How would you rate this?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

What would you rate my essay?

1
1
8%
2
0
No votes
3
2
17%
4
1
8%
5
3
25%
6
1
8%
7
3
25%
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1
8%
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No votes
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Total votes: 12

Anonymous User
Posts: 273366
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How would you rate this?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:07 pm

“_________, you need to keep your chin down and stop crossing your feet!” I was in the ring with a golden gloves boxer, and while I was caught on the ropes just moments before, he had stung me with a strong right uppercut followed by a left hook, knocking me out. I woke with a pounding headache, a directive to my chin and feet, and the lights intensified everything. I saw dried blood on my chest, felt every eye on me, and tasted sweat pouring down my face.
After that incident, completely disheartened, I was fearful to step in the ring again. The following weeks were comprised of endless shadow boxing with a tennis ball under my chin, bobbing and weaving exercises, as well as footwork drills. I never wanted to experience a knockout again.
After training, I mustered up the courage to get back in the ring with the same fighter. From bell to bell, all three rounds, I held my ground and even caught him one time with a strong one-two that put him on the canvas. I was bloodied, but I was on my feet and proud to have pushed through it. I lost the fight, this time by decision. To me, it wasn’t all about the victory; I wanted to show myself what I could achieve when forced to sink or swim.
I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb with my mother, while my father lived just down the street. We weren’t particularly wealthy, but we were comfortable with what we had. As an adolescent, I was rarely given what I wanted. My parents made me work for everything and, for that lesson I am forever indebted to them. Friends repeatedly remarked, “________, your parents are so hard on you”, and they were right. They were hard on me, even mean at times, but they developed a man, and today I am grateful.
Until college, I had little regard for grades. While employed at a restaurant in high school, I realized that I didn’t want to become like my co-workers, who had dropped out of school because they had little regard for their education. As I was departing for college in Florida they would say,“ See you back here in a few weeks”. Except for my own parents, no one truly believed I would be where I am today. It was especially hard for myself to do so, because I had never really thought of myself as intelligent. I was confused, unsure of what I was going to do simply because I had never really applied myself to the best of my ability or proved I was capable of maintaining goal oriented focus. I wanted to be a successful and prosperous individual, but was uncertain on how to do so.
The day I left for college my parents told me something I would not forget. Standing on the platform of the train station they told me, “__________, we’ve never been on you about your grades, not because we don’t want to see you succeed, but more importantly, we want you to have your own desire to succeed.” All my life they have given me the freedom to decide for myself what it is I want to do and have supported me whole-heartedly in whatever it was. It was my opportunity to fulfill my goals and their desires simultaneously. Of course, there have been hardships and there have been failures, but it is now I realize that these have acted as stepping-stones to my success.
Beginning my first semester of college, I was terrified. Like stepping into the boxing ring again, I knew this was a fresh start and an opportunity to prove my success to everyone and more importantly, to prove it to myself. I adapted well and, after my first year of college, I even sent a copy of my transcripts to my previous place of employment, leaving them awestruck. Though it seems relatively small, it was a huge accomplishment to me. I knew then that I had found my true self.
On top of being a full time student, I work 25 to 30 hours a week in order to pay for my basic needs. Though this is quite difficult to juggle with schoolwork, it has led me to appreciate things to a much greater degree. It’s much more rewarding to know that I have pushed myself that much harder and still make the grades. Working has greatly aided in my ability to multi-task, demonstrating that no task is beneath me. Working with a diverse group of individuals has taught me to effectively relate to people from different backgrounds, in which I have learned how to deal with people efficiently, to learn from the success of others, and to make decisions under pressure. Although these skills did not come easy it was imperative to becoming a leader, and avoid getting stuck on the ropes again.
My experiences show the perseverance, maturity, and ability to succeed in law school. I look forward to the challenge knowing that how one tackles the journey is often as important as achieving the goal. It is quite the paradox, the idea that often the most arduous, most challenging tasks that put us at our worst mold us into our best. I have come to realize that it is not the grades, the accomplishments, or the goals I have conquered, but myself that I have conquered. These attributes gained from my experiences equip me with the necessary skills, desire, and commitment to succeed in law school. I have been made aware that law school is a grueling challenge, however my life has prepared me to roll with the punches.

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Pretty entertaining, I think it works well. Here are my critiques:

They were hard on me, even mean at times, but they developed a man, and today I am grateful.


The bolded sounds very awkward. Instead, I would try something like "but they raised me to take responsibility, and today I am grateful."

Except for my own parents, no one truly believed I would be where I am today. It was especially hard for myself to do so, because I had never really thought of myself as intelligent.


