Have at it

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 287630
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Have at it

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:44 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

hi1everyone
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Have at it

Postby hi1everyone » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:24 am

Overall, I think it's well-written and well-focused. I think it's very genuine. I like how you wrote about your experiences very understatedly, flipping a story about hardship into privilege while also giving yourself merit for your hard work.

It's early morning & I'm in an airport so I will just give some quick grammar fixes.

1. "Not long after dusk one evening in the spring of 2011": not long. after dusk. one evening. in the spring. of 2011. I wonder if you could shorten that to just "After dusk one evening in the spring of 2011". Maybe it doesn't bug other people or I'm being nitpicky but if it's your first sentence it starts kind of bulky.

2. "What I found was the shock of a lifetime: there in my living room...": I would get rid of "there". People do this a lot in their writing, as though they're speaking and pointing at something to the reader. I get that it's intended to convey your shock, like "there in my living room", but it is superfluous since the rest of the paragraph conveys that shock already in a more sophisticated way.

3. "As the district attorney tried to leverage a a ten-year sentence to get my mother to plead guilty, she withheld that the warrant authorizing the raid had beenfor an old address; we had moved a few doors down from the home onthe warrant cut was addressed for".

4. "Unfortunately, she failed a drug test in 2013, violating her probation."

5."I was able to keep the fact that I was underaged and living alone a secret": underaged is technically fine, but it's a variant of and less common than "underage". It's an adjective, you don't need to make it past tense. I would use "underage".



My flight is boarding! If you found these helpful I can do the rest of the paper in a bit. Overall, I found it engaging at 7:00 AM in a crowded airport. Also, I'm glad to hear your mom is doing well.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 26808
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Have at it

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:40 am

I really like this. There may be minor language-y things like the above poster mentions - though to be honest neither the "dusk in the evening" or "there in my living room" bothered me at all - but I think overall this is in great shape.

lucretius_
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Re: Have at it

Postby lucretius_ » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:17 am

I like this. It's getting there, but I would work on making your prose more concise. Cut the redundancies that hi points out above. Also, do some work on perfecting tense. This portion: "I have had the privilege of learning from the mistakes of others while also having been the beneficiary of incredible luck and kindness. And my path is not unlike the one my mother has taken since completing rehab," needs some cleaning up in both regards.

Also, add in at least one specific instance of how your perspective changed the outcome of a debate or enlightening your fellow debaters. In this draft, you talk about skills you have gained and how they have affected your career in Debate, but its a bit vague. Including a specific instance of how you've used these skills will provide a more vivid picture of you as an applicant.

For example, here: "As a result I became acutely aware that had I not been there to share the insights from my own life, they would simply go untold." What did this look like? What did it feel like to be in that moment? What specific action did you take because of your perspective? Answer those questions and make another miniature story that gives the reader a sense of how your perspective influences your actions.

Finally, a nitpicky thing: You describe your perspective as "unique"...I hate the word "unique" as a descriptor because it does not add any new information. Everything is unique in its own way. Pretty much any adjective is better than "unique".

Good work so far!




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