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Author Topic: Patterns I've seen  (Read 33240 times)

gadfly

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2006, 09:37:16 AM »
wow, great thread! You guys have really given me some great insight into this. Now, if only I can manage to incorporate this into my PS.

To those who've read quite a bit of essays: generally speaking, what percentage were really good-were most you've read mediocre ?

justGem

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2006, 11:01:32 AM »

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


Aaah, the extended resume - that should have been number 2 on the list.  The Admissions Director mentioned this one as being a definite way to make the statement IMpersonal.  This is a great thread Dani! 

SolarysBlue

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2006, 11:49:30 AM »
I try to be completely nice when editing- but I guess you have to ask the people I've edited for. What's the point of being mean?

I would say about 45% are mediocre in terms of writing. They feel like high school essay thrown together in a couple of hours. 10% needed to be scrapped b/c of subject matter being too common or just feeling like an 8th grader wrote it. 20% were good. 15% pretty good. 10% jaw dropping good.

I remember a ps that used this innovative form of writing that worked so well I had to tell him it was definetly one of the best I've read.

redemption

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2006, 12:00:23 PM »
Yeah, i've been yelled at multiple times and i think for the same reason that you cited. Then, after a few minutes, they reflect on how much work I've done in editing the grammar and punctuation and in writing comments and suggesting changes in the way it is organised and they PM/email back to follow up. I can't help it: I just don't see the point of saying it's fine when I don't think that it is..

When I was asking for opinions on my diversity essay, this one guy just completely ripped it apart. Seriously--it was brutal. But it forced me to reevaluate... I followed some suggestions and ignored others that I felt would change my voice. One comment he made (in the vein of "the only good part about this stinking pile o' poo was...") inspired my personal statement. Which I asked him to read as well--I might as well find out the worst possible reaction now, after all. Anyway, it all worked out hunky dory. I think the problem with most people is that they have the potential to be good writers--they just don't realize that it takes a lot of work beyond the inital creative process. One of the greatest writing tools is a healthy sense of insecurity. :)

maggs

You're kidding, right? It must have been a very early draft. Yours was the only one that I would read again for pleasure

The Dread Pirate Roberts

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2006, 12:10:52 PM »
I would say about 45% are mediocre in terms of writing. They feel like high school essay thrown together in a couple of hours. 10% needed to be scrapped b/c of subject matter being too common or just feeling like an 8th grader wrote it. 20% were good. 15% pretty good. 10% jaw dropping good.

Of the ones I read, I'd say maybe 60% were mediocre or worse in terms of writing.  But I'm picky about my writing, and as the daughter of an english teacher, I've always been anal about grammar too.   ;)  But a few were really great, and quite a few were good.

And I'm feeling pretty decent about the originality of mine.  The only thing discussed that I had in my statement was the "jesus moment" and it wasn't an extreme jesus moment or anything.

One thing I was struck by was the number of essays that were about missionary work.  At least three and I think more of the fifteen or so I read were on that topic.

redemption

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2006, 12:19:06 PM »
I try to be completely nice when editing- but I guess you have to ask the people I've edited for. What's the point of being mean?

I would say about 45% are mediocre in terms of writing. They feel like high school essay thrown together in a couple of hours. 10% needed to be scrapped b/c of subject matter being too common or just feeling like an 8th grader wrote it. 20% were good. 15% pretty good. 10% jaw dropping good.

I remember a ps that used this innovative form of writing that worked so well I had to tell him it was one definetly one of the best I've read.


I must have missed that last one. I'm having second thoughts and regrets about my own PS... I'm feeling like I should have written one with a sense of style and verve. Instead I let the experience that I focused on do the work for me. I chickened out - didn't want it to seem mannerly.

gadfly

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2006, 12:34:57 PM »
redemption: your esssay was great-beutifully written. Mine however, I've scrapped at least 10 times. Just when I thought I got it right, I read it the next day and realize it sucks.

gadfly

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2006, 12:37:58 PM »
By the way, I can understand why people lash out when their essays are criticized. You've spent 7 long and painful hours in the delivery room giving birth to your beautiful baby and when some one tells you it's absolutely hideous you'd probably get a bit cranky.  8)

redemption

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2006, 01:02:25 PM »
By the way, I can understand why people lash out when their essays are criticized. You've spent 7 long and painful hours in the delivery room giving birth to your beautiful baby and when some one tells you it's absolutely hideous you'd probably get a bit cranky.  8)

Yeah, I understand that. But, hopefully, when people ask for feedback they are expecting honesty. Presumably they've spent 7 hours in the delivery room in order to have a healthy child. If the baby is sick and needs surgery, it's a bit counter-productive to yell at the obstetritian who tells you so. Ok - I think I might have stretched that metaphor a bit far....

I hope the adcomms feel the way that you do about my PS  :)

gadfly

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Re: Patterns I've seen
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2006, 01:09:11 PM »
Yeah, I understand that. But, hopefully, when people ask for feedback they are expecting honesty. Presumably they've spent 7 hours in the delivery room in order to have a healthy child. If the baby is sick and needs surgery, it's a bit counter-productive to yell at the obstetritian who tells you so.

touchée