MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
soontobelawschooler
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:21 pm

MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby soontobelawschooler » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:20 pm

- thanks
Last edited by soontobelawschooler on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

fallingup
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby fallingup » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:30 pm

i dont think its good to start out with a story that's not about you. as soon as i started reading this, i assumed it was about you, but then realized that it wasn't. it's sort of weird to give gory details like collapsing face and nerve damage when it's not your own experience - seems a bit like milking someone else's tragedy for your own benefit. also, the gory details automatically make any example that you then give about yourself seem less moving and dramatic. you don't want some other chick's face to stick in the adcom's mind instead of your own experiences.

it's also not clear what exactly you are talking about in the 2nd paragraph. "receptionists" "bystander" "legal" makes it seem like some kind of translation job or advocacy volunteer work? make it explicit. the same applies for the rest of your paragraphs. if you are a second generation immigrant, and you lived with your mom in the US away from your dad so you could go to school here, spell that out. don't assume the adcoms are familiar with the korean split family phenomenon.

also:

"Eventually, I learned to empathize with many of my father’s cultural expectations and principles. I strove to reconcile different values, and in doing so I even blindly resorted to cultural justification for his increasing violence...When my repeated inquiry was accused of American apathy, I grew even more conflicted."

This is potentially the most interesting part of your PS. It's actually about you and it sounds like a really dreadful but formative experience. You should expand it. Instead of vague descriptions "cultural justification" "increasing violence" "my repeated inquiry" - what does that MEAN?) give examples of specific conversations or interactions you had. Real dialog and real events will stick out.

Also, it might help you to refine your topic sentences more. I feel like the statement jumped around a ton (plastic surgery, vague advocacy experience, dad, trade firm). If you had topic sentences that explained the significance of each vignette before jumping in, it would help the reader feel less lost and help them see how they all connect.

soontobelawschooler
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby soontobelawschooler » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:23 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

I knew I would get some really insightful responses. What you are saying is seriously golden, and because I wrote my stories all over DV and Addenda and draft No wonder others find it hard to follow!
'm reorienting my paper right now so people can get a better grasp.

Do you think the length matter?
I mean, as I add more details the word count goes up...
Well, I will post up the updated one later but seriously I want you to review the new one if you would.
Is there anything I can do for you??

cgw
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:06 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby cgw » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:34 pm

I agree with most of the comments made by the previous poster. I don't necessarily think you need to cut the plastic surgery montage in first paragraph entirely, but I think you should swap it with your second and reduce its length. I definitely agree you need to explain what is going on in your second paragraph as well. What do you do? Is it a job or volunteer work? Are you successful in helping these people? Is this the trade firm you mention in the last paragraph? Because I have no idea from reading this.

I think you may have too many ideas going on here. Are you writing a diversity statement? I would advise focusing solely on your experience working in Korea in one essay and writing another solely about your familial and cultural experiences. See which one seems better or use one as a DS. As it is now, your family experiences do not connect well with your legal experience, and I don't know that topic sentences can fix that lack of cohesion. You need to identify a theme or an arch and continue to weave it throughout the essay.

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TripTrip
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Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby TripTrip » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:34 pm

soontobelawschooler wrote:Do you think the length matter?

It depends on where you are applying. This length is acceptable for UMN and UC-Berkeley, but almost nowhere else. You need to cut out more than half of it for most schools.

fallingup
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby fallingup » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:42 pm

soontobelawschooler wrote:THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

I knew I would get some really insightful responses. What you are saying is seriously golden, and because I wrote my stories all over DV and Addenda and draft No wonder others find it hard to follow!
'm reorienting my paper right now so people can get a better grasp.

Do you think the length matter?
I mean, as I add more details the word count goes up...
Well, I will post up the updated one later but seriously I want you to review the new one if you would.
Is there anything I can do for you??


i already submitted my apps so unless you have a crystal ball i can borrow, this is a charity review :wink: i would love to read your revised version. are you planning to apply for entrance in Fall 2013? it's a bit late, no?

soontobelawschooler
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby soontobelawschooler » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:57 pm

t
Last edited by soontobelawschooler on Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

fallingup
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby fallingup » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:12 am

i dont understand the japanese language essay. i really dont get what it's supposed to say about you, other than that you're good at japanese. it started out talking about your dad, but then it went into japan-korea relations (still not sure why that is germane), then wandered off into your study of japanese. it's not personal at all. i feel like i dont know anything about you as a person. are you kind and compassionate? are you mature? what motivates you? no clue.

it sounds like you don't outline your essays before you start writing. you should start doing that. approach the structure of this like an academic paper. then go back and un-academic the language, haha. before you start writing, think of the aspects of your character/personality you want the adcoms to see. use them as your guide as you pick stories to tell about yourself. dont just tell the stories and hope they draw the right conclusions about you. start with the values/passions first, then string together the stories.

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rinkrat19
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Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:24 am

Way the hell too long for pretty much any school except Berkeley. Most schools want 2 or 2-3 pages. This is 4. Going over the limit is a serious risk and tells them:
1. I don't respect your instructions, and by extension your school, enough to follow your page limit, or
2. I didn't read your instructions, or
3. I am not a good enough writer to cut my shit down.

Also, it is a really bad idea to use "slanted-eye" to describe an Asian person. You say she's Asian; we know what her eyes look like. No need to throw in an ethnic slur.

soontobelawschooler
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby soontobelawschooler » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:18 am

-
Last edited by soontobelawschooler on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ling520
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Re: MY PS is long but INTERESTING (or fight me)

Postby Ling520 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:10 am

soontobelawschooler wrote:I'm Asian and I have big eyes. Does saying slanted eyes constitute racial slur? I make fun of my sis all the time..


Yes, it can be construed as racist. I wouldn't recommend using the term in this context; it's far too risky.




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