This sentence desperately needs to be reworded. Ill give it a shot. "Except for my own parents, no one truly believed I would be where I am today. Even my own self-confidence in the matter was quite shaky, because I had never really thought of myself as intelligent."

My experiences show the perseverance, maturity, and ability to succeed in law school.


Take this out. This is the conclusion that admissions people should come to on their own about you. It's their job to determine if you have what it takes to succeed in law school, don't attempt to do it for them. You simply must lead them to that conclusion by implying it in the rest of your PS (which you do)."Show not tell."

Overall Great Job.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7667
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:47 am

Not bad, but not great. It probably won't close any doors for you but it could be stronger. Try and focus it more in the middle. It rambles between a lot of topics. What message are you trying to convey?

csexton182
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:39 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby csexton182 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:02 pm

Thanks guys I really appreciate it. I'm trying to show my maturity, my responsibility, and my ability to persist. I am definately working on the middle, i know it gets a bit dry. Any suggestions for the middle?

Thanks again everybody.

pecchiord1
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:55 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby pecchiord1 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:29 pm

I think it's great! One thing I would say is that starting with a quote is a little overused.

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VeeD101
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:49 pm

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby VeeD101 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:34 pm

Ok, so I have sort of butchered this. Once I started, I couldn't stop making changes :oops: . I think you main problem in the style department is your tenses. They jump all over the place, so be careful. With regards to your story, paragraphs 1 and 2 don't properly connect with the rest yet. Also in the telling of your life the chronology doesn't flow as well as it should. Hope this helps :)


“_________, you need to keep your chin down and stop crossing your feet!” I was in the ring with a golden gloves boxer, and while I was had been caught on the ropes just moments before, he had stung me with a strong right uppercut followed by a left hook, knocking me out. I woke up with a pounding headache, a directive to my chin and feet, and the lights intensified everything with the lights intensifying everything. As I began to gather focus (or something along these lines), I saw dried blood on my chest, felt every eye on me, and tasted sweat pouring down my face.

After that incident, completely disheartened, I was fearful to step in the ring again. you may want to say here...to overcome my fear, the following weeks were comprised of...The following weeks were comprised of endless shadow boxing with a tennis ball under my chin, bobbing and weaving exercises, as well as footwork drills. I never wanted to experience a knockout again.

After training, I mustered up the courage to get back in the ring with the same fighter. From bell to bell, all three rounds, I held my ground and even caught him one time with a strong one-two that put him on the canvas. I was bloodied, but I was on my feet and proud to have pushed through it. I lost the fight, but this time by decision. To me, it wasn’t all about the victory; I wanted to show myself what I could achieve when forced to sink or swim.

I am not sure how this paragraphs above and below connect?
I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb with my mother, while my father lived just down the street. We weren’t particularly wealthy, but we were comfortable with what we had. As an adolescent, I was rarely given what I wanted. My parents made me work for everything and, for that lesson, I am forever indebted to them. Friends repeatedly remarked, “________, your parents are so hard on you”, and they were right. They were hard on me, even mean at times, but they developed made me into a tough/independant/strong?man, and today I am grateful. You would have become a man anyway so IMO just saying man doesn't add value

Until college, I had little regard for grades. While employed at a restaurant in high school, I realized that I didn’t want to become like my co-workers, who had dropped out of school because they had little regard for their education sounds a little de-grading. Maybe you want to say something like this ...While employed at a restaurant during my high school years I realized that I didn't want to be doing this for the rest of my life. I wanted more.....This line is also confusing because if you realized this while working in high school, why did you still have little regard for your grades in high school? . As I was departing for college in Florida they would say said,“ See you back here in a few weeks”. Except for my own Aside from my parents, no one truly believed I would be where I am today. It was especially hard for myself to do so do what? go to college? explain that - this is getting confusing to follow, because I had never really thought of myself as intelligent. I was confused, unsure of what I was going to do simply because I had never really applied myself to the best of my ability or proved I was capable of maintaining goal oriented focus. I wanted to be a successful and prosperous individual, but was uncertain on how to do so.

