rough draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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overperformer
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rough draft

Postby overperformer » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:27 pm

thanks for the help
Last edited by overperformer on Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bluepenguin
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Re: rough draft

Postby bluepenguin » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:36 pm

Too. Many. Colons.

The transition from P2-P3 is quite abrupt.

This strikes me as potentially very solid, but the "timid child finds debate and turns into star, applies to law school" angle is a delicate balance and IMHO this isn't doing the trick. It also strikes me as fairly self-indulgent in places.

J90
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Re: rough draft

Postby J90 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:47 pm

I apologize, but the private helicopter bit at the end really was self-indulgent.

Just remember, the purpose of a personal statement, above all else, isn't just to describe a situation or transformation but to convince admissions counselors to want you at their school. This doesn't do that. It says that you were once timid, and now you want to be rich and indulge yourself, not limited to private helicopters.

If you stuck with the debate transformation, I'd focus on a particular moment, perhaps on that particular weekend, but please don't draw it out beyond necessary. Focus instead on how you applied that transformation and what that meant for you as a lawyer, in terms of values, a specific passion in some field of the law, etc... something convincing.

Not just in a confidence way, nor a wanting nice things way, nor a "I'm good at arguing so I think I'd be good lawyer" way.

That doesn't impress me, nor will it impress Admissions.

CanadianWolf
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Re: rough draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:22 pm

As noted above, there are too many colons.
Your first date was a "whom" or "who", not a "that".
The third sentence of the third paragraph is convincing.

Overall, this is an entertaining & interesting personal statement. It's a bit of a mix between Ferris Bueller & Revenge of the Nerds.

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overperformer
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Re: rough draft

Postby overperformer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:48 pm

bluepenguin wrote:Too. Many. Colons.

The transition from P2-P3 is quite abrupt.

This strikes me as potentially very solid, but the "timid child finds debate and turns into star, applies to law school" angle is a delicate balance and IMHO this isn't doing the trick. It also strikes me as fairly self-indulgent in places.


Fair point about the transition

colons is my personal forte; I enjoy using them.
And I am a self-indulgent person.

I want my PS to showcase who I really am and how I really write.

It is a delicate balance. This is a rough draft and I'll make it better

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overperformer
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Re: rough draft

Postby overperformer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:53 pm

J90 wrote:I apologize, but the private helicopter bit at the end really was self-indulgent.

Just remember, the purpose of a personal statement, above all else, isn't just to describe a situation or transformation but to convince admissions counselors to want you at their school. This doesn't do that. It says that you were once timid, and now you want to be rich and indulge yourself, not limited to private helicopters.

If you stuck with the debate transformation, I'd focus on a particular moment, perhaps on that particular weekend, but please don't draw it out beyond necessary. Focus instead on how you applied that transformation and what that meant for you as a lawyer, in terms of values, a specific passion in some field of the law, etc... something convincing.

Not just in a confidence way, nor a wanting nice things way, nor a "I'm good at arguing so I think I'd be good lawyer" way.

That doesn't impress me, nor will it impress Admissions.


self indulgent, yes. its means to contrast with the 16th bday party, that wasnt. agree i could tone it down

this is PS is very honest. and true. i agree, it needs to be more focused, in terms of "that transformation and what that meant for you as a lawyer"

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overperformer
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Re: rough draft

Postby overperformer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:55 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:As noted above, there are too many colons.
Your first date was a "whom" or "who", not a "that".
The third sentence of the third paragraph is convincing.

Overall, this is an entertaining & interesting personal statement. It's a bit of a mix between Ferris Bueller & Revenge of the Nerds.


good catch. whom for sure.

just trying to be different. rough draft and such. anything else.

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rinkrat19
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Re: rough draft

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:13 pm

All right, duder, this is going to be harsh. And I'm not going to go through the entire thing because I think it needs to be re-written and it would just be a waste of time. While I don't actually have a problem with what you're saying or the general topic structure, your language is imprecise and clunky, and I felt like I was stumbling along to an irregular beat as I tried to read this in my head.

