*Personal Statement, Final (pending critiques)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: *Personal Statement, Final (pending critiques)

Postby Ramius » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:26 am

jselson wrote:
2807 wrote:A brief skim shows me that it is:
1. Full of passive voice
2. You do not know your comma rules.

Read the entire thing looking only for comma violations:
Basically, if the part after or before the comma cannot stand on its own--you are doing it wrong (unless it is a proper introduction, or qualifies for another random rule). Do not, add commas, just as an effect, thinking that you, are causing the reader to, pause. It is very annoying. When in doubt, just make two sentences. Short clear sentences are better.

then.....

Read the entire thing looking for only passive voice:
Passive writing will kill you in law school. You will see it in cases all the time, but your teacher will crush you if she sees it in your work. And good Lord ---Do not lead off with it in your PS...

Think like this: If you were arguing with someone, you would never argue in the passive voice. Write how you would argue. I do not mean "argue" as in court, I mean as in your living room.

Here are a few examples:
"I can recall with vivid clarity the first time.." ----> Just write: "I recall with vivid clarity..."
"My initial training took place at .." -----> "I was initially trained at..."
"I had done well in the T-6.." ----> "I did well in the T-6"

There are more. Go find them. Seek and destroy.

Lastly, it feels like you are reaching to use fancy expressions. It is a bit thick, and will not impress these readers.
I would edit it to be strong, clear, and purposeful. Less flowers, more force.

You have a good story. Now, sell it better to the actual reader by cleaning up some fundamentals.
NO PASSIVE VOICE
NO GRAMMAR MISTAKES.

Good luck to you. Thank you for your service.


You do realize that none of the "examples" of passive voice you gave is actually an example of passive voice, right?


Definitely had an "lolwut" moment with this one. I had to read through it again to make sure I wasn't out of my mind missing all of this passive voice and comma mistakes.

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2807
Posts: 579
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:23 pm

Re: *Personal Statement, Final (pending critiques)

Postby 2807 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:52 am

jselson wrote:
2807 wrote:A brief skim shows me that it is:
1. Full of passive voice
2. You do not know your comma rules.

Read the entire thing looking only for comma violations:
Basically, if the part after or before the comma cannot stand on its own--you are doing it wrong (unless it is a proper introduction, or qualifies for another random rule). Do not, add commas, just as an effect, thinking that you, are causing the reader to, pause. It is very annoying. When in doubt, just make two sentences. Short clear sentences are better.

then.....

Read the entire thing looking for only passive voice:
Passive writing will kill you in law school. You will see it in cases all the time, but your teacher will crush you if she sees it in your work. And good Lord ---Do not lead off with it in your PS...

Think like this: If you were arguing with someone, you would never argue in the passive voice. Write how you would argue. I do not mean "argue" as in court, I mean as in your living room.

Here are a few examples:
"I can recall with vivid clarity the first time.." ----> Just write: "I recall with vivid clarity..."
"My initial training took place at .." -----> "I was initially trained at..."
"I had done well in the T-6.." ----> "I did well in the T-6"

There are more. Go find them. Seek and destroy.

Lastly, it feels like you are reaching to use fancy expressions. It is a bit thick, and will not impress these readers.
I would edit it to be strong, clear, and purposeful. Less flowers, more force.

You have a good story. Now, sell it better to the actual reader by cleaning up some fundamentals.
NO PASSIVE VOICE
NO GRAMMAR MISTAKES.

Good luck to you. Thank you for your service.


You do realize that none of the "examples" of passive voice you gave is actually an example of passive voice, right?


Ha. TLS. So full of fun.
Exactly why I avoid it.

I am fully aware of your point. Let me clarify by saying "write strong."
Not all weak writing is weak due to passive voice rules.

Feel free to use a better label. My point is still to remove the weak writing.

You win !


Fix things like this: "I would soon find out that all my training had served only to provide a base layer of requisite knowledge"
If you do not see the passive voice in here, then we just disagree.

I can handle it.

Good luck either way.
Last edited by 2807 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

erik the viking
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:06 am

Re: *Personal Statement, Final (pending critiques)

Postby erik the viking » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:55 am

In one of those examples he changed active voice to passive voice. In Word, go to Preferences then spelling and grammar. Select formal, then customize and check the boxes you want. Check everything except 'check for first person.' It'll show you all the passive voice examples, comma errors, etc. Useful tool, don't let it be a crutch though.

Good essay. I don't think anyone will gig you in admissions for describing your training the way you did. It works the way you wanted it to. That said, personal experiences are often more interesting to read about.

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manofjustice
Posts: 1323
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Re: *Personal Statement, Final (pending critiques)

Postby manofjustice » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
manofjustice wrote:No.

First off, you're an awesome person for being a fighter pilot.

You are a horrible, pathetic person for being a fighter pilot who writes a personal statement that talks about how cool and hard and involving-of-cool-and-hard-accomplishments it is to be a fighter pilot.

You're a fucking fighter pilot for God's sake. If you were a K-JD, it still wouldn't be cool to write a personal statement about how you went through a program that demanded you know things and write them down on paper and if you didn't know the things you had to go home and learn the things. Really?

You spent your life working hard to fly fighter planes and kill people. Your second paragraph should be about something cool--reflective and profound. It should tell us about you and why you are a great person.

I got through the first sentence of the third paragraph. Normally, I would have stopped reading at the "I had to memorize things" second paragraph. But I held on because you're a fighter pilot. By the first sentence of the third paragraph, I knew it wasn't going to get any better.

Good news: this won't hurt you. (You're already helped by being a fighter pilot, but that's evident from your resume already.) But this personal statement won't help you.


Wow. Spear through the jugular. Thanks for the candor though. I guess I can explain quickly what I'm shooting for with my personal statement, though given your critique I don't think it'll matter.

My GPA is poor (sub-3). My LSAT is not so poor (>170). The reason for my poor GPA was simply a lack of work ethic as a college kid, plain and simple. There will be no addendum. They will simply stare at my GPA without an explanation. I wanted to show some kind of progression through formal training with an academic tilt to it. I just want to say that I can do the damn work now that I simply didn't do years ago. I know that because I've done it, and done it under difficult/stressful circumstances.

That's what I'm trying to get across in the statement: I'm ready to work my ass off.

I'm also trying to keep the entire thing at two pages or less and make it completely comprehensible to someone who doesn't have an idea what a fighter guy actually does.

It's a bit close to game time for me to overhaul the whole damn thing, but do you have any specifics besides something cool and profound to show why I'm a great person?

Thanks.


To the first bolded: I think you need to explain WHY you will do the work. Don't beat up on yourself about slacking off in undergrad. You didn't have a horrible reason for doing so--undergrad can be stupid and you're smart. But you took a different approach to being a fighter pilot than you did to undergrad. Why? The answer is something about you and what motivates you and what drives you. Then, imply (or tell us directly) why those same things that drive you will drive you to work hard in law school or as a lawyer.

To the second bolded: I'm sorry bro, I don't have any specifics. Just keep on thinking about what got you up in the morning to train to be a fighter pilot and what that says about you. It wasn't JUST trying to redeem yourself for undergad. It was something else really important. What is that?




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