Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:07 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:48 am

Well, I think it's the wrong way to go, but if you're set, whatever. It's not going to get you dinged I guess. Please use simpler words, though. Your topic is already pushing you toward sounding arrogant and overly intellectual, avoid exacerbating that with unnecessary 10 dollar words like "determinate," "exodus," "sans," "deviance," and a bunch of others. It's not that any of them are particularly surprising/over-the-top alone (i.e., it doesn't come off like you were scrambling through the thesaurus to find fancier words), but you seem to consistently take the less commonly used synonym. Just write like a normal person having a conversation, but more polished.

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MidwestLifer
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby MidwestLifer » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:55 am

I managed to read three lines before I decided that whatever mundane task I'm doing at the office was more exciting and definitely less pretentious. :?

jepper
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby jepper » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:13 am

MidwestLifer wrote:I managed to read three lines before I decided that whatever mundane task I'm doing at the office was more exciting and definitely less pretentious. :?


This.

kcdc1
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:18 am

It's about your politics, which is questionable, and it's a bit scattered.

I say that politics is questionable for two reasons. First, your reader may not agree with you, and while that shouldn't hurt you in theory, it's hard to imagine it helping. Second, it's a "say" rather than "show" topic. You're only writing about what you think -- instead tell us about something that you did that tells a story about what you think. Pure theory is boring to read and makes you sound stuffy and pretentious -- a particular risk given that you appear to lean right.

As to the scattered, I had trouble figuring out what your point was. The first line is a disaster. At 24, you are a kid in the eyes of your reader. Whether you're wise or naive, your age puts you squarely in the nexus where your "optimism" is most likely to be considered naivete by your elders, including those elders that will read your app. And then you talk about libertarianism for a while, but I'm not sure what the change is that your getting at. You used to judge people that you considered morally inferior, and now you try to be more tolerant? Is that really the message you want to send in a law school application?

My advice: tell a story -- if you want to keep the same theme, you can talk about a situation that you'd judged incorrectly (e.g. on a camping trip, no need to talk about judging people) -- and add some self-effacing humor so you don't come off so stuffy. Show, don't tell.

Oh, and definitely don't disclose that your mother sees you as a perennial underachiever that can't make friends. You're going for likability. "Even my mom thinks I'm lazy and pretentious" is not a winner. Use common sense dude.
Last edited by kcdc1 on Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:54 am, edited 5 times in total.

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chuckbass
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby chuckbass » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:20 am

I think your biggest problem is that in 5 whole paragraphs you managed to say almost nothing substantive. Honestly, I would scrap the whole thing, there's nothing worth salvaging.

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Emma.
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Emma. » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:24 am

Maybe this could be trimmed into a workable Yale250, but I don't think it really works as a personal statement. At the very least, as Elston mentioned, please consider your word choice, which is painfully over the top and won't impress anyone.

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Big Red
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Big Red » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:31 am

kcdc1 wrote:You used to judge people that you considered morally inferior, and now you try to be more tolerant? Is that really the message you want to send in a law school application?


This was also what I managed to glean, but only after a pretty intensive effort to get my eyeballs to stop rolling.

Being mean so that you will strongly consider rewriting to make the most out of what I'd bet are pretty good numbers if you're looking HYS

hdunlop
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby hdunlop » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:32 am

I actually think you may be in general a very fluid writer as it has a nice cadence despite the Frasier Craneness of it all but I also think these people are being considerably nicer than I was going to be when I saw this last night and decided not to respond. Agree that this is redeemable as a Yale 250. Harvard will take you based on numbers if you have them and won't care about this either way. Could be wrong but I think Stanford would read this and think you'd be a great fit elsewhere.

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Emma.
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Emma. » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:48 am

George Orwell wrote:Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

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Gray
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Gray » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:51 am

I'd keep in mind that they're going to use this to get a sense of your personality and how well you'll fit into the class they've put together. They want someone who has something unique to offer his or her peers.

What does this say about you? To me, it says that you're 24, you're obnoxiously verbose and you think your political ideas/moral meanderings are enough to get you into YHS.

So I'm with everyone else - your best move is to start over. But, if you're going to keep the idea, try to rework the language. Readability is very important and your PS is not the place to put your vocabulary on display.

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chuckbass
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby chuckbass » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:53 am

I also disagree about people saying this could be made into a Yale 250... I think this is way too boring for that

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lapata
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby lapata » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:06 pm

This is not unorthodox. It is painfully orthodox. It is a chain of unconnected truisms and puffed up abstractions that don't hang together in any meaningful way. And despite the theme of 'see all sides', the tone announces a confrontational person with a broad-strokes style of expression, who uses a hammer when he needs a scalpel. The medium is the message, man.

And it does not pass the BS test - oh you look at all sides in an issue? Prove it. Give us a debate you solved or interpersonal conflict you mediated. Did you negotiate with a school club or job? Do peers look to you? Are you a leader in your community? Do you have any specific, tangible evidence that you're not just selling us snake oil?

Also ask yourself what minimum number of intelligent comments it would take for you to admit that this is not very good and to roll up your sleeves and make another draft. Don't be lazy. There are elements here that work but it is very far from done.

Chornivoron
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Chornivoron » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:53 pm

Please don't submit this. I really, really pushed myself to finish just the first paragraph. It's boring, pretentious, and - worst of all - does not communicate effectively. All this says about you is that you're a conceited asshole, in addition to being naive.

Just giving my honest opinions since that's how the admissions people will look at it!

Anonymous User
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:45 pm

Thank you all for your feedback. Consider it scrapped.

hdunlop
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Re: Need Cold Readers, Final Draft for YHS, Please Do Not Quote

Postby hdunlop » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:46 pm

It takes balls to be like, "damn," and from what I've seen most people who get mixed or especially negative feedback don't listen so you deserve a significant amount of credit for doing that.




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