Is this paragraph well-written?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:15 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
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.


Rink did you read the whole DS before you continue bashing me?? The end only is flowery

NYstate
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby NYstate » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:22 pm

OP: you are so much more effective when you answer in direct phrases. What you are writing might make an inspiring speech, but it isn't inspiring for a diversity statement.

Could you try writing even just a few sentences using language you would use if you were speaking directly to the admission committee in an office ? I don't think you would say what you have written in these exact words.

You might explain your background and how that makes you diverse. And then explain your goals as they are based on your diverse background.

I think it isn't that this writing is pretentious . I think it is that the language is not appropriate for this particular audience of admission people.

Maybe you could post in mike Spivey's thread and get some input as to correct tone for admissions.


Edit: I have to read the entire DS because I hadn't seen it posted.

I think you need to delete " unlike the rest..." from the first sentence.


Edit again: I think this is better when you read the whole thing. Maybe I'm just getting used to it. I'm really rooting for you OP.

ie46
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby ie46 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:35 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 put Mrs. Tacit lol

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:44 pm

NYstate wrote:OP: you are so much more effective when you answer in direct phrases. What you are writing might make an inspiring speech, but it isn't inspiring for a diversity statement.

Could you try writing even just a few sentences using language you would use if you were speaking directly to the admission committee in an office ? I don't think you would say what you have written in these exact words.

You might explain your background and how that makes you diverse. And then explain your goals as they are based on your diverse background.

I think it isn't that this writing is pretentious . I think it is that the language is not appropriate for this particular audience of admission people.

Maybe you could post in mike Spivey's thread and get some input as to correct tone for admissions.


Edit: I have to read the entire DS because I hadn't seen it posted.

I think you need to delete " unlike the rest..." from the first sentence.


Edit again: I think this is better when you read the whole thing. Maybe I'm just getting used to it. I'm really rooting for you OP.


You are so sweet. All one needs is a word of encouragement in a life that could be so harsh.

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Anon2008
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Anon2008 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:51 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.


I grew up in gang territory, saw friends literally die in the streets, went to a failing school, and was homeless for about a year in high school. Are my "hard life" credentials acceptable to you?

Now that we have that out of the way.

WE ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU! I agree with everyone who has posted before that your writing is way too cheesy. You even said:
Tigress wrote:Maybe my writing style is a bit lyrical here but that is because I want to display my mastery of the language


Mastery isn't big words. Mastery is having an understanding of both the denotation and connotation of the things that you say and adjusting your approach to writing based on the situation. What you're calling "mastery" is coming off as pompous.

Also, this:
Tigress wrote: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.


1) NEVER go to a school because they have a program/project you like. After 3 years, 2 in your case, that project isn't going to pay your bills and put food on your table. The portability and reach of your degree is 100% of what matters. If you were deciding between T6 schools, fine, but you aren't, so understand the lay of the land.

2) I'd like to know what "top" law firm is hiring from T4. I'm calling shenanigans on a Valparaiso student getting a 1L summer associate gig at a top firm. By top, we typically mean Vault 100/NLJ250. Also, if by "work at" you mean that you're a paralegal, stop it.

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chraruce
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby chraruce » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:59 pm

Tigress wrote: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.
I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of. I lost both of my parents at a fairly young age and was largely left to my own devices in life. Many of my choices have been met with strong opposition. People around me did not like how I thought, what I said or how I said it. Many resisted my choice of studying law—the time-honored profession of our male theologians. The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me over and over to dissuade me from pursuing my dream. “That there are no women lawyers in the country is all the more reason why I should study law,” I calmly repeated. This, of course, did not resonate well with those who continue to lament how I am going to “hang my American law degree on the wall.” I see very differently, however.
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.



Some brief comments because I need to get back to drafting some Office Actions (not a lawyer yet, just a patent examiner atm).

I am confused by what you mean “I am a woman, unlike the rest of humanity…” Are you saying that being a woman makes you different from being a human?

Love the comment about the erotic novels. This actually grabbed my attention and made me start reading in more detail. Not sure if it’s wise to leave it for your applications (t's a little risky), but I have to say that it worked as an attention grabber for me. It may be because it’s a bit outrageous, or it may be because all humans are obsessed with sexual things.

“I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of” may be better off without the “to speak of”. In fact, why not, instead of focusing on where you were not born, why don’t you tell us where you were born! For example, “I was born in a household where my parents struggled to make ends meet on a monthly basis. I saw them incessantly working two jobs just to give me a chance in life.. blah blah…” Of course, I don’t know the details about where you were born.

