Edit: NYU PS, please critique. New ending.

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Anonymous User
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Edit: NYU PS, please critique. New ending.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:51 am

...working...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

kaiser
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Re: NYU PS, please critique. Am I unfocused? Is that a prob?

Postby kaiser » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:53 am

You do know that NYU kicked out Chen, allegedly for political reasons, since NYU is looking to open campus or expand presence in China, and the Chinese government was none too happy with us having him as a student. A fair number of students at NYU were pretty angry about this. I would just be aware of that before making reference to it.

Anonymous User
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Re: NYU PS, please critique. Am I unfocused? Is that a prob?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:07 am

Yeah, I've been following that, though I don't know all the details. What I've read indicated that they didn't kick him out so much as failed to renew his contract which he turned into a political issue. That struck me as spin, but I haven't researched it enough to really say... I was wondering whether I should address the new events somehow or cut that part out. The fact is that learning about that initially made me want to go to NYU. The recent events haven't changed my mind.

kaiser
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Re: NYU PS, please critique. Am I unfocused? Is that a prob?

Postby kaiser » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I've been following that, though I don't know all the details. What I've read indicated that they didn't kick him out so much as failed to renew his contract which he turned into a political issue. That struck me as spin, but I haven't researched it enough to really say... I was wondering whether I should address the new events somehow or cut that part out. The fact is that learning about that initially made me want to go to NYU. The recent events haven't changed my mind.


Its a double-edged sword. If you only mention the positive side, it makes it seem like you didn't follow the events too closely. And if you mention the whole thing, you risk touching upon some uncomfortable subjects. Chen himself says he was kicked out for political reasons. I don't really know the man, and only spoke to him twice (first time, he just happened to be getting a haircut right next to me at my go-to barbershop), but he seemed like a genuine guy, and I would never underestimate a university like NYU's political motivations.

Anonymous User
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Re: NYU PS, please critique. Am I unfocused? Is that a prob?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:24 am

Well put. Your comments are making me lean towards editing that paragraph entirely. There are lots of reasons I want to go to NYU. I can write about something else. Thanks for the input.

Anonymous User
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Re: NYU PS, please critique. Am I unfocused? Is that a prob?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:01 am

How does this work as a replacement for the paragraph referencing Mr. Chen?

NYU Law is the ideal place to pursue that goal. The law school has been on the vanguard of progressive issues since its incorporation in 1835. When Stanleyetta Titus became the first female to gain admittance to the New York State Bar after graduating from NYU Law in 1893 she opened the door for generations of female lawyers. More recently, NYU Professor Bryan Stevenson was honored in 2011 for his advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment. I am convinced by this righteous legacy that it is the most appropriate place for me as well. I want to contribute to the initiatives championed by the law school faculty. Ultimately, I want pursue my own research interests, including the institutionalization of incentives in legal frameworks for global governance and the effects of land use rights on development.

Ti Malice
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Re: Edit: NYU PS, please critique. New ending.

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:51 am

Stylistically, this PS needs some attention. The essay reads in a staccato manner that's almost hypnotic -- and not in a good way. Most of your sentences are very short, and a significant proportion of them contain only one clause. You do a better job of varying your sentence lengths as the essay progresses, but this remains a problem throughout. I found the clipped style so distracting in the first three paragraphs that I ended up focusing much more on this stylistic aspect than on what you were actually saying. The first three paragraphs also strike me as a little muddled organizationally, and the introductory paragraph is the worst offender on all counts. The sentences are repetitively short and do not connect well with one another, and the paragraph as a whole is too brief to provide enough context. The first sentence is a little cryptic ("the journey"), which is okay if you're going to provide more context in the sentences immediately afterward. But what follows are two sentences that, upon first reading, don't have any apparent connection to "the journey." The fourth sentence seems inserted at random. Play around with the sentence order, and give your reader a better idea of what's going on by the end of the first paragraph.

Substantively, the fourth and fifth paragraphs do a fair amount of résumé restating, and I don't think you really develop the parts that do not. The leadership theme gets scant treatment, and part of the treatment you do provide ("people can overcome any obstacle when...") sounds a little cliché and should be replaced.

The writing in the sixth paragraph is your best, stylistically speaking, though it could still use more development. As a law student, I feel the urge to tell you that international human rights lawyering jobs essentially do not exist (especially for those without strong and long-running preexisting connections in human rights work); knowing this biases me against the content to an extent, but I don't think the content is necessarily a problem in a PS. Law schools are the ones advertising their international law/human rights offerings in order to entice people to apply, after all.

The Chen affair is a fraught topic that you should probably avoid in a PS for NYU, but, to be blunt, I strongly dislike the replacement paragraph. You should know that whether you reference NYU specifically or not makes no difference for your chances of admission. Unless circumstances are so unique and particular as to make it clear that just one school (not named Y, H, or S) is the right match for you, I think these targeted paragraphs almost always weaken a PS. Setting aside the infinitesimal odds of getting such work, your IHR interests make NYU a fairly obvious target anyway. Simply stating NYU's reputation and reciting some NYU history is much more likely to provoke a groan from an adcomm than anything else.

Anonymous User
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Re: Edit: NYU PS, please critique. New ending.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:00 pm

That is really helpful. I will rewrite with this in mind. Thank you.




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