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Author Topic: Critique my addendum....  (Read 688 times)

reverendT

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Critique my addendum....
« on: August 30, 2007, 10:39:28 AM »
What do you all think?


"While a cursory glance at my overall GPA suggests a rather mediocre academic performance, a closer examination reveals a slightly more complex situation, for my academic career can be neatly divided into two distinct halves.  My performance in the early 1990s left significantly more than a little to be desired, the results of youthful exuberance and enthusiasm for a great many things, few of which were related to my studies.  Inevitably, my initial attempt at a bachelorís degree fizzled out.
The second half of my academic career commenced nearly a decade later, when, armed with an infinitely greater reserve of maturity and focus, I resumed my studies and began working towards finishing what I had begun so many years before.  Starting slowly, I took classes at night, sometimes two a semester, while working a fulltime job.  In the fall of 2005 I became a fulltime student, cramming my final 47 credits into one academic year.   As my transcript clearly shows, from the moment of my return to school my performance was radically different than that of my previous endeavor.  The energy and enthusiasm which had so distracted me in my youth had become indispensable tools, enabling me to excel and perform at a level which I feel showcases my true potential.  Indeed, if one were to isolate the 69 credits that I earned between February 2003 and my graduation in August of 2006, my GPA would be a 3.95.  This performance clearly indicates a serious commitment to academic excellence and the ability to back up that commitment with outstanding results.  With that in mind, I think it becomes clear that the poor grades I received in the early 1990s, and their unfortunate affect upon my overall GPA, are, for all practical purposes, entirely irrelevant and should in no way be considered an indication or reflection of my current levels of academic commitment, ability or potential."


quincym

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 11:19:42 AM »
Simplify the language. It's painful to read as is. You've also got two run on sentences in the first paragraph alone.

I'd also suggest toning down the hyperbole. "Infinitely greater", "outstanding results", "entirely irrelevant", etc. The reader is the one to make the judgment call on these issues, so just give them the facts and steer them in the right direction. Stating that your early attempt at a bachelors is entirely irrelevant to your current ability won't change their mind if they feel otherwise.

reverendT

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 11:27:13 AM »
Simplify the language. It's painful to read as is. You've also got two run on sentences in the first paragraph alone.

I'd also suggest toning down the hyperbole. "Infinitely greater", "outstanding results", "entirely irrelevant", etc. The reader is the one to make the judgment call on these issues, so just give them the facts and steer them in the right direction. Stating that your early attempt at a bachelors is entirely irrelevant to your current ability won't change their mind if they feel otherwise.

Most points taken.  I'll give it a tweaking.
I do feel that it's important to summarize, hence the "early attempt...irrelevant."  We're dealing with lawyers, who like evidence followed by a conclusion....

Anyway...thanks for the input.

BeachBum

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 11:44:43 AM »
Ditto what quincym said... if you haven't done so already, I recommend taking a look at what Anna Ivey has to say about addenda. Basically, she says keep it short and to the point, don't tell the adcomms how to do their job, etc. I would probably cut out the entire first sentence and start with something like "I am submitting this addendum to explain why my grades..." and then just write a few sentences about why you think the second half of your grades are more indicative of your potential. I would also be very careful about how you phrase things. Telling the adcomms hey, i was immature and unfocused in my youth, but my grades back then are "entirely irrelevant and should in no way be considered..." seems like you're telling them how to do their job. they're going to consider whatever the hell they want to consider (sigh...) and you're basically just submitting this thing to ask for clemency.
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Eveman in Ingmarland

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2007, 01:52:11 AM »
Just be straightforward. Short, simple sentences with a little pathos and candor thrown in. To the point. Neither self-deprecating nor sneaky. No wasted words. Try to make it sound like Hemingway wrote it. Or better yet, like you wrote it.

A good addendum provides information that will help admissions officials interpret your application. It's all right to give your opinion, but don't tell people what to think. The information you provide should speak for itself.

Hannibal

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2007, 07:10:14 PM »
Never have so many words been used to say so little...
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reverendT

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2007, 10:11:44 AM »
Never have so many words been used to say so little...
don't knock it that wordy manner got me those A's....

Anyway, thanks for the help all....

reverendT

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2007, 10:18:12 AM »
Never have so many words been used to say so little...
don't knock it that wordy manner got me those A's....

Anyway, thanks for the help all....

that style may work for english class...but that's what they want. adcomms on the other hand want you to be succinct. all you have to do is say, "i screwed up when i first started, i was an immature 18 year old. i went back and now i'm better." that's it. see i just summed up your WHOLE original post in two sentences." i hope you realize that adcomms HATE wordiness. they read thousands of essays and addendums every year, they just want you to get to the point.

Yeah I'm starting to gather that....
Thanks!

California_RedRaider

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Re: Critique my addendum....
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2007, 02:46:24 PM »
I agree with the above.

SIMPLIFY the language.

Remember addendum = short, sweet and to the point. No fluff, no extra junk, etc.

Just tell the straight facts, nothing more.