Adolescence is tough in America for timid kids like me.

Elementary school was a façade layered in innocence.
What? No. Yuck. Not only is this wicked pretentious, it's unintelligible. I have literally no idea what you meant to say.

I disdained the nickname Timid Tim.
Imprecise. Were you actually called that? It's not clear.

High school gave birth to opportunism and rebirth.
It gave birth...to rebirth? No. And I think you meant opportunity, not opportunism.

I blew it.
Wait, so...you didn't take advantage of the birthing of the opportunity for rebirth or whatever? Make this more clear and don't try to be poetic; you don't have the writing chops. Simple but well-written is ALWAYS better than complex but badly-written. "High school provided an opportunity to start over, but I blew it."

A cruel fate landed me in an intimidating elective class sophomore year: debate.
'A cruel TWIST of fate,' I think you meant? But don't say that either; it's cliche.

Public speaking was daunting. I lacked confidence. I lacked ability. And I lacked the words.
I'm. Tripping. Over these. Awkwardly choppy. Sentences.

I put on a torn and wrinkled hammy down HAND-ME-DOWN suit: my face dotted with acne.
If colons are your forte, you should use them correctly. wtf does a bad suit have to do with acne? Either this just makes no sense, or the suit is a terrible metaphor for acne...and it makes no sense.

In a masochistic way, I loved the way I looked. I looked legitimate, important, presidential, authoritative, and all the et ceteras.
How is liking the way you looked masochistic? Also, if it was a wrinkled, hand-me-down suit, you probably didn't look legit and presidential. Maybe you FELT presidential; that's perfectly believable.

The first debate began, and I became a different person. I became a man. And I became a winner: socially, cognitively, and professionally.
A week out from my sixteenth birthday I told my mom, “I would throw a party if I had someone to invite.” I did not go out much.
But you were a winner, socially. You just said so. Be PRECISE.

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overperformer
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Re: rough draft

Postby overperformer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:28 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:All right, duder, this is going to be harsh. And I'm not going to go through the entire thing because I think it needs to be re-written and it would just be a waste of time. While I don't actually have a problem with what you're saying or the general topic structure, your language is imprecise and clunky, and I felt like I was stumbling along to an irregular beat as I tried to read this in my head.

Adolescence is tough in America for timid kids like me.

Elementary school was a façade layered in innocence.
What? No. Yuck. Not only is this wicked pretentious, it's unintelligible. I have literally no idea what you meant to say.

I disdained the nickname Timid Tim.
Imprecise. Were you actually called that? It's not clear.

High school gave birth to opportunism and rebirth.
It gave birth...to rebirth? No. And I think you meant opportunity, not opportunism.

I blew it.
Wait, so...you didn't take advantage of the birthing of the opportunity for rebirth or whatever? Make this more clear and don't try to be poetic; you don't have the writing chops. Simple but well-written is ALWAYS better than complex but badly-written. "High school provided an opportunity to start over, but I blew it."

A cruel fate landed me in an intimidating elective class sophomore year: debate.
'A cruel TWIST of fate,' I think you meant? But don't say that either; it's cliche.

Public speaking was daunting. I lacked confidence. I lacked ability. And I lacked the words.
I'm. Tripping. Over these. Awkwardly choppy. Sentences.

I put on a torn and wrinkled hammy down HAND-ME-DOWN suit: my face dotted with acne.
If colons are your forte, you should use them correctly. wtf does a bad suit have to do with acne? Either this just makes no sense, or the suit is a terrible metaphor for acne...and it makes no sense.

In a masochistic way, I loved the way I looked. I looked legitimate, important, presidential, authoritative, and all the et ceteras.
How is liking the way you looked masochistic? Also, if it was a wrinkled, hand-me-down suit, you probably didn't look legit and presidential. Maybe you FELT presidential; that's perfectly believable.

