Completed PS (the full story)

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Anonymous User
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Completed PS (the full story)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:35 pm

Will edit according to everyone's suggestions and post again very soon.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

acr
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby acr » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:08 pm

really sloppy writing
Last edited by acr on Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cbbinnyc
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby cbbinnyc » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:14 pm

This is an improvement from the original (you come off a lot better) and I found the story pretty engaging. That said, I'm still not sure whether this is a great topic for a personal statement. This might be a personal taste issue, so take this fwiw - maybe nobody else will share my feelings.

This story is about you dealing with the pressures of making difficult decisions in a position of relative power. It does present a dramatic and interesting conflict and shows you grappling with making the right decision versus the decision that will feel good. That said, law school is not about training people to uphold the law or sit in judgement of others - it's about learning to look at the gray areas of the law and explore issues from all angles. In short, they are training you to be an advocate, not to be a judge. Maybe this is not a legitimate concern, but it's something that struck me.

Additionally, I wonder whether the student in the story is too much the focus of the story. You spend a good chunk of the story talking about the plight of this student, space that could be spent on you instead. Further, this whole description is sort of undercut by ending with the fact that this guy was trying to scam you and was making it all up (might not want to include that part - interesting twist dramatically, but seems detrimental from a PS standpoint).

Couple more nitpicky things that popped out at me (not comprehensive): "feel the sweat accumulating on my scalp" is sort of a weird thing to say. Also, it sounds kind of gross. Maybe "sweat trickled down my forehead"? "Parchment," as an earlier posted pointed out, sounds odd unless we're in ancient Rome. Also, it's a bit odd to say you "believed in justice for those who broke the set of legal codes that were created to maintain order in society." This rewrite does soften up your image, but this sentence brings back a sense that you might have a bit of a power complex. Also, usually people talk about about getting justice for those who were wronged - it's not wrong to say that you want justice for those who broke the law, but it sounds vindictive (especially since the story is about a guy who cheated in school, not a guy who beat his wife or something).

Just my two cents. Definitely an interesting read, though.

ETA: The previous poster gave some good edits - you should go through and strive to be as economical with language as possible. One example: "I examined the case brought forth by the professor and his opinion very carefully" could become "I carefully examined the professor's evidence and arguments". Lots of things like that throughout.

lucretius_
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:33 pm

This draft has more of the explanation that people were looking for yesterday, but I have to say I like this a lot less now. If people thought it was cold before, it's downright frigid now.

"To properly develop into the defender of justice that I once fantasized about, I had to learn to separate my emotions from my reasoning."

Is this what you really think of the law? This is a naive and oversimplified way of thinking and does not convince me that you are ready to learn about the nuance and subtly that is practicing law.

I also did not like how you semi-vindicated yourself at the end by revealing that this student was a liar...or at least you "found out" he was a liar by some unknown means. Would you feel differently if he had been sent back to Pakistan and kicked out of his family? Could you hold your head high and still be proud of this decision?

Overall, I am not confident in the way you've portrayed yourself here. I do not think the whole story needs to be scrapped, but I think the messaging needs some major rethinking. Less self-righteous, black-and-white thinking that portrays you and the law as a soulless entity outside of your control, and more likability.

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:39 pm

Everyone's hit the specifics, but just to reiterate the broad strokes:

-Very, very sloppy writing. Edit your work before posting/sending it.
-Story is iffy.
-This statement makes you sound like the world's worst person. Literally, my first thought was that I would never want to actually spend time with someone this sanctimonious. So if that's not you, fix it.

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MediocreAtBest
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:52 pm

I think the story is interesting, but I'm just not sure about using it as a PS. The law isn't always black and white, and your depiction of it makes it seem like it is. I don't think sending a kid back to Pakistan to face beatings and excommunication from his family is a reasonable punishment for cheating, and I don't think it makes you sound particularly good to have voted in favor of that, especially when there was information relevant to the case that you didn't even know about.

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:54 pm

cbbinnyc wrote:This is an improvement from the original (you come off a lot better) and I found the story pretty engaging. That said, I'm still not sure whether this is a great topic for a personal statement. This might be a personal taste issue, so take this fwiw - maybe nobody else will share my feelings.

This story is about you dealing with the pressures of making difficult decisions in a position of relative power. It does present a dramatic and interesting conflict and shows you grappling with making the right decision versus the decision that will feel good. That said, law school is not about training people to uphold the law or sit in judgement of others - it's about learning to look at the gray areas of the law and explore issues from all angles. In short, they are training you to be an advocate, not to be a judge. Maybe this is not a legitimate concern, but it's something that struck me.

