Please take a look. A very rough draft.

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bifftanen88
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Please take a look. A very rough draft.

Postby bifftanen88 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:19 pm

First paper I wrote in a while. Still needs a conclusion, and i may delete the last paragraph. This is my story. The exact truth.


It was the usual scene on a Sunday by my grandparents’ house in 2004. My cousins and I were sitting around the table at dinnertime waiting for my grandmother to finish cooking her Italian squash spaghetti dish while listening to our parents engaging in small talk. From across the table I could see the tenseness in my fathers face. He was unusually quiet that Sunday, but what he would tell my grandfather that day seemed to be the loudest statement that he had ever heard. My father looked at my grandfather, and said, “Dad I am getting out of the business. I am accepting an administration job with the state.” My grandfather did not say a word. He looked at my grandmother and went in the living room. The business my father was leaving was an auto parts business that my grandfather started with his father in 1949. My father and two uncles took over the business in the 80s and took it from a small operation and made it into one of the biggest used auto parts business in the south. My father and uncle’s accomplishments with the business meant everything to my grandfather, and when he heard the news that his oldest son was leaving his two brothers he was emotionally crippled.

Later that night I sat next to my grandfather in the living room watching the NCAA basketball tournament. He then looked at me and said, “xx I know you are going to college this year with all of your friends, but when you get back you need to focus on the business. There is a lot of money to be made in this business, and I always told your grandmother that you are the most capable out of your cousins to run it.” Those words coming from the patriarch of my family filled me with a substantial amount of pride. I now knew what I was going to do with my life. My life was now perfectly laid out for me.

When I arrived on campus for my first semester of college I was surprisingly at ease. My friends and roommates were consumed with the stress of choosing the perfect major, while I knew what I was going to do with my life when I was done with my education. I was no longer really worried about grades as I was my whole life. This comfortable attitude put me on academic probation. Over the winter break I became overwhelmed with sadness. I was extremely disappointed in the results my nonchalant attitude produced. I was an honor student my whole life, and now I was an academic failure. I made a decision to lose my carefree attitude and improve my grades. I still believed I was going to take over my family business, but I wanted to improve myself while in school. I was on my way to accomplishing my goal, and everything changed in the summer of 2005.
I was starting my sophomore year in college when Hurricane Katrina reached the Gulf Coast. I immediately took a leave from school to help my family and their business. Rebuilding the business was difficult at first. There was not a substantial amount of physical damage, but there was a lot of rebuilding to be done in order to get business re-established. My two uncles and I quickly got the business running, and by October we were busier than ever due to lack of competition. During those fall months I was holding a managerial position at the company at twenty years old. I enjoyed helping my family re-establish their business. I was making the same if not more than most college graduates. Although earlier than I expected my plan was in place. I strongly considered staying in the position, but I needed to prove to myself that I could do more.

Going back to school in the spring of 2006 was the most fulfilling decision I have ever made. I immersed myself in my education, and improved my grades. Through this newfound interest in academics I became fascinated with political science. I was attracted to two courses specifically. State politics and American government enabled me to gain a firm grasp of the justice system on the national and local level. These courses enabled me to passionately observe our judicial system, and have in some way challenged me to become a part of it.

bifftanen88
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Please take a look. A very rough draft.

Postby bifftanen88 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:14 pm

Damn. Is it that bad? I know it needs alot of work.

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Please take a look. A very rough draft.

Postby postn0bills » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:04 pm

The conclusion paragraph reads like an introductory paragraph. I was expecting you to expand on the classes you took and how they influenced you to apply to law school. After reading this, I don't know why you want to go to law school. Right now it seems like the rest of your story is irrelevant to the last paragraph. I do like it thought, it's interesting -- if you can figure out how the events prior to going back to school influenced you to want to become an attorney, then expand on that.

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3v3ryth1ng
Posts: 295
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:48 pm

Re: Please take a look. A very rough draft.

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:31 pm

You said it's very rough, so I'll focus on the big stuff for right now. I only mean this to help btw. No bad feelings :)

1) I'd chop up some of those dense paragraphs. They're subtly visually intimidating, and they were easy to get lost in. This is especially important for your introduction. As someone who grades hundreds of essays, I can tell you that it's much easier on the reader if you have shorter paragraphs. Only make them as long as they need to be. Find ways to break them up logically, like if there's a shift in events, or a perspective, or if your opinion changes. Obviously, don't overdo this either. Not every paragraph needs to be 2 sentences.

2) I'd vary the vocab a little bit. There are plenty of instances, but one that stands out to me is where you used the words "a lot." There are a lot substitutes for this that will make you sound much more literate.

3) You need to be clearer and more direct about what's happening. Your attitude earned you academic probation? No, you probably stopped taking your studying seriously, which caused you to fail your classes, and THAT earned you academic probation. Hurricane Katrina hits, so you leave school to rebuild the family business? Is that because the family business is in New Orleans, and it was physically destroyed? Maybe you're from NO, and it says that on your application, but you need make stuff like that clear in the PS. They're reading thousands of these, and trust me, it's possible they forget where you're from while reading your PS.

4) You have some good experience. Getting "slapped" by the rigor of college is good material IMO. The work experience and family concern reflects well on your character. BUT you're lacking passion, or if you have it, it's not coming through. In the last line, the words "in some ways" connote a wishy-washy sense of self. They'll be like, "well, in some ways, you'd be good for LS, but this other guy is ready in EVERY way, so in the waitlist/deny pile you go (unless your numbers are both above 75th)."

That's all for now. It's not productive to talk about small things until those are resolved. Good luck!

bifftanen88
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Please take a look. A very rough draft.

Postby bifftanen88 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:34 pm

Thanks for the input. Actually i did not write the conclusion yet. I am worried because its pretty long. The schools I am applying to want three pages max. I know I will have to trim it down, but i dont know how I am without including information crucial to the story. Thanks agin for he input.




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