Some surplus words are underlined here “I lost both of my parents at a fairly young age and was largely left to my own devices in life.”

The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me over and over to dissuade me from pursuing my dream.


"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." I would instead write, “from an early age, the situation of women in my country has bothered me. For example, women in my country are not allowed to drive, study, work, travel, marry or divorce without the consent of a male guardian. That women must live under male authority in this manner does not seem right to me.”


I could continue giving some of my thoughts all night long but I don’t think this would be productive for either one of us. However, I think the content of your diversity statement is good. Just keep revising it to make it more direct, clearer, and less stuffy. Get rid of surplus words and make it less poetic. Good substance. However, don’t get rid of all the nice language that you have, for example, I really liked the phrase “I am a woman who was taught to maintain appearances at the cost of true convictions, adhere without thinking, and nod without protesting.” And “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.” In fact, this last sentence may be the best one you got in the entire statement. I like how it reflects the unfair situation of women in many parts of the world just because they are women.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:10 pm

chraruce wrote:
Tigress wrote: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.
I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of. I lost both of my parents at a fairly young age and was largely left to my own devices in life. Many of my choices have been met with strong opposition. People around me did not like how I thought, what I said or how I said it. Many resisted my choice of studying law—the time-honored profession of our male theologians. The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me over and over to dissuade me from pursuing my dream. “That there are no women lawyers in the country is all the more reason why I should study law,” I calmly repeated. This, of course, did not resonate well with those who continue to lament how I am going to “hang my American law degree on the wall.” I see very differently, however.
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.



Some brief comments because I need to get back to drafting some Office Actions (not a lawyer yet, just a patent examiner atm).

I am confused by what you mean “I am a woman, unlike the rest of humanity…” Are you saying that being a woman makes you different from being a human?

Love the comment about the erotic novels. This actually grabbed my attention and made me start reading in more detail. Not sure if it’s wise to leave it for your applications, but I have to say that it worked as an attention grabber for me. It may be because it’s a bit outrageous, or it may be because all humans are obsessed with sexual things.

“I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of” may be better off without the “to speak of”. In fact, why not, instead of focusing on where you were not born, why don’t you tell us where you were born! For example, “I was born in a household where my parents struggled to make ends meet on a monthly basis. I saw them incessantly working two jobs just to give me a chance in life.. blah blah…” Of course, I don’t know the details about where you were born.

Some surplus words are underlined here “I lost both of my parents at a fairly young age and was largely left to my own devices in life.”

The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me over and over to dissuade me from pursuing my dream.


"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." I would instead write, “from an early age, the situation of women in my country has bothered me. For example, women in my country are not allowed to drive, study, work, travel, marry or divorce without the consent of a male guardian. That women must live under male authority in this manner does not seem right to me.”


I could continue giving some of my thoughts all night long but I don’t think this would be productive for either one of us. However, I think the content of your diversity statement is good. Just keep revising it to make it more direct, clearer, and less stuffy. Get rid of surplus words and make it less poetic. Good substance. However, don’t get rid of all the nice language that you have, for example, I really liked the phrase “I am a woman who was taught to maintain appearances at the cost of true convictions, adhere without thinking, and nod without protesting.” And “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.” In fact, this last sentence may be the best one you got in the entire statement. I really love how it reflects the unfair situation of women in many parts of the world just because they are women.


Great advice, I took most of your suggestions!

Thanks :D

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chraruce
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby chraruce » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:16 pm

Also, are you applying to Cornell?
I had an interview there and they seem to be very proud of the women in the program (faculty and students). Also, they have this international human rights project regarding the injustices that women face in other parts of the world. Check it out. The project that I'm speaking of is the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice.
I think they would like your diversity statement and if you express interest in the project via other portions of your application, they might bite.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:18 pm

Anon2008 wrote:
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.


I grew up in gang territory, saw friends literally die in the streets, went to a failing school, and was homeless for about a year in high school. Are my "hard life" credentials acceptable to you?

Now that we have that out of the way.

WE ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU! I agree with everyone who has posted before that your writing is way too cheesy. You even said:
Tigress wrote:Maybe my writing style is a bit lyrical here but that is because I want to display my mastery of the language


Mastery isn't big words. Mastery is having an understanding of both the denotation and connotation of the things that you say and adjusting your approach to writing based on the situation. What you're calling "mastery" is coming off as pompous.

