PLEASE STOP ME FROM SUBMITTING IF THIS SUCKS THANKS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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PLEASE STOP ME FROM SUBMITTING IF THIS SUCKS THANKS

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:35 pm

removed. thanks for the advice.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Emma.
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Re: Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby Emma. » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:09 pm

Honestly, I think this needs quite a bit of work, and you should think twice about calling it "final."

The language is really awkward in many places. The whole thing is pretty disjointed. And even if you are set on using this in something close to its current form, there are weird things like "he is now employing a degree in engineering."

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Re: Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:18 pm

Emma. wrote:Honestly, I think this needs quite a bit of work, and you should think twice about calling it "final."

The language is really awkward in many places. The whole thing is pretty disjointed. And even if you are set on using this in something close to its current form, there are weird things like "he is now employing a degree in engineering."


Hmm that's disappointing you feel that way because I've been getting a lot of positive feedback. Anyone else agree or is Emma too harsh?

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rutgers17
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Re: Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby rutgers17 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:50 pm

I think you're close, but not quite there. I like how it flows in general and I think a lot of it is really good. Here are my thoughts:

The first paragraph is too bogged down for me. It didn't really grab my attention and I think some of the structure/wording is awkward. Personally, I really don't like the use of the colon in the first sentence. It doesn't allow the reader to get a flow going and I don't think the way you continue the sentence is grammatically correct. Aside from that, I really like this paragraph, but it's very detail-oriented; from what I've read, you want the first paragraph to show the reader your theme and be a bit more general. To me, if you had a better attention-grabbing intro, this would make for a much better 2nd paragraph.

The transition into your childhood was a little bit off to me. It could have just been because I wasn't reading closely enough, but I had to go back and see what you were talking about because it seemed very abrupt. Once I re-read, I saw that you did have a transition, but maybe it wasn't clear enough or something. Again, that could totally just be me, but I might revisit this and make sure the introduction into your farm life doesn't seem random.

I agree with what Emma said about the awkward wording in "employing a degree in engineering."


As far as grammatical/typo stuff:

Paragraph 2, last sentence: (1) passive voice ("has allowed me"); (2) I would say "necessary to foster the passion and curiosity..." - fostering sounds weird to me.

Paragraph 3, last sentence: passive voice ("this reflection has allowed me")
This paragraph could be tightened up. There's a lot of "I would" and "I was". I think the writing could be worked on a bit more. Also, a small thing, but I'd use a different word than nostalgia. You don't experience nostalgia when you're in it, only when you look back at things. I also don't like the use of "as simple as"; could just be me but made me double take for some reason.


Now for the good stuff (and I do think there's a lot of it):

I really like your topic. You focus on an academic achievement without sounding braggy or boring. I thought it flowed pretty well (except that one part I mentioned). I've been reading through a bunch of these lately and usually stop reading most of them -- I didn't stop reading yours (or get bored while reading) so I guess that must be a good sign.

Love the last couple sentences of your 4th paragraph.

I also think your conclusion is pretty solid.

In my opinion (for whatever it's worth), you're close but not quite there. I wouldn't say it's a final but I'd guess that you wouldn't have more than 2 or 3 more edits. (also sorry for the length, trying to be as helpful/descriptive as possible) Good luck!

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thewaves
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Re: Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby thewaves » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:05 pm

I like the substantive parts of the essay describing your research interests. I can tell you're a good writer minus the awkward phrasings a poster above pointed out. I don't feel like your overall reflection is very deep or noteworthy. The main takeaway I get from your essay is: applicant grew up on a farm, has a good work ethic because of this.

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Re: (apparently not my) Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:12 pm

OP here. I appreciate all your thoughtful advice and you've helped me realize that maybe that wasn't my final draft. I've posted a revised edition above which takes into account your thoughts. I'd love to hear feedback on it. Thanks!

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Emma.
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Re: (apparently not my) Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby Emma. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:55 pm

Overall, I think this is an improvement, but still needs some work I think.

The sentence "The charm associated with such a life is obvious—I was lucky enough to experience a daily routine that other children could appreciate only on retreats." bugs me because it is kinda condescending to the reader. If something is obvious, why do you need to tell us about it? I'd rephrase. I'm also not sure about the next sentence where you talk about ignoring nostalgia. I don't know that your young self was ignoring nostalgia, since nostalgia means a longing or affection for the past.

I feel like your initial paragraph is too wordy and doesn't tell us anything about YOU, which is a mistake in a personal statement IMO. And now the transition to your second paragraph is abrupt/disjointed.

