Which first draft is better?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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honeybadger12
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Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:15 pm

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Last edited by honeybadger12 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:33 pm

A few thoughts:

1). I definitely think that the second one is more PS-worthy because it focuses more on you. But, with that said there's still a lot of work that you need to do.

2). You tell us a lot of information about your viewpoints and about what you were exposed to. However, even with all of that, I don't get a sense of who you are. The only feeling I'm really left with is that you don't think people should be identified by their race and that you are a white boy who was oftentimes called out for "acting black." When you write a PS for law school you want to show something about yourself to where the adcomm feels that they are getting to know you.

3). The tone of your PS is a bit abrasive. You seem very defensive and that type of tone won't play well with most adcomms. Try to show yourself as more vulnerable, more humble, or even more introspective that you come across in this piece.

4). I feel like the culture you grew up in is probably worth writing about. My suggestion to you would be to pick one experience that you have from growing up and to really exploit that situation such that your audience can experience it through your PS. Right now you're very general in the experiences you display. If you were to focus on only one situation, you would make your PS much more personal. You would also enable the adcomm to get to know you better and I feel like the tone of your PS would change significantly as well.

Best of luck!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:26 pm

My opinion differs from that of the above poster. Clearly, the first essay is superior to the second effort. In my opinion, the first example is a near finished product that shows much about your inner workings. The second piece shows you in an almost childish light. I really enjoyed reading your first work, and had trouble getting through the second.

P.S. The good news is that with a 174/3.9, it doesn't really matter. Write it in crayon & stick a piece of bubblegum to it since you're a near certain admit to all top 14 law schools except Yale & Stanford, and Yale might like the extra creativity shown by the crayon & bubblegum presentation. :D

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:25 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. The good news is that with a 174/3.9, it doesn't really matter. Write it in crayon & stick a piece of bubblegum to it since you're a near certain admit to all top 14 law schools except Yale & Stanford, and Yale might like the extra creativity shown by the crayon & bubblegum presentation. :D


20% of the small TLS Stats sample with my numbers did not get into Harvard, and while they are not dream schools, I'd prefer acceptance at Yale or Stanford to rejection. At this point, it is the PS/LOR that will determine whether or not I get into these schools, so I respectfully disagree -- the PS is very important. But thank you both for your input; very helpful -- I'll get back to work!

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john1990
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby john1990 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:23 pm

I prefer your first essay because it talks more about your values and accomplishments. some changes



(I tend to lean liberal)DELETE I’m sick of reading New York Times op-eds about how evil and idiotic The other side is, because when I read the National Review, they seem like reasonable people who genuinely want to make the world a better place. I believe that systems of privilege and oppression are still alive and well and need rectification. I also believe that people need to be responsible for their decisions and incentive structures need to be placed strategically. Having a balanced perspective does not mean one comes down in the middle on every issue, but it does mean recognizing that the other side also has reasonable arguments and they are probably not evil. In a word, it is about respect.


There are other ways that Giuseppe’s has developed leadership capital. A leader in a place like Flint needs to know how to make difficult decisions. Once I (had to fire) a good friend when he was issued a citation for Minor in Possession of alcohol. Also, one year I switched distributors mid-season when it became clear our first distributor had stopped meeting our quality standards. A leader needs to know how to place people strategically. I gained a valuable lesson when I tried to release management responsibility in the summer of 2010. I hired three of my best and most experienced workers, but it didn’t turn out well because their personality traits did not suit them well for the management responsibilities. In 2012 I again tried to release management duties. I made an outside hire from the leadership of the Ohio State University Entrepreneurial Club. This time it worked out very well because (the employee) was better suited to the role

thederangedwang
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:27 pm

I'll be honest, both are not that good so forcing people to choose between the lesser of two evils will not work.

The reason both are bad is both make the same mistake, horrible topic. You really should stick away from hot topic issues such as politics, race, social identity, etc, espcially in the way you framed it. Writing about such topics can be acceptable if you approach it from a diversity point of view, you dont do that however. Rather, you adopt a condescening pundit like tone as if you were on a radio talk show.

Consider a new topic

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:30 am

giuseppes12 wrote: I feel they are both awful

thederangedwang wrote:I'll be honest, both are not that good


No argument here haha. I haven't been able to think of a better topic than my experience in Flint and love for the city, but I agree that it's coming across somewhat pundit-like right now. Do you think it'd be better to focus on some aspect of my small business? I was thinking I could get one of my recommenders to speak to the business. In any case, definitely much reworking to be done...

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CorkBoard
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby CorkBoard » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:55 am

thederangedwang wrote:I'll be honest, both are not that good so forcing people to choose between the lesser of two evils will not work.


This. Your opening is also a terrible and bizarre way to start a PS.

Start over.

thederangedwang
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby thederangedwang » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:27 pm

giuseppes12 wrote:
giuseppes12 wrote: I feel they are both awful

thederangedwang wrote:I'll be honest, both are not that good


No argument here haha. I haven't been able to think of a better topic than my experience in Flint and love for the city, but I agree that it's coming across somewhat pundit-like right now. Do you think it'd be better to focus on some aspect of my small business? I was thinking I could get one of my recommenders to speak to the business. In any case, definitely much reworking to be done...

99% of topics can work, what makes or breaks a PS is not the topic but the approach. That is your current problem. The topic and content can be used, just that your current approach is making this a sucky PS. Right now you are writing on top of a soapbox....you're writing like an advocate...its never good to advocate anything in a PS unless you are advocating yourself...which you do not do.

Dont advocate, lecture, pontificate or do anything that suggests you are telling people what to do, rather, focus on your experiences, and how that has affected you?

