Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

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170orDie

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Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby 170orDie » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:11 pm

*edit

Removed essay in fear of copywriters.
Last edited by 170orDie on Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Freeze

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby Mr. Freeze » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:09 am

"One afternoon during my final year of middle school, I entered my father’s room and approached him with this overwhelming dichotomyin hand. I lamented to him about the difficulties...."

Put down the thesaurus. In my opinion these words here sound unnatural and more of an attempt to fluff the PS with sophisticated words. Also how do you approach someone with a dichotomy "in hand"? I think you mean "in mind"

With his tough, strife endured hands, he pulled me close and said softly

This also sounds odd to me. Why not say "worn"

Otherwise I think its well written, and an interesting topic I've never heard before.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby Mr. Archer » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:16 pm

It's a really good topic, although I don't think it's really computer science themed. The interesting part of the topic is about being the "Jang-nam." The part about your college project is just the application of what you've learned through life, and any story about what you've learned could be swapped in really.

I agree with the other poster about word choice. The statement contains awkward descriptions because you're forcing in uncommon words. You want to show you're smart, but you also want the story to read well. Something like saying you approached your father about you "conflicted feelings about being Jang-nam" can be just as good as "this overwhelming dichotomy." I'm not specifically saying you need to change that sentence. That's just an example of language choice, not really a critique that your phrasing didn't work at that point.

The statement looks like it will need to be edited down if there's a two-page limit. Some of the description you provide is nice but no essential. For example, the paragraph you have about bringing together aspects of code could be cut, except the last sentence could be the conclusion of the preceding one or the idea could be incorporated into the first sentence of the next paragraph. The technical details of computer science don't need much attention in our statement, but one or two technical descriptions would be good. The parts about responsibility/leadership are more important. If you're applying to schools with a two-page limit, make sure this fits two-pages to begin with and then you can expand if others allow more.

The last paragraph carries the right message, but the execution could be better. You discuss an ambitious spirit and unbending will. I think unbending will goes with the overall statement because being Jang-nam taught you determination, which you mention in the last sentence. I don't really see how you are taught an ambitious spirit. That's more of an innate quality to me. I also don't think being a law student or lawyer requires it (you'll see this once you attend law school and become a lawyer).

Hope that makes sense. Good luck.

170orDie

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby 170orDie » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:12 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:It's a really good topic, although I don't think it's really computer science themed. The interesting part of the topic is about being the "Jang-nam." The part about your college project is just the application of what you've learned through life, and any story about what you've learned could be swapped in really.

I agree with the other poster about word choice. The statement contains awkward descriptions because you're forcing in uncommon words. You want to show you're smart, but you also want the story to read well. Something like saying you approached your father about you "conflicted feelings about being Jang-nam" can be just as good as "this overwhelming dichotomy." I'm not specifically saying you need to change that sentence. That's just an example of language choice, not really a critique that your phrasing didn't work at that point.

The statement looks like it will need to be edited down if there's a two-page limit. Some of the description you provide is nice but no essential. For example, the paragraph you have about bringing together aspects of code could be cut, except the last sentence could be the conclusion of the preceding one or the idea could be incorporated into the first sentence of the next paragraph. The technical details of computer science don't need much attention in our statement, but one or two technical descriptions would be good. The parts about responsibility/leadership are more important. If you're applying to schools with a two-page limit, make sure this fits two-pages to begin with and then you can expand if others allow more.

The last paragraph carries the right message, but the execution could be better. You discuss an ambitious spirit and unbending will. I think unbending will goes with the overall statement because being Jang-nam taught you determination, which you mention in the last sentence. I don't really see how you are taught an ambitious spirit. That's more of an innate quality to me. I also don't think being a law student or lawyer requires it (you'll see this once you attend law school and become a lawyer).

Hope that makes sense. Good luck.


Thanks for your critique! I do agree that upon a second review some of my sentences seem to be constructed. I'll try to make them flow a little better.

170orDie

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby 170orDie » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:13 pm

Mr. Freeze wrote:"One afternoon during my final year of middle school, I entered my father’s room and approached him with this overwhelming dichotomyin hand. I lamented to him about the difficulties...."

Put down the thesaurus. In my opinion these words here sound unnatural and more of an attempt to fluff the PS with sophisticated words. Also how do you approach someone with a dichotomy "in hand"? I think you mean "in mind"

With his tough, strife endured hands, he pulled me close and said softly

This also sounds odd to me. Why not say "worn"

Otherwise I think its well written, and an interesting topic I've never heard before.


