Is this paragraph well-written?

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Tigress
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Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:46 pm

It is the last paragraph of my diversity statement.

"Indeed, the power that decreed silence and servility to be my destiny also planted in my heart the desire to escape that fate. Throughout my life, I alternated between a fierce denial of my reality as a castrated being and an acute awareness of what it really means to be who I am. Selfishly, there were times in which I merely wanted to live a little life, exhausting the simple pleasures that life has to offer, and focusing on my own personal concerns. However, I know that God has a greater plan for me than turning my back on abused women in my country, their silent tears, and unarticulated desires. All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul. I believe that I am fit for the task of fighting for what is rightfully ours: liberty."

thsmthcrmnl
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:57 pm

No.

eac09d
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby eac09d » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:04 pm

What are you trying to talk about? The paragraph makes no sense but that may be because of the lack of context. Also, put down the thesaurus the word choice doesn't flow well. It will probably sound better dumbed down a bit.

NYstate
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby NYstate » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:06 pm

I've never written a diversity statement. You might want to rewrite this to focus on specific things that make you diverse. Delete the sentence about focusing on petty concerns.

You really need some specific examples instead of generalities. This is still too vague.

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jselson
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby jselson » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:20 pm

The paragraph needs a citation to Julia Kristeva.

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txdude45
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby txdude45 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:26 pm

Slow down a bit, Salinger. The word choice was so stilted and needlessly "sophisticated" that it came of as kinda desperate. I didn't read it and think you were particularly smart, I just thought you wanted to use as many syllables as possible.

Basically, no, this doesn't come off, at least to me, as well written. Granted, you only gave us a single, out of context, paragraph that touches on too much to indicate what your statement is actually about.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:33 pm

eac09d wrote:What are you trying to talk about? The paragraph makes no sense but that may be because of the lack of context. Also, put down the thesaurus the word choice doesn't flow well. It will probably sound better dumbed down a bit.



Words choice? like what?

The context is this: I am from an extremely conservative society and the overall theme is silence and the pressure to conform

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:34 pm

jselson wrote:The paragraph needs a citation to Julia Kristeva.


I like her, I don't mind

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rinkrat19
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:41 pm

Tigress wrote:
eac09d wrote:What are you trying to talk about? The paragraph makes no sense but that may be because of the lack of context. Also, put down the thesaurus the word choice doesn't flow well. It will probably sound better dumbed down a bit.



Words choice? like what?

The context is this: I am from an extremely conservative society and the overall theme is silence and the pressure to conform

That single sentence is more effective at expressing your theme than all of the ridiculous, hyper-dramatic, pearl-clutching, overwrought, hyperbolic thesaurus vomit that you've posted so far on TLS. Your writing needs to chill the fuck out.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:50 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
Tigress wrote:
eac09d wrote:What are you trying to talk about? The paragraph makes no sense but that may be because of the lack of context. Also, put down the thesaurus the word choice doesn't flow well. It will probably sound better dumbed down a bit.



Words choice? like what?

The context is this: I am from an extremely conservative society and the overall theme is silence and the pressure to conform

That single sentence is more effective at expressing your theme than all of the ridiculous, hyper-dramatic, pearl-clutching, overwrought, hyperbolic thesaurus vomit that you've posted so far on TLS. Your writing needs to chill the fuck out.



Well, my "thesaurus vomit" got me into Emory, so you are the one who probably needs to chill the fuck out and stop attacking me when I am only asking for help

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:05 pm

Tigress, here's a possible example of what your paragraph seems to be saying, that's relevant to admissions decisions:

The abuses against women in my country that I have seen [and/or experienced, depending on what you write about before this paragraph] inspire me to become a lawyer and work for change. [but: what, specifically, do you want to change? do you want to change the laws/write new laws? do you want to represent women in court? do you want to prosecute men who abuse women? you have to connect your desire to be a lawyer to some kind of specific action that you can accomplish only by being a lawyer. If you want to be a lawyer simply because people in your country say that women can't, there's some symbolic victory in that, yes, but it has nothing to do with women generally; you simply getting a JD has no effect at all on other women's liberty.]

