Hoping for some constructive criticism. Thanks In advance.

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Anonymous User
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Hoping for some constructive criticism. Thanks In advance.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:50 am

Life hasn't been easy. I'm the youngest of my parents combined 8 children. I'm also the only male. I was born in the Bronx New York but grew up in East Harlem. Most people who know the area today may not think much about that fact, but in the late 80s and 90/ when crack was king. It was a rough area to grow up In.

My dad was 64 when I was born. I was the only kid in grade school who's dad was in World War Ii. Still to this day I find it difficult to relate to my peers when it comes to talking about our fathers having more in common with men in their 60/.

I still remember staying up at night as a child, running numbers in my head, sure that my father would die very soon. Thankfully I was wrong. Dad lived until 4 days before his 94th birthday. I made a promise to him not long before his death.

Life had gotten in the way of my dreams and ambitions. Running the family business, starting a family of my own, and caring for dad as he got older became my priorities. Dad asked me to remember my dreams. I'm prepared today to do just that. Sadly, and ironically law school would not have been possible while my father lived. Caring for him was a full time job in the winter of his life, a labor of love to be sure, but still a challenge. I hope to graduate from law school one day not just for me. This would be for my children, my wife, and for my father as well.

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papercut
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Re: Hoping for some constructive criticism. Thanks In advance.

Postby papercut » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:26 am

I think you have some decent writer's instincts, but there are a few holes and your grammar is awful.

Life hasn't been easy. I'm the youngest of my parents combined 8 children.


As opposed to separate 8 children? That word, "combined," does absolutely nothing for your sentence. Get rid of it. Also "parents" is missing an apostrophe since it's in the possessive form. Finally, I think you don't have to tell us that you are your parents' child. How's this:

Life hasn't been easy. I'm the youngest of eight children.


I was born in the Bronx New York but grew up in East Harlem. Most people who know the area today may not think much about that fact, but in the late 80s and 90/ when crack was king. It was a rough area to grow up In.


You're missing a comma after Bronx. Why "but," after "New York?" It doesn't seem like you're shifting tone here. I'd go with "and" as the conjunction. You've got "Most" and "may" in one sentence. That's really precise for logicians, but when writing prose these words get in the way. I'd only use "most." Also, it looks like you somehow fat fingered an s into a slash. You also have a period where I think you meant to use a comma. So:

I was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Harlem. Most people who know the area today don't think much about that fact, but in the late 80s and 90s, when crack was king, it was a rough area to grow up In.


I was the only kid in grade school who's dad was in World War Ii.


"Who's" is "who is." You need "whose."

Still to this day I find it difficult to relate to my peers when it comes to talking about our fathers having more in common with men in their 60.


This isn't a very clear sentence. I had to read it several times before I realized that you were the one who identified with men in their 60s. "Still to this day," is clutter. When you use the present tense, we know you're talking about... well, the present. The phrase "when it comes to talking," is way too wordy. "When we talk," is much better. In general stay away from -ing verbs. Finally, why only men in their 60s? Don't women in their 60s have fathers that fought in WWII as well? How about:

I find it difficult to relate to my peers when we talk about our fathers.


I still remember staying up at night as a child, running numbers in my head, sure that my father would die very soon. Thankfully I was wrong. Dad lived until 4 days before his 94th birthday. I made a promise to him not long before his death.


I like this paragraph, and like that you use "dad" instead of father. I would use "dad" throughout because it sounds more personal, and this is a personal statement. But, you're setting yourself up for trouble with this "death bed promise" thing. It's going to be a tough sell.

Life had gotten in the way of my dreams and ambitions. Running the family business, starting a family of my own, and caring for dad as he got older became my priorities.


Ouch. You see your family and career as "getting in the way" of your dreams? That sounds terribly selfish and myopic.

Dad asked me to remember my dreams. I'm prepared today to do just that. Sadly, and ironically law school would not have been possible while my father lived. Caring for him was a full time job in the winter of his life, a labor of love to be sure, but still a challenge.


This is where you totally fall apart.

You do not have to write a Why Law School personal statement. This is the most common way I keep seeing people ruin their PS. Why Law School is a persuasive essay. You are better of avoiding persuasive essays in your PS. The Why Law School PS is something that can be convincingly written by very few people. These people have the right experiences to back up their argument. Think of Erin Brockovich.

