PS Rough Draft-Identity/Syria-Criticisms Invited!!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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SAlpha
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:47 pm

PS Rough Draft-Identity/Syria-Criticisms Invited!!!

Postby SAlpha » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:51 pm

Hey all,

Writing my law school PS, please tear this apart. Criticism not only welcomed but encouraged!




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To perceive one’s identity, one places borders on that which is unique or different. It is human nature to want to fit in and be accepted. Having grown up with the aid of two close-knit families with disparate philosophies on life, religion, and politics; I am the product of the intermixing of two wildly divergent cultures. My mother and father’s families respectively of Spanish and Syrian descent played an instrumental role in my maturation, worldview, and ultimately my purpose.

From the ages of 5-10, I lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with dreams of returning to America where my monolingual self felt I was best fit. We spent many vacations abroad in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which helped me gain a deep appreciation and understanding of the world and its many countries and cultures.

Returning to America, I subdued any unique cultural characteristics I could lay claim to in hopes of fitting in. I cringed when my name was called at the start of each school year revealing the extent of my cultural variance. I was named Osama by my jido, grandfather, which translates to the enlightened one. After 911, with the permission of my dying jido, I changed my name to Sami. Furthermore, witnessing the unjust hatred directed at people of Middle Eastern descent post-9/11 catalyzed my desire to educate people regarding their misconceptions of Arab people.

My knowledge of Arabic culture was rooted in my numerous visits to Syria as well as my father educating me on historical detail. In the summer of 2009 I was selected to be a part of the Syrian Youth Expatriate Forum. This was a trip funded entirely by the Syrian government designed to instill a sense of pride in expatriates around the world by touring the best eateries, attractions, and historical monuments Syria had to offer. We were 136 similarly aged Syrians from 32 different countries travelling on a bus for 2 weeks indulging in Syria’s rich history, culture, and food while building bonds with young adults from different backgrounds. It was on this trip that I found something undeniably unifying within all of our disparate experiences; a desire for freedom.
A quote I read by Palestinian philosopher, Edward Said, succinctly outlined the battle of embracing my Syrian culture I had been internally experiencing and externally witnessing for the majority of my youth.

"Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world." ----Edward Said


Without media coverage of the humanistic aspect of Syrian culture, how could the world know how humble and inviting the Syrian people are? How could the world know what it is like to walk amidst the Roman ruins of one of our first female rulers, Queen Zenobia, in Palmyra or walk the same streets as Jesus Christ in the city of Maloulah, one of the increasingly few regions where Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken?

Home of the world’s very first documented civilization, prophets like Jesus, Moses and Mohammad inhabited and spoke highly of the riches this land once had to offer. The lavish gold markets of Aleppo I once knew are now reduced to rubble, as certain major Syrian cities now seem more like post-apocalyptic metropolises than the opulent urban centers I had visited. Thus, there is an imperative for change and with my experience, education, and undying motivation I endeavor to be at the forefront of this progressive movement toward knowledge, objectivity, and freedom.

My evolutionary experiences of embracing my Syrian identity, as well as finding my purpose in life have facilitated my desire to apply to law school. I want to help promote positive change for the Syrian people and its refugees. In law I see a direct avenue for change coupled with an education that promotes the sort of objectivity I have sought throughout my life.

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LoveLife89
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:08 pm

Re: PS Rough Draft-Identity/Syria-Criticisms Invited!!!

Postby LoveLife89 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:57 pm

SAlpha wrote:Hey all,

Writing my law school PS, please tear this apart. Criticism not only welcomed but encouraged!




________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



To perceive one’s identity, one places borders on that which is unique or different (I'm not sure what you mean by this statement.). It is human nature to want to fit in and be accepted (This may be human nature, but how does this connect to the first sentence? It doesn't flow well from sentence one to this, sentence two) . Having grown up with the aid of two close-knit families with disparate philosophies on life, religion, and politics(This is a fragment. It is a dependent clause, and needs something to come after it. The semi-colon isn't needed, only a comma, followed by an independent clause) ; I am the product of the intermixing of two wildly divergent cultures. My mother and father’s families respectively of Spanish and Syrian descent played an instrumental role in my maturation, worldview, and ultimately my purpose.
Okay, so after reading this first paragraph, I have no idea what any of this means, nor do I understand the point of it all. There are many different ideas, but I do not see where this is going. There are many grammatical errors as well.


