PS--1st draft. Please critique

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Anonymous User
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PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:17 pm

So, this is my first draft. It probably has a few grammatical mistakes, please don't judge me too hard. Constructive criticism would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help

A group of roughly fifteen boys, ages ranging from ten to twelve, looked up at me. Some had beaming smiles on their faces and others wore disinterested expressions. I looked down at my attendance sheet, which was my only help now that I was separated from my boss. I told myself that I knew what I was doing, that I was going to be the best camp counselor ever. First, I made my campers tell me their names and something about themselves. That went well and my confidence went up. Riding off this momentum, I started a game going called “zoom.” To my immediate dismay, not only did the campers lose interest in about thirty seconds, but some of the more rambunctious ones started wrestling in the middle of the circle that we had made. The one on the bottom of the pile got hurt and looked up at me with big blue eyes, filled to the brim with tears. He was expecting me to dish out the punishment, but I stuttered. I forgot all my training in that moment and thought, “Oh God, I have no idea what I’m doing.” My first day as a summer day camp counselor with this group of boys, called the Orange group, had just begun.

As the first few weeks passed, the Orange group continued to do unexpected things that would catch me off guard. One kept on climbing to the top of trees, about four to five cursed, bullying was rampant, and I had been called, “half-man, half-giraffe” due to my six foot five height. Fortunately, I began to figure it out and I was not as unprepared as I was on the first day. Unexpected things happen at day camp. When these unanticipated things occurred, I learned to improvise. When bullying and exclusion became a problem, I set up football games and I would mix up the teams so that the kids with more power in the Orange group would be on the same team as the kids who were typically bullied and excluded. As soon as these boys remembered the joys of football, high-fives and smiles began to appear from more and more from the Orange group. I also learned to be a leader of this group. Summer began with me trying to become their friend, which led to them running all over me. However, I realized that if these kids were to have any fun, I needed to step up and become the authority in this group. This admittedly scared me, as I was afraid some of the campers would not like me anymore due to my new attitude. Luckily, as I took command, the Orange group began to respect me more and even better, began to respect each other more.

As summer progressed, there were still some issues within the group, but I had learned how to solve those problems quickly. The Orange group was actually having fun and as they had fun, I began to learn more about each of them. These kids had stories that I could not fathom and that explained so much about their behavior. When I was their age, I had two loving parents and no financial issues whatsoever. This was not a community I was used to being around and this summer opened my eyes to the unfortunate situation some of these kids are really in.

The children in the Orange group taught me the value of making good decisions and being responsible. I have always been curious about law, but this summer helped me see that a career as a family lawyer is what I want to do with my life. Assisting families through difficult times, whether it be divorce or child abuse, has become a passion of mine. I want to do the best I can for all of the hurt families out there and going into law will help me accomplish that.

On my last day, I looked up at the six or seven remaining campers that had not gone back to school yet. A couple of them were a little shy and gave me a handshake but the majority of them gave me a hug. “See ya later, half-giraffe.”

mwhitley
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Re: PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby mwhitley » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:48 pm

On first read, I would say that the anecdote is a little long and carries too far into the statement. It sometimes works to open up with a story but you don't want the entire essay to read like a piece of non-fiction. You want your essay to read passionately--but not just a generic passion. From what I read, you are passionate about summer camp, not law school. Direct that enthusiasm towards your ambition for a law degree. There are three things you want to address when writing a personal statement: 1) Why Law School? 2) Why now? 3) Why at x school? When the admissions officer finishes your essay you want them to remember these three things. You have to be convincing. You want them to feel like they know you, not just know about something you have done or experienced.
Spend some time soul-searching and really think about why you want to go to law school, why at this time in your life, and why you want to get into your dream school. It took me several months and several drafts to get it right, so don't get discouraged. Be genuine and dig deep-it will pay off.

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby gnomgnomuch » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:59 pm

While its a good topic, it needs a lot of work. You aren't conveying any desire to attend law school, rather you're telling adcoms that you want to continue being a counselor . Your grammar is for the most part, fine.

One big issue though, there is no transition here.

The children in the Orange group taught me the value of making good decisions and being responsible. I have always been curious about law, but this summer helped me see that a career as a family lawyer is what I want to do with my life.

I see what you are getting at, but I had to read that paragraph through two times. You need to make it so adcoms will see it before its even written.

Focus a bit less on writing about camp, and a bit more on experiences that led you to wanting to become a lawyer.

Finally, your ending, is rather trite and overplayed and it lack much, if any, importance to it.

Focus less on grammar, and more on content, grammar will come in the proofreading's/edits.

Best of luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:03 pm

Hey thank you for the responses! I really appreciate it!

I guess what I tried to get across in the rather long anecdote was how I grew from this experience and some of the qualities that I gained from it. So you guys would recommend that I extend why I would want to go into family law more then and show more passion about law school, correct?

I really appreciate you guys taking the time to read my PS and typing up your responses. Seriously. Sooooo helpful

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby gnomgnomuch » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey thank you for the responses! I really appreciate it!

I guess what I tried to get across in the rather long anecdote was how I grew from this experience and some of the qualities that I gained from it. So you guys would recommend that I extend why I would want to go into family law more then and show more passion about law school, correct?

I really appreciate you guys taking the time to read my PS and typing up your responses. Seriously. Sooooo helpful


Yes, most definitely add more reasons about why you want to go into law, also, keep in mind that you're personal statement is almost always the only "interview" you'll get with a law school, while its not SUPER important, a good PS can bring a student on the cusp and acceptance letter, while a poor PS, can get an accepted student, a rejection letter.

mwhitley
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Re: PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby mwhitley » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:22 pm

gnomgnomuch wrote:
Yes, most definitely add more reasons about why you want to go into law, also, keep in mind that you're personal statement is almost always the only "interview" you'll get with a law school, while its not SUPER important, a good PS can bring a student on the cusp and acceptance letter, while a poor PS, can get an accepted student, a rejection letter.


Agreed.

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jselson
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Re: PS--1st draft. Please critique

Postby jselson » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:33 am

"Disinterested" means "unbiased." "Uninterested" means "bored."

This is a pet peeve of a lot of professors, so you don't want to get it wrong.




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