Additionally, I wonder whether the student in the story is too much the focus of the story. You spend a good chunk of the story talking about the plight of this student, space that could be spent on you instead. Further, this whole description is sort of undercut by ending with the fact that this guy was trying to scam you and was making it all up (might not want to include that part - interesting twist dramatically, but seems detrimental from a PS standpoint).

Couple more nitpicky things that popped out at me (not comprehensive): "feel the sweat accumulating on my scalp" is sort of a weird thing to say. Also, it sounds kind of gross. Maybe "sweat trickled down my forehead"? "Parchment," as an earlier posted pointed out, sounds odd unless we're in ancient Rome. Also, it's a bit odd to say you "believed in justice for those who broke the set of legal codes that were created to maintain order in society." This rewrite does soften up your image, but this sentence brings back a sense that you might have a bit of a power complex. Also, usually people talk about about getting justice for those who were wronged - it's not wrong to say that you want justice for those who broke the law, but it sounds vindictive (especially since the story is about a guy who cheated in school, not a guy who beat his wife or something).

Just my two cents. Definitely an interesting read, though.

ETA: The previous poster gave some good edits - you should go through and strive to be as economical with language as possible. One example: "I examined the case brought forth by the professor and his opinion very carefully" could become "I carefully examined the professor's evidence and arguments". Lots of things like that throughout.


-Also, it's a bit odd to say you "believed in justice for those who broke the set of legal codes that were created to maintain order in society." This rewrite does soften up your image, but this sentence brings back a sense that you might have a bit of a power complex.-

You have to look at the overarching story. This statement was written so I could exemplify how I wanted to essentially uphold the law and how it is a long term goal of mine to see justice for those who break the law. This is in conflict with what I later find as a situation where justice should be deemed, but emotional intrusion into the case contradicts what I thought was a simple goal of upholding the law. as in, I am in a situation where I want to do what I have wanted since I was a child, however when the opportunity arises, I find it is harder than I had imagined it would be. and of course the theme of the story is what I do in response to this conflict

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:56 pm

MediocreAtBest wrote:I think the story is interesting, but I'm just not sure about using it as a PS. The law isn't always black and white, and your depiction of it makes it seem like it is. I don't think sending a kid back to Pakistan to face beatings and excommunication from his family is a reasonable punishment for cheating, and I don't think it makes you sound particularly good to have voted in favor of that, especially when there was information relevant to the case that you didn't even know about.


do you think it would help if I took out that part?

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MediocreAtBest
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MediocreAtBest wrote:I think the story is interesting, but I'm just not sure about using it as a PS. The law isn't always black and white, and your depiction of it makes it seem like it is. I don't think sending a kid back to Pakistan to face beatings and excommunication from his family is a reasonable punishment for cheating, and I don't think it makes you sound particularly good to have voted in favor of that, especially when there was information relevant to the case that you didn't even know about.


do you think it would help if I took out that part?


I think it would make you sound better but it's also less compelling. If the student was simply crying and shaking and you had to put that to the side to reach a verdict, it's not the most interesting story. That happens every day. I think had you consulted with the council and discussed some sort of conclusion where the student was reprimanded but within reason, it would be ideal, but that's not what happened. Maybe writing about your experience in general rather than this particular case would be better, I'm not 100% sure what I would do in your situation though.

Edit: I'm referring to the fact that the student would face severe punishment at home, not the fact that he made it up.
Last edited by MediocreAtBest on Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:03 pm

I think part of the point at least is that rules against cheating in school aren't exactly the codes central to maintaining law and order in society. Also, justice for those who break the law entails tailoring punishment to the characteristics of the guilty and the gravity of the offense, which seems to be lacking here.

The last part about how the student made it all up - I'm kind of unconvinced that's true. frankly. Also, you take such pains to show how terrified this student was, your afterthought "but he made it all up" makes it look like you were taken in by a scammer." I also think that if this is true it's the more interesting part of this. Of course people in the position of enforcing a rule find that it's difficult to enforce the rules against a sympathetic defendant - that's sort of cliched by now. What do you when you find out you have been taken in, and what you used as the basis for your decision wasn't actually true? How do you feel about the law at that point? Does it make you question the system or reconsider or what?

