Need your feedback on my PS please...

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Need your feedback on my PS please...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:42 am

Below is my draft PS and would like to see your feedback please...thanks in advance..

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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papercut
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Need your feedback on my PS please...

Postby papercut » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A whistling sound followed by two loud explosions literally rocked my world on a hot sunny day in Hawija, Iraq during a deployment. The sound of mortar rounds exploding a few hundred yards sent me and my team scrambling for cover and safety. A fraction of my daily regimen was to be prepared. In this mission, enemy contact was expected anytime, anywhere. I was part of an Air Force Civil Engineer unit assigned to repair bomb craters along main supply routes and support civic related missions for the Northern Iraq region. When I enlisted, the chances of being in an actual combat scenario did not even cross my mind, but the experience made me master preparedness.


I'll give your first paragraph a shot, and then you can generalize the advice to the rest of it.

Anonymous User wrote:A whistling sound followed by two loud explosions literally rocked my world on a hot sunny day in Hawija, Iraq during a deployment.


You shouldn't use adverbs and adjectives if you don't have to. Also, anything the reader is very likely to infer should be left out. I think the above sounds better as:

Papercut wrote:A whistle followed by two explosions rocked my world on a hot day in Hawija, Iraq.


Are there quiet explosions? Probably not what people imagine. So, there's no reason to use "loud" here.

You shouldn't use "literally" here either, no one would think you're speaking figuratively.

Hot days are usually sunny, so you can cut out that adjective.

Finally, we quickly infer what you were doing in Iraq, so no need to say it explicitly. Showing is always better than telling.

Anonymous User wrote:The sound of mortar rounds exploding a few hundred yards sent me and my team scrambling for cover and safety.


Short sentences are almost always better than long. There's a lot of action happening in this scene. Your structure should reflect that. How about:

Papercut wrote:Mortar rounds sent us scrambling for cover.


Or even better:

Papercut wrote:We scrambled for cover.



Anonymous User wrote:A fraction of my daily regimen was to be prepared.


"A fraction" sounds too vague. 1/100000 is a fraction. "Regimen" sounds like jargon, or at least not every day English, which is what you should try to use as much as possible. How about:

Anonymous User wrote:I prepared for this.


Anonymous User wrote: In this mission, enemy contact was expected anytime, anywhere.


If you can get away with a shorter sentence, you should do it. How about:

Papercut wrote:Enemy contact was expected anytime, anywhere.


To me, the writing just feels more urgent and sharp this way.

Anonymous User wrote: I was part of an Air Force Civil Engineer unit assigned to repair bomb craters along main supply routes and support civic related missions for the Northern Iraq region.


Try not to use ANY jargon. What's a "civic related mission?"


Anonymous User wrote:When I enlisted, the chances of being in an actual combat scenario did not even cross my mind, but the experience made me master preparedness.


I think that you should try to stay away from criticizing yourself as much as possible in a PS. I don't think you need to tell us that you're referring to "actual" combat as opposed to imaginary here. "Combat scenario" sounds awful because it's jargon. "[M]ade me master" is too wordy, "I mastered" is much shorter, more active, and so better. Finally, drawing the contrast to before and now just distracts from your main point.

So how about:

Anonymous User wrote:I mastered preparedness through frequent combat .



That's my input here. My recommendations aren't controversial. It's standard good writing practice. I think military folks have a huge advantage over non-military applicants, but you really need to watch out for the jargon. Let me know what you think.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273142
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Need your feedback on my PS please...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:35 pm

i'll definitely make some changes to my PS thanks to your inputs..

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papercut
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Need your feedback on my PS please...

Postby papercut » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:44 am

No problem. Feel free to PM. I'm happy to help.




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