to cross my path. And it struck, in a deep calm voice the Michigan Public Radio announcer began “Congressman XXX is seeking an active, civic minded individual to live and work in Washington D.C. Applications to the Congressional Page Program can be sent to XXX’s D.C. office” (paraphrasing). Not only was I excited by the idea of differentiating myself from my peers, but I fixated on the chance to escape the isolation of the U.P. and explore potential interests.

Fortunately, I was accepted and joined 61 of my peers in the nation’s capitol that fall. Attending school early each morning atop the Library of Congress and arriving to work on the House Floor before noon each day. The experience was a defining moment in my life. I lived in a dormitory that exposed me to a level of diversity unparalleled to anything I had experienced up until that point. I soon came to realize how greatly this contributed to the caliber of discussion in our classrooms; a quality I would not be able to appreciate again until my undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. At work, I became entranced by the magnitude of the institution that is the United States Congress. Whether it was something as small as naming a post office or something as historically monumental as electing the first female Speaker of the House, I cherished each day because it motivated me and exposed me to what has become my life’s interest: politics and the law.

Entering college, I could not even imagine studying anything besides Political Science. If there was one thing 4-H had taught me, however, it was that learning also takes place outside the classroom and a zealous narrow mind would not lead me to where I wanted to go. Respectively, in my first year I took the initiative to become a member of the Michigan Research Community (MRC): a “living” community (we all lived in the same dorm) of 400 diverse, exceptional students all with an infantile interest in research. I say infantile because I do not think I had conceived of the notion of creating knowledge until then. I carried with me the assumption that schools were for the acquisition of knowledge, but this quickly changed. Why only learn, when I could create?

I spent the first year of college working one on one with a member of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission conducting in-home energy audits. Our goal was two-folded: primarily, we sought to provide recommendations to the city council on future energy policy based on our findings; secondarily we sought to transform a community by providing useful recommendations on how households could improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their greenhouse footprint. By the end of the year, we had formalized our process to be as efficient and non-obtrusive to the families as possible. In sum, I personally worked on over fifteen households to which we provided practical recommendations.

Throughout my college career I have remained dedicated and strongly interested in the study of Political Science and working in the community. As a summer intern for Congressmen XXX, I reignited my fervor for the governing process and the role it plays in our society. Additionally, I undertook the research of 18th and 19th century Supreme Court decisions to increase my exposure to different facets of the law (disclaimer; for credit). One of the most meaningful experiences I have had thus far though has been this semester. For the past few months, I have taken great advantage of the short drive to Detroit by volunteering (also for credit) in an after school program in an underprivileged area. My experience with the children and other adults at this center has yet again solidified my commitment to being proactive in the community to bring about the change we all would like to see.

And so I pursue a legal education as the next stepping stone on my path toward becoming an attorney; a profession that will allow me to understand the framework of our society and problems it creates. Whether I use this knowledge to guide those navigating legal uncertainty or serve as counsel to the public servants who craft our legislation, I know this next chapter of my life will shape my perspective greater than 4-H, the Page Program, or my research – leading me down a road more challenging than even the iciest road, yet I pursue a degree from the University of XXX because I am certain that it will provide me with the diversity, rigor, and training necessary to accomplish my goals.

theaether
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:17 am

Re: Revised draft, I could really use some feedback.

Postby theaether » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:14 am

much improved, i would cut it down a bit by speeding up your slow start in the first half of the essay. get to the point faster basically

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

Re: Revised draft, I could really use some feedback.

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:57 am

There is no point to this essay.

Fixed your grammar as well. You engage in something, but you do not engage yourself in something. Things can be twofold but not two-folded. Its an adjective not a verb.

And so I pursue a legal education as the next stepping stone on my path toward becoming an attorney;

Blinding flash of the obvious.

a profession that will allow me to understand the framework of our society and problems it creates
.
Professions don't allow you to do things, but being a member of that profession might (although it won't allow you to do this). What does that mean to understand the problems the framework of society creates?

strongly interested

I am not sure if you can be "strongly" interested. But lose the meaningless modifiers.


It was a warm day in February. Driving to the farm, the sun was already setting as I concentrated on the road watching for deer and snow drifts. Despite the unseasonably warm day, the ice on the roads remained firm and hidden beneath the snow pack.

This is your thesis paragraph. Why?

I had left school in a particularly anxious mood. I lamented over my qualifications after a lunchtime presentation from state college representatives. Undoubtedly, my biggest asset was my lifelong participation in 4-H: a youth group synonymous with raising animals to show in local and state fairs. From the age of eight I had raised and shown a variety of livestock: chickens, rabbits, pigs, and sheep. As a youngster, I loved spending days on our family farm caring for the animals and enjoying the independence offered by 80 acres of wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the U.P.). This has without a doubt left me with a unique perspective on the many activities I have engaged myself in since. Furthermore, it has instilled in me a work ethic that demands individual responsibility and independence.

Still no idea where you are going with this. State your thesis, man.

Enough said. Start over.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Revised draft, I could really use some feedback.

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 pm

I agree that your theme needs to be more well defined. A clearly defined theme should allow you to direct your essay toward a logical conclusion while eliminating redundancies.

UMatti
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: Revised draft, I could really use some feedback.

Postby UMatti » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:40 pm

From your guy's perspective, do you pick up on any themes while reading it?
And I definitely agree I need a stronger thesis, but I'm just not sure how to go about stating it.

like.. Through my experiences with x, y, and z, I feel like I am prepared for law school. (?)
Of the others that I have read I kept getting this feeling of a story being told, rather than an argument being made. Thank you all for the comments, definitely helps the process.




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