I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:39 pm

This is a rough first draft of my statement. I want to know if I'm on the right track here or am I doing something wrong. Please be as critical as needed, and give any input that might help me improve it (or write something else entirely). Well here it goes:

***GONE*** The Updated version is a few posts down.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

rstahl
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Re: I need some help with my statement

Postby rstahl » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:48 am

The topic is somewhat generic, but the execution is even more generic. It reads this way because you tell more than you show.

It seems a bit disjointed as well. You were directionless, then Walgreens, biology, law school. The links between them are either absent or arguably weak. If I were an ad comm I might wonder whether law school is something you have given a great deal of thought. Except for a sentence at the beginning and one at the end, I would have had no idea law school was an aspiration. You could just as easily have been aspiring to go to med school save those two sentences.

"If I had a nickel for every time that my family and friends told me, 'You should be a doctor, because you know how to empathize.'"

"I am ready now. I’m ready, and thankful, for the opportunity to be considered for acceptance your medical school, and to take on the challenges that will await me if accepted"

If you read each of your topic sentences in order, there IS a clear narrative, but each of the paragraphs need to serve as transitions from the preceding paragraph and into the following paragraph.

I think there is too much detail about your work at Walgreens. The fact that your managers relied on you first for hectic shifts serves your intended purpose just fine without telling the reader all of your responsibilities.

Your opening paragraph states that you just want to do something that will have a positive impact on the world around you, yet I get no sense of how you being a lawyer would help you accomplish that.

Your paragraph about being motivated by new a perspective is too glossed over. The ultimate purpose of the statement is to make you a marketable commodity for the law school. This is the paragraph to do it, but I don't know what immersing yourself in your studies does to show that. It's just something everybody says, but is null without clear, anecdotal backup to it. The only sight of that is when you say you lead review sessions, though you give no details as to what that entails and then the paragraph is over. I read it, but don't feel it or see it.

I think you need to do a lot of introspection to make your PS feel more organic and earned. Any other subject matter to throw into the mix?

Just as a point of reference...my final PS draft looked nothing like my first PS draft. 12 or 13 drafts, some with large overhauls, some with nitpicky changes. Takes time.
Last edited by rstahl on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:32 pm

Rstahl: Thank you so much! This is exactly the sort of advice I was looking for. I see what you mean about it being generic and what not. I will implement the changes you've suggested and post an improved version of my statement.

If anyone else has anything more to add, please feel free to do so. I welcome any advice you can give me. Thank you!

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:38 pm

So I changed some things around based on the advice that I was given. Can you tell me what you think of this one? Am I making any progress here?

EDITED OUT

***RSTAHL: Could you please edit your post and remove the old version of my statement from it? ***
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:34 pm

Bump. Anyone?

rstahl
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby rstahl » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Anyone?


I can't look over it this moment, but I'll take a look when I get home from work. I'm on the west coast BTW so that may be a while. :lol:

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:38 pm

No worries! Take your time! I really appreciate your help with this

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:38 pm

Bump :D

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dnptan
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby dnptan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:56 pm

As a fellow Bio Major, good luck in getting in!

Critique: your thesis is "I had no idea what I wanted, but now I do" yet your conclusion is arguably weak at best. I understand that you do Biology, and you have a strong work ethic, but why would you want to go to law school? Just for health law? You don't need to be a lawyer to be involved in health law - you can be a doctor, a nutritionist, etc.

This uncertainty, coupled with your thesis (spec. opening statement) makes it seem that you just want to do law because "why not?".

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:20 pm

dnptan wrote:As a fellow Bio Major, good luck in getting in!

Critique: your thesis is "I had no idea what I wanted, but now I do" yet your conclusion is arguably weak at best. I understand that you do Biology, and you have a strong work ethic, but why would you want to go to law school? Just for health law? You don't need to be a lawyer to be involved in health law - you can be a doctor, a nutritionist, etc.

This uncertainty, coupled with your thesis (spec. opening statement) makes it seem that you just want to do law because "why not?".


Thank you, Good luck to you as well!
And yes I see what you mean that my reasoning does sound more like just "why not?" I appreciate the tip, and shall work on strengthening it.

