Brief Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Wcu
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:02 am

Brief Statement

Postby Wcu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:55 am

Hello,

I am hoping to receive some guidance on the length of Personal Statements. A couple of schools I am applying to say "please provide a brief essay." My current length is 3.5 pages double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman, and I really feel like I've got it cut down to what it needs to be. So, what do the admissions office consider "brief"?

Thanks,
TJ

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rinkrat19
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:12 pm

That is definitely on the long side. 2 pages double-spaced is typical.

No matter who you are and what you wrote, it's a virtual guarantee that it would be improved by being cut down. If you can't make yourself do it, post it here for people with no emotional attachment to the material to look at.

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tmplge
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby tmplge » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:09 pm

^+1 on reducing the number of pages.

Wcu
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby Wcu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:08 pm

Thanks for the input
Last edited by Wcu on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:31 pm

I don't have time to look at it right now, but I can tell you that it is not 3.5 pages in 12 point TNR, it's 4 pages. 11 point gets it down to 3.25 pages.

It needs a good 400-500 words cut.

Just glancing at the text itself, the writing is sloppy and could use a lot of tightening up. I started to do a line-by-line but I can't finish it right now and probably won't have time until tomorrow afternoon.

Here's a rough re-write of the first two paragraphs:

On the first day of my Introduction to Law class, the professor strode into the room, slammed the door behind him, and dropped his copy of the slab-like textbook on the desk at the front of the room with a crash. After that attention-grabbing entrance, Dr. Abel proceeded to introduce us to the Socratic Method in the most immediate way possible: cold-calling. (you don't need to describe it to the adcomms. They're extremely familiar with the concept.)

My fear of being caught unprepared in class drove me to read the assigned pages each night, but it was my lifelong interest in the pursuit of justice that really inspired me to delve into the material. As a child I had imagined myself armed with a shiny badge and a gun, chasing criminals and making my town safer. As a young adult in college, learning about [lingo X] and [lingo Y] in Dr. Abel’s class, my interests had shifted away from childish fantasies of crime-solving adventures to the more concrete examples of law and justice printed in stark black and white in the book in front of me. I was fascinated by the way cases had been decided and precedents set, defining the rules by which our society governs itself. Some students remained intimidated by Dr. Abel, but I learned to enjoy having my analyses challenged so much that I registered for a second class the next semester and eventually decided to pursue law school instead of the business degree I was on track for.
(I don't like all that "I didn't listen when people tried to warn me off" stuff. It's off-putting and makes you sound stubborn.)
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thederangedwang
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:35 pm

like others have said...it's too long.

the goal to aim for is 2 pages. Schools that dont specify a max limit usually like a ps that's around 2 pages...anything over 2.5 is too long

Wcu
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:02 am

Re: Brief Statement

Postby Wcu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:30 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:I don't have time to look at it right now, but I can tell you that it is not 3.5 pages in 12 point TNR, it's 4 pages. 11 point gets it down to 3.25 pages.

It needs a good 400-500 words cut.

Just glancing at the text itself, the writing is sloppy and could use a lot of tightening up. I started to do a line-by-line but I can't finish it right now and probably won't have time until tomorrow afternoon.

Here's a rough re-write of the first two paragraphs:

On the first day of my Introduction to Law class, the professor strode into the room, slammed the door behind him, and dropped his copy of the slab-like textbook on the desk at the front of the room with a crash. After that attention-grabbing entrance, Dr. Abel proceeded to introduce us to the Socratic Method in the most immediate way possible: cold-calling. (you don't need to describe it to the adcomms. They're extremely familiar with the concept.)

My fear of being caught unprepared in class drove me to read the assigned pages each night, but it was my lifelong interest in the pursuit of justice that really inspired me to delve into the material. As a child I had imagined myself armed with a shiny badge and a gun, chasing criminals and making my town safer. As a young adult in college, learning about [lingo X] and [lingo Y] in Dr. Abel’s class, my interests had shifted away from childish fantasies of crime-solving adventures to the more concrete examples of law and justice printed in stark black and white in the book in front of me. I was fascinated by the way cases had been decided and precedents set, defining the rules by which our society governs itself. Some students remained intimidated by Dr. Abel, but I learned to enjoy having my analyses challenged so much that I registered for a second class the next semester and eventually decided to pursue law school instead of the business degree I was on track for.
(I don't like all that "I didn't listen when people tried to warn me off" stuff. It's off-putting and makes you sound stubborn.)



Thank you very much for the help so far, I am looking forward to seeing what you think about the rest.

Wcu
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:02 am

Re: Brief Statement

Postby Wcu » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:39 pm

Can anyone else spot some material that can be removed???

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FratLaw
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby FratLaw » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:20 pm

This PS needs a lot of work. The first thing you should need to do is chop it down to 2.0 pages.

kublaikahn
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Re: Brief Statement

Postby kublaikahn » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:38 pm

Wcu wrote:Can anyone else spot some material that can be removed???

Either the top three paragraphs or the bottom three. Take your pick. Two separate and unrelated essays pasted together.

Wcu
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:02 am

Re: Brief Statement

Postby Wcu » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:42 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
Wcu wrote:Can anyone else spot some material that can be removed???

Either the top three paragraphs or the bottom three. Take your pick. Two separate and unrelated essays pasted together.


Which do you like better? I think with some adjustments the last 3 would be best.

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

Re: Brief Statement

Postby kublaikahn » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:26 pm

Wcu wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:
Wcu wrote:Can anyone else spot some material that can be removed???

Either the top three paragraphs or the bottom three. Take your pick. Two separate and unrelated essays pasted together.


Which do you like better? I think with some adjustments the last 3 would be best.


I like the second half better, but it is a matter of personal preference. I have a background in negotiation and find it one of the most interesting human interactions. I would use this half and write it in a more flattering way. It is not enough to say the students were grateful.




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