You don't really show us anything that would support your statement that your time on the farm helped develop your work ethic, since mostly you talk about just wandering around eating blackberries. Maybe you could add a sentence that emphasizes that farming isn't all fun and games?

I think there are a few places where you can still tone down your language. E.g. "Along with the general decline of such operations across America, the family farm my father inherited has since failed and he is gainfully employed elsewhere." Could be something like: "As with so many similar small farming operations across America, my father's farm has since failed. He has moved on to another career."

Hope that helps.

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Emma.
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Re: (apparently not my) Final Draft--See any errors??

Postby Emma. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:51 am

I'd also consider revising "the malign effects of legal negligence." It sounds like you are trying to use a legal term of art, but I think what you are trying to say is "the effects of legislative neglect" or something similar?

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Re: Please tell me it's good enought to submit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:28 pm

I've posted a new draft which is responsive to your feedback. Please take a look!

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KD35
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Re: Please tell me it's good enought to submit!

Postby KD35 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:10 pm

Maybe it is just me but it is a struggle to get past the first sentence. It sounds awkward to me...maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

Also, the concluding paragraph seems like it was a better fit in the earlier drafts you posted. Here, the concluding paragraph doesn't seem to relate to the main premise that you bring up at the start. The end and finish should ideally flow well together, and I don't really see that here.

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Re: Please tell me it's good enought to submit!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:18 pm

KD35 wrote:Maybe it is just me but it is a struggle to get past the first sentence. It sounds awkward to me...maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

Also, the concluding paragraph seems like it was a better fit in the earlier drafts you posted. Here, the concluding paragraph doesn't seem to relate to the main premise that you bring up at the start. The end and finish should ideally flow well together, and I don't really see that here.


Understood. But barring those two grievances do you find this to be a quality statement?

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KD35
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Re: Please tell me it's good enought to submit!

Postby KD35 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
KD35 wrote:Maybe it is just me but it is a struggle to get past the first sentence. It sounds awkward to me...maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

Also, the concluding paragraph seems like it was a better fit in the earlier drafts you posted. Here, the concluding paragraph doesn't seem to relate to the main premise that you bring up at the start. The end and finish should ideally flow well together, and I don't really see that here.


Understood. But barring those two grievances do you find this to be a quality statement?


Definitely going the right direction. But you'll want to have someone with an attention to detail for grammar/active voice go over it with a fine toothed comb, I primary skimmed over your PS looking for larger problems.

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Re: Please tell me it's good enought to submit!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:01 am

Thanks for the advice. A new statement is above. I'm really hoping to submit this week.

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Re: Looking for last minute feedback before I start submitting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:22 am

Looking for last minute feedback before I submit!

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Emma.
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Re: Looking for last minute feedback before I start submitting

Postby Emma. » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:07 pm

"The methods employed in the discipline allow us to understand how complex histories are invariably tied to current day conditions." Should this be "The methods employed in the discipline allow us to understand how current day conditions are invariably tied to complex histories."?

Have you considered capitalizing the B in Black? I'm not sure that "sects" is that best word choice in paragraph 2.

"Academics became my chief focus due to their ability to take me far from..." is kind of weird. Obviously the reader can tell what you are trying to say, but on first read it sounds like you are talking about people. Academics, as in professors, taking you away from your frustration. Consider "My coursework became my chief focus due it its ability..."

"abilities which were delayed in usage, but which were cultivated during my young life"

Should "current day conditions" be "current-day condiitons"?

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Re: Looking for last minute feedback before I start submitting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:47 pm

Emma. wrote:"The methods employed in the discipline allow us to understand how complex histories are invariably tied to current day conditions." Should this be "The methods employed in the discipline allow us to understand how current day conditions are invariably tied to complex histories."?

Have you considered capitalizing the B in Black? I'm not sure that "sects" is that best word choice in paragraph 2.

"Academics became my chief focus due to their ability to take me far from..." is kind of weird. Obviously the reader can tell what you are trying to say, but on first read it sounds like you are talking about people. Academics, as in professors, taking you away from your frustration. Consider "My coursework became my chief focus due it its ability..."

"abilities which were delayed in usage, but which were cultivated during my young life"

Should "current day conditions" be "current-day condiitons"?


Thanks! Anyone else have grammatical or stylistic comments?

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Re: PLEASE STOP ME FROM SUBMITTING IF THIS SUCKS THANKS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:29 pm

PLEASE STOP ME FROM SUBMITTING IF THIS SUCKS THANKS




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