I appreciate your critique! Yea I might have gotten a little carried away with my word choice. I'll revise. Thanks!

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:23 pm

170orDie wrote:
Mr. Archer wrote:It's a really good topic, although I don't think it's really computer science themed. The interesting part of the topic is about being the "Jang-nam." The part about your college project is just the application of what you've learned through life, and any story about what you've learned could be swapped in really.

I agree with the other poster about word choice. The statement contains awkward descriptions because you're forcing in uncommon words. You want to show you're smart, but you also want the story to read well. Something like saying you approached your father about you "conflicted feelings about being Jang-nam" can be just as good as "this overwhelming dichotomy." I'm not specifically saying you need to change that sentence. That's just an example of language choice, not really a critique that your phrasing didn't work at that point.

The statement looks like it will need to be edited down if there's a two-page limit. Some of the description you provide is nice but no essential. For example, the paragraph you have about bringing together aspects of code could be cut, except the last sentence could be the conclusion of the preceding one or the idea could be incorporated into the first sentence of the next paragraph. The technical details of computer science don't need much attention in our statement, but one or two technical descriptions would be good. The parts about responsibility/leadership are more important. If you're applying to schools with a two-page limit, make sure this fits two-pages to begin with and then you can expand if others allow more.

The last paragraph carries the right message, but the execution could be better. You discuss an ambitious spirit and unbending will. I think unbending will goes with the overall statement because being Jang-nam taught you determination, which you mention in the last sentence. I don't really see how you are taught an ambitious spirit. That's more of an innate quality to me. I also don't think being a law student or lawyer requires it (you'll see this once you attend law school and become a lawyer).

Hope that makes sense. Good luck.


Thanks for your critique! I do agree that upon a second review some of my sentences seem to be constructed. I'll try to make them flow a little better.


No problem. Also, a six-year-old is not a toddler.

170orDie

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby 170orDie » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:30 am

*removed
Last edited by 170orDie on Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

A Poor Pianist

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby A Poor Pianist » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:00 pm

I like this new PS a lot better. It reads as a cleaner narrative and adds more depth into your emotions leading to that conversation with your father, accurately framing the "turning point" in your life. 10/10wouldreadagain

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby Mr. Archer » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:09 pm

Sharing toys was always a struggle for me as a kid. I remember my younger brother desperately reaching for my new Gameboy from my outstretched arms, when I heard my mom remind me, “share, you're the Jang-nam”. It seemed like every time I got a new toy or game there would be my pesky little siblings trying to take it away from me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I never wanted to share at all, but even at a young age my mind was wholly logistical. I commonly thought, “this is my new toy, so I should get to play with it first” or “I shared for two turns of the game already, so now it’s my chance.” It never seemed fair to me that I had to give away my play time just because of my title. (comments about the intro? Not sure how I like it)


Try taking the second sentence and putting it before the sentence starting "It never seemed", then cut the two sentences that are now before "It never seemed."

There are some typos/comma issues in the PS, as well as some awkward phrasing. Think about cutting the high school habitat for humanity part down so that it's more of a transition than a part of the story (maybe just a brief description that you did it but were left feeling like you could do more). I know you're writing for a school that gives a lot of space for the PS, but that doesn't mean you have to use it all.

I think the ending is weak, particularly the last two sentences. By the end of the PS, you've also lost your Jang-nam theme. It was a little better in the earlier version where you brought things full circle to being about the Jang-nam. I think you also tied team-leadership with the Jang-nam. Maybe add that back in, but don't add much length doing this.

170orDie

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Re: Computer Science themed Personal Statement- Help!

Postby 170orDie » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:43 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:
Try taking the second sentence and putting it before the sentence starting "It never seemed", then cut the two sentences that are now before "It never seemed."

There are some typos/comma issues in the PS, as well as some awkward phrasing. Think about cutting the high school habitat for humanity part down so that it's more of a transition than a part of the story (maybe just a brief description that you did it but were left feeling like you could do more). I know you're writing for a school that gives a lot of space for the PS, but that doesn't mean you have to use it all.

I think the ending is weak, particularly the last two sentences. By the end of the PS, you've also lost your Jang-nam theme. It was a little better in the earlier version where you brought things full circle to being about the Jang-nam. I think you also tied team-leadership with the Jang-nam. Maybe add that back in, but don't add much length doing this.


Really appreciate the advice. I definitely see that I need to connect the Jang-nam piece better throughout my statement.



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