Final draft. Down for now.

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Final draft. Down for now.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:13 am

Thank you all for your comments. I'm going to sit on this for a while and look at it again in a week. Good luck on your efforts.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:37 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Ramius
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Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby Ramius » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:32 am

I think you're good on this not being too controversial. If anyone were to have knowledge of this controversial topic, it would be someone in your shoes. On top of that, you make it sound more like you've formed your opinions and those are driving your goals with law school, which takes any political leanings out of it IMO.

I read through this twice to figure out what was bothering me about it, and I think it's the formatting and wording. To put it overly simply, it felt disjointed. You have good voice and you tell a good, coherent story of your evolution into who you are now, but it feels broken up in a way that I had trouble following. Really look at your use of short sentence lengths. They can be used effectively to emphasize a point, but if used too often, it breaks up the flow unnecessarily.

You've got a great start, but take a shot at reading this out loud like you would if it were a speech or if you were in the room with the ADCOM telling them this narrative to make sure the tone and flow are right. If you can't make it sound natural in speaking, really look at adjusting it.

l0g0s
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby l0g0s » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:59 am

I agree with matthewsean, and I think the structure has a lot to do with it. Your first three paragraphs tell an interesting, personal story. But then in the fourth and fifth you switch to just summarizing your resume without telling me much about you personally. The last sentence of the fifth paragraph alludes to a very interesting personal story, maybe this story could replace the fourth and fifth paragraphs entirely.
The sixth paragraph, as it stands, is an abrubt shift because it doesn't connect to you or your personal story at all. By that I mean that I could write that exact paragraph in my personal statement, and I have no military or intelligence experience whatsoever. You need to somehow make it unique to you and insights you've gained from your experiences (again, expanding on the last sentence of the fifth paragraph could help you do this).

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Metanoia
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Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby Metanoia » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:04 am

In my 0L opinion, it's a great statement, but I do agree with matthewsean about the short sentences. Also, since "people" is already plural, I think the proper possessive form is "people's"

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:45 pm

Good catch on 'people's.' I edited the 4th and 5th paragraphs to be less like a resume. I tried to vary the sentence length a little and will continue to work on that. It's hard to get away from simple declarative sentences after so many years of military technical writing and powerpoint slides. I get what you all are saying about personalizing it, but I'm reluctant to go into too much detail as it would potentially violate non-disclosure agreements (and would take a book). Maybe there's some middle ground. Thanks for your comments. :)

l0g0s
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby l0g0s » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:41 pm

I still say go for the details, I'm sure there are plenty of good law schools in the Moscow airport...

Seriously though, some really good changes already, it's a great PS and you've got some awesome softs. Good luck on your cycle!

NYstate
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby NYstate » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:54 pm

I don't know about more details. I like this PS very much. I feel like I understand a little of who you are from this statement.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Final draft. Too controversial?

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:35 pm

I'm really happy to say that this is becoming an excellent personal statement. (And, if you remember, I had a lot of feedback for you on your earlier version.) I don't think it's quite a "final" draft, but you're getting very close.

You have improved the clipped, staccato style by orders of magnitude, but it's still a bit of an issue at times. You write with clarity in each individual sentence, but sometimes the sentences still don't mesh together in a satisfying way. At other times your writing flows very nicely, so you're well on your way to fixing this problem. Really try to hone in on the remaining spots where too many short sentences cluster together and work to vary the sentence lengths and number of clauses a little more.

I didn't see the earlier drafts from yesterday that other posters have commented on, but I don't think either the content or the overall arc of the piece is at all an issue at this point.

There's just one sentence that doesn't seem to fit with the story arc: "I now had as much affinity with the protestors as with the police surrounding them." This makes it sound like your affinity with the protestors had grown to the point that it was equal with your affinity for the police, the latter previously having been greater than the former. Based on the progression of your story, I think you're trying to say the opposite -- that your previous affinity would have been strongly for the protestors, but that you now felt ambivalence. If that's correct, then the order of protestors and police in this sentence should be reversed.

Very nice work!




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