Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
lambert8
Posts: 102
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Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby lambert8 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:13 pm

The scoreboard reads seven to six. Only sixty-five seconds remain, but it is as if the time is refusing to tick away. The voice in my head remains the eternal optimist despite my aching legs and numb left shoulder. “We’ve worked too hard all game. We’ve got this. We just have to keep them out of field goal range and we’ve got this.” The quarterback takes the snap, and I follow his eyes as I drop into coverage. I see them open wide as he turns his shoulders to release the ball. I have read the play perfectly and make my break. The ball hits me directly in the hands. I cling to it as if it were my first child. The world around me erupts as my teammates rush the field and the spectators rejoice. A feeling of euphoria comes over me that is indescribable.
I have had many other great moments on the field similar to this—moments that will remain vivid in my mind forever. I have won many games and received dozens of team and individual honors. These moments define my life from age five playing Pop Warner through five seasons of college football. Although these experiences have provided me with great joy, perhaps the most valuable moments occurred off of the field.
During my three years playing football at The College of New Jersey, I was fortunate enough to belong to a unique group that shared interests beyond wins and losses on the football field. From soup kitchens to elementary schools taking part in Read Across America, we have participated in numerous local volunteer activities. Our volunteering led us to an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.
In April 2011, our team traveled to the Special Olympics facility to participate in an integrated practice with a group of mentally-handicapped boys and girls. We were each paired with one of the athletes and went through our typical practice routine. After they followed us through the drills and learned some of our basic plays, the practice concluded in a playful game of two-hand touch.
Admittedly, I was very nervous before arriving at the facility because I had never been in contact with someone with a mental handicap. However, because I was paired with a young boy with autism who was very close in age to my younger brother, throughout the practice I kept thinking about what it would be like if my brother were afflicted with this disease. It is not too farfetched: one in every eighty-eight children in the United States is born autistic. This thought put things into perspective. My nervousness was transformed into a passion to make sure my partner had the best experience possible. I watched him laugh and smile throughout the few hours that we shared together.
Something miraculous happened that night in April. It did not matter that we were different. Everyone on the field that day shared one common interest that trumped everything else—we all loved the game of football. This love enabled us to connect with the athletes, bonding in a way that was unusually simple. I left the facility that day feeling like I had affected another person’s life in a positive way, and that feeling exceeds anything I have ever felt on an athletic field.
Through this experience I learned a great deal about who I am as a whole. Sure, by playing college football I have proved that I am hardworking, have important leadership skills and can overcome obstacles, but you can only learn so much about yourself through a sport. The joy I felt in participating in such a great cause attests to the fact that I have great character and that I am a well-rounded individual capable of contributing to a community in a variety of ways. This complete skill-set is what will make me a successful law school student that makes great contributions both academically and in the community.

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PaulKriske
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby PaulKriske » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:14 pm

sporting themes are hackneyed.

thederangedwang
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:33 pm

PaulKriske wrote:sporting themes are hackneyed.

no, not if you have the creds to back it up

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drmguy
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby drmguy » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:55 pm

I'm not into sports. I would imagine lots of boring law admissions people aren't into sports either. The intro doesn't draw me in.

Don't like:
"We've got this"
"cling to first child"
Watch out for inappropriate passive voice.
Double check on the PC term for the boys and girls you helped. I'm pretty sure it isn't "mentally-handicapped."
Keep parallel construction in mind for your compound sentences.
Is it "born with autism" or "born autistic?"
Shouldn't it be "by playing college football(comma)?
You have some other parallel construction problems.
Lastly, keep tense in mind.

This PS gives me the impression that you haven't edited it for grammar.

jsgrunwald
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby jsgrunwald » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:56 pm

drmguy wrote: This PS gives me the impression that you haven't edited it for grammar.


See above ^

It's not bad though. Sometimes you jump topics a little fast though.

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drmguy
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby drmguy » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:00 pm

jsgrunwald wrote:
drmguy wrote: This PS gives me the impression that you haven't edited it for grammar.


See above ^

It's not bad though. Sometimes you jump topics a little fast though.

Admissions people aren't just going to sit there and think how sweet your story is. They won't get that far when they are distracted by grammar mistakes.

lambert8
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby lambert8 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:31 pm

This is actually after I had it edited by a service so I'm kind of puzzled with the grammar errors.

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drmguy
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby drmguy » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:38 pm

lambert8 wrote:This is actually after I had it edited by a service so I'm kind of puzzled with the grammar errors.

A service is not going to give you line by line tense edits. They will give you "feel" edits. You need to get out the Chicago Manual and make the grammar flawless. Well you don't need to, but making the grammrar flawless will help a lot. The Chicago Manual offers a free online service for 30 or so days.

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The Platypus
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby The Platypus » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:05 pm

I went through and made some quick edits. I think there can be some further edits, but just my two cents. Especially focusing on making active verbs, and trying to make it flow better--try reading your writing out loud to see if it flows well as well. 8)
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The scoreboard reads seven to six. Only sixty-five seconds remain as the time refuses to tick away. The voice in my head remains the eternal optimist, despite my aching legs and numb left shoulder. “We’ve worked too hard all game. We’ve got this—just keep them out of field goal range and we’ve got this.” The quarterback takes the snap, and I follow his eyes as I drop into coverage. His eyes open wide as he turns to release the ball. I read the play perfectly and break towards the flying ball. It hits me right in the hands; I cling to it and fall to the ground. The world around me erupts as my teammates rush the field and the spectators rejoice. The feeling of euphoria is indescribable.