The rest of the material in the paragraph is entirely irrelevant. Schools don't care about your inner turmoil, what plan God has for you, or why - it makes you sound like you have a savior complex. Plus, you're way too enamored of adjectives. If you cut them out, you wouldn't change the meaning of your sentences.

And rink is helping you, not attacking you - she's absolutely right, that one sentence is a clearer statement of what you want to express than anything you've posted so far.

NYstate
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby NYstate » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:12 pm

OP: how about writing a stripped down version in plain English. Then you can add to it if needed. A direct and simple statement can be powerfully effective. The adcom will already know you are smart. This statement is to explain your diverse background and experiences.

Simple and direct does not equal lazy or unintelligent.

sparty99
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby sparty99 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:19 pm

Tigress wrote:It is the last paragraph of my diversity statement.

"Indeed, the power that decreed silence and servility to be my destiny also planted in my heart the desire to escape that fate. Throughout my life, I alternated between a fierce denial of my reality as a castrated being and an acute awareness of what it really means to be who I am. Selfishly, there were times in which I merely wanted to live a little life, exhausting the simple pleasures that life has to offer, and focusing on my own personal concerns. However, I know that God has a greater plan for me than turning my back on abused women in my country, their silent tears, and unarticulated desires. All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul. I believe that I am fit for the task of fighting for what is rightfully ours: liberty."


No. This is poorly written. Doesn't make sense. Legal writing should be clear, succinct sentences. Write simply.

tractal
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby tractal » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:21 pm

Do not submit anything like that, ever. Remember, law school admissions is mostly a numbers game. It is the extremely rare personal statement that will get you into a school beyond your numbers (below both medians.) Frankly, you are not the strongest writer so you will very likely not be among that tiny group. The personal statement can still be decisive, though, when you make an addcom wince through a page of obscure grandiose verbosity. You should approach the personal statement as a hoop you need to jump through without catching fire. Be conservative: clarity and organization should be the highest priority, followed distantly by any aesthetic concerns. Once you have the skeleton of a clear, direct essay start thinking about word choice, flow, and whatever else. But even then you should be wary of looking pretentious. Rule of thumb: never use a fancier synonym unless the every day term either doesn't convey the full meaning or messes with flow.

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Anon2008
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Anon2008 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:18 pm

I just read through all your posts and have a couple questions/statements:

1) re:
Tigress wrote:Well, my "thesaurus vomit" got me into Emory, so you are the one who probably needs to chill the fuck out and stop attacking me when I am only asking for help


circa Dec, 19, 2012 (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=202186&p=6309844#p6309844):
Tigress wrote:
keg411 wrote:Where is your school now? Do you have money? Where do you want to work after law school? What is your home state?


I study in Valparaiso Law School. I do have money. I want to work in big cities, NY or Chicago. Home state is NC.


Your "thesaurus vomit" also had you doing law school at Valparaiso. You got into Emory? Cool. Everyone at the top of their class is gonna bail for greener pastures, so they bring in a bunch of people. If you want to work in NYC/Chicago, you need to get into a better school than Emory and be able to perform. I doubt that'll happen unless your writing steps up quite a few notches.

Every paragraph you've posted from a statement has been practically unusable. That Duke paragraph was atrocious and nothing else has been much better. You're asking for help and the response has mostly been about your terrible writing. Maybe that's an indication that your writing is a problem.

I'm not mad you're a bad writer; I was a horrible writer at first and I also appreciate the difficulty of understanding the nuances of a written language that isn't native to you. I'm mad that you think big words are a substitute for coherence, readability, and substance and that you get made at people for telling you that.

2) You need to find out what your story is going to be and have everything you write work towards that purpose. You're hitting on so many themes and issues in all your writing that you eliminate any possibility for the depth that make statements interesting. Your posts have many kernels of poignant themes, you just need to pick a couple and really fill them out.

