Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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TheBook

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Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

Postby TheBook » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:43 pm

Been trying to improve my personal statement, and was wondering if anyone finds it to be an appropriate topic and/or if there would be any tips to tailor it better. If I should chose or seek out a different topic, please by all means say so.

Still in need of suggestions/advice, if I could PM my personal statement to someone I would greatly appreciate it.
Last edited by TheBook on Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:32 pm, edited 27 times in total.

LionKillerBJJ

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Re: Honest Critique - Personal Statement

Postby LionKillerBJJ » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:54 pm

Not bad, well written, but too much about Lincoln and not enough about you and your desire to attend law school. You sort of gloss over that in the second to last paragraph and go back to the painting. I would just say to put more about you in it.

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TheBook

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Re: Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

Postby TheBook » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:15 am

Changed around and added more information to bolster it, could really use additional reflection and critique. Your comments have been very helpful.

perfectSCore

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Re: Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

Postby perfectSCore » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:39 am

Lots of grammar mistakes, awkward language and bad sentences. Here are a few:

I remember that birthday as my grandmother pressed the old chalk painting into my chest, the colors rubbing off onto my clean white shirt.


And ultimately, I did come to realize a new purpose which it served, that in me it sparked a desire that one similarly experiences from reading a newly discovered book, or encountering a specific song, it is something that one feels.


It was at unfortunate that my grandmother had passed, but it was shortly after that one day the question arose in my mind of why the picture had still remained on my wall.



From a content perspective, I don't really get much of a picture of any of your positive attributes, just some vague sentences telling me that you're interested in the law, which, presumably, I already know because you're applying in the first place. This sentence in particular is really bad:

Truth be told, that old cheap painting and the curiosity, the change in the very way that I thought which it provoked, is impossible to adequately explain in its entirety with words.

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TheBook

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Re: Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

Postby TheBook » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:51 pm

perfectSCore wrote:Lots of grammar mistakes, awkward language and bad sentences. Here are a few:

I remember that birthday as my grandmother pressed the old chalk painting into my chest, the colors rubbing off onto my clean white shirt.


And ultimately, I did come to realize a new purpose which it served, that in me it sparked a desire that one similarly experiences from reading a newly discovered book, or encountering a specific song, it is something that one feels.


It was at unfortunate that my grandmother had passed, but it was shortly after that one day the question arose in my mind of why the picture had still remained on my wall.



From a content perspective, I don't really get much of a picture of any of your positive attributes, just some vague sentences telling me that you're interested in the law, which, presumably, I already know because you're applying in the first place. This sentence in particular is really bad:

Truth be told, that old cheap painting and the curiosity, the change in the very way that I thought which it provoked, is impossible to adequately explain in its entirety with words.


Honestly, thank you for your advice. I have done some initial work to fix the examples you provided; however, do you think it would be wise to find a new topic entirely? I would like to relate it more deeply to what they would be looking for, but I understand if it is much wiser to go in a different direction.

perfectSCore

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Re: Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

Postby perfectSCore » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:13 pm

I think the first paragraph is interesting and not cookie cutter; by the end of it, i'm curious what you plan to say. That's a positive. The downside is, as often is the case with interesting first paragraphs, you've got to do a great job tying it to yourself in a meaningful way, or it just feels like you're trying too hard to connect dots that aren't actually connected.

I wouldn't say scrap it for sure, but overall my sentiment is that you don't really do anything that justifies the topic as it currently stands. The ties to the painting and what it's inspired you to do are a bit weak all around.

This paragraph:
I soon became fascinated with the simple painting that had gone unnoticed for so many years, not merely because of the critical thinking and knowledge it had led me to, but rather how it did so. That the desire to identify a newfound purpose for that simple painting would lead me to weigh and contemplate the many circumstances of a complex scenario with depth, to reconcile the existence of both the ugly truth and sanitized narratives that so often take hold. It was this experience and interest that drove me to pursue classes on the law and criminal justice in college, to provide the first layer of a foundation to better understand its intent, language, application, and potential sources of systemic injustices which still in numerous respects remain entrenched. And not least of all, it would lead me to consider the importance of both intent and consequence, and how the former is equally vital to instigating genuine and truly effective change. The implications would continue to ripple outward over time, and I became familiar with a sense of skepticism that had initially seemed alien; to accept what was fact while still attempting to understand and reconcile often conflicting claims from different perspectives.


Is mostly just you saying thins about yourself without really showing it. In short, this paragraph reads as "this x object led me to think harder". It's just you saying a bunch of interesting relationships (the importance of intent and consequence, etc) without tying any of it to yourself. Basically, anyone could say what you're saying, and (1) i'm not convinced that you really do appreciate those things; and (2) the things you are saying don't have anything to really do with the painting.

If you're more comfortable with a different topic, by all means write out a draft and see what happens. At the least, writing out multiple topics is a helpful exercise in itself, as it allows you to examine yourself more fully and practice encapsulating what it is about yourself you're trying to say.

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TheBook

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Re: Honest Critique - Personal Statement (PM) Updated

Postby TheBook » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:56 pm

perfectSCore wrote:I think the first paragraph is interesting and not cookie cutter; by the end of it, i'm curious what you plan to say. That's a positive. The downside is, as often is the case with interesting first paragraphs, you've got to do a great job tying it to yourself in a meaningful way, or it just feels like you're trying too hard to connect dots that aren't actually connected.

I wouldn't say scrap it for sure, but overall my sentiment is that you don't really do anything that justifies the topic as it currently stands. The ties to the painting and what it's inspired you to do are a bit weak all around.

This paragraph:
I soon became fascinated with the simple painting that had gone unnoticed for so many years, not merely because of the critical thinking and knowledge it had led me to, but rather how it did so. That the desire to identify a newfound purpose for that simple painting would lead me to weigh and contemplate the many circumstances of a complex scenario with depth, to reconcile the existence of both the ugly truth and sanitized narratives that so often take hold. It was this experience and interest that drove me to pursue classes on the law and criminal justice in college, to provide the first layer of a foundation to better understand its intent, language, application, and potential sources of systemic injustices which still in numerous respects remain entrenched. And not least of all, it would lead me to consider the importance of both intent and consequence, and how the former is equally vital to instigating genuine and truly effective change. The implications would continue to ripple outward over time, and I became familiar with a sense of skepticism that had initially seemed alien; to accept what was fact while still attempting to understand and reconcile often conflicting claims from different perspectives.


Is mostly just you saying thins about yourself without really showing it. In short, this paragraph reads as "this x object led me to think harder". It's just you saying a bunch of interesting relationships (the importance of intent and consequence, etc) without tying any of it to yourself. Basically, anyone could say what you're saying, and (1) i'm not convinced that you really do appreciate those things; and (2) the things you are saying don't have anything to really do with the painting.

If you're more comfortable with a different topic, by all means write out a draft and see what happens. At the least, writing out multiple topics is a helpful exercise in itself, as it allows you to examine yourself more fully and practice encapsulating what it is about yourself you're trying to say.


Your analysis is very informative. I was hoping for a brief response, if possible.

Honestly, I am grappling with the task of writing the PS because during UG I was heavily involved in helping a family member through some tough times, (and consequently) do not have much in the way of extracurriculars/service to include and bolster the overall message of my PS. (ie: to show rather than tell).

However, I have the impression that such a story which revolves strongly around someone else's experiences/hardship would not be an appropriately focused topic for a PS.

Should I steer clear of interweaving something of this nature in my PS, or even writing a PS centered on this experience?



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