The first debate began, and I became a different person. I became a man. And I became a winner: socially, cognitively, and professionally.
A week out from my sixteenth birthday I told my mom, “I would throw a party if I had someone to invite.” I did not go out much.
But you were a winner, socially. You just said so. Be PRECISE.


you make some good points. and some bad points.

my writing style is my writing style. its been very successful and im not changing it.

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suralin
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Re: rough draft

Postby suralin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:41 pm

overperformer wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:All right, duder, this is going to be harsh. And I'm not going to go through the entire thing because I think it needs to be re-written and it would just be a waste of time. While I don't actually have a problem with what you're saying or the general topic structure, your language is imprecise and clunky, and I felt like I was stumbling along to an irregular beat as I tried to read this in my head.

Adolescence is tough in America for timid kids like me.

Elementary school was a façade layered in innocence.
What? No. Yuck. Not only is this wicked pretentious, it's unintelligible. I have literally no idea what you meant to say.

I disdained the nickname Timid Tim.
Imprecise. Were you actually called that? It's not clear.

High school gave birth to opportunism and rebirth.
It gave birth...to rebirth? No. And I think you meant opportunity, not opportunism.

I blew it.
Wait, so...you didn't take advantage of the birthing of the opportunity for rebirth or whatever? Make this more clear and don't try to be poetic; you don't have the writing chops. Simple but well-written is ALWAYS better than complex but badly-written. "High school provided an opportunity to start over, but I blew it."

A cruel fate landed me in an intimidating elective class sophomore year: debate.
'A cruel TWIST of fate,' I think you meant? But don't say that either; it's cliche.

Public speaking was daunting. I lacked confidence. I lacked ability. And I lacked the words.
I'm. Tripping. Over these. Awkwardly choppy. Sentences.

I put on a torn and wrinkled hammy down HAND-ME-DOWN suit: my face dotted with acne.
If colons are your forte, you should use them correctly. wtf does a bad suit have to do with acne? Either this just makes no sense, or the suit is a terrible metaphor for acne...and it makes no sense.

In a masochistic way, I loved the way I looked. I looked legitimate, important, presidential, authoritative, and all the et ceteras.
How is liking the way you looked masochistic? Also, if it was a wrinkled, hand-me-down suit, you probably didn't look legit and presidential. Maybe you FELT presidential; that's perfectly believable.

The first debate began, and I became a different person. I became a man. And I became a winner: socially, cognitively, and professionally.
A week out from my sixteenth birthday I told my mom, “I would throw a party if I had someone to invite.” I did not go out much.
But you were a winner, socially. You just said so. Be PRECISE.


you make some good points. and some bad points.

my writing style is my writing style. its been very successful and im not changing it.


Lol.

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Dmini7
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Re: rough draft