Also, this:
Tigress wrote: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.


1) NEVER go to a school because they have a program/project you like. After 3 years, 2 in your case, that project isn't going to pay your bills and put food on your table. The portability and reach of your degree is 100% of what matters. If you were deciding between T6 schools, fine, but you aren't, so understand the lay of the land.

2) I'd like to know what "top" law firm is hiring from T4. I'm calling shenanigans on a Valparaiso student getting a 1L summer associate gig at a top firm. By top, we typically mean Vault 100/NLJ250. Also, if by "work at" you mean that you're a paralegal, stop it.


I am on a scholarship and I am interested in schools that have solid feminist jurisprudence programs.

As tempted as I am to give you the name of the firm I work for, I will have to refrain. I don't want you showing up in there. But it can happen, I got lucky and I landed a good opportunity that I wrenched from my Northwestern rival, I think, or maybe UC.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:24 pm

chraruce wrote:Also, are you applying to Cornell?
I had an interview there and they seem to be very proud of the women in the program (faculty and students). Also, they have this international human rights project regarding the injustices that women face in other parts of the world. Check it out. The project that I'm speaking of is the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice.
I think they would like your diversity statement and if you express interest in the project via other portions of your application, they might bite.


I did apply to Cornell. I agree, it has a very impressive international human rights program! They seem to be quite interested in the plight of Middle Eastern women which is what I am looking for. I would absolutely love to get accepted there but will see.

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dsb83
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby dsb83 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:03 am

It sounds like you're headed in the right direction, but I wanted to echo that you use too many adjectives in the last paragraph. You have a very interested background and one that I am sure would be unique and increase diversity at any law school. Work on letting that story for speak for itself.

rebexness
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby rebexness » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:11 am

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.


NOT SURE IF YOU KNOW WHAT HOMELY MEANS.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby RodneyRuxin » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:05 am

Tigress wrote: People around me did not like how I thought, what I said or how I said it.

LOL

thsmthcrmnl
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:18 pm

I was blunt earlier, so I thought I'd add something I hope you find helpful. I'm going to focus on one example of a broader problem. The problem, as others have said, is that the tone isn't appropriate for the context. Some of this would read perfectly fine as a speech for NOW. But that's not your audience.

Think, as an example, about the invocations of God. I don't know very much about Saudi Arabia or Islam, and maybe that language is normal to you. Academia, however, is largely secular. Sometimes it's outright anti-religious. That you believe in a different god than most here might make you "diverse." That there is an omniscient entity that created the entire universe, and that you know what He plans for you, is pompous. You're not a prophet (unless you are, in which case you have better things to do than go to law school). Do you see how that goes past confidence into arrogance? Do you see why being "immunized" "against challenges that would crush an ordinary soul," besides mixing metaphors, makes you sound like you think you're better than everyone else? Would you ever actually say that?

There is good stuff in here — specific details like the middle-aged woman being guarded by a boy; the choice, given the context, of "castrated." It needs a lot of work though, and whether the advice in this thread comes as attacks or not, you should still pay attention.

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ChardPennington
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby ChardPennington » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:15 pm

Paragraph is florid, needless, fetid like Soviet testes after trans-Siberian jog!

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txdude45
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby txdude45 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:42 pm

thsmthcrmnl wrote:That you believe in a different god than most here might make you "diverse."


Islam's God is the same as Judaism and Christianity's. All three, along with Baha'i, are built around the same God and share much of their textual base.

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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:39 pm

txdude45 wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:That you believe in a different god than most here might make you "diverse."


Islam's God is the same as Judaism and Christianity's. All three, along with Baha'i, are built around the same God and share much of their textual base.

Image

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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Typhoon24 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:49 pm

While it is true that academia is mostly secular, I'm sure they won't find a student who strongly values his or her faith in a personal statement as being diverse or even mildly interesting. Other than that, don't make yourself sound like the strongest woman in the world who overcame all adversity, and please take it easy on your choice of strong adjectives--they do more harm than good.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:54 pm

Typhoon24 wrote:While it is true that academia is mostly secular, I'm sure they won't find a student who strongly values his or her faith in a personal statement as being diverse or even mildly interesting. Other than that, don't make yourself sound like the strongest woman in the world who overcame all adversity, and please take it easy on your choice of strong adjectives--they do more harm than good.


