My intro

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Which intro is better

A
1
25%
B
3
75%
 
Total votes: 4

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john1990
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My intro

Postby john1990 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:50 pm

A)
Booker Washington once said “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed”. While I reflect upon my life through the lens of Booker Washington’s wisdom, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My quest for knowledge has endured through a succession of extraordinary obstacles, which should be considered when evaluating my position

B)
When evaluating the level of success that one has achieved, it is important to consider that individual's starting point. After all, success should be measured not by just the end result, but by the change or improvement displayed. This is a stronger indication of future success. When I analyze the level of improvement that I have managed I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My quest for knowledge has endured through a succession of extraordinary obstacles, which should be considered when evaluating my position


I just wrote B so it may need some wok, if you have any suggestions on how to improve either, i am always happy to hear your comments :!:

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jump_man
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Re: My intro

Postby jump_man » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:19 pm

Maybe I'm off base about this, but I always thought the rule of thumb was to never use quotations to begin an essay (it seems a bit cliche). But you are right that B definitely needs work; I can't really identify a thesis/subject for the rest of the statement.

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Bronte
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Re: My intro

Postby Bronte » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:22 pm

Neither are good. Start over. These sentiments amount to philosophical drivel that immediately turns off the reader. Tell a story. Write economically and subtly. And most importantly, write about yourself.

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john1990
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Re: My intro

Postby john1990 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:31 pm

this is just my intro. From here i go on about enduring economic hardship, and then tell a story about helping my neighbor who was assaulted when some one tried to robb her house.

The thesis is: My quest for knowledge has endured through a succession of extraordinary obstacles, which should be considered when evaluating my position

that is the last sentence in both A&B

Jump_man thank you for the tip, i am leaning toward B right now

Bronte- you are right that this intro is rather dry. I feel that i need to set the stage for the story though. Would you recommend just starting the story and leaving it up to the reader to draw these conclusions themselves? The rest of the PS is very personal and descriptive

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rinkrat19
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Re: My intro

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:32 pm

A is bad because you waste a quarter of a page on a trite quote.

B is bad because it sounds like you're about to spend the rest of the essay trying to explain how some mediocre achievements are actually totally impressive because of "where you started." Which may actually be true, but it sounds whiny. If you want to focus on the improvement in your life situation or whatever, just show the reader "I started at X, and achieved Y." The adcomms can see for themselves whether the distance traveled from X to Y is actually impressive without you informing them that it is.

Plus it makes a vague and directionless thesis for an essay. After reading the intro, the reader should have some idea about where the essay is headed. This intro is informing the reader how you think they should approach your essay, which is presumptuous.

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Bronte
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Re: My intro

Postby Bronte » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:34 pm

john1990 wrote:Bronte- you are right that this intro is rather dry. I feel that i need to set the stage for the story though. Would you recommend just starting the story and leaving it up to the reader to draw these conclusions themselves? The rest of the PS is very personal and descriptive


Yes I would recommend that. The best intro for a PS is usually the start of an anecdote. All writing should have a "thesis," but it doesn't need to be explicitly expressed, and often shouldn't be in a PS.

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john1990
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Re: My intro

Postby john1990 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:34 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:A is bad because you waste a quarter of a page on a trite quote.

B is bad because it sounds like you're about to spend the rest of the essay trying to explain how some mediocre achievements are actually totally impressive because of "where you started." Which may actually be true, but it sounds whiny. If you want to focus on the improvement in your life situation or whatever, just show the reader "I started at X, and achieved Y." The adcomms can see for themselves whether the distance traveled from X to Y is actually impressive without you informing them that it is.

Plus it makes a vague and directionless thesis for an essay. After reading the intro, the reader should have some idea about where the essay is headed. This intro is informing the reader how you think they should approach your essay, which is presumptuous.


That's some tough love lol :mrgreen:

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john1990
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Re: My intro

Postby john1990 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:35 pm

Here is my next paragraph. Could i just start here:

When I was a freshman in college, I was experiencing an education for the first time since dropping out of high school in the eleventh grade to help support my mother who is permanently disabled and legally blind. We had been living together in a small trailer on the outskirts of a small town since her separation when I was twelve years old. However I soon felt the desire to return to school and realize my potential.

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Bronte
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Re: My intro

Postby Bronte » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:40 pm

john1990 wrote:Here is my next paragraph. Could i just start here:

When I was a freshman in college, I was experiencing an education for the first time since dropping out of high school in the eleventh grade to help support my mother who is permanently disabled and legally blind. We had been living together in a small trailer on the outskirts of a small town since her separation when I was twelve years old. However I soon felt the desire to return to school and realize my potential.


The content is better for the start of an essay, but the phrase "when I was a freshman in college" is not a good start to an essay. Try something to this effect:

I dropped out of high school in eleventh grade. My mother [describe disability in better detail]. We had been living together in a small trailer on the outskirts of a small town since her separation when I was twelve years old. [Exclude crap about realizing potential and go on to tell the story.]

Your first sentence should be a "hook." Something that causes a jaded reader, who's reading hundreds of these, to wake up and start reading in earnest.

Jasper21
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Re: My intro

Postby Jasper21 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:58 pm

I chose B because it is never good to start with a quote. It is seen as being lazy and not being able to think for yourself, so you're using a trite quote to express the thoughts that you couldn't articulate. Expand on B and I think you will be good.

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Bronte
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Re: My intro

Postby Bronte » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:13 am

Jasper21 wrote:I chose B because it is never good to start with a quote. It is seen as being lazy and not being able to think for yourself, so you're using a trite quote to express the thoughts that you couldn't articulate. Expand on B and I think you will be good.


It's not good for personal statements, but it can be good for longer pieces like law review articles and notes.

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john1990
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Re: My intro

Postby john1990 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:20 am

Bronte, thank you for your advice, i am going to cut the intro and just jump right into the story.

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Bronte
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Re: My intro

Postby Bronte » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:36 am

john1990 wrote:Bronte, thank you for your advice, i am going to cut the intro and just jump right into the story.


Glad I could help.




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