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Author Topic: Patterns I've seen  (Read 33251 times)

Burhop

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2006, 05:37:35 PM »
Well, you *can* be creative within that framework--it just depends on the power of the story and the quality of your narrative. I think if more people knew that 80% of people were starting with "when I was five..." or "as a grade schooler..." they'd re-think the strategy, if their intro story is more cute than compelling.

best,
dani
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magnumalv

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2006, 05:42:15 PM »
redacted

redemption

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2006, 07:26:24 PM »
I wish mine was have as good as yours, Maggs.

Terabithia

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2006, 08:44:42 PM »
Maggs, yours does sound very interesting.

SolarysBlue

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2006, 10:43:33 PM »
I've read around 50 (wow! I should've been working on mine). Half I've requested and the rest people just send to me. There were about 4 that were spectacular esp. in terms of writing ability.

Most common themes: Trip abroad, depression, and small town.

I guess it doesn't matter as long as you write well.

Burhop

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2006, 02:44:30 AM »
I've read around 50 (wow! I should've been working on mine). Half I've requested and the rest people just send to me. There were about 4 that were spectacular esp. in terms of writing ability.

Most common themes: Trip abroad, depression, and small town.

I guess it doesn't matter as long as you write well.

I'd say it does and it doesn't--for schools where your numbers make you a good candidate, a standard essay will do fine--but for a school you really want to *wow*, it can be important to stand out from the crowd. That means finding a topic/theme that hasn't been so thoroughly canvassed as those we've listed in the thread--or, an astonishing story.

dani
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magnumalv

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2006, 09:46:08 AM »
I wish mine was have as good as yours, Maggs.

Believe me, it is. Better, in fact. It's on "fire."  ;D heh. Okay, I'm lame.

Maggs, yours does sound very interesting.

Thanks! Here's hoping the adcomms agree.

justGem

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2006, 03:19:53 PM »
I attended a law school visit of a top 14 where the Director of Admissions actually went down the list of what they do not want to read about:

1. Why I wanna go to law school/why I'd be a great lawyer (this one was emphasized as a big NO)

2. Topic of senior theses or any other theses completed by applicant

3. Any argument, i.e. "Why should we all make an effort to fight global warming" etc. - It was stressed that the statement should not be used as a defense essay. It should be about the applicant and not the applicant's stance on a particular topic.

4. Autobiography (this one was also emphasized as a big NO)

That being said, I have read statements that fall into each of these categories.  To me, the worst ones are those that read like an autobiography.  It was advised at the aformentioned session that the writer choose an anecdotal situation or scenario that describe themselves.  I think that YaleColl06 best captured this technique with his statement.  It was the best I've read thus far and should be published in Anna Ivey or something like that.  His statement sent me back to the drawing board when I thought I was working on a final draft.

Burhop

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2006, 03:34:27 PM »
excellent--thanks for the post, Gemini! I've been trying to convince a few people to avoid the Autobio route--it *is* too busy, and the PS doesn't have enough room to do every subject justice. In the end, the adcomm has nothing memorable to walk away from the PS with.

Along this same line, I've heard that running through all life accomplishments is a no-no; that just reads like an extended resume.

It is best to choose 1-2 events that are symbolic of the direction of one's life/one's accomplishments. Choosing is difficult--that's why I advocate for "kill your darlings." Including *everything* isn't an okay compromise--it's a mistake.

I haven't seen any political essays yet, in the vein of your #3. However, I could see how applicants who are uber-political could write an anti-meat-manifesto, or why-Bush-rocks essay, or save-the-marmoset essay. I suppose this should be qualified, though--if someone worked on a marmoest campaign and did cool s***, that could be appropriate. I'm reading the adcomm's warning as "please don't send us an extended political rant--this a personal statement, not an op-ed."

That said, I've read some pretty smokin' essays here, and those who are really committed to the revision process are doing well, IMHO.

thanks for posting this info!

dani
Lit Journal Editor, Grants Administrator, Poet, Girl about town
www.northwestessay.com

chrisfield

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2006, 05:00:10 PM »
*My statement does not start (or ever really talk about) my childhood.

*I do not give an autobiography.

*I do not take about the LSAT/my GPA.

Does this mean I might have a somewhat original PS?  Does anyone want to read it and tell me? (EDIT: I have already mailed it to 15 schools so I won't make changes.  I just want to know what you think about it.)