Do you understand? Dont talk about how you want to change Flint, talk about how Flint changed you

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:36 pm

thederangedwang wrote:Dont advocate, lecture, pontificate or do anything that suggests you are telling people what to do, rather, focus on your experiences, and how that has affected you
good advice - gracias

thederangedwang wrote:Do you understand? Dont talk about how you want to change Flint, talk about how Flint changed you
Yeah makes sense. My only question is: If I'm not talking about how I want to change Flint, won't people be like "you haven't shown why you are going to law school"?

thederangedwang
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby thederangedwang » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:39 pm

giuseppes12 wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:Dont advocate, lecture, pontificate or do anything that suggests you are telling people what to do, rather, focus on your experiences, and how that has affected you
good advice - gracias

thederangedwang wrote:Do you understand? Dont talk about how you want to change Flint, talk about how Flint changed you
Yeah makes sense. My only question is: If I'm not talking about how I want to change Flint, won't people be like "you haven't shown why you are going to law school"?

statements dont have to explicity say why you are going to law school, indeed, mine did not and i got positive feedback on mine..in fact a lot of PS dont mention why law school..rather, they focus on what qualities that the writer has that would make them an asset to the school.

Let me repeat. This is a personal statement, not a statement of purpose or intent. You do NOT have to answer the question of "why law school".

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:00 pm

thederangedwang wrote:Let me repeat. This is a personal statement, not a statement of purpose or intent. You do NOT have to answer the question of "why law school".

Ok yeah I've also seen tlsp say this elsewhere and read it in books on admissions. Can you explain though what Ken means here: "A powerful personal statement must be a brilliant piece of self-marketing that also demonstrates a strong and mature commitment to the law." (from the TLS Guide foreword)

thederangedwang
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby thederangedwang » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:05 pm

giuseppes12 wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:Let me repeat. This is a personal statement, not a statement of purpose or intent. You do NOT have to answer the question of "why law school".

Ok yeah I've also seen tlsp say this elsewhere and read it in books on admissions. Can you explain though what Ken means here: "A powerful personal statement must be a brilliant piece of self-marketing that also demonstrates a strong and mature commitment to the law." (from the TLS Guide foreword)

Ken's advice is his own. I dont agree with it and I'm sure others agree with me.

Read this

Anna Ivey's "The Ivey Guide to Law School admissions"...her advice on PS is radically different then Ken's and in the back of the book she has actual PS that she thought were good. None of them actually talked about committement to law. She was dean of admissions for Uchi.

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:15 pm

thederangedwang wrote:
giuseppes12 wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:Let me repeat. This is a personal statement, not a statement of purpose or intent. You do NOT have to answer the question of "why law school".

Ok yeah I've also seen tlsp say this elsewhere and read it in books on admissions. Can you explain though what Ken means here: "A powerful personal statement must be a brilliant piece of self-marketing that also demonstrates a strong and mature commitment to the law." (from the TLS Guide foreword)

Ken's advice is his own. I dont agree with it and I'm sure others agree with me.

Read this

Anna Ivey's "The Ivey Guide to Law School admissions"...her advice on PS is radically different then Ken's and in the back of the book she has actual PS that she thought were good. None of them actually talked about committement to law. She was dean of admissions for Uchi.

Yeah I've read it; that was actually one of the books I was referring to... Hmm I don't like getting conflicting opinions from experts but I tend to think you're right on this one

thederangedwang
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby thederangedwang » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:18 pm

as much as I respect Ken, he isnt an expert on law school admissions. He never served on an admissions committee..he simply attended a respected law school

Ivey on the otherhand was dean for a top 5 law school. I would trust her advice.

bbsg
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby bbsg » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:41 am

The Yale 203 blog has a great post on personal statements with input from admissions deans from various T6 schools. They all came across as agreeing with Ivey. I'm not sold on what Ken is saying.

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:42 am

bbsg wrote:The Yale 203 blog has a great post on personal statements with input from admissions deans from various T6 schools. They all came across as agreeing with Ivey. I'm not sold on what Ken is saying.


Hmm actually I'm not sure Yale agrees with you guys: (from the blog)
"Courtenay: I don't think it's superficial or suck-uppy to explain why you want to go to law school -- I actually thinks that's the point of the P.S. (I may be one of the few admissions people who believes this, but I'd like to know that this is well thought out, not something you're doing because you can't find a job.) You don't have to use legal jargon or talk about things you don't know about, but presumably there are certain academic, professional, or personal experiences that have led you in this direction. Tell me what they are!"

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honeybadger12
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Re: Which first draft is better?

Postby honeybadger12 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:07 pm

giuseppes12 wrote:
bbsg wrote:The Yale 203 blog has a great post on personal statements with input from admissions deans from various T6 schools. They all came across as agreeing with Ivey. I'm not sold on what Ken is saying.


Hmm actually I'm not sure Yale agrees with you guys: (from the blog)
"Courtenay: I don't think it's superficial or suck-uppy to explain why you want to go to law school -- I actually thinks that's the point of the P.S. (I may be one of the few admissions people who believes this, but I'd like to know that this is well thought out, not something you're doing because you can't find a job.) You don't have to use legal jargon or talk about things you don't know about, but presumably there are certain academic, professional, or personal experiences that have led you in this direction. Tell me what they are!"
Also, this is from Ken's interview with a Harvard admissions officer:
"Our Admissions Committee looks primarily for two things – the ability to thrive academically and the capability and desire to have an impact in a chosen field... Regardless of your numerical credentials, if a reader doesn’t walk away from reading your application with a clear understanding of who you are and why law school makes sense for you, it’s unlikely you will be admitted."




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