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Author Topic: Writing Help  (Read 2486 times)

Mrs Malaprop

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2004, 03:12:08 PM »
Hope you don't mind, but I took a crack at this. I have a graduate degree in writing and have worked as a writer for years, if my credentials matter.

You may take the following revisions with an entire shaker of salt - but your essay, while compelling, raised a few editorial questions in my mind. I thought it could be made stronger with just a little bit of tweaking. So I made some educated guesses (which may or may not accurately reflect your experience) to fill in the gaps that I noticed, and moved some of your phrases around to emphasize important facts. I also checked out the Texas educational statute that allows for Academic Fresh Start (it is listed as two words in the statute) and clarified that a bit. If you're going to refer to a statute in your application to law school, you'd better represent it accurately. ;)

From an admissions standpoint, I was trying to enhance the pathos of your situation by adding a minor "mea culpa" for trying to go back to school in the middle of your family crisis. Not that I think you did anything wrong - it just allows you to take a little bit of responsibility for the poor performance, and thereby elicit that much more sympathy in the reader for your dilemma. Besides, I think it actually says GOOD things about you that you wanted to try to go back to school, even while things in your personal life were so rough.

Take whatever works for you out of my edited version below. I would caution you that I am not good at proofreading anything I've written or edited, so you may want other eyes on it before sending it out in an application.

Cheers,
mm

----

In the early nineties, I had three horrible semesters, resulting in six Fs on my transcript. While I was attending the University of Texas in 1993, my wife gave birth to our son Dustin, who was terminally ill.  The University granted me two incompletes for the semester, but due to my family situation I was still unable to finish the coursework in time to meet the extended deadlines.

A year later, I attended Southwest Texas University with the hopes of continuing my education. In retrospect, it seems obvious that trying to balance school with my responsibilities to my family was a losing proposition. With our portion of my son's medical bills that year totaling forty-five thousand dollars, I had no choice but to work as many hours as possible to pay for his care. Unfortunately, as a result I was unable to keep up with my coursework, a fact my transcript from this period reflects all too clearly.

Finally, in the fall of 2002 I was financially able to return to school. I was granted an Academic Fresh Start under Texas Education Code 51.931, which enables students at state universities in Texas to have grades 10 or more years old removed from consideration when considering the student for graduate studies. This chance to start over inspired me to take full advantage of the opportunity and to perform to the level of my ability. I completed 120 consecutive hours in only five semesters (including semesters with course loads of 36 and 33 credit hours respectively), while achieving straight As.  In addition to this ambitious course load, I continued working full-time.

My recent grades have raised my cumulative GPA to a 3.2. However, considering that my earlier failing grades were received more than a decade ago and under duress, I feel that my upper division GPA of 4.0, supported by my score of 167 on the LSAT, is a more accurate reflection of my capability to succeed in law school at this time.

arc87

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2004, 03:53:08 PM »
Thanks for the help on this.  mrs_malaprop that was an excellent piece of writing. It makes me want to put the pen down forever.  You were accurate in the assumptions you made.

I always thought the low GPA would preclude me from gaining entry into a top law school.  This essay will truly help me in the pursuit of a top 20.


Thanks so much
Rando
and mrs_malaprop

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trogdor

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2004, 05:27:36 PM »
mrs_malaprop's reconfiguration is pretty good.  though, just a caution if you changed your essay because of it: there are some commas missing here and there that i saw at first glance. 

glad to be of help.
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Mrs Malaprop

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2004, 08:37:10 PM »
Thanks for the help on this.  mrs_malaprop that was an excellent piece of writing. It makes me want to put the pen down forever.  You were accurate in the assumptions you made.

I always thought the low GPA would preclude me from gaining entry into a top law school.  This essay will truly help me in the pursuit of a top 20.


It's your own hard work that the top 20's will notice. I'm glad you found my comments helpful, though. Glad to be of service.

Do listen to Rando (and me) and get someone with eagle-eyes to copyedit anything from my version that you use - as I mentioned, I am horrible at copyediting anything that I've written or edited for substance. Commas in in particular are my Achilles' heel, so I've no doubt I made a few errors.

