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Author Topic: In what tense should I write my personal statement?  (Read 3897 times)

Kasserole

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In what tense should I write my personal statement?
« on: August 27, 2008, 12:47:58 PM »
I am telling a story about something that happened to me to make me want to pursue a specific field of law.  Since the story was from the past, I used the past tense throughout not wanting to change to present tense in the middle of the essay.  Is this correct?

Thank you.

Kasserole

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Re: In what tense should I write my personal statement?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2008, 05:26:37 PM »
Anyone?

blueskies6

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Re: In what tense should I write my personal statement?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 09:44:04 PM »
It depends on what effect you want.  You can talk about the past in past tense because it happened in the past, and you can switch to present tense when you're not longer talking about the past.  Or, if you want to make it seem more like a story, you can talk about it in the present tense from the POV when it was happening to you.

Example:
I walked into the bar to get a drink 5 years ago.

As I was walking into the bar, I had an overwhelming desire to get a drink.

It just depends on what effect you want.
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

MeloMan15

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Re: In what tense should I write my personal statement?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 09:57:51 PM »
Past, present and future...

for example: talking about what led you up to wanting to get into law school, what you are doing now, and what you want to do with your degree...

best of luck!

Gone

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Re: In what tense should I write my personal statement?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2008, 12:08:57 PM »
Use whatever tense you want, just be careful when you're switching back and forth. Don't do it in the middle of a sentence, and don't go back and forth every other sentence. Going paragraph by paragraph is usually a good strategy.
Best of luck to everyone!