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:08 pm

MediocreAtBest wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
MediocreAtBest wrote:I think the story is interesting, but I'm just not sure about using it as a PS. The law isn't always black and white, and your depiction of it makes it seem like it is. I don't think sending a kid back to Pakistan to face beatings and excommunication from his family is a reasonable punishment for cheating, and I don't think it makes you sound particularly good to have voted in favor of that, especially when there was information relevant to the case that you didn't even know about.


do you think it would help if I took out that part?


I think it would make you sound better but it's also less compelling. If the student was simply crying and shaking and you had to put that to the side to reach a verdict, it's not the most interesting story. That happens every day. I think had you consulted with the council and discussed some sort of conclusion where the student was reprimanded but within reason, it would be ideal, but that's not what happened. Maybe writing about your experience in general rather than this particular case would be better, I'm not 100% sure what I would do in your situation though.

Edit: I'm referring to the fact that the student would face severe punishment at home, not the fact that he made it up.


im thinking about keeping the part about the scholarship and being sent home in, however removing the punishments faced through his father

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:10 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think part of the point at least is that rules against cheating in school aren't exactly the codes central to maintaining law and order in society. Also, justice for those who break the law entails tailoring punishment to the characteristics of the guilty and the gravity of the offense, which seems to be lacking here.

The last part about how the student made it all up - I'm kind of unconvinced that's true. frankly. Also, you take such pains to show how terrified this student was, your afterthought "but he made it all up" makes it look like you were taken in by a scammer." I also think that if this is true it's the more interesting part of this. Of course people in the position of enforcing a rule find that it's difficult to enforce the rules against a sympathetic defendant - that's sort of cliched by now. What do you when you find out you have been taken in, and what you used as the basis for your decision wasn't actually true? How do you feel about the law at that point? Does it make you question the system or reconsider or what?


what i used for the basis of my decision was the hard evidence that pointed at cheating, which is what my decision in the story leads to. I seperated the emotional impact of the case. I probably will remove the part of the student being found to have lied, as there isn't enough space to develop this idea further than the simple statement of it

lucretius_
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You have to look at the overarching story. This statement was written so I could exemplify how I wanted to essentially uphold the law and how it is a long term goal of mine to see justice for those who break the law. This is in conflict with what I later find as a situation where justice should be deemed, but emotional intrusion into the case contradicts what I thought was a simple goal of upholding the law. as in, I am in a situation where I want to do what I have wanted since I was a child, however when the opportunity arises, I find it is harder than I had imagined it would be. and of course the theme of the story is what I do in response to this conflict


Can you spend more time an explaining why it is you thought this would be easy? I think the theme here should be more along the lines of: "When I was a young, naive college student, I thought I knew what upholding the law meant...but man was a wrong. Here's a story about the rude awakening I had as a member of the disciplinary board." Then conclude with something along the lines of "Wow. I never knew the law was so complicated! I have a lot to learn about myself and the law, and that's why I'm so interested in attending your law school."

I would even toy with the idea of dropping any mention of your actual decision to focus solely on how conflicted you are. If the following and interpreting the rules was so simple, you would not be having this deep conflict. What did you learn from that experience? And don't say, "I learned I need to not let my stupid human emotions get in the way of me being a judging machine!"
Last edited by lucretius_ on Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cbbinnyc
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby cbbinnyc » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:-Also, it's a bit odd to say you "believed in justice for those who broke the set of legal codes that were created to maintain order in society." This rewrite does soften up your image, but this sentence brings back a sense that you might have a bit of a power complex.-

You have to look at the overarching story. This statement was written so I could exemplify how I wanted to essentially uphold the law and how it is a long term goal of mine to see justice for those who break the law. This is in conflict with what I later find as a situation where justice should be deemed, but emotional intrusion into the case contradicts what I thought was a simple goal of upholding the law. as in, I am in a situation where I want to do what I have wanted since I was a child, however when the opportunity arises, I find it is harder than I had imagined it would be. and of course the theme of the story is what I do in response to this conflict


I'm not sure how the context of the overarching story changes anything. Saying that you want to bring justice to those who "broke the set of legal codes that were created to maintain order in society" sounds vindictive. Then, you find it difficult to actually "bring justice" to this Pakistani student who cheated. But, in the end, you do. Just because you find it difficult to actually administer this justice doesn't mean that your views evolved in any way, and this story doesn't suggest that they did (in fact, the revelation that this guy was lying seems to suggest the opposite - that we should administer justice ruthlessly because lots of these emotional appeals are just BS).

