Hoping to submit ps soon....help with grammar etc.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
laurgirl
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:53 pm

Hoping to submit ps soon....help with grammar etc.

Postby laurgirl » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Really looking to re-work a few sentences. Grammar help is very much needed at this stage because I'd like to send this in by the end of the week at latest!


Morning always came too quick. Every Saturday I would reluctantly crawl out of the guest bed, slowly edging my way toward the kitchen for a bowl of Nana’s porridge. Saturday morning had become a familiar routine: drop Grandpa off at “the mysterious, big stone chapel”, run errands with Nana, make my way through the McDonald’s play place while Nana sipped on coffee with Gina the pilot, and then retrace our steps back to the chapel. Only when I was older did it begin to strike me as odd that my grandfather had been going to church on Saturday, a day early.

It turns out he was not there to worship. Starting in the basement of the chapel, he had launched what rapidly developed into a proactive organization aimed at helping convicted criminals get back on their feet. While the organization provided food, shelter, and employment opportunities, for the most part he was there to talk. ***The spectrum of criminals ranged from those boasting convictions for drugs, to burglary, to battery, however, he presented a convincing message that spoke to each of them individually. (really needs re-working). Through informal one-on-one conversations he would help these men and women take stock of the life experiences that had propelled them into criminal activity, accept responsibility for their behaviour, change their distorted values, and ultimately help them move forward.

The image of my very religious and conservative, yet often times comical grandfather, surrounded by ex-cons may have been hard to picture, but it was quite easy to understand. He possessed and would subsequently instil in myself two beliefs: the first being that everyone was capable of making wrong choices, but nevertheless one should always “see the good in people”, and the second being that in order to change, oftentimes people needed the chance as well as a hand** (needs re-wording). Thus, he attended these weekly sessions adamantly to show his support and provide previously incarcerated men and women the opportunity to change life-long patterns of violence, larceny, and addiction and build productive lives. Many of the offenders including ******, a man who had served time for drug-trafficking and murder that would eventually succeed my grandfather as chaplain, were able to turn their lives around and rehabilitate on account of my grandfather’s relentless message of change.

Throughout my life, I have come to share my grandfather’s empathy for those who have made past mistakes. Like him, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effect that an opportunity in combination with a supportive role model can have on an individual. Personal experience with a close friend who also happens to be a convicted criminal confirms in my mind that not all criminals are bad people as well as this recurring notion that every person is capable of change. Most individuals hoping to enter criminal law envision themselves successfully defending the wrongly accused or effectively arguing the case of an innocent victim, and while I too desire that, I also recognize the importance of providing rights to those otherwise disregarded by society due to past mistakes. I understand the importance of standing up for any individual who does not have the proper knowledge, voice, or means to do so themselves, not just a select few. In so much as the law is a practical tool for fighting injustice it is an equally effective instrument of change, allowing individuals the opportunity to take charge of their lives.

Since high school I have been unwavering in my desire to eventually pursue criminal law. Despite several objections from an academic advisor eager to see me pursue science, a professor who wished to see me continue a degree in Psychology, and an elder who recommended I practice environmental law because it pays better, in the end, **I remained unconvinced. (would like a better way to put this). I am committed to pursuing criminal law for a credible reason: like my grandfather, I would like to give disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to overcome their circumstances. From the perspective of a criminal lawyer himself I have been told that “although the pay does not compensate for how tough the field is, if you have a passion for it, it’s very rewarding” and while I do not yet know the intricacies of the legal field or precisely what being a lawyer entails, I am eager to find out.

laurgirl
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:53 pm

Re: Hoping to submit ps soon....help with grammar etc.

Postby laurgirl » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:47 pm

I'm really trying to send this in within the next 3 days, so any grammar help would be VERY much appreciated!!

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bigeast03
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:21 pm

Re: Hoping to submit ps soon....help with grammar etc.

Postby bigeast03 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:02 pm

It seems like you use a lot of compound sentences, and almost overuse commas. I think the statement will flow much more smoothly if you restructure some of the sentences in an effort to minimize the unnecessary pauses and breaks that are created by the commas. Other than that, it seems to be fairly well off grammatically, though I'd be willing to PM you with a more thorough grammar-review if you think that would help.

subtle
Posts: 927
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:43 am

Re: Hoping to submit ps soon....help with grammar etc.

Postby subtle » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:13 pm

laurgirl wrote:Really looking to re-work a few sentences. Grammar help is very much needed at this stage because I'd like to send this in by the end of the week at latest!