Thanks, I am not religious. I just believe in the cosmological assignment of certain individuals to do certain things. My law degree is for abused women, children, homosexuals etc...; this is the inclination of my nature.
Last edited by Tigress on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Tigress
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby Tigress » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:08 pm

txdude45 wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:That you believe in a different god than most here might make you "diverse."


Islam's God is the same as Judaism and Christianity's. All three, along with Baha'i, are built around the same God and share much of their textual base.


Baha'i faith is an Islamic sect

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby BelugaWhale » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:41 am

Tigress wrote:
Silence is a Saudi woman’s natural condition. Ever so silent I am about many of the practices in my country. Being plagued with guilt is the bitter reality of a woman like me, oscillating between staying true to myself and conforming to my society, not knowing how to satisfy either.
Because I was born in Saudi Arabia, I could not help but to meticulously hide many aspects of my identity. Like a sinful coward did I lead a double life, concocting a plan after another to maintain the appearance of normalcy. But how could I have helped it? I was only a mortal with the death penalty brandished in my face. Yet, does anything really justify hypocrisy? No, not even death.
I am a woman who used to cherish silly pleasures like the few moments in which I was out in the sun without a scarf on my head, 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.
I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of. I lost my parents at a young age and was left to my own devices. Many of my choices have been met with strong opposition. People around me did not like how I thought, what I said or how I said it. Many resisted my choice of studying law—the time-honored profession of our male theologians. The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me to dissuade me from pursuing my dream. “That there are no women lawyers in the country is all the more reason why I should study law,” I calmly repeated. This, of course, did not resonate well with those who continue to lament how I am going to “hang my American law degree on the wall.” I see very differently, however.
From an early age, I found many things to be deeply disturbing in Saudi Arabia. Women in my country cannot drive, study, work, travel, marry or divorce without the consent of a male guardian, even if she is fifty and that guardian is her fifteen year-old son. That women should submit to male authority in virtually every aspect of their lives is ungodly and downright wrong. 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 overcome that fate. Going to Duke Law School is my way of breaking my silence and rising above my circumstances. It is the beginning of a journey in which I address many of the inhumane practices in the Middle East and around the world. Finally, being admitted to a school with the stature of Duke is a symbol of victory, not only to me, but also to all Saudi women who will look up to me as an inspiration. This is my ultimate goal in life: empowering women.


You know, this is actually good. I like it but I still think you have a problem with the language being slightly inappropriate in terms of tone or connotation at some parts but it is a vast improvement.

Disclaimer:I did not have AS bad of an upbringing as you did, so place whatever weight you want on my comment
Last edited by BelugaWhale on Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:42 am

BelugaWhale wrote:
Tigress wrote:
Silence is a Saudi woman’s natural condition. Ever so silent I am about many of the practices in my country. Being plagued with guilt is the bitter reality of a woman like me, oscillating between staying true to myself and conforming to my society, not knowing how to satisfy either.
Because I was born in Saudi Arabia, I could not help but to meticulously hide many aspects of my identity. Like a sinful coward did I lead a double life, concocting a plan after another to maintain the appearance of normalcy. But how could I have helped it? I was only a mortal with the death penalty brandished in my face. Yet, does anything really justify hypocrisy? No, not even death.
I am a woman who used to cherish silly pleasures like the few moments in which I was out in the sun without a scarf on my head, 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.
I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of. I lost my parents at a young age and was left to my own devices. Many of my choices have been met with strong opposition. People around me did not like how I thought, what I said or how I said it. Many resisted my choice of studying law—the time-honored profession of our male theologians. The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me to dissuade me from pursuing my dream. “That there are no women lawyers in the country is all the more reason why I should study law,” I calmly repeated. This, of course, did not resonate well with those who continue to lament how I am going to “hang my American law degree on the wall.” I see very differently, however.
From an early age, I found many things to be deeply disturbing in Saudi Arabia. Women in my country cannot drive, study, work, travel, marry or divorce without the consent of a male guardian, even if she is fifty and that guardian is her fifteen year-old son. That women should submit to male authority in virtually every aspect of their lives is ungodly and downright wrong. 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 overcome that fate. Going to Duke Law School is my way of breaking my silence and rising above my circumstances. It is the beginning of a journey in which I address many of the inhumane practices in the Middle East and around the world. Finally, being admitted to a school with the stature of Duke is a symbol of victory, not only to me, but also to all Saudi women who will look up to me as an inspiration. This is my ultimate goal in life: empowering women.