Postby Dmini7 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:57 pm

overperformer wrote:i need to kill it to make up a few LSAT points.
----------------
Adolescence is tough in America for timid kids like me. Elementary school was a façade layered in innocence. I was the smart, cool kid: unaware that I would become the unattractive, lost kid in middle school. I disdained the nickname Timid Tim. High school gave birth to opportunism and rebirth. I blew it. I spent lunchtime freshman year in the bathroom stalls. A cruel fate landed me in an intimidating elective class sophomore year: debate. Public speaking was daunting. I lacked confidence. I lacked ability. And I lacked the words. The morning of the first meet came. I put on a torn and wrinkled hammy down suit: my face dotted with acne. In a masochistic way, I loved the way I looked. I looked legitimate, important, presidential, authoritative, and all the et ceteras. The first debate began, and I became a different person. I became a man. And I became a winner: socially, cognitively, and professionally.
A week out from my sixteenth birthday I told my mom, “I would throw a party if I had someone to invite.” I did not go out much. I’d catch a five o’clock show, so I could be home before sunset. I have strict parents: Memorial Day weekend 2008 was my first time sleeping out solo. I spent the weekend in Appleton, Wisconsin for NCFL Lincoln-Douglas Debate nationals. This prestigious event was limited: for Michigan, only the top three qualifiers were invited. During the seventy two hour trip, I spent sixteen hours on a pungent travel bus, twenty four hours sleeping, twelve hours debating, ten hours eating, and ten hours exploring downtown Appleton: I spent seventy two hours having the time of my life. I was independent and free. I formed friendships. I had fun. I went to the mall and I went to dinner and I went snuck out of my room at night: things I had never expected. One weekend undid sixteen years of cumbersome life. I came back to Michigan changed. On the extensive bus rides, I met a young girl that I took on my first date. Life became an awesome journey to be enjoyed, rather than a destiny to be complacent with.
An indomitable work ethic defines me. I have always had academic success. In fifth grade, I was determined to be the first student to have zero I-O-U’s (slips given for missed assignments). In middle school, I was determined to win the science fair: determination never let me down. Still, writing and speaking skills were merely satisfactory. I remember the first time my mother and father watched me debate. My mother cried because she saw a happy son for the first time. My father called me a little politician, although he did not comprehend half my words. Debate is a politically correct sport: you have to appear to respect your opponent although you desire their demise. The language is diplomatic. The language indoctrinated me and spread through my life. My vocabulary grew and became natural. Complex words, word economy, and dynamic rhetoric became a part of whom I am. I refuse to dumb it down for any audience.
I always wanted to be a doctor—until I put on that suit. Beyond the symbolism, debate had shaped my professional career path. Confidence has been distilled in my spirit: words can move and inspire and drive in intangible ways, while hands can merely weave and stitch. I cannot wait to wake up, drive down Lodge, and get to work on the thirtieth floor. I love the city life. My twenty first birthday was this year. I had a party this time and plenty of people to invite. The celebration was on October 6th, the evening after the taking the LSAT. I left the test, jetted to Somerset Collections, and picked up a custom fit two button suit that I donned for the evening. Dressed in pin stripes and cleaned shaved, I had to rush to catch my flight at five o’clock. I stayed out past sunset that night. And it was an amazing feeling, to be chauffeured for the evening on a private helicopter surrounded by the wonders of my word. A modest fifteen hundred feet above the ground, I had never felt more accomplished and down to earth cognizant that the best is yet to come.



I agree with all of the above about the colons. It got very old and tiresome after the first paragraph. Even if it is your writing style, i think you need to tone it down some. The adcomms will still see who you are even if you have to cut your 30 or so colons to 15(random estimation of the amount you had). I was very interested, but halfway through it became a chore to read, which was honestly a shame because i found the last paragraph to be very strong, and a pretty good juxtaposition of the first one. I personally did not like the colloquial term you used with "Dumb it down" though(probably because it reminded me of Lupe Fiasco) and with your writing style that emphasized the large, sophisticated and maybe even dramatic words..i felt it couldve been written in a more powerful and intellectual way.

overall, the colons and chopy sentences can be powerful, but when you overuse them it just ruins the essay as a whole.

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bluepenguin
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Re: rough draft

Postby bluepenguin » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:04 am

overperformer wrote:you make some good points. and some bad points.

my writing style is my writing style. its been very successful and im not changing it.


I might disagree with one of those points. No "bad points" were made, I assure you.

I would love to hear what success you've had...

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overperformer
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Re: rough draft

Postby overperformer » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:23 am

bluepenguin wrote:
overperformer wrote:you make some good points. and some bad points.

my writing style is my writing style. its been very successful and im not changing it.


I might disagree with one of those points. No "bad points" were made, I assure you.

