I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

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piccolittle
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby piccolittle » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:33 pm

Love it. I only have one correction: you write "Our became civil" but it needs a word there.

"Our [INSERT WORD HERE] became civil."

JohnV
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby JohnV » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:26 pm

Well written, interesting topic, but maybe it doesn't say enough about you? You seem to touch on why this experience was important to you in the last paragraph but I've been under the impression that a PS should in some way highlight your strengths as a person. While I do think this does that, I feel like it was an after thought within the story as a whole. Perhaps if you cut down on the descriptions of some of the less relevant information and tried to add in an anecdote of your experience with some of the inmates in which your new found perspective was put to use or how it has helped you get on the path you are on now, that may be a better use of the space provided.

Take my advice with a ton of salt, I have no idea of what I'm talking about, just parroting some of the advice I've seen around the forum.

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06102016
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby 06102016 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:39 pm

..

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icecold3000
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby icecold3000 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:32 pm

ajaxconstructions wrote:Ignore Canadian, he's a moron.


Totally uncalled for. CanadianWolf is one of the best posters in the PS forum and he offers a valid criticism. Because the word "unique" is so overly used in Personal Statements, a more precise writer would find another word.

I doubt the adcomm will bother getting out the dictionary, looking up the word unique and scanning down to the 6th definition. They will probably just roll their eyes and say, "wow, this person, just like the last 100 people, used the word unique in their Personal Statement."

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CorkBoard
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby CorkBoard » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:16 am

icecold3000 wrote:
ajaxconstructions wrote:Ignore Canadian, he's a moron.


Totally uncalled for. CanadianWolf is one of the best posters in the PS forum and he offers a valid criticism. Because the word "unique" is so overly used in Personal Statements, a more precise writer would find another word.

I doubt the adcomm will bother getting out the dictionary, looking up the word unique and scanning down to the 6th definition. They will probably just roll their eyes and say, "wow, this person, just like the last 100 people, used the word unique in their Personal Statement."

What a unique perspective.

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top30man
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby top30man » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:22 am

dixon02 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Not common, but certainly not "unique".

The definition of "unique" is being the only one of its kind; single; sole.
Also, being without equal; unparalleled. From Webster's Pocket Dictionary.


u·nique   [yoo-neek]
adjective
1. existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
3. limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area: a species unique to Australia.
4. limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities: Certain types of problems have unique solutions.
5. not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.

Words can have more than one meaning.

Not to get grammar crazy but unique is an unmodifiable word, like equal. Usage five is a modern, but incorrect use. Check you strunk and white.

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smaug_
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Re: I work in a prison. I wrote a PS about it. Thoughts?

Postby smaug_ » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:56 am

I'm not sure if you're still around, OP, but I really enjoyed your PS. I think that with a little honing it'll really stand out. Some notes:

I spend forty hours a week among these men and women, each of whom--like their undesired residence--is a testament to the humanity that our assumptions often obscure.


In what way is the residence a testament to humanity? I understand that you explicate this idea a bit more at the end of your statement, but I think it would be nice if you spent some time unpacking that idea here.

Having--like most of society--previously preferred to think of inmates as a monolithic, featureless criminal bloc, I was surprised to find the population at <THE BIG HOUSE> to be as diverse and vibrant as the city in which it stands.


I think removing some of your descriptive words will make the essay tighter. This line stood out to me if you instead write:
a suggestion wrote: Having previously preferred to think of inmates as a monolithic criminal bloc, I was surprised to find the population at <THE BIG HOUSE> to be as diverse and vibrant as the city in which it stands.

It's a small change, but I think if you cut down on some of the redundant descriptive elements, the essay would feel tighter and you'd have more room to fill in the details of the bigger picture you're trying to draw.

How was an upper-middle class suburban Georgia transplant to react to such a startling and unlikely mixture? By hardening into an artificial authority, stern-faced and detached, in the mutual interests of fairness and security. The cannier inmates saw through the act immediately, and for several weeks fast mouths challenged my mettle at every turn.

This paragraph stood out for me because you started in the third person/general case/whateverthatissupposedtobecalledI'mnotactuallygoodatthis and then switched to the first person again. Stylistically it was interesting, but I think it would appear more humble and direct if you kept all elements about yourself in the first person.
suggestion wrote:As an upper-middle class suburban transplant from Georgia, I was not sure how to react to such a startling mixture. At first I tried to harden my facade into a stern-faced and detached artificial authority. The cannier inmates saw through the act immediately, and for several weeks fast mouths challenged my mettle at every turn.
Or something like that. (You write better than I, so you'll know what to do.)

another suggestion wrote:Working in a prison is a daily reminder that the oblique laws under which we labor have real consequences for real people, and must be approached with an interest in the individual.
Just another example of trying to keep your prose terse.

My interest in criminal law, then, is really an interest in human beings--in the truth behind the numbers, the rulings, the labels we all believe we must wear.
[/quote]
This stood out as the best and most important part of your statement. I would have really liked to see this idea clearly stated earlier. If you can add this idea into your intro clearly, I think the essay will flow more smoothly.

Like I said, I really enjoyed your essay. I saw this pop up and thought I'd try editing some for fun. Best of luck!




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