I have celebrated many other great events on the field—moments that still remain vivid in my mind. I have won many games and received dozens of team and individual honors. These memories have defined my life since playing Pop Warner at age 5 through five seasons of college football. Although these experiences have provided me with great joy, my most valuable successes occurred off the field.

During my three years playing football at The College of New Jersey, I was fortunate enough to join a unique group that shared interests beyond wins and losses on the football field. From soup kitchens to Read Across America at local elementary schools, we have helped with numerous volunteer activities. Our volunteering led us to an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

In April 2011, our team traveled to the Special Olympics facility to facilitate an integrated practice with a group of mentally-handicapped boys and girls. We were each paired with one of the athletes and went through our typical practice routine. After they followed us through drills and learned some of our basic plays, we finished the session with a playful game of two-hand touch.

Admittedly, I was very nervous before arriving at the facility, since I had never spent much time with a mentally handicapped individual. Yet after I was paired with an autistic young boy, who was almost as old as my younger brother, I came to love the experience. Throughout the practice, I kept thinking about what it would be like if my brother were afflicted with this disease. Such a possibility is not too farfetched: one in every eighty-eight children in the United States is born autistic. This weighty thought put my own goals in perspective. My nervousness was transformed into a passion to make sure my partner had the best experience possible. I watched him laugh and smile throughout the few hours that we shared together.

Something miraculous happened that night in April. It did not matter that we were different. Everyone on the field that day shared one common interest that trumped everything else—we all loved the game of football. This love enabled us to easily connect with the athletes. I left the facility that day happy that I had positively impacted another person’s life, and found that this feeling exceeds anything I have ever felt on an athletic field.

Through this experience, I learned more about myself. Certainly, by playing college football, I have proved my hard work, leadership skills, and ability to overcome obstacles, but you can only learn so much about yourself through a sport. The joy I felt in participating in such a great cause as the Special Olympics led me to pull deeper from my character. I found that I had other abilities that could allow me to contribute to a community in a variety of ways. This complete skill-set of interpersonal skills, diligence, and commitment will help make me a successful law school student who makes great contributions in classes and the community.

lambert8
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby lambert8 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:07 pm

Thanks a lot!

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honeybadger12
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby honeybadger12 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:06 pm

The Platypus wrote: Certainly, by playing college football, I have proved my hard work, leadership skills, and ability to overcome obstacles, but you can only learn so much about yourself through a sport.
You might wanna cut down on commas ha this sentence has a comma/word ratio of like 1:4

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drmguy
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:43 am

Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby drmguy » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:07 pm

lambert8 wrote:Thanks a lot!

Please don't only rely on essay services and TLS critiques. Putting in the effort with a style guide will take your PS from the middle of the pack to the top of the pack.

lambert8
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby lambert8 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:20 pm

@giuseppe yeah i ended up changing that


And yeah I know, I am putting in the work, just looking for some TLS eyes to help me out

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CorkBoard
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby CorkBoard » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:46 pm

Man, fuck passive voice. I also think this is a bad topic. It makes it sound like you literally only did one thing (one day events) that you're trying to incorporate into a PS to make yourself sound well-rounded.

Just my $.02.

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honeybadger12
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby honeybadger12 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:57 pm

CorkBoard wrote:Man, fuck passive voice. I also think this is a bad topic. It makes it sound like you literally only did one thing (one day events) that you're trying to incorporate into a PS to make yourself sound well-rounded.

Just my $.02.

Just curious, where is this passive voice everyone keeps speaking of? I only see one sentence (My nervousness...) with passive voice

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CorkBoard
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby CorkBoard » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:09 pm

giuseppes12 wrote:
CorkBoard wrote:Man, fuck passive voice. I also think this is a bad topic. It makes it sound like you literally only did one thing (one day events) that you're trying to incorporate into a PS to make yourself sound well-rounded.

Just my $.02.

Just curious, where is this passive voice everyone keeps speaking of? I only see one sentence (My nervousness...) with passive voice

Examples: "I was paired" and "we were paired".

Your opening is cool but it doesn't relate to what you're talking about and seems really out of place here, IMO.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:00 am

tag, since it is a sorta similar theme to my PS I'm working on right now. I doubt mine will be any better but here's what I felt really stood out with yours:

Agree with the passive voice, it's all over the place:
"My nervousness was transformed"
Stuff doesn't just happen TO you, something does something.

Finally it doesn't seem like the the intro has anything to do with your actual PS. You don't really talk about football at all after that, other than it was your football coach that made you visit the autistic kids and stuff

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drmguy
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:43 am

Re: Looking for some critiques of my PS....Have at it.

Postby drmguy » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:40 pm

giuseppes12 wrote:
CorkBoard wrote:Man, fuck passive voice. I also think this is a bad topic. It makes it sound like you literally only did one thing (one day events) that you're trying to incorporate into a PS to make yourself sound well-rounded.

Just my $.02.

Just curious, where is this passive voice everyone keeps speaking of? I only see one sentence (My nervousness...) with passive voice

Sounds like you need to buy a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Edit: I want to add to what the poster above said. Little feel good additions take a backseat to flawless writing in personal statements/cover letters/etc. Also, it shows when you ram those feel good additions in when they aren't appropriate.




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