One thing that just jumped out at me is that I would move the word "consecutive" in the second-to-last sentance in the third paragraph from before "hours" to before "semesters". That's what you meant, right? There should also be a comma after 2002 in the first sentance of this same para. I can't see others, but don't trust my judgement on that.

Perhaps some other kind soul blessed with the copyediting mojo can help?

Cheers again,
mm

Mrs Malaprop

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2004, 08:47:14 PM »
Oh - and also in the third para, second sentance, I have: "consideration when considering". Try "consideration when evaluating" instead.

-mm

trogdor

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2004, 08:53:29 PM »
Oh - and also in the third para, second sentance, I have: "consideration when considering". Try "consideration when evaluating" instead.

-mm

haha... that's exactly what i said.   :)
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arc87

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2004, 09:18:35 PM »
the consecutive thing does not need to be said IMO.  If it is all A's it would have to be consecutive.  This is the final draft

thanks again
D and M


In the early nineties, I had three horrible semesters, resulting in six Fs on my transcript. While I was attending the University of Texas in 1993, my wife gave birth to our son Dustin, who was terminally ill. The University granted me two incompletes for the semester, but due to my family situation, I was still unable to finish the coursework in time to meet the extended deadlines.

A year later, I attended Texas State University with the hopes of continuing my education. In retrospect, it seems obvious that trying to balance school with my responsibilities to my family was a poor choice. With our portion of my son's medical bills totaling over forty-five thousand dollars, I had no choice but to work as many hours as possible to pay for his care. As a result, I was unable to keep up with my coursework, a fact my transcript from this period reflects all too clearly.

Finally, in the fall of 2002, I was financially able to return to school. I was granted an Academic Fresh Start under Texas Education Code 51.931, which enables students at state universities in Texas to have grades 10 or more years old removed from consideration when evaluating applications for graduate studies. This chance to start over inspired me to take full advantage of the opportunity and to perform to the level of my ability. I completed 120 hours in only five semesters (including semesters with course loads of 36 and 33 credit hours respectively), while achieving straight As. In addition to this ambitious course load, I continued working full-time.

My recent grades have raised my cumulative GPA to a 3.2. However, considering that my earlier failing grades were received more than a decade ago and under duress, I feel that my upper division GPA of 4.0, supported by my score of 167 on the LSAT, is a more accurate reflection of my capability to succeed in law school at this time.
 



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swifty

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2004, 01:56:23 AM »
Hey Arc.

Sorry to hear about your son.  I wasn't aware of that.

How does LSDAS adjust for those 10 years?  Does UCLA take the LSDAS report,
and use their own new modification of GPA?

Desperately researching for a CA Fresh Start law,

swifty
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply" So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do.  So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..

arc87

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2004, 09:31:23 AM »
I read that a UCLA advisor said that any coursework from over 5-10 years wont enter into their equation.  In Texas, which is absurd, UT will not honor the Fresh Start when you apply for Law School.  Essentially, they are breaking the law.

Since Ive had a coupkle of years to think about all of this grades from ten years ago shouldn't have anything to do with it.  I nailed down a complete undergraduate degree with a 4.0 - if that doesn't show them then @#!* all of them.
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swifty

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Re: Writing Help
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2004, 02:46:04 AM »
I read that a UCLA advisor said that any coursework from over 5-10 years wont enter into their equation.  In Texas, which is absurd, UT will not honor the Fresh Start when you apply for Law School.  Essentially, they are breaking the law.

Since Ive had a coupkle of years to think about all of this grades from ten years ago shouldn't have anything to do with it.  I nailed down a complete undergraduate degree with a 4.0 - if that doesn't show them then @#!* all of them.

Sounds like you done all you can.  Maybe some ass kissing is still due when the time comes, but remember that will be done only to get into the school you wanted.  Once your in, go spit in their face if you are any thing like me, and don't like ass-kissing.

Good luck, hope USC and UCLA throw money at you.
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply" So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do.  So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..