Law School Discussion

Yale 250 Word Essay

Lulu

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2004, 07:07:35 PM »
Since my PS was in fact very quirky if you will, I just took something out of a paper. Then again, I applied fully expecting to get a rejection letter, so I didn't want to spend months writing this 250 word paragraph...

amelus

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Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2004, 07:13:49 PM »
by far the best post i've seen on the subject.  i've spent way too much time on figuring out waht to do and then trying to get there considering my odds of getting in (s/t like 20%).  but since i did spend my time on it, all the conclusions helen describes here are certainly accurate.  as per the intellectual aspect, my assessment is that it should be discussed intellectually.  as helen said, you will find out, if you dont know already, that 250 words is nothing.  so to try and tackle any "intellectual" topic will prove impossible/forced/too broad etc..  but, you can talk about your 10K comic books, your dating game show etc... either as an experience alone (how it made you feel, what you learned from it) or intellectually analyze it (w/ humor of course).  the point is that while the personal statement should take, as the title implies, a more personal approach, the 250 word essay should take a more intellectual approach.  again, the diff. might seem fine, but i think that is what they're looking for.

also, just to echo another of helen's pts, i think the crucial think is to implicitly break the stereotypes you anticipate the ad. comm. having about you.  not only is it important to do, but it will help you find a focus to your essay.  (at first i was like "250 words on anything, ok....)


I struggled with this essay for most of the summer, so I have lots of venting to do on the topic. 

First, your 250 word essay should say something about you that is not covered in the rest of your app.  The rest of my app seemed science/engineering heavy, so I chose to write about living in a hippy co-op in college.  This shows that I am not one-dimensional.

Second, pick what attributes you want them to notice first, before you write the story.  I wanted to show that I'm outgoing, social, and I contribute to the community I'm in (contrary to any engineer stereotypes).  So I worked on my story to make sure I got this across.  The essay has to let them get to know you a little bit and address why they should want you.

Third, do a couple of drafts and have a friend cut one down to 250 words.  I wrote 3 essays on 3 different topics, and I could never seem to get below 500 words.  I had a friend cut one down for me.  Once I saw how short 250 words is, I had a lot better idea of how much I could talk about. 

Fourth, you can't fit much at all into a 250 word essay.  This essay doesn't have to say much.  They will read your long personal statement, they will see your extracurriculars and LOR's.  This is really just an opportunity to stand out a little and show you have some personality.  Hearing about aquaintances at YLS and the essays they wrote, it seems like they all wrote about quirky things like being on a game show or dancing. 

Pick an experience that is really small.  Pick something that you can make entertaining in 250 words and something that sets you apart.

I wrote essays on 4 different topics before deciding on the topic I liked the best.  Then, I did 3 different 250 word essays on different aspects of that topic.  I showed my friends, and we picked the best one.  It was definitely the hardest part of the application process.



Regal_Muse

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2004, 07:18:01 PM »
Actually I discussed the politics of being an African American female and compared it with the plight of mutants LOL. (I'm not joking either. My philosophy professor LOVED IT and he's difficult to impress)

amelus

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Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2004, 07:29:52 PM »
also, not to divert the topic or anything, but anyone have thoughts on whether 250 means dont even think about 251 or if going over 5 or 10 words not such a big deal?

(i know discussed a lil' b/4 but i was hoping to get your impressions this time)

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2004, 08:07:38 PM »
Actually I discussed the politics of being an African American female and compared it with the plight of mutants LOL. (I'm not joking either. My philosophy professor LOVED IT and he's difficult to impress)

One of the best essays I have read was really similar to this. It discussed comic book hero and how none of them are black. It was superb. It is posted somwhere online. Let me go find it and I'll post a link.

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2004, 08:10:18 PM »
Alright, here it is. You might have already read this. It is posted online. But the dude got into Yale with this fine piece of writing.

http://www.deloggio.com/personal/psset.htm

Click on the "Award Winning Essay" link

helendemilo

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Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2004, 09:01:39 PM »
I think mine ended up being around 260 words.  I seriously got to a point where every single word was important.  No fat to trim.  I wanted those last ten words!!

lexylit

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2004, 10:00:16 PM »
One of the best essays I have read was really similar to this. It discussed comic book hero and how none of them are black. It was superb. It is posted somwhere online. Let me go find it and I'll post a link.


very good. and yet, too bad about that whole dash he tries to use and fails miserably. good thing im not on adcomms 'cause i have a grammar and punctuation pole stuck way too far up my ass huh  :-\

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2004, 10:28:24 PM »

Quote


very good. and yet, too bad about that whole dash he tries to use and fails miserably. good thing im not on adcomms 'cause i have a grammar and punctuation pole stuck way too far up my ass huh  :-\
Quote

A dashing failure, you might say.

kidblue

Re: Yale 250 Word Essay
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2004, 07:09:05 AM »
The second idea sound much more interesteing to me.