I would love to hear what success you've had...


i have a 3.98 GPA. 4.0 in every writing class. numerous times, numerous professors have told me, publicly and privately, I was the best writer they've seen at my university. I have earned a bachelors degree on a fully academic scholarship, which was given based on an essay i wrote.

when someone suggests that "cruel fate" needs to be replaced with "cruel twist of fate", A BAD POINT IS MADE

when someone doesnt understand that having a nickname does not provide enough evidence for one to reasonably assume that one was called that nickname, A BAD POINT IS MADE

When. Someone. Writes like. This to. Show that. Choppy (note that none of these are sentences, or even fragments, or graphically correct)............to parallel and critique actual sentences that are grammatically correct, A BAD POINT IS MADE

and many good points were made.

i am happy that user went at me. thats what i want. i want people to be critical so i can improve.

and everyone has done that, except for you.

the purpose of this forum is for evaluation of a PS, not for you to ask me why i am successful;

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overperformer
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Re: rough draft

Postby overperformer » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:28 am

Dmini7 wrote:
overperformer wrote:i need to kill it to make up a few LSAT points.
----------------
Adolescence is tough in America for timid kids like me. Elementary school was a façade layered in innocence. I was the smart, cool kid: unaware that I would become the unattractive, lost kid in middle school. I disdained the nickname Timid Tim. High school gave birth to opportunism and rebirth. I blew it. I spent lunchtime freshman year in the bathroom stalls. A cruel fate landed me in an intimidating elective class sophomore year: debate. Public speaking was daunting. I lacked confidence. I lacked ability. And I lacked the words. The morning of the first meet came. I put on a torn and wrinkled hammy down suit: my face dotted with acne. In a masochistic way, I loved the way I looked. I looked legitimate, important, presidential, authoritative, and all the et ceteras. The first debate began, and I became a different person. I became a man. And I became a winner: socially, cognitively, and professionally.
A week out from my sixteenth birthday I told my mom, “I would throw a party if I had someone to invite.” I did not go out much. I’d catch a five o’clock show, so I could be home before sunset. I have strict parents: Memorial Day weekend 2008 was my first time sleeping out solo. I spent the weekend in Appleton, Wisconsin for NCFL Lincoln-Douglas Debate nationals. This prestigious event was limited: for Michigan, only the top three qualifiers were invited. During the seventy two hour trip, I spent sixteen hours on a pungent travel bus, twenty four hours sleeping, twelve hours debating, ten hours eating, and ten hours exploring downtown Appleton: I spent seventy two hours having the time of my life. I was independent and free. I formed friendships. I had fun. I went to the mall and I went to dinner and I went snuck out of my room at night: things I had never expected. One weekend undid sixteen years of cumbersome life. I came back to Michigan changed. On the extensive bus rides, I met a young girl that I took on my first date. Life became an awesome journey to be enjoyed, rather than a destiny to be complacent with.
An indomitable work ethic defines me. I have always had academic success. In fifth grade, I was determined to be the first student to have zero I-O-U’s (slips given for missed assignments). In middle school, I was determined to win the science fair: determination never let me down. Still, writing and speaking skills were merely satisfactory. I remember the first time my mother and father watched me debate. My mother cried because she saw a happy son for the first time. My father called me a little politician, although he did not comprehend half my words. Debate is a politically correct sport: you have to appear to respect your opponent although you desire their demise. The language is diplomatic. The language indoctrinated me and spread through my life. My vocabulary grew and became natural. Complex words, word economy, and dynamic rhetoric became a part of whom I am. I refuse to dumb it down for any audience.
I always wanted to be a doctor—until I put on that suit. Beyond the symbolism, debate had shaped my professional career path. Confidence has been distilled in my spirit: words can move and inspire and drive in intangible ways, while hands can merely weave and stitch. I cannot wait to wake up, drive down Lodge, and get to work on the thirtieth floor. I love the city life. My twenty first birthday was this year. I had a party this time and plenty of people to invite. The celebration was on October 6th, the evening after the taking the LSAT. I left the test, jetted to Somerset Collections, and picked up a custom fit two button suit that I donned for the evening. Dressed in pin stripes and cleaned shaved, I had to rush to catch my flight at five o’clock. I stayed out past sunset that night. And it was an amazing feeling, to be chauffeured for the evening on a private helicopter surrounded by the wonders of my word. A modest fifteen hundred feet above the ground, I had never felt more accomplished and down to earth cognizant that the best is yet to come.



