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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:44 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: PS Draft on Mental Health. Critique appreciated!

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:23 am

Based on the info here, it seems like you're possibly using a thesaurus to compensate for not being a native English speaker. Don't. Your grammar and syntax are quite good, but your word choice ranges from stilted to completely out-of-place.

The topic itself is pretty interesting, but you need to work on tying it to law school. Law school isn't where you go to make policy. Law school is where you go to become a lawyer. And lawyers don't make policy; they make cases. Now, I think that lawyers can make a big difference in almost all areas of the law for better standards when a party to the case is mentally ill. But that's not what you appear to want.

So if you want to institute public policy reform, then you shouldn't be going to law school. If, however, you want to address how mental illness is treated in the courts, then you need to tweak the ending of this statement. The pieces are all there, so the narrative just needs a more coherent tie to the profession.

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Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:36 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: PS Draft on Mental Health. Critique appreciated!

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:54 pm

Yes, I would recommend being more natural with your tone, because it currently sounds very inauthentic (or gives the impression that you aren't quite fluent).

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34iplaw

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Re: PS Draft on Mental Health. Critique appreciated!

Postby 34iplaw » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:59 pm

Based on the comments above, these are the phrases that jutted out to me as thesaurusy.

inhaled olfactory pleasantries (really sounds like a thesaurus)

Unbeknownst to me (not as bad... I don't think it's that out of character to the rest of the writing)

Corporeal achievements overtook the foundation of my identity as the internal withered from negligence (some of these words would be fine, but together it's too much... in particular, 'the internal withered from negligence'... also the use of 'the' in 'the internal' gives it a sort of stuffiness and level of pretentiousness IMO.)

Balance bled out of being as my guilt-ridden body made its way to her bedside (should be out of my being? perhaps a bit too prosey)

some other notes...

I discovered 3 white hairs hidden behind her right ear.

As a rule of thumb, you should type out numbers less than ten. Personally, I think one should avoid using numeric characters in this type of writing. There are obvious exceptions, but most numbers in this type of writing would not be frequent nor would they be large barring years.

Unbeknownst to me, I was born an actor.

This sentence made no sense to me until after I read the paragraph but that could be my unfamiliarity with what umma is. I guess I thought it was a placeholder for a disease (I assumed you had a disease or disorder and were writing on that based on the post title), so you may disregard this one possibly. I still think you should be weary, as it this doesn't really become clear until the end of the last paragraph - i.e. you were playing to societal norms. I think that's a fine topic, especially as it isn't the type of antagonistic social norms that adcoms may be used to seeing.

The role came naturally to me as the Korean culture had provided my parents with guidelines on how to foster the ideal characteristics in a child. At its inception, the Korean family is provided with a familial blueprint it must follow: financially stable patriarch + docile homemaker spouse + academically-advanced offspring.

I wouldn't use +'s. I suppose I view the personal statement as fairly formal writing, and it just looks weird on the page IMO.

Negative stigmas assigned to emotional/mental distress dissuaded me from being anything but stable and mature in every aspect of my life. Crying was admitting emotional instability.

Similar to last comment, I wouldn't use '/'

Personal development and well-being were not a priority.

Emotional may be more accurate. Based on other sentences, they are very concerned about careers and academics which are certainly parts of personal development.

In October 2010 umma was formally diagnosed with panic and major depressive disorder.

There should be a comma after 2010, and this is the time where I think it is okay to use the number.

The same shame from 12 year-old me ignited a heated flush when she smiled at me.

While the rule of thumb is anything under ten should be spelled out doesn't apply to twelve, I think that it stylistically looks better in this type of writing.

I had expected her to be upset after years of my calloused attitude towards emotional issues, but she just smiled.

You used calloused before. It works in both places, and I suppose there could be some sort of tie in from using it twice. Either way, I'd just be cognizant of the use of it and how it could read. Perhaps ask someone on the final draft and just be mindful of possibly changing it.

Tugging at the IV in her left arm to reach, her fingers found strands of protein to flow through upon my sunken head. I had never had my head scratched before.

I assume that 'strands of protein' is some type of literal translation of the Korean term for hair? If not, don't use this type of phrasing. It reads quite poorly and sounds odd. Again, apologies if this is a translation issue. Furthermore, I don't think you should use the word sunken here. I don't know if it's just me, but the following sentence combined with that made me think you actually have a sunken head condition or something. I could also just be super tired. I think what is actually happening here is another instance of just not being familiar with a type of intimacy that many are which I think is fine and good to address.

Despite being the one in the hospital bed, umma was making sure that I was ok.

'ok' should be 'okay' I think the prepositional phrase that you introduce the sentence with is also somewhat vague. While I think it is pretty apparent you are referring to yourself given the context, I don't think it's clear enough.

We fell asleep that night, fingers laced and palms just a bit too sweaty.

I think the interlaced is fine above, but the laced bit reads off to me. Perhaps use joined, interlocked, etc. I like the palms just a bit too sweaty, but it also reads a bit odd to me. I don't know why... I think it gives me a bit of a romcom vibe?

I was 17 when I held my mother’s hand for the first time. I would not let this be the last.

I think that's really a great and succinct way to display the cultural norms. I would also use seventeen rather than 17 here.

Final note:

I feel like the policy stuff is a bit shoe horned in there.

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Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:59 pm

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