From the ages of 5-10, I lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with dreams of returning to America where my monolingual self felt I was best fit. (So, this is written in passive voice and you want to try to stay in active voice as much as possible.) We spent many vacations abroad in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which helped me gain a deep appreciation and understanding of the world and its many countries and cultures.
Okay, now I was convinced that this paragraph was going to be about you going back to America, but instead you talked about vacationing in different countries. Again, I cannot see how this even remotely relates to your close-knit family)[color=#808000][/color]

Returning to America, I subdued (I'm not sure this would be the best fit for this sentence. Yes, it is technically correct, but something simpler would probably be better) any unique cultural characteristics I laid claims to in hopes of fitting in. I cringed whenever my name was called at the start of each school year, because I feared that it would reveal the extent of my cultural variance. I was named Osama by my jido, my grandfather, which translates to the enlightened one. After 9/11, with the permission of my dying jido, I changed my name to Sami. Furthermore, witnessing the unjust hatred directed at people of Middle Eastern descent post-9/11 catalyzed my desire to educate people regarding their misconceptions of Arab people.
Although there are many grammatical errors in this paragraph, I can see the potential. It is a really good paragraph and I would advice you to try to find some ways to have the first two paragraphs better lead into this.

My knowledge of Arabic culture was rooted in my numerous visits to Syria as well as my father educating me on historical detail. In the summer of 2009, I was selected to be a part of the Syrian Youth Expatriate Forum. This was a trip funded entirely by the Syrian government designed to instill a sense of pride in expatriates around the world by touring the best eateries, attractions, and historical monuments Syria had to offer. We were 136 similarly aged Syrians from 32 different countries travelling on a bus for 2 weeks indulging in Syria’s rich history, culture, and food while building bonds with young adults from different backgrounds. It was on this trip that I found something undeniably unifying within all of our disparate experiences; a desire for freedom.This is the second time where you have used the semi-colon, but you have used them incorrectly both times. The semicolon should be used to connect two thoughts that could be separated by a period. Meaning, what comes afters the semicolon should be a full, independent clause and that is not what you have here.
A quote I read by Palestinian philosopher, Edward Said, succinctly outlined the battle of embracing my Syrian culture I had been internally experiencing and externally witnessing for the majority of my youth.

"Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world." ----Edward Said


Without media coverage of the humanistic aspect of Syrian culture, how could the world know how humble and inviting the Syrian people are? How could the world know what it is like to walk amidst the Roman ruins of one of our first female rulers, Queen Zenobia, in Palmyra or walk the same streets as Jesus Christ in the city of Maloulah, one of the increasingly few regions where Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken?
[color=#FF0000]I'm not sure how this relates to the previous paragraph of changing your name. That paragraph spoke about the unjust treatment of Arabic people post 9/11. You also spoke about having to change your name because of that very problem. But, here, you are specifically talking about Syria and getting people to understand it.[/color]

Home of the world’s very first documented civilization, prophets like Jesus, Moses and Mohammad inhabited and spoke highly of the riches this land once had to offer. The lavish gold markets of Aleppo I once knew are now reduced to rubble, as certain major Syrian cities now seem more like post-apocalyptic metropolises than the opulent urban centers I had visited. Thus, there is an imperative for change and with my experience, education, and undying motivation I endeavor to be at the forefront of this progressive movement toward knowledge, objectivity, and freedom.

My evolutionary experiences of embracing my Syrian identity, as well as finding my purpose in life have facilitated my desire to apply to law school. I want to help promote positive change for the Syrian people and its refugees. In law I see a direct avenue for change coupled with an education that promotes the sort of objectivity I have sought throughout my life.



I skimmed the last two paragraphs because it does not relate in any way, shape, or form to the paragraph about your experiences and the unjust treatment of Arabic people, post-9/11. This is what you should focus on. I think you should scratch this because it doesn't relate to the law, nor does it flow in a coherent manner.




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