Any thoughts on this personal statement?- deleted

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Anonymous User
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Any thoughts on this personal statement?- deleted

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:04 pm

Deleted, thank you so much for the help!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CLhouston
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby CLhouston » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:32 am

^^ above post was mine. Any input? My main concern is over the first paragraph and wondering if it is pointless, but I'd love feedback on all of it.

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papercut
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby papercut » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:36 am

I don't like the first paragraph, and you can definitely do without it.

I see you're afraid of using contractions. You know there's nothing wrong with contractions. I think your writing sounds awkward like this.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby nothingtosee » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:28 am

P1: can probably strike the whole thing. Helps you to keep in mind in the crafting, but show don't tell.

P2: why tell me life experiences had changed you? Show it, or omit it. Maybe include a two sentence parenting story so I have a picture of the challenge.

P3: don't say you've ALWAYS wanted to be a lawyer. It's false. I would give narrative here, with you "puttin me in ur shoes" during this challenge. Concrete details. Craft a story.

P4: tbh I think the race thing is cliche and I would totally cut it.

P5: this para has the most goin on. Why not introduce the parenting hallenges to start, reveal the diagnosis midway, then focus on why law in the last third? This would be my strongest advice.

P6: once again, show me don't tell me.

Keep going! There's some good stuff in here! Pull it out, and build upon it. Honestly I would strongl suggest rewriting it to focus on your son. That's an image a reader will remember when they put down the text.

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Malakai
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby Malakai » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:07 am

I agree with some of what the above poster said.

While the race topic may be cliche, if it is extremely important to you then consider using elements of that specific race and the area surrounding it to set you apart from the others.

The paragraphs afterwards are pretty good, but as mentioned before, lack alot of detail.You also seem to be repeating yourself with ,"I know I need to just take a step -->" . Things like these only need to be said in the beginning and end if this theme is the most relevant and personally touching to you.

$0.02

CLhouston
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby CLhouston » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:16 am

Great advice, thank you all.

:lol: Contractions - I've spent the last two years having contractions beaten out of me in grad school. It has become my norm, but I completely see what you saying about it not reading as well.

Once again, thank you. The re-write has already begun.

CLhouston
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby CLhouston » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:28 am

Just to be clear, the general consensus is that all strengths should never be said straight out, as in ... my strength is ABC. A narrative should be given that expresses that unsaid strength to the reader. :?: :?:

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nothingtosee
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby nothingtosee » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:13 pm

CLhouston wrote:Just to be clear, the general consensus is that all strengths should never be said straight out, as in ... my strength is ABC. A narrative should be given that expresses that unsaid strength to the reader. :?: :?:


I'm a determined, dedicated worker.

vs.

At 5am, the streets were empty. But if I was going to do it, it had to be before Alex woke up, before I made him breakfast, before I sent him to school, and before I got to the bus 7A at 6:43.

Obviously I'm just pulling stuff out of the air here, but the second one is read and remembered. The first has no meaning and is discarded by the reader.

kublaikahn
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:19 pm

I like your essay, though it is poorly conveyed. I disagree with nothingtolose about the contractions.


You start by telling us that your strength is introspection, and finish by telling us your strength is endurance and self-belief. I see how those are connected, but the PS meanders because you do not tie it down in your thesis paragraph.

I would structure it along the lines of the heroic journey:

1. Status quo - Saw the world as a series of obstacles;
2. Call to challenge - dreamt of something more/becoming a lawyer;
3. Departure/Trials - went to school while raising military family;
4. Approach/Crisis - fear of failure/self imposed limits;
5. Result - going to law school/role model for your kids;
6 Return/New Life - new vision of reality

I shrank this down to something manageable. You can shrink it further by combining, for example, 3 and 4. If you do this, you will not need to state expressly things like "I am thankful for the life experiences that have made me a resilient, strong, and independent person." To find the room to write this you will need to remove the distracting stuff like "I feel that my life experiences give me a realistic understanding of how the world works, and I find that my connection to others is not forced. I can genuinely relate to others and I value their experiences." It is a bit cheesy anyway. That statement in no way distinguishes you.

Finally, you need to articulate the thesis more concisely. "I come from a military family and operated with a military mindset. I saw the world as a series of obstacles meant to be overcome. Where none existed, I made my own. But I do not want to do that anymore."

CLhouston
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby CLhouston » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:26 pm

Deleted, thank you so much for the help!
Last edited by CLhouston on Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:37 pm

This is amazing. It is almost as if it is written by a different writer. Your passion sharpens your focus.

CLhouston
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby CLhouston » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:51 pm

kublaikahn wrote:This is amazing. It is almost as if it is written by a different writer. Your passion sharpens your focus.



Thank you so much! I am feeling much better about it. I was nervous about taking out the parts about my struggles, because I felt like I had to explain myself in some way. However, overall I think I was just sounding whiny rather than actually accomplishing anything with it. ha.

kublaikahn
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:07 pm

CLhouston wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:This is amazing. It is almost as if it is written by a different writer. Your passion sharpens your focus.



Thank you so much! I am feeling much better about it. I was nervous about taking out the parts about my struggles, because I felt like I had to explain myself in some way. However, overall I think I was just sounding whiny rather than actually accomplishing anything with it. ha.



That is not to say you cannot still clean it up a bit. I worry that you get too into policy and the law, especially around IDEA. The legal standards are more complex than you say and it wastes space in going into it regardless. I think what you need to do is simplify and only say parents are fighting for their kids right to both learn and be a part of the school. They are often unsuccessful because they lack the legal understanding to hold schools to account.

I would avoid the rhetorical questions to the extent possible. One is fine. Maybe, maybe two.

But this is one of the few really believable why law essays.

CLhouston
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby CLhouston » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:54 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
CLhouston wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:This is amazing. It is almost as if it is written by a different writer. Your passion sharpens your focus.



Thank you so much! I am feeling much better about it. I was nervous about taking out the parts about my struggles, because I felt like I had to explain myself in some way. However, overall I think I was just sounding whiny rather than actually accomplishing anything with it. ha.



That is not to say you cannot still clean it up a bit. I worry that you get too into policy and the law, especially around IDEA. The legal standards are more complex than you say and it wastes space in going into it regardless. I think what you need to do is simplify and only say parents are fighting for their kids right to both learn and be a part of the school. They are often unsuccessful because they lack the legal understanding to hold schools to account.

I would avoid the rhetorical questions to the extent possible. One is fine. Maybe, maybe two.

But this is one of the few really believable why law essays.


Recommendations noted. Thank you again. Your advice is extremely helpful.

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papercut
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Re: Any thoughts on this personal statement?

Postby papercut » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:39 pm

Holly shit buckets, what an improvement. I actually got goosebumps reading it. Way to go!




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