Using quotes in personal statements

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sassafrassylassy

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Using quotes in personal statements

Post by sassafrassylassy » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:46 pm

It's probably a heavily relied upon convention in personal statements. Does anyone have any thoughts on their use?

What kind of world limit would you use? Is it okay to use a passage? Any quotes so cliche you would avoid them entirely?

I'm interested in hearing your feedback.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
(One I love, but that I would not use)

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scott82

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by scott82 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:56 pm

If it's your opening or closing, avoid it. If it's a quote just for quote's sake, avoid it. If it fits within the larger narrative, or was genuinely part of something important and you can expound upon it, it may be ok. One recent poster included a quote in his PS from The Analects, that he discovered as his father was making him translate it from Chinese to English. In that situation, I think it's acceptable, but don't make it the theme of your PS; totally unoriginal.

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JackDaniels

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by JackDaniels » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:48 pm

I hear this is a great quote to start/end a PS with:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

solidusardet

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by solidusardet » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:41 am

JackDaniels wrote:I hear this is a great quote to start/end a PS with:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
^ This poster is the winner. Use this exact quote; anything from The Road Less Traveled is all star material.

I even use a quote to start off my PS:
"You want to go to law school? You're crazy!"

-My Wife

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OperaAttorney

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by OperaAttorney » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:40 am

I wouldn't do it. It's called a personal statement for a reason. Think about it.
Last edited by OperaAttorney on Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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legends159

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by legends159 » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:44 am

Start with the quote if it makes it easier for you to start writing and then when you edit, phase it out while keeping the same themes of the quote.

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OperaAttorney

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by OperaAttorney » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:09 pm

legends159 wrote:Start with the quote if it makes it easier for you to start writing and then when you edit, phase it out while keeping the same themes of the quote.
Not a bad tip. :idea:

TheJudge

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by TheJudge » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:14 pm

Personally, I think quotes are great! I love using them. But then again, only use one that has a meaning for you and that somehow fits into the overall narrative of your statement. Having said that, anyone who uses cheesy quotes from the Dalai Lama about "being the change that one wants to see in the world" or some BS quote that he/she picked up while watching TV deserves a punch in the face!

At the end of the day, academics read your PS (hopefully) and if you can come up with an interesting, thought provoking quote, that may even score you an extra point! As I said, don't use some Hollywood-Angelina-Jolie BS type of quote!

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jaen78

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Re: Using quotes in personal statements

Post by jaen78 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:29 pm

OperaAttorney wrote:
legends159 wrote:Start with the quote if it makes it easier for you to start writing and then when you edit, phase it out while keeping the same themes of the quote.
Not a bad tip. :idea:
+1. Quotes always seem a little cliche to me, but they can definitely make starting your PS easier.

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