Personal statement 2.0

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
NYRags14
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:44 pm

Personal statement 2.0

Postby NYRags14 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:57 am

deleted.
Last edited by NYRags14 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

NYRags14
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:44 pm

Re: Personal statement 2.0

Postby NYRags14 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:44 pm

bump. looking for feedback after mixed reviews on the 1st version..

ellayo
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:16 pm

Re: Personal statement 2.0

Postby ellayo » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:53 pm

First of all, you have a nice, clean style of writing. You do a good job of peppering in shot sentences to break up the longer ones (which, in general, aren't very long). I did not find any major grammatical corrections.

However, I think you might want to rethink some of the content here. I see what you are trying to do with the first two paragraphs. They have nice descriptions and a narrative feel. The problem is that they are full of unnecessary information--like that you grabbed a bagel and that it took you 15 minutes to walk to class. When you are "showing" rather than telling, you want to show the type of things that are important. I get that you had to walk 10 minutes extra to this class as compared to your others, but that's more of a minor inconvenience than some major hurdle you overcame. Giving a detailed description of your walk to class is not all that interesting unless you weave something else more meaningful into it, or if the walk itself was really arduous or something. I am going to show you an example of the type of narrative you are going for. It is from a sample posted on the U Chicago site:

Taking my place near the end of the line, I glanced nervously at the hundreds of people waiting in front of me. What had I gotten myself into? My mind raced, trying to think of excuses to leave as I spent every minute worrying about how awkward I might feel, how I don’t know how to dance, and how uncomfortable the whole night would be. Before I knew it, the end of the line became the beginning, and my turn arrived. “Brett,” I heard a woman say. “This is Melissa. She’s going to be your date for the evening.” I took a deep breath, summoning every ounce of confidence inside me while furiously trying to hide the insecurity plastered all over my face. I introduced myself, “Hi Melissa. It’s so good to meet you. Are you ready to have some fun?” I took hold of her wheelchair’s handles—and we were off.

Here, he is creating a narrative out of what could be a pretty mundane thing--waiting in line for a dance. He is successful for a couple of different reasons. First of all, it is a snapshot into his mind. Instead of saying "I was nervous and self conscious during my first volunteer experience," he lets us imagine him in that experience. It is also successful because the banality of standing in line nervously turns out to be waiting for a pretty interesting volunteer program. Then he goes on to explain how this specific volunteer experience has bolstered his self confidence. There is a payoff in that we see him second guessing the experience, working up the confidence to go through with it, and then learning from the experience. What I am trying to get at is don't dramatize things unnecessarily. These little anecdotes are meant to demonstrate something...not just prove that you can accurately describe a rainy day.

Next you go on to describe feeling let down in your score of 96, and use that as a sort of proof for your interest in the law. This did not speak to me. I guess I just didn't find it very compelling that your "aha" moment came because you wanted receive a higher mark on your test. I would much rather hear about what it was in the class itself that piqued your interest. Did your professor reach you in some way? Was it the content of the class? A specific case you studied that got you all hot and bothered? You get into your passion for criminology and state that it is near and dear to your heart. Why? I would rather read one essay about how you found your passion for that than what you have currently.

I think the end is the strongest part--but you are also cramming a lot in. You talk about your low grades in school, how your post grad year shaped you, how you decided to give the family business a try, your hesitancy at pursuing the law and eventual decision to go for it anyway. It's just a lot. Maybe take out the part about low grades in high school...it is not something that they will see elsewhere in your application, and it could weaken their opinion of your ability to thrive with the rigors of law school.

One last thought...you have a parallel structure in there where you talk to one of your parents and he/she tells you something about the way you feel and you start the next paragraph with "she/he was right." Usually I love parallels in writing, but here it sort of puts you in the backseat of these realizations. It makes it seem like you are more of a passive actor in these decisions and realizations...like you did not come to the conclusions on your own. I dunno..just a thought.

I know it's not an easy criticism to take, but I think you could really benefit from different content here. Even if you just chose to focus in more on something besides not getting 100% on your test in the beginning. Best of luck. I hope that this will help in some way.

NYRags14
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:44 pm

Re: Personal statement 2.0

Postby NYRags14 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:02 am

Cannot thank you enough for that critique. exactly the kind of constructive criticism i was seeking. seriously, i appreciate you taking so much time and effort and offering some great input

ellayo
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:16 pm

Re: Personal statement 2.0

Postby ellayo » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:49 pm

Glad to be of help. If you want to PM me your next draft you can. Pay it forward by giving feedback to another poster.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.