What do schools look for in the writing portion?

gmreplay
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What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby gmreplay » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:53 pm

What will impress them tomorrow? Should I try to be verbose and complex, or just concise and sensible?

am060459
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby am060459 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:54 pm

gmreplay wrote: try to be [strike]verbose and complex, or just[/strike] concise and sensible

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Cardboardbox
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Cardboardbox » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:55 pm

doodle imo

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booboo
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby booboo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:55 pm

am060459 wrote:
gmreplay wrote: try to be [strike]verbose and complex, or just[/strike][strike]concise and sensible?[/strike] Write in english and answer the question.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Mr. Matlock » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:56 pm

I'd go with verbose and complex. Shake things up a bit for them.

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holydonkey
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby holydonkey » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Write it in Finnish. Include footnotes.


/seriously though, they don't care about the writing portion.

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Onion
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Onion » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:00 pm

I'll be honest, my handwriting was so poor that I can't even read what I wrote, which makes me think schools never even look at it. I tried to be as concise and to the point as possible. I have been told that proper grammar and and making sure there are not spelling mistakes is more important than displaying a great vocabulary. IMHO I would choose a side, argue it, state the pros of the other side and why it is not as good as the side you choose, state the cons of the opposing side and than conclude. Just my 2 cents.

*Edit... god I am dumb... If I got into law school, everyone should be fine!

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:05 pm

Onion wrote:I'll be honest, my handwriting was so poor that I can't even read what I wrote, which makes me think schools never even look at it.


+1 My handwriting is pretty God awful. Trying to write that paragraph in cursive was probably the hardest part of the whole test for me.

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Onion
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Onion » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:07 pm

Rowinguy2009 wrote:
Onion wrote:I'll be honest, my handwriting was so poor that I can't even read what I wrote, which makes me think schools never even look at it.


Trying to write that paragraph in cursive was probably the hardest part of the whole test for me.


+1

LSAC should move out of the stone age and let us type the last section... Who knows how to use a pencil anymore anyways. The last time I used a pencil before the LSAT was probably the SAT.

gmreplay
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby gmreplay » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:07 pm

CHRIST Bob you scared me. I thought the writing portion itself had to be in cursive. I literally haven't used cursive for anything except my name in 10 years.

So not a lot of serious responses, but I know that schools DO care about it, so there has to be some solid criteria for what makes a good writing piece.

starstruck393
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby starstruck393 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:15 pm

The cursive is a handwriting sample used to compare LSATs with huge score jumps, to make sure that the same person took both tests...

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Mr. Matlock » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:17 pm

gmreplay wrote:So not a lot of serious responses, but I know that schools DO care about it, so there has to be some solid criteria for what makes a good writing piece.

--ImageRemoved--

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JayTal
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby JayTal » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:22 pm

So long as you don't write about how much you hate LSAC or draw pictures of your proctor...you're fine. I believe Dean Pless of UIUC has said that he looks at the writing portion just to make sure that you actually made an attempt at answering the question and didn't goof off. If other Deans take the same approach, then just make an honest effort.

Edit: I believe I heard of someone who scored a 180 but wrote about what they were going to buy with their Harvard education and was rejected by Harvard. The Dean said something about the applicant being rejected because his writing portion showed a lack of maturity/he didn't take things seriously.

So answer the question. Short. Concise. Complete sentences. No need to be verbose. And I highly doubt the writing portion would be used in a "tie-breaking" situation. That is what softs are used for (horrible english, I know).
Last edited by JayTal on Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gmreplay
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby gmreplay » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:23 pm

The former Harvard admissions Dean says they care about it.
http://www.amazon.com/Best-Law-Schools- ... 1402211821

thatguyyouknow
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby thatguyyouknow » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:24 pm

1. Pick a side. Don't say how either option would be good and leave it at that.
2. Highlight the positives of the side that you pick.
3. Highlight the negatives of the side you didn't pick.
4. Mention how the side you didn't pick has positives but not enough to overcome its negatives.
5. Conclude by summarizing your argument.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think they do read it but use it mostly to make sure the person that wrote the essay on the LSAT writes similarly to the person that wrote your PS.

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Cupidity
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Cupidity » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:26 pm

In Sept, I skipped the real prompt and launched into an iquiry about how an amature astronomers guild has the kind of dollars to front a multi million dollar observatory, and speculated it was a crime cindicate. So far, in at 3 schools.

Moral

1: They appreciate sarcasm
or
2: They don't even read it.



2 is TCR :wink:

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booboo
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby booboo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:27 pm

Cupidity wrote:In Sept, I skipped the real prompt and launched into an iquiry about how an amature astronomers guild has the kind of dollars to front a multi million dollar observatory, and speculated it was a crime cindicate. So far, in at 3 schools.

Moral

1: They appreciate sarcasm
or
2: They don't even read it.



2 is TCR :wink:


Really, Cupidity? Ballsy move.

zarathustra
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby zarathustra » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:30 pm

I don't think schools expect your genius to show in the LSAT writing portion. So long there are'nt any blatant violations of grammer or other such infractions, the WP won't matter much. Your real writing sample is your PS. In it, you should strive to construct the most mellifluous sentences ever written. Indeed, make your PS so good so much so that Adcomms will sing it in the shower for the remainder of their lives. Of course, and as always, write in good humor--and do it in good measure.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby The Zeppelin » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:33 pm

A haiku written in Wingdings.

tomwatts
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby tomwatts » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:33 pm

One thing that I don't think has been mentioned (or at least is worth reiterating): fill up the pages they give you. If you only write a single paragraph, it looks like you didn't take it seriously. So write the essay, answer the question, fill up the space provided, and don't worry about it too much beyond that.

I think it's a nice cool-down after the race through the rest of the test.

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Cupidity
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Cupidity » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:34 pm

booboo wrote:
Cupidity wrote:In Sept, I skipped the real prompt and launched into an iquiry about how an amature astronomers guild has the kind of dollars to front a multi million dollar observatory, and speculated it was a crime cindicate. So far, in at 3 schools.

Moral

1: They appreciate sarcasm
or
2: They don't even read it.



2 is TCR :wink:


Really, Cupidity? Ballsy move.


Yes really.

gmreplay
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby gmreplay » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:38 pm

In at 3 good schools?

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zimbadimp
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby zimbadimp » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:39 pm

I wrote 3 sentences then went to sleep.

SoCalKevin
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby SoCalKevin » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:42 pm

Cupidity wrote:In Sept, I skipped the real prompt and launched into an iquiry about how an amature astronomers guild has the kind of dollars to front a multi million dollar observatory, and speculated it was a crime cindicate. So far, in at 3 schools.

Moral

1: They appreciate sarcasm
or
2: They don't even read it.



2 is TCR :wink:




I like your style.

I'm starting to think that really sloppy handwriting is a good defensive move.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: What do schools look for in the writing portion?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:43 pm

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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