Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Rowdy is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Questions of grammar for personal statement

    Hello,

    I am putting the finishing touches on my personal statement for law school and want to make sure everything is correct grammatically. I have several sentences where I am torn between the use of two words for a variety of reasons (i.e. based on present vs past tense) and I am not sure which is the most appropriate in the context of the sentence.

    I have put the 2 competing words in bold-red with a separating forward slash. The highlighted yellow word is what I am currently using. PLEASE advise on which ones are correct. Thanks!:

    1. Through a balanced diet of theorists such as Locke, Holmes, and Tocqueville I discovered abstract political and legal concepts, while Keynes, Smith, and Sharpe shaped my understanding of financial theory. A /The pursuit of edification had grown to be fundamental to my personality.

    2. So as I left the doctor’s office still processing my diagnosis, its potential consequences including stroke and paralysis, I couldn’t help but walk straight to the library, to/and begin outlining my options.

    3. While these ‘workarounds’ were effective, overtime I became increasingly concerned that they might also be/have been avoidable. (Also do I need quotes around workarounds?)

    4.
    During the summer prior to my junior year I decided to pour all my efforts into investigating surgical options that could conceivably/possibly cure me.

    5. As my doctors celebrated my physical renaissance, I redirected my time and energy toward both/ (no both) academic achievement and contemplating a career in the law.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,263
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Questions of grammar for personal statement

    My choices

    1 The (I must say that I found this sentence a bit flowery for my taste)
    2 Either, but I'd remove the comma.
    3 I would use have been, but don't object to be.

    I used OneLook, which searches hundreds of online dictionaries and it doesn't appear in many, so maybe keep the inverted commas:
    Definitions of workaround - OneLook Dictionary Search
    Compare with work and see how many dictionaries have that- most of the big names are missing in the first search
    Definitions of work - OneLook Dictionary Search

    4 Hard to say- conceivably is stronger, so it depends on how far you went. As it's law school, I might stick to the more conservative possibly.

    5 Both might suggest a greater focus on these exclusively

    Good luck with your application.

  3. #3
    Rowdy is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Questions of grammar for personal statement

    Thanks a ton! I agree with you about number 1. I actually changed it up after that post.

    Again, I appreciate it!

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Questions of grammar for personal statement

    In your example, "over time" is two words.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    jahildebrandt is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    59
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Questions of grammar for personal statement

    In sentence 4, with conceivably/possibly, something which may be conceived may not necessarily be possible at that point in time. Conceivably still "sounds" better than possibly though...it just all depends on how literal you want to be.

    Sentence 5 is a choice of style. Tdol brings up a point that suggests greater exclusivity. but it doesn't really add new information. Brevity is a virtue though and since the meaning would be preserved if both was removed from the sentence, I would personally omit it.

Similar Threads

  1. [Application] need help in personal statement
    By wq-92 in forum CVs, Resumes and Applications
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Feb-2011, 11:28
  2. Personal Statement
    By vietfun2k in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Jun-2009, 20:31
  3. personal statement
    By Tobi Banto in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-May-2009, 18:06
  4. I need help with a Personal Statement
    By anna2588 in forum CVs, Resumes and Applications
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-Apr-2009, 07:11
  5. My Personal Statement
    By Sammy P in forum CVs, Resumes and Applications
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2007, 14:14

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •