(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:52 pm

Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Final draft. Too controversial? Glaring Errors?

Postby Mr. Elshal » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:53 pm

It seems as though very little of this is about you as a person. Instead, I learned a lot about things that you participated in (running, speaking with father of soldier, army, etc.). I had this same issue when I first started writing my PS and posters on TLS helped me immensely by pointing out that I needed to "show" rather than "tell." You want to tell about yourself through the stories, and the stories should be a backdrop, rather than the focal point of the essay.

As an example, your first two paragraphs do not introduce you as a person. It is a great writing style for a television show or movie, where the scene starts really dramatically with somebody the viewer doesn't know running across the desert with a flag. However, admissions staff don't need drama or emotional scenes (although they can be useful in smaller doses). They just need to know who you are.

Your third paragraph starts to tell more about you but it does not show about you. Go into more detail about your "journey" to law school. Tell about your anti-war activism, elaborate on how the run changed you, discuss how your stint in the military affected your outlook and your choice of career.

If you like, I can PM you an early version of my PS and the final version. I started off with the same issue that you have (though it is a tough one to vocalize) and by the time TLS was done with me, I got into Harvard with a below 25th percentile GPA. I can also try to answer any other questions you might have about the application process. Feel free to reach out.

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Re: Final draft. Too controversial? Glaring Errors?

Postby Searchparty » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:15 pm

"Thank you for your consideration" is wholly unnecessary.

I learned nothing about you. Like the above poster, you want to tell a story. You should be the main character of the story, in first person if you choose. However, the story should be told in a way that it highlights good points about you.

Here's a really basic/crappy example

The faint buzz of my alarm slowly made its way into my dreams, and then grew louder as my eyes began to open and adjust to the dimly lit room. I wasn't a morning person. It was 6:30am and I had 2.5 hours until I needed to be at work for my first day. I took on a second job for the summer, in order to save up money for the next semester of school. At the time, I didn't know that this job would be opening a new path for me.

In this instance... you've said a couple things. You have a good work ethic, being willing to wake up early and having a second job. Financial conscientiousness for saving up for your classes. Determination to pay your way through school. Then, it would go on to explain how this new experience you were initially only doing to get by - would lead you to a passion (which means applying to law school).

It could have been poorly written like:

My strongest characteristic is my work ethic. After all, I did work two jobs over the summer, and one throughout fall and spring to pay my way through college. Being financially conscientious has always been my point of pride, I never wanted to be in debt while I got my bachelors. When I set my mind to something, I accomplish it.

I do like that you didn't do: I like X and X is connected to the law, so I'm good for law school.

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