PS--Should I keep polishing?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
brittanynicole_4
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PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:39 pm

Below is about my eighth draft of my personal statement. I have taken in many considerations of other posters on TLS and various feedback, as you will probably see some of your suggestions implemented :) Essentially, I am trying to convey that my many life challenges/experiences have prepared me for law school. Does this message come across?

Also if you could evaluate/critique it for the following:
Persuasiveness
Clarity of conveyed message
Grammar/punctuation
Flow
Topic Choice (Interesting/attention holding)

I appreciate any feedback greatly.

We are molded by the many experiences in our lives, the decisions we make, and the moments from which we learn. Consequently, we are the eventual products of this elaborate progression. My childhood was riddled with a number of these life experiences, from alcoholism, and molestation, to a fatherless, impoverished upbringing, they have been the foundation for many of my decisions. By slowly crafting and sculpting me, these experiences have made me who I am today.

At the age of fourteen I held my first job. My mom, a single mother of three, was not the model parent I wished for, but she was all I had. She abused alcohol frequently, has not had a driver’s license in years, nor could she provide us with a stable home. We lived with my grandmother most of my life, and a few family members here and there. To say the least, money was a luxury absent in our home. Thus, I quickly learned the importance of the sacred dollar. This lesson carried me far. It showed me that I could achieve anything I strived for.

At sixteen, I single-handedly obtained automobile insurance and purchased my first car. I also supported myself through college, graduating loan-free. Financial autonomy gave me my first taste of independence. A taste that only made me crave more. This craving subsequently manifested into a thirst for knowledge and the cultivation of self-improvement. I dove head first and submerged myself into recreation and event planning. Focused on being the first in my family to complete a bachelor’s degree, my overshadowing ambition allowed me to lose sight of one essential element: fulfillment.

As I neared the completion of my degree I realized a hollow future stood before me. I began to analyze my available options and not knowing which path to choose, I looked to my past for inspiration. Flashing through the memories, good and bad, there was one that resonated with me. I remembered being passionate and driven about law, how it enlightened and perplexed me all in the same. When I was ten years of age I became a victim of molestation, and it was from this experience and the resulting trial, that I became cognizant of the law and the system that is meant to protect us. I learned that though you may speak the truth and seek fairness, it may not always be delivered. While the verdict was not as I hoped, at such a young age I still realized the importance of each role within the court. I developed an appreciation and respect for the laws that govern us.

Collectively these life experiences have inspired my growth. Each has uniquely molded intimate blocks of my personality, values, and morals. Much like a whittler carving into aged red oak, these experiences have whittled away at my surface exposing ripened character and zeal; a zealousness that fuels me through my educational pursuits, and a brawn-strapped character that has proved never to waver.

It would be easy for me to take the road walked by countless in my family, flooded by addiction and permeated with unwarranted contentment. However, I have chosen to trudge through thickets to avoid this paved road. Thickets that have equipped me for anything I choose to do. As well as a life long preparation that has garnered me the knowledge, confidence, and experience to purse a new fulfilled future.

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Malakai
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby Malakai » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:25 pm

1. You need to focus more on why you want and what led up to your decisions to attend law school

2. Make it seem less time-line like between paragraphs. Using story-like elements, it could flow much better.

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wert3813
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby wert3813 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:40 pm

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Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Malakai
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby Malakai » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:52 pm

wert3813 wrote:
Malakai wrote:1. You need to focus more on why you want and what led up to your decisions to attend law school

2. Make it seem less time-line like between paragraphs. Using story-like elements, it could flow much better.


Honest opinion. This could be amazing but right now its pretty poor. Honest opinion. Scrap everything that is you philosophically postulating. Aka most of it. Focus on the story of your molestation and the trial, overcoming your crappy childhood and how this as drove you to be a lawyer.

Im sure this advice is frustrating but I honestly think this will make a better ps. Hope this helps.


I was a bit hesitant to post something like this but the detail of this recommendation is spot on. If you could focus on fewer elements and make a story out of it, it'll be much more compelling.

