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Personal Statement Editing Services

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Capella

OK-State 2011
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Have any of you guys used one of those Personal Statement editing services? Is it considered ethical if they just edit? Is it worth the $200? And if you’ve already been accepted this year, how much do you think your personal statement factored into your success? Just curious.
 

QTkitty

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Hi! I actually wondered about this as well when I was working on my personal statement and even contacted a company to discuss what they actually do. I decided not to go with them. When I thought about it I decided that I would rather give the schools a statement that came from me, not a cookie cutter version from the company. I mean sure, they are only editing, but it is the format that they are editing and I think you would want to make your statement unique in as many ways as possible to help it stand out. If anything I'd say ask professors at your school to proof read it, that way you can get suggestions that you can choose to take into consideration or ignore (not to mention saving $200). I have been accepted to the only two schools I've heard from so far and I'm not sure how much my statement factored into it. When I was writing my statement I really made an effort to make it come from me. I didn't try to use big words or long winded sentences. I told them a little about my life, why I want to be a vet and gave plenty of examples that have shaped me to be who I am. Not to sound conceited, but it was professionally written, without sounding like I was trying to be pedantic. I really hope this helps :luck:
 

kate_g

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I agree with QTkitty, I think you'll get better results by having as many *different* people as possible read it and give you comments - friends, family, professors, veterinarians. They all know something slightly different about you, and you definitely want opinions of people who don't already know everything about your application. I was pretty surprised at the variation in things that different people picked up on. Get their comments and then revise the essay yourself, rather than asking people to make revisions, and it will remain in your words and true to your character.

Plus, the "professional service" is probably just some out-of-work English major. People whose writing is really $200 better than mine have better things to be doing with their time and skills than revising application essays. :)

Pretty hard to judge how much my personal statement affected my acceptance - the interviewer who had seen my file didn't draw out anything specific from my statement during our conversation, so I honestly don't even know for sure that he read it...
 

Pennymare

Ohio State Class of 2011
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I third those statements. Your personal statement may be your only first chance to show them 'you'. It should show what makes you tick, something that defines you as the person you are today... They know all of the stuff you've done from your experience sections; the personal statement is the only section to connect to them as a person with a unique character.

Why the hell do you want to be a blah blah veterinarian?

It's also an area where you can demonstrate that you understand the industry, social opinions, and current issues in that field. etc

This is not the time to let some company turn it into a cliche, 'mass produced' statement.

Have lots of people read it, make sure it flows, check your grammar, and edit it until you are, or almost are, proud of it.
 

Pennymare

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Ok, that was close to a rant....sorry! Basically, make it your own....whatever that might be.... It's probably a better bet and your personal statement will not be the only thing they consider (most of us are probably not English majors ;) )
 

KittenKiller

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Plus, the "professional service" is probably just some out-of-work English major. People whose writing is really $200 better than mine have better things to be doing with their time and skills than revising application essays.

I heartily second that. I used to work for one of these when I was in college, and Im hardly a stellar writer (these kind of services like my Harvard cred). And I havent been accepted anywhere yet, so so much for my "professional" skills.

Definitely get a LOT of opinions on your essay. I wrote and rewrote my personal statement based on strong critiques of my advisor, my mother, and a couple friends in med school.

One thing you might do to brainstorm is look at a book with some tips for writing medical school essays with some samples. These might be helpful for deciding your format - if you want to write a narrative about a specific episode, a point-by-point "why I want to be a vet" essay, or something else entirely. They also might get some sparks flying in your head about important ideas and events in your own life that you'd want to mention.

Jessica
 

silverelf

Tufts Class of 2011
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i heard about those, but personally would feel like was cheating. its a PERSONAL statement, not a 200 dollar-by-committee statement. I just had a some friends and my mum look over what i wrote, and everyone had a comment or two, which was nice and helpful but at the same time it was still something i did myself, which i took some pride in (i'm a dork, i know)
 

youthman

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what about using the service just for english and grammar proofing?
 

CookieBear

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what about using the service just for english and grammar proofing?

Ideally, seek out a professor (liberal arts would be a good area of course) or even a high school liberal arts teacher, to proof-read.

I'm pulling this idea out of my rear err, --- Anyone ever try a local librarian to proof-read? What about a college writing lab or career development office? Alumni office, even. Those places usually have English-majors around.

Hell, when all else fails, going to the English department at a college (preferably your own I guess) and asking the department secretary if he/she knows anyone that could help...
 

AuburnPreVet

AU CVM Class of 2011
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Once I met with profs, vets, etc.. and had the content of what I wanted to say in order I went to our school's CDS office which has resume & other career services staff who were very helpful in making sure things were both grammatically correct but came across in a professional manner while still personal.

They also offer mock interviews, etc.:thumbup:
 

JIKJen124

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Being a History major back in the day myself, I didn't rely on others for help with the mechanics. I did, however, use the services of several MDs (family members) and the pre-health committee at my university to bounce ideas off of. The pre-health committee was great with things like mock interviews, pre-req clarifications, and help with logistics of the application process. I'd highly recommend taking advantage a pre-health committee if you have access to one.
 
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