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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:38 pm

Edited
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

efeinste
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby efeinste » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:11 pm

I'd accept you.
Last edited by efeinste on Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

efeinste
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby efeinste » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:22 pm

On second thought, and especially seeing as you asked for a critical response, I wonder whether your statement is organized in too much of a bipartite structure. Specifically, in the first half, you focus on a discussion of multicultural identity in a world increasingly shaped by globalization and similar transnational forces. In the second half, starting at the end of the 4th paragraph, you begin a related but noticeably distinct discussion of pain and suffering.... I think the bipartite structure is subtle, and you do a great job at moving seamlessly from one discussion to the other. That said, you may want to give this transition some thought. I'm curious as to what others think about this.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:55 pm

Thanks your helpful feedback.

Is this too flowery? I've gotten some input that I spend too much time up front discussing the situation rather than explicitly advocating why I would be a good candidate for law. I also have quite a bit of relevant experience that deals with the issue of access to medicines -- I have not included it here for the sake of the story and a lack of space, but I am not sure if it is the correct way to proceed. One comment I received was that I should explain how this has already become a part of my life and how I have already been working towards this. Law is just another weapon in my arsenal.

Not sure how much to sacrifice for good story-telling.

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:55 pm

I am not sure how I feel about the use of the quoted conversation to begin your personal statement, some may find distaste with that sort of tactic. Honestly is pretty solid, if you really have time to kill, you could perhaps write about of the personal actions you undertook that convinces me more you wanted to help in global fashion, so far you have told me you have quite the cute story to do so, but have you actually done anything about it?

efeinste
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby efeinste » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:15 pm

I agree with jimmierock about getting rid of the quotation. Is it flowery? I don't know. It depends what you mean by that. I like the tone. I think that's one of the strengths of your statement. As to your concern about sacrificing too many details/arguments relating to your experience with the access-to-medicines issue, I think it's up to you. As I said in my earlier post, you're discussing (1) cross-cultural identity in a world increasingly shaped by globalization and (2) the issue of access to medicines. These topics are related but distinct. It is up to you how much time and attention to allot to each. However, again, as I said in my earlier post, keep a close eye on the cohesion of the paper. Just because all the words are on one or two pages of your MS Word document and belong to only one file name does not mean you have only one paper. You very well may have two. To hold everything together, you're going to need to pay close attention to your (a) argument and (b) rhetoric, which are necessary and, I think, jointly sufficient to create one rock-solid personal statement. Moreover, the argument is prior to the rhetoric for the obvious reason that you need to know what you are going to say before you determine how exactly you are going to say it. I guess what I'm getting at, among other things, is this: in your personal statement, what precisely is the relationship between your discussion of cultural identity and access to medicines? What reason do you have for discussing cultural identity in the first half of your paper other than to ultimately reject the notion that cultural specificity matters? Yes. I understand: "The tears of an individual who is forced to make a choice between purchasing lifesaving medicines and other vital household expenditures look the same on both sides of the Atlantic." But if that's the case, why discuss cultural identity at all? Why not just make your entire paper about your experiences with the issue of access to medicines? Again, I understand, really I do: the narrative in the first half of the paper serves as a background or explanation of the epiphany to come. But if the paper is really about access to medicines, should you really be spending half of the paper setting everything up? And again, if the discussion of cultural identity is more than just the narrative leading up to the meat of the paper, then doesn't it deserve at least some attention beyond the half-way point?

I hope "the bipartite structure" isn't too murky and that you know what I'm referring to. Otherwise, none of this will be helpful.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:57 pm

Edited
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

efeinste
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby efeinste » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:31 pm

Both.

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ZipWhenSheMoves
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Re: Personal statement for HYSC

Postby ZipWhenSheMoves » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:00 pm

Very interesting topic, just going to pull out some sentences and phrases that seemed jumbled/confusing/convoluted to me:

" I had even anticipated that an important part of my journey and self-growth would revolve around how I would adjust to these perceived differences, paralleling the narratives of my peers who had gone on similar trips."

Revolve around seems vague and non-descpritive. I'm also not sure what here is "paralleling a narrative." i'd cut the whole second clause and edit the first clause slightly.

"reducing human experience across arbitrary lines"
You don't reduce something "across," you reduce it "to" something

"It obscured the obvious yet far more important fact"
stating it as obvious minimizes the point you're making, the realizing it is difficult and was enlightening for you. It also doesn't make sense with the "A yet B" structure to say it's *more* important...more important than what? important itself is also a pretty flimsy word- what is it important *for?*

"The tears of an individual" say person, man, woman- individual is distancing.

All in all, I think you should lead with the conversation with John (cut the other quote) as the start of your essay, no stylized page break necessary. Mention that you're Pakistani-Canadian in the 2nd paragraph I'd say, when you're talking about your identity. The first point is what you're not (Ghanian,) not what you are- you get to that after. I think you should make it clear you're trying to highlight your experience, not your ethnicity.

I know that was nit-picky, but hopefully somewhat helpful!




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