I agree with all of the above about the colons. It got very old and tiresome after the first paragraph. Even if it is your writing style, i think you need to tone it down some. The adcomms will still see who you are even if you have to cut your 30 or so colons to 15(random estimation of the amount you had). I was very interested, but halfway through it became a chore to read, which was honestly a shame because i found the last paragraph to be very strong, and a pretty good juxtaposition of the first one. I personally did not like the colloquial term you used with "Dumb it down" though(probably because it reminded me of Lupe Fiasco) and with your writing style that emphasized the large, sophisticated and maybe even dramatic words..i felt it couldve been written in a more powerful and intellectual way.

overall, the colons and chopy sentences can be powerful, but when you overuse them it just ruins the essay as a whole.



yes, Lupe, big fan.

middle did loose focus. a main part of editing is refinement, and and a main part of refinement is omitting gobelty gook that isn't necessary

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Dmini7
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Re: rough draft

Postby Dmini7 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:36 am

overperformer wrote:
Dmini7 wrote:
overperformer wrote:yes, Lupe, big fan.

middle did loose focus. a main part of editing is refinement, and and a main part of refinement is omitting gobelty gook that isn't necessary

I am a huge lupe fan too :). I just don't think you want the person reading the essay to see that and immediately think about lupe fiasco haha.

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rinkrat19
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Re: rough draft

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:49 am

Undergrad writing classes are a joke and the average monkey can get all As in them.

Part of being a good writer is being able to look critically at your own writing, which you are manifestly not doing.

You are nowhere near as good as you think you are, sport.

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PickMe!
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Re: rough draft

Postby PickMe! » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:53 am

I get it. I think your PS is hilarious! You should definitely apply for a job at Comedy Central. Fuck law school! Dude, you're a comedic writer.

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rinkrat19
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Re: rough draft

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:56 am

I'm dying at the image of this dude very seriously informing his legal writing professor that he was the Best Writer Ever From His Undergrad

Look, kid, the hivemind here has proven to be a pretty good judge of how the average person (and thus the average adcomm) will react to an essay. They will not like this. It's no skin off my back if you insist on submitting this thing, but it won't help you, and could very possibly hurt.

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suralin
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Re: rough draft

Postby suralin » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:58 am

overperformer wrote:
bluepenguin wrote:
overperformer wrote:you make some good points. and some bad points.

my writing style is my writing style. its been very successful and im not changing it.


I might disagree with one of those points. No "bad points" were made, I assure you.

I would love to hear what success you've had...


i have a 3.98 GPA. 4.0 in every writing class. numerous times, numerous professors have told me, publicly and privately, I was the best writer they've seen at my university. I have earned a bachelors degree on a fully academic scholarship, which was given based on an essay i wrote.

when someone suggests that "cruel fate" needs to be replaced with "cruel twist of fate", A BAD POINT IS MADE

when someone doesnt understand that having a nickname does not provide enough evidence for one to reasonably assume that one was called that nickname, A BAD POINT IS MADE

When. Someone. Writes like. This to. Show that. Choppy (note that none of these are sentences, or even fragments, or graphically correct)............to parallel and critique actual sentences that are grammatically correct, A BAD POINT IS MADE

and many good points were made.

i am happy that user went at me. thats what i want. i want people to be critical so i can improve.

and everyone has done that, except for you.

the purpose of this forum is for evaluation of a PS, not for you to ask me why i am successful;


middle did loose focus. a main part of editing is refinement, and and a main part of refinement is omitting gobelty gook that isn't necessary


Lolwut. I dearly hope that your writing here is not representative of your writing outside of TLS.

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bluepenguin
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Re: rough draft

Postby bluepenguin » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:40 am

All right then...

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hallbd16
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Re: rough draft

Postby hallbd16 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:27 am

This must be a flame. Guy comes armed on here with a flamethrower and everyone misses it.

MrT
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Re: rough draft

Postby MrT » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:47 pm

I feel like this focuses too much on who you were in high school... The only reference I see to an adult life is a party for your 21st.

And 5th grade? Really?




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