Law School Discussion

Writers Block

Writers Block
« on: September 30, 2007, 09:12:56 PM »
I am struggling coming up with a good topic for my PS. Many people on this board who have posted part of their PS or PM'd me their PS have interesting or tragic life circumstances that are significant and personal enough to write a PS about. Also, these circumstances are easily adapted to describing the writers positive qualities etc.... My life has been pretty basic, I have no physical illness to speak of, I have had only minimal tragedy in my 21 years of life, and I don't feel as if I have made any groundbreaking achievements of note up to this point. I am feeling the pressure of writing a great PS, and am drawing a blank. What do you write about if you have lived a normal suburban lifestyle with no severe hardships to speak of?

Cabra

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Re: Writers Block
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2007, 09:23:37 PM »
hardship is often an overworked/manufactured theme. so is achievement. be glad that your life story doesn't pull you into one of those traps.

before you pick a topic, decide how you want to market yourself to adcoms. What about you is unique? Some of the personal statement books are helpful for this--Montauk and Bodine's "Great Personal Statements" were helpful to me. Then brainstorm stories from your life that epitomize "you" as you want the adcoms to know you.
Start writing a few of these stories until one of them strikes you as more natural and "you" than the rest.

At least, this was my technique.

Re: Writers Block
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2007, 09:27:43 PM »
I am struggling coming up with a good topic for my PS. Many people on this board who have posted part of their PS or PM'd me their PS have interesting or tragic life circumstances that are significant and personal enough to write a PS about. Also, these circumstances are easily adapted to describing the writers positive qualities etc.... My life has been pretty basic, I have no physical illness to speak of, I have had only minimal tragedy in my 21 years of life, and I don't feel as if I have made any groundbreaking achievements of note up to this point. I am feeling the pressure of writing a great PS, and am drawing a blank. What do you write about if you have lived a normal suburban lifestyle with no severe hardships to speak of?

Just to give an example of what I am currently working with as my idea. I was thinking of writing about how research I have conducted with a certain professor has brought to light the reality of outgroup derogation in all populations, especially the one we live in. I have strong convictions about equality, and these convictions have only come in the past year, where i have done research on racial inequality in the judicial system, and am now conducting research investigating the ingroup bias and outgroup derogation between health science majors and liberal art majors at my university. I think if i focused my ideas more on my transformation and interest in my research and its pertinence to the legal system i might be able to put forth a solid effort.

What do you think of this idea?

Cabra

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Re: Writers Block
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2007, 10:17:35 PM »
If you can take your research topic and take it out of the academic realm, apply it to your life maybe...sure, write about that.
But I've read from adcoms that they don't want an essay about your thesis. Academic writing is really dry and your subject does not reveal very much about you.
Try boiling down your ps topic to three sentences and see if they are clear and make someone think, "huh, I want to hear more about that person."
Based on what you just wrote I don't think you're there yet. You may be too caught up in the data and research side of your project to write a good narrative about YOU around it.


Re: Writers Block
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2007, 10:31:14 PM »
If you can take your research topic and take it out of the academic realm, apply it to your life maybe...sure, write about that.
But I've read from adcoms that they don't want an essay about your thesis. Academic writing is really dry and your subject does not reveal very much about you.
Try boiling down your ps topic to three sentences and see if they are clear and make someone think, "huh, I want to hear more about that person."
Based on what you just wrote I don't think you're there yet. You may be too caught up in the data and research side of your project to write a good narrative about YOU around it.



You seem to be right, and I appreciate your honesty.
What if I revised my idea to use my research as a way of tying my interests in the subject matter and its relevance to my life and views with how the professor that has helped me conduct the research has helped me through this change for the better

Cabra

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Re: Writers Block
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2007, 10:35:20 PM »

What if I revised my idea to use my research as a way of tying my interests in the subject matter and its relevance to my life and views with how the professor that has helped me conduct the research has helped me through this change for the better

Definitely getting warmer. :)