3) You only post paragraph long snippets of your statements. You're removing them from all context, which leaves the reader only able to critique your word choice and your general writing ability. Post full statements if you want full evaluation. Ask people not to quote it and you can pull it down the minute you've gotten enough feedback.

4) I really do hope you get into a good school.

MrHairyLegs
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby MrHairyLegs » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:54 pm

I didn't read any of the above comments in fear of having my thoughts biased in some form, but the paragraph was very hard to understand. If there's a larger theme (I might have missed it?), help the reader by using an analogy or somethin

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Typhoon24
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Typhoon24 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:21 pm

wtf is this

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:22 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Tigress, here's a possible example of what your paragraph seems to be saying, that's relevant to admissions decisions:

The abuses against women in my country that I have seen [and/or experienced, depending on what you write about before this paragraph] inspire me to become a lawyer and work for change. [but: what, specifically, do you want to change? do you want to change the laws/write new laws? do you want to represent women in court? do you want to prosecute men who abuse women? you have to connect your desire to be a lawyer to some kind of specific action that you can accomplish only by being a lawyer. If you want to be a lawyer simply because people in your country say that women can't, there's some symbolic victory in that, yes, but it has nothing to do with women generally; you simply getting a JD has no effect at all on other women's liberty.]

The rest of the material in the paragraph is entirely irrelevant. Schools don't care about your inner turmoil, what plan God has for you, or why - it makes you sound like you have a savior complex. Plus, you're way too enamored of adjectives. If you cut them out, you wouldn't change the meaning of your sentences.

And rink is helping you, not attacking you - she's absolutely right, that one sentence is a clearer statement of what you want to express than anything you've posted so far.


Thank you so much. That was very helpful.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:35 pm

Anon2008 wrote:I just read through all your posts and have a couple questions/statements:

1) re:
Tigress wrote:Well, my "thesaurus vomit" got me into Emory, so you are the one who probably needs to chill the fuck out and stop attacking me when I am only asking for help


circa Dec, 19, 2012 (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=202186&p=6309844#p6309844):
Tigress wrote:
keg411 wrote:Where is your school now? Do you have money? Where do you want to work after law school? What is your home state?


I study in Valparaiso Law School. I do have money. I want to work in big cities, NY or Chicago. Home state is NC.


Your "thesaurus vomit" also had you doing law school at Valparaiso. You got into Emory? Cool. Everyone at the top of their class is gonna bail for greener pastures, so they bring in a bunch of people. If you want to work in NYC/Chicago, you need to get into a better school than Emory and be able to perform. I doubt that'll happen unless your writing steps up quite a few notches.

Every paragraph you've posted from a statement has been practically unusable. That Duke paragraph was atrocious and nothing else has been much better. You're asking for help and the response has mostly been about your terrible writing. Maybe that's an indication that your writing is a problem.

I'm not mad you're a bad writer; I was a horrible writer at first and I also appreciate the difficulty of understanding the nuances of a written language that isn't native to you. I'm mad that you think big words are a substitute for coherence, readability, and substance and that you get made at people for telling you that.

2) You need to find out what your story is going to be and have everything you write work towards that purpose. You're hitting on so many themes and issues in all your writing that you eliminate any possibility for the depth that make statements interesting. Your posts have many kernels of poignant themes, you just need to pick a couple and really fill them out.

3) You only post paragraph long snippets of your statements. You're removing them from all context, which leaves the reader only able to critique your word choice and your general writing ability. Post full statements if you want full evaluation. Ask people not to quote it and you can pull it down the minute you've gotten enough feedback.

4) I really do hope you get into a good school.


Okay, thanks but I believe that I am a good writer. I got an A in legal writing. Maybe my writing style is a bit lyrical here but that is because I want to display my mastery of the language

Emory is a good school, it hosts the Legal Feminism Project. Besides, I don't need to go to a top school to work at a top law firm in Chicago, I already work at a top law firm there with "Valpo" on my resume because this is how good and confident I am. Valpo, admittedly, is a terrible school that I got into only because I had to. I was just recovering from a serious disease and was on a student visa so I had to get my ass somewhere

Your criticism is otherwise constructive. I appreciate that.

