Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:15 am

As I crawled through the narrow gap in the ceiling I performed an impromptu risk assessment. I had to be suspended at least 15 feet in the air with nothing but cheap foam ceiling tiles and some structural support bars between me and a hard tile floor. It was too late to turn back now; the ladder had already been moved to the predetermined exit point. I resumed my slow crawl through the ceiling. Trying my best not to pay any mind to the amount of asbestos I was almost certainly inhaling through my mask, I made sure to keep reminding myself that nearly a quarter of the 900 computers on campus were without internet. Until I managed to connect the Ethernet cable wrapped around my shoulders to the network switch conveniently mounted on the ceiling of the server room roughly 400 students would be sitting in computer labs with panicked teachers trying desperately to keep control of the classroom. Network installation and maintenance is not easy in the first place – but doing this job for a century old high school campus was like activating “hard mode”. I finally reached my destination and plugged the cable into the right port. All I had to do now was say a short prayer – which in this case was “please turn green”. Just as I began to reach for my phone to Google what I had done wrong, the magical green light appeared in all its flashing glory. The relieved call from a technical assistant indicated that I had been successful. No one would know it was me who fixed the problem save for a few select individuals – but I did not get paid for recognition, I got paid to keep this campus working.

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forum_user

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby forum_user » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:41 am

Alright, first off, take what I say with however much salt you like, since I have no qualifications. Second, I'll be blunt:

I don't know who started this notion that all law school personal statements must begin in media res, but take one look at the other personal statements on this board. Every single one begins the exact same way. Now imagine you're an adcomm reading hundreds of these, and they all employ exactly the same narrative structure as this. That's not going to stand out, regardless of how compelling the content actually is. Granted, I have no actual experience with anything, but even from lurking this board it makes me roll my eyes every time someone starts out this way. It's like you didn't even bother to put any thought into your personal statement right off the bat and simply worked from a template.

All that being said, even if you start out this way, you spend way, way too long on it. This is almost 300 words. My PS is around 600 words total, but even if you were to write a long 900-word statement, this would be one third of it.

This intro doesn't even warrant spending so long on the topic. The point you're trying to make is that... you had an IT job? You weren't even that good at it if you have to google all your problems anyway (no offense intended, this is just the impression I'm left with based on what you say here). Also you should probably get that asbestos checked out, that sounds like a serious problem.

I'd seriously recommend scrapping this and starting over, thinking more specifically about the points that you want to make with your PS rather than trying to spin a tale. But, if you insist on keeping this, here are some edits I'd recommend:

Anonymous User wrote:AsI crawled through the narrow gap in the ceiling I performed an impromptu risk assessment. I had to be suspended at least 15 feet in the air with nothing but cheap foam ceiling tiles and some structural support bars between me and a hard tile floor. It was too late to turn back now; the ladder had already been moved to the predetermined exit point. I resumed my slow crawl through the ceiling.Trying my best not to pay any mind to the amount of asbestos I was almost certainly inhaling through my mask,I made sure to keep reminding myself that nearly a quarter of the 900 computers on campus were without internet. Until I managed to connect the Ethernet cable wrapped around my shoulders to the network switch conveniently mounted on the ceiling of the server room roughly 400 students would be sitting in computer labs with panicked teachers trying desperately to keep control of the classroom. Network installation and maintenance is not easy in the first place – but doing this job for a century old high school campus was like activating “hard mode”. I finally reached my destination and plugged the cable into the right port. All I had to do now was say a short prayer – which in this case was “please turn green”. Just as I began to reach for my phone to Google what I had done wrong,the magical green light appearedin all its flashing glory. The relieved call from a technical assistant indicated that I had been successful. No one would know it was me who fixed the problem save for a few select individuals – but I did not get paid for recognition, I got paid to keep this campus working.


I imagine this final sentence is the point at which you'll say "I want to be a lawyer so I can keep things working, not for the fame and glory." And that actually wouldn't be a bad PS to write. But spending 300 words to get there is just way, way too long-winded. Think about each sentence -- each word even -- and evaluate whether it actually helps you get to that point. If it doesn't, take it out. Your PS will be much better for it.

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:35 pm

Thanks for the input! I have several introductions that I am getting "evaluated" and I think this one was one of the weaker ones. Still, I wanted to get another perspective. I will probably try to build off of some other intros

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R. Jeeves

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby R. Jeeves » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:56 pm

"Trying my best not to pay any mind to the amount of asbestos I was almost certainly inhaling through my mask, I made sure to keep reminding myself that nearly a quarter of the 900 computers on campus were without internet. Until I managed to connect the Ethernet cable wrapped around my shoulders to the network switch conveniently mounted on the ceiling of the server room roughly 400 students would be sitting in computer labs with panicked teachers trying desperately to keep control of the classroom."

internet goes down --> panic and desperation ensues
really exaggerated dont you think?

you turned the process of plugging an ethernet cord into some missionimpossiblesque scene in which you climb through hazardous vents in a last ditch attempt to deactivate a bioweapon dispersing poison throughout the building. it sounds silly.

also, relevant: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/admissions ... nd-resume/

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R. Jeeves

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby R. Jeeves » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:03 pm

oh wait this prob the same anon troll from the other thread

cavalier1138

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:05 pm

R. Jeeves wrote:oh wait this prob the same anon troll from the other thread


Nah, this guy can spell.

Unless he got drunk between posts...

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R. Jeeves

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby R. Jeeves » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:10 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:oh wait this prob the same anon troll from the other thread


Nah, this guy can spell.

Unless he got drunk between posts...

i think he realized the misspelling thing went too far and decided to be more subtle in this one

this one was p good though. i def bought it until seeing the other thread.

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Mr. Freeze

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby Mr. Freeze » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:15 pm



The problem is some other schools (although I forgot which) state on their websites to write "attention grabbing" opening lines. I think the opening sentence should be interesting, not necessarily suspenseful, thats what schools are looking for.

My name is john smith. I'm an IT worker.

vs

The entire school was counting on me to restore the HTML Javascript MSDOS to the system. As an IT consultant my job consisted of....

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:15 pm

Wait what anon troll? Am confused.

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R. Jeeves

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby R. Jeeves » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:25 pm

Mr. Freeze wrote:


The problem is some other schools (although I forgot which) state on their websites to write "attention grabbing" opening lines. I think the opening sentence should be interesting, not necessarily suspenseful, thats what schools are looking for.

My name is john smith. I'm an IT worker.

vs

The entire school was counting on me to restore the HTML Javascript MSDOS to the system. As an IT consultant my job consisted of....


yeah but i think it depends how far you go with try to go with it. Yes, your PS should be engaging from the start, but something opening with something like “I felt the cold, sharp edge of a knife at my neck.” is over the top and it has been used too many times.

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mjb447

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby mjb447 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:47 pm

R. Jeeves wrote:you turned the process of plugging an ethernet cord into some missionimpossiblesque scene in which you climb through hazardous vents in a last ditch attempt to deactivate a bioweapon dispersing poison throughout the building. it sounds silly.

laggyking

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Re: Does this Introduction grab your attention? Is it interesting or boring?

Postby laggyking » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:55 pm

Too poetic? What u think? If this is your first paragraph, it has too many unnecessary details and eating up your precious page limits. I cannot imagine how are you going to write the rest pages based on this introduction, because you have already saved the world, then what? what is next? A new start? Was your experience inspired you anything? I mean, I could be wrong, but to me, your first paragraph indicates a finished story, nothing more is going to happen in the following.



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