Anyway, this is largely beside the point. There are a bunch of issues with that excerpt: "believed in justice for those who broke the set of legal codes that were created to maintain order in society." Aside from the idea of bringing justice for the "bad guy" rather than the "good guy," the phrase "legal codes that were created to maintain order in society" suggests a very dogmatic view of the law as some sort of rigid code, which is not something you want to come across (again, the story does not suggest that your view here changed). Bottom line, putting aside the merits or problems with this one phrase, multiple readers have found that you come off poorly in this story, so it is probably something you should address.

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MediocreAtBest
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:14 pm

I think the way to maximize the potential of the story is to really focus on how this case opened your eyes to the intricacies and nuance of the law, since as of now you're doing kind of the opposite.

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:17 pm

lucretius_ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You have to look at the overarching story. This statement was written so I could exemplify how I wanted to essentially uphold the law and how it is a long term goal of mine to see justice for those who break the law. This is in conflict with what I later find as a situation where justice should be deemed, but emotional intrusion into the case contradicts what I thought was a simple goal of upholding the law. as in, I am in a situation where I want to do what I have wanted since I was a child, however when the opportunity arises, I find it is harder than I had imagined it would be. and of course the theme of the story is what I do in response to this conflict


Can you spend more time an explaining why it is you thought this would be easy? I think the theme here should be more along the lines of: "When I was a young, naive college student, I thought I knew what upholding the law meant...but man was a wrong. Here's a story about the rude awakening I had as a member of the disciplinary board." Then conclude with something along the lines of "Wow. I never knew the law was so complicated! I have a lot to learn about myself and the law, and that's why I'm so interested in attending your law school."

I would even toy with the idea of dropping any mention of your actual decision to focus solely on how conflicted you are. If the following and interpreting the rules was so simple, you would not be having this deep conflict. What did you learn from that experience? And don't say, "I learned I need to not let my stupid human emotions get in the way of me being a judging machine!"


This is TCR.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think part of the point at least is that rules against cheating in school aren't exactly the codes central to maintaining law and order in society. Also, justice for those who break the law entails tailoring punishment to the characteristics of the guilty and the gravity of the offense, which seems to be lacking here.

The last part about how the student made it all up - I'm kind of unconvinced that's true. frankly. Also, you take such pains to show how terrified this student was, your afterthought "but he made it all up" makes it look like you were taken in by a scammer." I also think that if this is true it's the more interesting part of this. Of course people in the position of enforcing a rule find that it's difficult to enforce the rules against a sympathetic defendant - that's sort of cliched by now. What do you when you find out you have been taken in, and what you used as the basis for your decision wasn't actually true? How do you feel about the law at that point? Does it make you question the system or reconsider or what?


what i used for the basis of my decision was the hard evidence that pointed at cheating, which is what my decision in the story leads to. I seperated the emotional impact of the case. I probably will remove the part of the student being found to have lied, as there isn't enough space to develop this idea further than the simple statement of it

Instead of "the basis for your decision" I should have said "information presented in the case." But part of my point is that what you call "the emotional impact" is actually stuff that matters in upholding justice - it's not extraneous or irrelevant. Does it make any difference to you that the student lied? Would it matter if he wasn't lying? If you don't have space to address something important, cut other stuff.

(This is getting at what the post immediately above me says - you need to address the lesson further.)

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:47 pm

MediocreAtBest wrote:
lucretius_ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You have to look at the overarching story. This statement was written so I could exemplify how I wanted to essentially uphold the law and how it is a long term goal of mine to see justice for those who break the law. This is in conflict with what I later find as a situation where justice should be deemed, but emotional intrusion into the case contradicts what I thought was a simple goal of upholding the law. as in, I am in a situation where I want to do what I have wanted since I was a child, however when the opportunity arises, I find it is harder than I had imagined it would be. and of course the theme of the story is what I do in response to this conflict


Can you spend more time an explaining why it is you thought this would be easy? I think the theme here should be more along the lines of: "When I was a young, naive college student, I thought I knew what upholding the law meant...but man was a wrong. Here's a story about the rude awakening I had as a member of the disciplinary board." Then conclude with something along the lines of "Wow. I never knew the law was so complicated! I have a lot to learn about myself and the law, and that's why I'm so interested in attending your law school."

I would even toy with the idea of dropping any mention of your actual decision to focus solely on how conflicted you are. If the following and interpreting the rules was so simple, you would not be having this deep conflict. What did you learn from that experience? And don't say, "I learned I need to not let my stupid human emotions get in the way of me being a judging machine!"


This is TCR.


What does TCR mean

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Re: Completed PS (the full story)

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
What does TCR mean


The credited response. It's good advice that you should take.




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