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chraruce
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby chraruce » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:36 pm

It's a bit too complex, poetic and embellished for a diversity statement. It sends your message a bit abstractly too.
I would write more directly and simply. In other words, the name of the game is 'efficiency'.
For example, your statement, "I am from an extremely conservative society and the overall theme is silence and the pressure to conform," is the type of language that you want to use. Of course, I'd take away surplus words such as "extremely".
Perhaps you may want to imagine that you're writing in a forum to us when you write your diversity statement. It may let you establish a more casual connection with your reader (thus making you seem more human and way more relatable) as well as make your ideas clearer.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:42 pm

This is the whole DS


I am a woman, unlike the rest of humanity, who used to cherish silly pleasures like sneaking out of the house to meet with my friends, stealing away to eat a piece of bread during the fasting season, and reading erotic novels that I hid like a teenager under my pillow. I am a woman who was taught to maintain appearances at the cost of true convictions, adhere without thinking, and nod without protesting. I am X: a soul that refuses to live a lie, a human being sick of her forced duplicity and haunting shame. And like a wrongfully convicted prisoner (although with no particular crime aside from being born a woman), I will fight for the freedom I am so unjustly denied.
From very early on in life, I found many things to be deeply disturbing in my country. I knew that it could never be right that women should submit to male authority in virtually every aspect of their lives. I knew that it could never be just that women cannot drive, study, work, travel, marry or divorce without the consent of their male guardian, even if she is fifty and that guardian is her fifteen year-old son. Our civil rights are woefully deficient, and those few we have are entirely subject to the caprice of misogynistic judges who do not even complete their elementary education. This all has to change and I know that God put me on this earth to do something about it.
Indeed, the power that decreed silence and servility to be my destiny also planted in my heart the desire to escape that fate. Throughout my life, I alternated between a fierce denial of my reality as a castrated being and an acute awareness of what it really means to be who I am. Selfishly, there were times in which I merely wanted to live a little life, exhausting the simple pleasures that life has to offer, and focusing on my own personal concerns. However, I know that God has a greater plan for me than turning my back on abused women, their silent tears, and unarticulated desires. All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul. I believe that I am fit for the task of fighting for what is rightfully ours: liberty.
Last edited by Tigress on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby BelugaWhale » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:48 pm

You really need to start sounding more homely...writing things like "All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul" even if true, still makes you sound incredibly pretentious.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:56 pm

BelugaWhale wrote:You really need to start sounding more homely...writing things like "All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul" even if true, still makes you sound incredibly pretentious.



I am homely. I am just a woman with a sense of mission. Maybe you had an easy life and you can't, therefore, understand when one is speaking from suffering. It strikes you as pretentious. I am not pretentious.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby BelugaWhale » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:59 pm

Tigress wrote:
BelugaWhale wrote:You really need to start sounding more homely...writing things like "All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul" even if true, still makes you sound incredibly pretentious.



I am homely. I am just a woman with a sense of mission. Maybe you had an easy life and you can't, therefore, understand when one is speaking from suffering. It strikes you as pretentious. I am not pretentious.

Image

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rinkrat19
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:02 pm

Tigress wrote:
BelugaWhale wrote:You really need to start sounding more homely...writing things like "All my life experiences have immunized me against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul" even if true, still makes you sound incredibly pretentious.



I am homely. I am just a woman with a sense of mission. Maybe you had an easy life and you can't, therefore, understand when one is speaking from suffering. It strikes you as pretentious. I am not pretentious.

Putting aside the absolute douchebaggery of assuming everyone who reads this and doesn't like it has had an easy life, there is absolutely no way to dispute that your writing is incredibly pretentious. Literally every single person who has commented has agreed. We tried to be gentle at first, but you're not getting it. This writing, in its current state, is unacceptable. It will hurt you more than it helps you.

Obviously English isn't your first language, so while your command of grammar and vocabulary is impressive, you obviously aren't as in tune with things like tone. And your tone is WAY off. Your language is too flowery for a creative writing competition, let alone legal academia.




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