Law School Discussion

what voice should i write in?

what voice should i write in?
« on: February 27, 2009, 07:55:52 PM »
should it be casual conversational? or not? i dont want it to sound like a research paper on my life..


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Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 10:14:08 PM »
The active voice probably, unless you're portraying yourself as a victim, then some passive voice could work.  "I was ____, I was _____, and I was ____, but I learned quite a bit from it."

Really though, I was say the "formalness" should be like what you'd use in a cover letter. 

Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 11:11:23 PM »
Imagine you have 15 minutes to introduce yourself to the Adcoms in person.  They are all in business atire and have never seen you before in their lives, and will give you an immediate up or down decision.  Now write in an apropriate tone for this meeting.

Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 11:14:29 AM »
Third person.

real answer:

I think you can be slightly more casual than the other posters do. This is not to say that you should write, "And I thought the way they treated her was totally whack, and I was like, wtf," but it is to say that you can use contractions ("can't" instead of "cannot") if it makes your writing flow better. I think the most important thing you can do in a personal statement is tell a compelling story well. (That's actually two things, but I mashed 'em together--because I can. Whatever.) And sometimes, telling a story well means eschewing the cover-letter style (although I've been known to write a more informal cover letter than most--sometimes it's hard to convey your passion if your writing style is coming across like Data from Star Trek). I think you can take a more informal tone if it still is coming off as "writerly" and not full-on colloquial. If you have a question about what counts as what, feel free to post it here and I'll give my opinion.
This sig kills fascists.

Saw dashrashi's LSN site. Since she seems to use profanity, one could say that HYP does not necessarily mean class or refinement.

Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 12:44:39 AM »
Write in your girly voice.  AdComs love chicks.

Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 11:15:25 AM »
Write it as if you were writing a column for the NYTimes or an article for the New Yorker recounting a particular story about your life and what that taught you about yourself, though obviously the conclusion will change a bit and include more resume info/specific reasons why you want to be a lawyer/reasons you want to go to X law school.

I'm happy to PM my statement if you want to see what I mean or read over your draft.


Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 12:06:11 PM »
Write in the voice of the Rock, then pay dwayne johnson to read off your statement and attach the audio file to your admissions package.

Seriously, write however it makes sense to. You're probably a decent writer and have a good idea of what's appropriate and not. Unless there's something very unusual about yourself that you reveal in your personal statement I don't think the statement itself makes a huge difference.

The most important thing is that it's free of grammatical errors, expressed with a well developed vocabulary and flows smoothly.   

Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 03:12:24 PM »
Write in the first person, but don't overuse "I."  It shouldn't be a research paper, no.  But it needs to be PERSONAL (hence, why it's called a "personal" statement).  Hence, a good blend of personal, but not too casual, writing along with a certain level of formality is good.

Feel free to e-mail me for more advice.  I've been through this process, and my personal statement got me into Harvard, so I know quite a bit about it.

Re: what voice should i write in?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 03:10:46 PM »
A casual way would do.