By shifting to a Why Law School argument you ruined your story.

I hope to graduate from law school one day not just for me. This would be for my children, my wife, and for my father as well.


This is a nice sentiment but it doesn't square with what you say earlier in the paragraph.

Don't write us a Why Law School PS. Tell us a story. You set the background with your father, the city, and then you didn't tell a story. Tell a story. Let us get to know you. Don't try to sell some weak Why Law School line.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hoping for some constructive criticism. Thanks In advance.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:21 pm

papercut wrote:I think you have some decent writer's instincts, but there are a few holes and your grammar is awful.

Life hasn't been easy. I'm the youngest of my parents combined 8 children.


As opposed to separate 8 children? That word, "combined," does absolutely nothing for your sentence. Get rid of it. Also "parents" is missing an apostrophe since it's in the possessive form. Finally, I think you don't have to tell us that you are your parents' child. How's this:

Life hasn't been easy. I'm the youngest of eight children.


I was born in the Bronx New York but grew up in East Harlem. Most people who know the area today may not think much about that fact, but in the late 80s and 90/ when crack was king. It was a rough area to grow up In.


You're missing a comma after Bronx. Why "but," after "New York?" It doesn't seem like you're shifting tone here. I'd go with "and" as the conjunction. You've got "Most" and "may" in one sentence. That's really precise for logicians, but when writing prose these words get in the way. I'd only use "most." Also, it looks like you somehow fat fingered an s into a slash. You also have a period where I think you meant to use a comma. So:

I was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Harlem. Most people who know the area today don't think much about that fact, but in the late 80s and 90s, when crack was king, it was a rough area to grow up In.


I was the only kid in grade school who's dad was in World War Ii.


"Who's" is "who is." You need "whose."

Still to this day I find it difficult to relate to my peers when it comes to talking about our fathers having more in common with men in their 60.


This isn't a very clear sentence. I had to read it several times before I realized that you were the one who identified with men in their 60s. "Still to this day," is clutter. When you use the present tense, we know you're talking about... well, the present. The phrase "when it comes to talking," is way too wordy. "When we talk," is much better. In general stay away from -ing verbs. Finally, why only men in their 60s? Don't women in their 60s have fathers that fought in WWII as well? How about:

I find it difficult to relate to my peers when we talk about our fathers.


I still remember staying up at night as a child, running numbers in my head, sure that my father would die very soon. Thankfully I was wrong. Dad lived until 4 days before his 94th birthday. I made a promise to him not long before his death.


I like this paragraph, and like that you use "dad" instead of father. I would use "dad" throughout because it sounds more personal, and this is a personal statement. But, you're setting yourself up for trouble with this "death bed promise" thing. It's going to be a tough sell.

Life had gotten in the way of my dreams and ambitions. Running the family business, starting a family of my own, and caring for dad as he got older became my priorities.


Ouch. You see your family and career as "getting in the way" of your dreams? That sounds terribly selfish and myopic.

Dad asked me to remember my dreams. I'm prepared today to do just that. Sadly, and ironically law school would not have been possible while my father lived. Caring for him was a full time job in the winter of his life, a labor of love to be sure, but still a challenge.


This is where you totally fall apart.

You do not have to write a Why Law School personal statement. This is the most common way I keep seeing people ruin their PS. Why Law School is a persuasive essay. You are better of avoiding persuasive essays in your PS. The Why Law School PS is something that can be convincingly written by very few people. These people have the right experiences to back up their argument. Think of Erin Brockovich.

By shifting to a Why Law School argument you ruined your story.

I hope to graduate from law school one day not just for me. This would be for my children, my wife, and for my father as well.


This is a nice sentiment but it doesn't square with what you say earlier in the paragraph.

Don't write us a Why Law School PS. Tell us a story. You set the background with your father, the city, and then you didn't tell a story. Tell a story. Let us get to know you. Don't try to sell some weak Why Law School line.



Thanks for all the tips. Grammar is a tough thing for me so I'll be getting it cleaned up before sending anything out.

Is this a better story than the fighting PS? Probably not tough to make that connection. Should I just stick to this?




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