How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
alextestiverdes
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:38 pm

How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

Postby alextestiverdes » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:44 pm

When does outside help cross the line into being unoriginal, and thus, raise the attention of the admissions team/your credibility?

eg - you write all the personal statement, but a professor proofreads it, suggests different words here and there, and helps with sentence structure?
eg - you write all the personal statement, but a friend proofreads it, and suggests a different sentence for a certain paragraph?


I'm helping a friend with his personal statement, and trying to know how much is too much editing.

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fashiongirl
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:30 am

Re: How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

Postby fashiongirl » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:01 pm

i dont think there is such thing as too much editing... i mean if you think it REALLY helps and are not just trying to edit for the sake of editing, then why not help. it is up to your friend to decide if they want to accept all those changes. just try not to change the whole tone since it is supposed to be the tone of the author.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:04 pm

There can be over-editing--it's called rewriting.

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rinkrat19
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Re: How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:43 pm

alextestiverdes wrote:When does outside help cross the line into being unoriginal, and thus, raise the attention of the admissions team/your credibility?

eg - you write all the personal statement, but a professor proofreads it, suggests different words here and there, and helps with sentence structure?
eg - you write all the personal statement, but a friend proofreads it, and suggests a different sentence for a certain paragraph?


I'm helping a friend with his personal statement, and trying to know how much is too much editing.
Neither of those are significantly re-writing anything.

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

Re: How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:46 pm

No, but the e.g. examples are not the extent to which "editing" occurs & do not answer OP's question.

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rinkrat19
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Re: How much personal statement help is too much PS help?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:54 pm

OP, when I edit someone's PS, I generally give them:

1. Thoughts on the overall theme/topic. (e.g. "it's too negative, don't focus so much on A, talk more about yourself.")
2. Thoughts on the overall structure (e.g. "paragraph 1 sucks, start by describing X instead, move paragraph 2 to the end, take out the parts about Y, and re-write the conclusion.")
3. Examples of what's wrong with their grammar/syntax by completely editing a few sentences, but not the entire essay.
4. If I'm feeling nice and have the time, a thorough proofread for minor errors (spelling, punctuation, misused words). Otherwise, a comment that they need to have someone do that.

ETA: Basically my philosophy is, I'm not going to give them back a finished product significantly better than what they themselves could produce, but I will show them what that better product could sound like. If they're a good writer, I'll look for any nitpicky thing wrong, because those are just human errors, not bad writing.




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