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1Lin2015
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby 1Lin2015 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:25 pm

terrible. this reads like one of the most cliche, overdone topics among law school personal statements.

the first few lines are very boring. adcoms, who have been reading personal statements cycle after cycle, already know where you're going from the first sentence.

to be honest, i only read the first few lines, and i think i figured it out:

1) i never knew what i wanted to be.
2) everyone/family told me to be a lawyer because i know how to argue (very cliche start) * also, this is where i stopped
3) in the rest of the paper you're going to write about some college experience that made you realize that you do want to be a lawyer. you're going to end with some cheesy line saying, now i know what i want to be

i'm saying this for your sake. come up with a personal and unique experience and use that as the base for a personal statement

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dnptan
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby dnptan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:31 pm

1Lin2015 wrote:terrible. this reads like one of the most cliche, overdone topics among law school personal statements.

the first few lines are very boring. adcoms, who have been reading personal statements cycle after cycle, already know where you're going from the first sentence.

to be honest, i only read the first few lines, and i think i figured it out:

1) i never knew what i wanted to be.
2) everyone/family told me to be a lawyer because i know how to argue (very cliche start) * also, this is where i stopped
3) in the rest of the paper you're going to write about some college experience that made you realize that you do want to be a lawyer. you're going to end with some cheesy line saying, now i know what i want to be

i'm saying this for your sake. come up with a personal and unique experience and use that as the base for a personal statement


I agree it needs work, but don't say a work is terrible without reading the whole thing. Reading the whole thing is an important habit for lawyers-to-be.

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1Lin2015
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby 1Lin2015 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:33 pm

so i decided to read it after my post. seriously man, this is not how you want your personal statement to be. its extremely general. your experience at walgreens gave you perspective. is that supposed to make law school adcoms interested... don't talk about your negatives, unless they seriously impacted you in some way. saying: i didnt start off too well in school. i mainly took electives... leaves negative connotations. sit down, and think/brainstorm the small, peculiar experiences you may possess. think of what you learned from them. that's the advice i have to give if you want a personal statement that will help your application. as it is now, even after the necessary editing, it will help you in no way. if anything, you will be judged by your numbers alone.

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1Lin2015
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby 1Lin2015 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:37 pm

@dnptan

you're right, i was a bit too quick to judge. and too dismissive. but after reading it fully, i stick to the same conclusion (with more polite words). recommending the op come up with a new ps topic is the best way we can help.

and lawyers-to-be must be able to determine what is should and shouldn't be read. they often cant read the whole thing of everything. just saying..

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dnptan
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby dnptan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:57 pm

1Lin2015 wrote:so i decided to read it after my post. seriously man, this is not how you want your personal statement to be. its extremely general. your experience at walgreens gave you perspective. is that supposed to make law school adcoms interested... don't talk about your negatives, unless they seriously impacted you in some way. saying: i didnt start off too well in school. i mainly took electives... leaves negative connotations. sit down, and think/brainstorm the small, peculiar experiences you may possess. think of what you learned from them. that's the advice i have to give if you want a personal statement that will help your application. as it is now, even after the necessary editing, it will help you in no way. if anything, you will be judged by your numbers alone.


+1, it might even be a bit of a hindrance.

As for reading the whole thing, I learned the hard way that if a client gives you material, no matter how badly it is written, you must read the whole thing. Word per word. But then again it may depend on the industry. I work in intellectual property, so having a "spring that actuates a drive mechanism" is very different from a "spring actuated drive mechanism". It could mean the difference between a million dollar patent or a million dollar infringement.

Anonymous User
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Re: I need some help with my statement *Second Draft*

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:23 pm

dnptan and 1Lin2015:

I appreciate you both commenting on my statement. To be honest, this was somewhat rushed and I just wanted something that was okay and wouldn't hurt me (I know its foolish, but I'd love for them to judge me only based on my numbers haha), but your points are well taken. I agree with your overall opinions about the quality of the statement. I will be scrapping this one and starting over.

Thanks again everyone! I will use the advice I received here to draft a new, and improved, statement.




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