First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

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Anonymous User
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First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:49 am

deleted
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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nickb285
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:42 am

baleeted
Last edited by nickb285 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:57 am

Thanks, this is the type of detailed feedback that I'm looking for. Anyone else have thoughts?

Also, you do think that the topic itself is good? So there's no need to start from scratch, just give it some major work?

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nickb285
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:09 pm

I think it's a good topic--in this era, and especially among law school applicants, a farm upbringing is definitely unique and it's a good way to explain where you come from--just needs work like any first draft.

persimmon
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby persimmon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:13 pm

This is a nice story and well-written. But I think you could do a better job exploring the "so what" aspect in your second-last paragraph (and shaping your essay overall to lead to that "so what")--right now, I feel a bit of a disconnect between the tone of your essay and what you're telling us this experience taught you.

As your essay begins, childhood-you is eager, exploring, at home in your world and taking on duties within it (though too thin to take on all that much). We feel relaxed and curious--you don't have to be picking these blackberries yet, but it's one of the adventures available to you as part of the unique experience of living on a family farm. But then you tell us that this experience gave you drive, ambition, and a work ethic. Why? I'm more interested in the sentence you bury in the middle of that paragraph: "My early farm life was responsible for fostering the wide-open environment that encouraged my pondering of life’s questions." I don't know exactly what you mean by that, but it seems more in tune with the tone of your story, and also matches up better with your last paragraph, about curiosity. I like it and I want to hear more about it.

Plus, farm=hard work is sort of a boring cliche anyway, especially for admissions essays. I am very leery of hard work as an admissions essay theme generally. I could spend 16 hours a day memorizing the phone book and it would be hard, but useless. Better to tell us that you worked hard in the context of telling us what about your work was unique, interesting, and worthwhile.

Farm=exploration and curiosity is more interesting, and I think you should let that be the theme of the essay with the hard work coming up incidentally. I especially like how this interacts with your college experience: you went to college to escape the narrowness of farm life and satisfy your curiosity, but ironically, you realized that farm life had fed and inspired your curiosity in the first place, which was what allowed you to grow as an intellectual once in college. I want you to make this more explicit.

Also, ditch the last sentence. Farm life and intellectual life aren't a dichotomy--you're telling us there's a connection, so don't imply that there isn't. Plus, your phrasing makes it sound like you don't think you have an intellectual side yet, obviously not what we're after.

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nickb285
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:14 pm

^Solid first post.

Anonymous User
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:22 pm

Both of your thoughts are extrememly helpful, I will rework and post an update using your criticisms. In the meantime, continued thoughts from everyone are welcome!

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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:18 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nickb285
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:43 pm

nope
Last edited by nickb285 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

persimmon
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby persimmon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:08 pm

This is lovely, and much more thematically coherent. The closing of the farm really feels poignant and memorable--I had to revisit the original to realize this part of the story had been in the first draft too.

I agree with Nick's edits, and encourage you to keep playing with word choice and sentence structure as you are moved to. For example:
-Delete "literally" in "literally inherited" (unnecessary).
-Watch your tenses in the last few paragraphs. Are you describing the way you were in college? Use "X-ed" or "had X-ed," where X is a verb. Are you describing the way you are now? Use "X" or "have X-ed." Your mixed verb tenses create some minor content confusion currently.
-"Exercise the search for answers" is a funny phrase, and I'm not sure "curious" is the adjective you want in "curious questions." This whole clause feels awkward. What about reducing this to "In studying law, I will continue to examine how we collectively relate..."

I particularly agree that the last two sentences are weak. You've already made these points, and with stronger phrasing. Consider deleting them and ending with the sentence before those. I like that sentence (other than the edits noted above) and think it's a strong articulation of your theme. On the other hand, it is a bit long for a closing sentence. If you want to be cute, what about revisiting the blackberry-picking in your conclusion?

Anonymous User
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Re: First whack at PS. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:30 pm

Wow, you guys were both a lot of help. Considering I have a couple months until apps are out, I'll consider your suggestions and then revisit with another post of my first "final" draft in a month or two.




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