Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

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Anonymous User
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Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:32 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:58 am

I'm confused. There seems to be absolutely no connection between your French adventure and your story about John. The shift was so abrupt, almost as though you simply started a completely new essay half-way.

In addition, your reasoning for wanting to go to law school, at the very end, is quite trite. The only reason you want to go into law is to "explore the unknown?" That sounds ridiculous and immature. Am I right in assuming you are going into law fresh out of undergrad? If I am, don't let that be the reason for adcomms to be skeptical of your level of maturity. Reflect and come up with more specific, realistic reasons or you should probably think about your decision again.

I have lots and lots of grammar/word choice/stylistic comments but I will hold off until you sort this all out. You will need to do major reorganizing and rewriting first. At the moment, your PS doesn't have any coherence, and I don't see how your French adventure relates to the lessons you learned from John. I hope this is just an early draft.
Last edited by stuckinthemiddle on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

hutchjm
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby hutchjm » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:03 am

Hello, how are you? I am waiting for my December score as well. I read your ps and I liked the passion and energy behind it; however, I noticed a few things that I would consider changing if I were you. I don't get the use of the word "Ten" before some paragraphs. It seems that you were trying to be artistic maybe, but "Ten" is really irrelevant to your ps. You also stated that you were ten when you first spoke French but "Ten" years later you said you were 19. Some of your sentences seemed awkward. For instance, you said that you overlooked the Britney Spears stuff "Instead" you happened upon French tapes. To me the use of the word instead here implies a deliberate action not something that is "happened upon". There were a many other instances of awkward sentences. Another component of your ps that seemed off to me was how you referenced French for about 2/3 of your ps and then jumped into your friend's death (It didn't seamlessly fit and it took the focus off you) . If I were you I would consider creating a ps about John inspiring you or a ps about French. If you want to keep the John and French concepts merged I would introduce John's passing much more abruptly (you already have the reader's attachment by allowing them to see into your early years, so hit them much more forcefully with the tragedy that you have experienced so they can stay attached and understand the person that you are because of that tragedy), and then condense the information about John. Simply tell the most important reasons why he inspires you without taking the focus off of you. Lastly, I just completely do not see why you put the last paragraph on your ps. The paragraph doesn't belong and it doesn't make sense. I hope that I have been helpful, and I hope I didn't offend you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:47 pm

OP here -

Thanks for the replies. I originally did not have the story about John in there, but two people who read over my first couple drafts said I needed to add a more personal element and a story to it, and one of them remembered what happened with John and asked if I would consider adding that in. I said I had thought about that idea only very briefly and was hesitant, but that I'd give it a shot. I kept the drafts without that story, so will probably go back to working on those, but was curious if adding in that story was as good of an idea as my other readers said it would be. Sometimes ideas are better just staying that way, and that's what I wanted to find out!

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:17 pm

I don't think it's a good idea.

First of all, it is completely outside your theme. You wanted to explain how your experience with French has made you a strong candidate for law school. There is no connection between your story about John and your French endeavors except that you got the news while in France.

That is not to say that personal tragedy isn't a good thing to mention. However, you don't have any tangible, proactive acts of "overcoming the struggle." You will be competing against people whose parents have died and and have had to support themselves or who have witnessed death due to domestic violence issues and now fight for policy change and equal rights. Your simply learning to accept the death of your friend is something every single person on this earth will have to go through in their lives. Now if you went down to the ski resort and demanded justice, or have done direct policy work to ensure the safety of future resorts, then maybe you'd have something. As it stands, it sounds like you just mourned, and got over it, and this is not something I would write a PS about.

For what it's worth, your PS is ALREADY personal. You share very specific stories and anecdotes that only you could write about. How many other people master a second language by the time they're 19? Just be honest about what is important to you and don't try to cram stuff in just because.

Anonymous User
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:40 am

Yeah I think it sounds forced too, probably because, like I mentioned, it wasn't originally in the PS and I edited it to fit in that story at someone else's suggestion. I went back to working on my original one after reading this one over a few times.

By the way, I don't think admissions committees would be comparing tragedies, as it seems like you are suggesting. Everyone has points in their life that change them in some way or another, and although this one does not fit into a PS for me, it was one of those points and it was a tragic moment in my life.

Anyways, thanks for the replies guys, and good luck with your apps!

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:17 am

I'm not saying people are comparing tragedies. But people will most definitely compare candidates' reactions to the tragedies. Those who really went out of their way to address their struggles, and used their experience to make a positive impact on others, and on the society, are going to look more impressive every.single.time than those who simply needed time to accept their tragedy, and then moved on. I'm not saying the latter is not important, but there is a rightful advantage to "doing" when compared to simply "feeling." Your story would tell me more about your personal growth, for example, if you friends death pushed you to some sort of action that benefited the community, such as starting a program for ski resort safety or working in legal areas that deal with life insurance and medical issues. Simply realizing that you need to chase after opportunities is reactive and common.

That being said, I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend. :( I hope you don't think I was belittling your experience in any way.

B90
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Re: Critique of PS please - willing to swap!

Postby B90 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:00 am

I am still accepting PS/DS drafts. If you post it here again or PM me, I will edit it this evening.

Good luck!




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