The day I left for college my parents told me something I would not forget. Standing on the platform of the train station they told me You're just repeating the first sentence here...also IMO far too man quotes at this point, “__________, we’ve never been hardon you about your grades, not because we don’t want to see you succeed, but more importantly, we want you to have your own desire to succeed.”See at this point I'm really confused. I thought you said earlier that your parents were very hard on you? Be consistent. All my life they have given me the freedom to decide for myself what it is I want to do and have supported me whole-heartedly in whatever it was. It was my opportunity to fulfill my goals and their desires simultaneously. Of course, there have been hardships and there have been failures, but it is now I realize that these have acted as stepping-stones to my success. These last two paragraphs are weak and need serious work

Beginning my first semester of college, I was terrified. Like stepping into the boxing ring again, I knew this was a fresh start and an opportunity to prove my success to everyone and more importantly, to prove itto myself. I adapted well and, after my first year of college, I even sent a copy of my transcripts to my previous place of employment, leaving them awestruck. Though it seems relatively small, it was a huge accomplishment to me. I knew then that I had found my true self. You never really communicated to the reader where you had been lost in the first place? If this is a reference to you not considering yourself intelligent, then you need to link the two better

On top ofBesides being a full time student, I work 25 to 30 hours a week in order to pay for my basic needs. Though this is quite difficult to juggle with schoolwork, it has led me to appreciate things to a much greater degree. It’s much more rewarding to know that I have pushed myself that much harder and still make made the grades. Working has greatly aided in my ability to multi-task, demonstrating that no task is beneath me. Working with a diverse group of individuals has taught me to effectively relate to people from different backgrounds, in which I have learned how to deal with people efficiently, to learn from the success of others, and to make decisions under pressure. Although these skills did not come easy it was imperative to becoming a leader, and avoid getting stuck on the ropes again. Sounds a lot like your resume will, consider re-wording to provide information that your resume doesn't already cover

My experiences show the perseverance, maturity, and ability to succeed in law school. I look forward to the challenge knowing that how one tackles the journey is often as important as achieving the goal. It is quite the paradox, the idea that often the most arduous, most challenging tasks that put us at our worst, mold us into our best. I have come to realize that it is not the grades, the accomplishments, or the goals I have conquered, but myself that I have conquered. These attributes gained from my experiences equip me with the necessary skills, desire, and commitment to succeed in law school. I have been made aware that law school is a grueling challenge, however my life has prepared me to roll with the punches.

Peg
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:32 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby Peg » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:26 am

Sorry, I gave this a 1/10 but that's because I'm typically very harsh in my PS critiques and giving someone a 1 or 2 is the norm for me. It's too late now for me to give a line-by-line critique and I'm sleepy, but here are some basic impressions I had (and please do feel free to PM me later for more details - I love repairing personal statements and I think many people are misguided):

1. I almost couldn't continue after the first 3 paragraphs, especially since there was a big continuity problem between the first 3 paragraphs and the 4th paragraph. How does the narrative jump from dramatic scene to a sudden, boring introductory bio? And the other reason why I found it hard to read those first 3 paragraphs was that those kind of narrative openings just don't work in a PS. At least not for me. Here's why:
- it's extremely descriptive in a sensory, visual, physical way. The adcom is not interested. They want to quickly get into your head and thoughts, not read a passage that looks like it was pulled out of a novel. A good PS is typically 800-1000 words, so you just don't have space to waste on 3 paragraphs of pure description that doesn't actually take the reader into your head.

2. Maybe I'm just hypersensitive about descriptive prose, but stylistically I think your writing is just...overwrought. Tone it down with the description, be way less verbose.

3. As someone else said, you're inconsistent with your tenses.

4. "I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb in a normal family and we were middle-class and had good values about hard work, etc." Just no. I don't mean to be rude because these are all obviously things that are a credit to you, but it hardly makes you look unique. So far I'm getting a bland picture of a hard-working young person, with no face or personality jumping off the page at me. Cut out that entire paragraph. It's not building you.

5. Basically, I'm not hearing your voice. I feel like I'm getting a stage-by-stage biography that paints you in a positive-but-anonymous light. Your anecdotes aren't used effectively to convey a strong impression of who you are. You need to write the way you would talk. Don't write as if you're putting your resume in prose, or as if this is some kind of cover letter (it sounds like a glorified cover letter). Otherwise, you won't grab the adcom's attention because if you are honest with yourself, you can imagine how many hundreds of other applicants have written personal statements that are almost identical to this one.

csexton182
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:39 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby csexton182 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:22 pm

Thanks so much guys. I know you guys are tearing it apart, but I'm happy for the constructive criticism. I will work on these middle two paragraphs as well as the things you guys put in there. I'll post a revision soon.

Again, I appreciate it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273366
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How would you rate this?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:59 pm

Sounds awesome. Like the boxing anecdote.... I see where you are heading with this one. Watch the tense and work on the middle a bit. Otherwise It seems very good. Others are sayihg you sound like a typical applicant. I dont think so. Do you have anything special on your resume? upload another revision if you can




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