You know, this is actually good. I like it but I still think you have a problem with the language being slightly inappropriate in terms of tone or connotation at some parts but it is a vast improvement
Still hiding teenagers under her pillow, though.

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domino
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby domino » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:16 am

Tigress wrote: Diversity Statement

Silence is a Saudi woman’s natural condition. Ever so silent I am about many of the practices in my country. Being plagued with guilt is the bitter reality of a woman like me, oscillating between staying true to myself and conforming to my society, not knowing how to satisfy either. I liked this intro, intriguing and it makes the reader ask how you were in conflict with Saudi society
Because I was born in Saudi Arabia...and reading erotic novels that I hid like a teenager under my pillow...I will fight for the freedom I am so unjustly denied.
Maybe too much rhetoric? After your intro, I think it would be a good idea to delete these two paragraphs and transition immediately into more concretely describing why you feel conflicted.
Personally, I am most hooked by your reference to "guilt" in the first paragraph--that suggests that even though you face social norms at odds with who you are, you also feel those norms are compelling at some level. Would be interested to hear a bit more about that though wouldn't want it to take over the essay.
Like everyone said, please delete the bolded! Honestly, if I were an admissions officer, that would turn you into an auto-deny because it's really socially inappropriate. Your other examples are good.

I was not born into a privileged household nor did I have any advantage to speak of. I lost my parents at a young age and was left to my own devices. Sounds whinyMany of my choices have been met with strong opposition. People around me did not like how I thought, what I said or how I said it. Many resisted my choice of studying law—the time-honored profession of our male theologians. The refrain that “there are no women lawyers in Saudi Arabia” was repeated to me to dissuade me from pursuing my dream. “That there are no women lawyers in the country is all the more reason why I should study law,” I calmly repeated. I like this but would delete "calmly" because it sounds self-aggrandizingThis, of course, did not resonate well with those who continue to lament how I am going to “hang my American law degree on the wall.” I see very differently, however. Move this line to start the next paragraph
From an early age, I found many things to be deeply disturbing in Saudi Arabia. Women in my country cannot drive, study, work, travel, marry or divorce without the consent of a male guardian, even if she is fifty and that guardian is her fifteen year-old son. That women should submit to male authority in virtually every aspect of their lives is ungodly and downright wrong. 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 overcome that fate. Going to Duke Law School is my way of breaking my silence and rising above my circumstances. I think it's a bad idea to focus on why law school would be a big personal achievement for you. While that's a normal way to feel about this, there is something improper about discussing that feeling in this context. It's better to focus on what law school will allow you to do, as you start doing below. You also want to avoid language that suggests law school is good because it will make you more visible or important.It is the beginning of a journey in which I address many of the inhumane practices in the Middle East and around the world. Finally, being admitted to a school with the stature of Duke is a symbol of victory, not only to me, but also to all Saudi women who will look up to me as an inspiration.Cut! Regardless of whether this is true, it sounds really self-aggrandizing. Again it's good to avoid saying law school is good because it will make you more visible or important. This is my ultimate goal in life: empowering women.

20141023
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby 20141023 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:26 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Is this paragraph well-written?

Postby BelugaWhale » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:48 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
Tigress wrote: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

Tigress, you need to read Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly by Daniel M. Oppenheimer.

Daniel M. Oppenheimer wrote:Summary

Most texts on writing style encourage authors to avoid overly-complex words. However, a majority of undergraduates admit to deliberately increasing the complexity of their vocabulary so as to give the impression of intelligence. This paper explores the extent to which this strategy is effective. Experiments 1–3 manipulate complexity of texts and find a negative relationship between complexity and judged intelligence. This relationship held regardless of the quality of the original essay, and irrespective of the participants’ prior expectations of essay quality. The negative impact of complexity was mediated by processing fluency. Experiment 4 directly manipulated fluency and found that texts in hard to read fonts are judged to come from less intelligent authors. Experiment 5 investigated discounting of fluency. When obvious causes for low fluency exist that are not relevant to the judgement at hand, people reduce their reliance on fluency as a cue; in fact, in an effort not to be influenced by the irrelevant source of fluency, they over-compensate and are biased in the opposite direction. Implications and applications are discussed.

It would be a good thing if Tigress actually had this problem in her writing. Sadly it's more pervasive than just mere vocabulary. There's just something about the actual structure/tone of her writing that makes is problematic.




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