Morning always came too quickly. WHAT DOES THIS SENTENCE HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR PARAGRAPH? IT WOULD READ BETTER IF YOU JUST START WITH THE NEXT SENTENCE. Every Saturday, I would reluctantly crawl out of the guest bed, slowly edging my way toward the kitchen for a bowl of Nana’s porridge. Saturday morning had become a familiar routine: drop Grandpa off at “the mysterious, big stone chapel,” run errands with Nana, make my way through the McDonald’s play place while Nana sipped on coffee with Gina the Pilot, and then retrace our steps back to the chapel. Only when I was older did it begin to strike me as odd that my grandfather went to church on Saturday, a day early.

It turns out he was not there to worship. Starting in the basement of the chapel, he had launched what rapidly developed into a proactive organization aimed at helping convicted criminals get back on their feet. While the organization provided food, shelter, and employment opportunities, for the most part he was there to talk. ***The spectrum of criminals ranged from those boasting convictions for drugs, to burglary, to battery, however, he presented a convincing message that spoke to each of them individually. (really needs re-working). He counseled criminals with a wide array of convictions, from drugs to burglary to assault and battery. He hoped to present each individual with a convincing message. Through informal one-on-one conversations, he would help these men and women take stock of the life experiences that had propelled them into criminal activity, accept responsibility for their behaviour, change their distorted values, and ultimately help them move forward.

The image of my very religious and conservative, yet often times comical grandfather, (THIS IS AN INEFFECTIVE CONTRAST; THERE IS NOTHING TO SAY THAT SOMEONE WHO IS RELIGIOUS AND CONSERVATIVE CAN'T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR. YOU WOULD BE BETTER SERVED BY USING "AND") surrounded by ex-cons may have been hard to picture, but it was quite easy to understand. He possessed--and would subsequently instill in me--two beliefs: the first being that everyone is capable of making wrong choices, thus one should always “see the good in people,” and the second being that, in order to change, often people need not onlythe chance but a hand as well** (needs re-wording). Thus, he attended these weekly sessions adamantly consistently/religiously to show his support and provide previously incarcerated men and women the opportunity to change life-long patterns of violence, larceny, and addiction and build productive lives. Many of the offenders including ******--a man who had served time for drug-trafficking and murder that would eventually succeed my grandfather as chaplain--were able to turn their lives around and rehabilitate themselves on account of my grandfather’s relentless message of change.

Throughout my life, I have come to share my grandfather’s empathy for those who have made past mistakes. Like him, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effect that an opportunity in combination with a supportive role model can have on an individual. Personal experience with a close friend--who also happens to be a convicted criminal--confirms in my mind that not all criminals are bad people as well as thise recurring notion that every person is capable of change. Most individuals hoping to enter criminal law envision themselves successfully defending the wrongly accused or effectively arguing the case of an innocent victim, and while I, too, desire that, I also recognize the importance of providing rights to those otherwise disregarded by society due to past mistakes. I understand the importance of standing up for any individual who does not have the proper knowledge, voice, or means to do so themselves--not just a select few. In so much as the law is a practical tool for fighting injustice it is an equally effective instrument of change, allowing individuals the opportunity to take charge of their lives. HOW DOES THE LAW DO THIS VS. THE EFFORTS OF PEOPLE LIKE YOUR GRANDFATHER?

Since high school, I have been unwavering in my desire to eventually pursue criminal law. Despite several objections from an academic advisor eager to see me pursue science, a professor who wished to see me continue a degree in Psychology, and an elder who recommended I practice environmental law "because it pays better," in the end, **I remained unconvinced. (would like a better way to put this). I am committed to pursuing criminal law for a credible reason: like my grandfather, I would like to give disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to overcome their circumstances. From the perspective of a criminal lawyer himself I have been told that “although the pay does not compensate for how tough the field is, if you have a passion for it, it’s very rewarding.While I do not yet know the intricacies of the legal field or precisely what being a lawyer entails, I am eager to find out.