Also, keep in mind that an increased use of everyday language is looked favorably in Pers. statements if used right. Along those lines, I do agree with the above poster that there is too much philos. thinking in here, and not enough of "you" and specific actions and events in here. Furthermore, overuse of big words and too many metaphors can come off as trying to solely demonstrate your intelligence, and that's not good.
Last edited by Malakai on Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TripTrip
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby TripTrip » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:53 pm

brittanynicole_4 wrote:It would be easy for me to take the road walked by countless in my family, flooded by addiction and permeated with unwarranted contentment.

Excellent.

brittanynicole_4 wrote:However, I have chosen to trudge through thickets to avoid this paved road. Thickets that have equipped me for anything I choose to do. As well as a life long preparation that has garnered me the knowledge, confidence, and experience to purse a new fulfilled future.

Terrible. The last two aren't even complete sentences.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:56 pm

This is a well written law school personal statement. Persuasive & clear. Your treatment of the molestation episode is appropriate & adequate. The final paragraph, however, is the weak point (in addition to a couple of unnecessary commas). "I have chosen to trudge through thickets" is a bit misleading as several events that have influenced you were not by choice. In my opinion, the concluding paragraph needs to be rewritten & shortened.

P.S. Consider deleting the final paragraph without adding any replacement. Often, less is more & this may be one of those instances.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:07 pm

Do not elaborate or dwell upon the molestation experience. As written, you impress readers as a strong, determined, goal-oriented survivor. This is good as you do not want others to see this horrible experience as a permanently crippling event or as a background experience that defines you.
In my opinion, your reason for pursuing law school & a legal career are quite clear.
Other than for the last paragraph, your essay flows well.

brittanynicole_4
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:57 pm

Thank you all for the posts and feedback, it is all very helpful.

Do not elaborate or dwell upon the molestation experience. As written, you impress readers as a strong, determined, goal-oriented survivor. This is good as you do not want others to see this horrible experience as a permanently crippling event or as a background experience that defines you.
In my opinion, your reason for pursuing law school & a legal career are quite clear.
Other than for the last paragraph, your essay flows well.


However, I do agree with Canadian Wolf. My intent is not to come off as victimized. My first drafts were more focused on the story of my trial, how I felt, how it impacted me, etc. This approach, to me, is too detailed. When telling stories of tragedy, and personal triumphs as sensitive as these, I have read that the best approach is to stick to the facts---I don't want to make readers feel sympathy, or pity for me. Thus, I have chosen a less detailed approach. If anyone would like to look at my previous drafts they are also posted. My intent is to portray to the reader that I have experienced a lot (not just molestation), it has made me stronger and a better person, ultimately, making me who I am today---and ready for law school.

P.S. Consider deleting the final paragraph without adding any replacement. Often, less is more & this may be one of those instances.


I just may do this. By the way, thanks a lot Canadian Wolf you have been quite the editor for me :)

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wert3813
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby wert3813 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:35 pm

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Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:43 pm

Couldn't disagree more with the above comment by wert3813. (I recently reviewed via PM wert3813's PS.)

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wert3813
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby wert3813 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:50 pm

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Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:53 pm

Your writing ability as reflected in your PS is as are your misguided comments in this thread, however.

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vanwinkle
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:57 pm

wert3813 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Couldn't disagree more with the above comment by wert3813. (I recently reviewed via PM wert3813's PS.)

Fuck you dueshe. The fact that I was stupid enough to let you anywhere near my PS is in no way relevant to this thread. Fuck off loser.

Let's be less vulgar in the on-topic forums. Otherwise this happens:

Image

brittanynicole_4
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Re: PS--Should I keep polishing?

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:37 am

Any new perspectives on my ps? Any new posters like to contribute?....Also, if you wouldn't mind addressing the guidelines I posted:
Persuasiveness
Clarity of conveyed message
Grammar/punctuation
Flow
Topic Choice (Interesting/attention holding)


Thanks!




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