General thoughts:

1. Careful with your tenses.
2. Careful with run-ons.
3. Careful with colloquial phrasal verbs, e.g. "take stock of"
4. Make sure that every sentence you have serves a specific purpose. What is the point of mentioning the lawyer at the end? To show us that you've done research? If so, make that more clear. If not, it's just filler. You've got limited space as is; you don't want filler in your PS.
5. You need a better ending. Something stronger. Maybe something about not just why you want to pursue a legal career, but why you should be given the opportunity.
6. You haven't really explained how the law has the capability to have a rehabilitative effect. That's a problem as you seem very focused on wanting to help people transform their lives. How do you plan to use the law as a vehicle to do so?
7. Careful that you don't come across as too paternalistic when you talk about the people your grandfather helped. It's not a major flaw; it's just somewhat off-putting. Though, there is a chance that adcomms won't care in the slightest. As such, I'd make this your last concern.
8. Read this out loud to yourself. It should flow. If it doesn't, re-write.

Lingon
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: Hoping to submit ps soon....help with grammar etc.

Postby Lingon » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:28 pm

The essay tells me that your grandfather was a great individual and that he has had a great impact on you life. It doesn't SHOW me that you have followed in his footsteps. Talk is cheap, but if you can give examples of how you have done similar work it would be a much stronger essay. The story would be much more powerful if you said something like "Inspired by my grandfather, I decided to do X, Y and Z in order to help my own community in the same spirit." Overall, the opening paragraph about your grandfather is good, but the person reading the essay wants to get to know you. Good luck!





laurgirl wrote:Really looking to re-work a few sentences. Grammar help is very much needed at this stage because I'd like to send this in by the end of the week at latest!


Morning always came too quick. Every Saturday I would reluctantly crawl out of the guest bed, slowly edging my way toward the kitchen for a bowl of Nana’s porridge. Saturday morning had become a familiar routine: drop Grandpa off at “the mysterious, big stone chapel”, run errands with Nana, make my way through the McDonald’s play place while Nana sipped on coffee with Gina the pilot, and then retrace our steps back to the chapel. Only when I was older did it begin to strike me as odd that my grandfather had been going to church on Saturday, a day early.

It turns out he was not there to worship. Starting in the basement of the chapel, he had launched what rapidly developed into a proactive organization aimed at helping convicted criminals get back on their feet. While the organization provided food, shelter, and employment opportunities, for the most part he was there to talk. ***The spectrum of criminals ranged from those boasting convictions for drugs, to burglary, to battery, however, he presented a convincing message that spoke to each of them individually. (really needs re-working). Through informal one-on-one conversations he would help these men and women take stock of the life experiences that had propelled them into criminal activity, accept responsibility for their behaviour, change their distorted values, and ultimately help them move forward.

The image of my very religious and conservative, yet often times comical grandfather, surrounded by ex-cons may have been hard to picture, but it was quite easy to understand. He possessed and would subsequently instil in myself two beliefs: the first being that everyone was capable of making wrong choices, but nevertheless one should always “see the good in people”, and the second being that in order to change, oftentimes people needed the chance as well as a hand** (needs re-wording). Thus, he attended these weekly sessions adamantly to show his support and provide previously incarcerated men and women the opportunity to change life-long patterns of violence, larceny, and addiction and build productive lives. Many of the offenders including ******, a man who had served time for drug-trafficking and murder that would eventually succeed my grandfather as chaplain, were able to turn their lives around and rehabilitate on account of my grandfather’s relentless message of change.

Throughout my life, I have come to share my grandfather’s empathy for those who have made past mistakes. Like him, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effect that an opportunity in combination with a supportive role model can have on an individual.

Give examples.

Personal experience with a close friend who also happens to be a convicted criminal confirms in my mind that not all criminals are bad people as well as this recurring notion that every person is capable of change. Most individuals hoping to enter criminal law envision themselves successfully defending the wrongly accused or effectively arguing the case of an innocent victim, and while I too desire that, I also recognize the importance of providing rights to those otherwise disregarded by society due to past mistakes. I understand the importance of standing up for any individual who does not have the proper knowledge, voice, or means to do so themselves, not just a select few. In so much as the law is a practical tool for fighting injustice it is an equally effective instrument of change, allowing individuals the opportunity to take charge of their lives.

Since high school I have been unwavering in my desire to eventually pursue criminal law. Despite several objections from an academic advisor eager to see me pursue science, a professor who wished to see me continue a degree in Psychology, and an elder who recommended I practice environmental law because it pays better, in the end, **I remained unconvinced. (would like a better way to put this). I am committed to pursuing criminal law for a credible reason: like my grandfather, I would like to give disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to overcome their circumstances. From the perspective of a criminal lawyer himself I have been told that “although the pay does not compensate for how tough the field is, if you have a passion for it, it’s very rewarding” and while I do not yet know the intricacies of the legal field or precisely what being a lawyer entails, I am eager to find out.




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