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Professional editing of personal statement

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by edieb, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. edieb

    edieb Senior Member
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    Someone on here mentoined that he/she had their personal statement personally edited and had great results. Can that person, or anybody else, tell me where they went to get that service? Because I am broke and because this is so important, I want to make sure that I go to someone who does quality work

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Milo

    Milo Senior Member
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    just remember: I before E except after C or sounding like A as in neighbor and weigh. :love:
     
  3. grishko2007

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    As an alternative if your school has an English graduate department I would suggest contacting them for a list of freelance editors (cheaper than a professional service) or to see if they have a writing center (some departments offer a free workshop/consultation service where you work one-on-one with people trained specifically to help people with their personal statements and CV's--you'd have to do the revisions yourself but it may be worth it if you're broke).
     
  4. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    I used such a service and nuts, I forgot the name of it.

    I can tell you though that I believe this may have been the service.
    http://www.essayedge.com/

    Seems to be what I used because the "Harvard educated" thing rings a bell.

    Anyways, my personal statement though true and factual was very flat and boring. The professional editor rewrote my essay in a manner that was much more exciting but true to the original essence of my statement.

    Actually it was a bit too exciting. One thing I considered is yes, these people may be English majors and may be better at us in writing but they don't know the audience that reads these---psychiatrists, some who have a self appointed belief that they can psychoanalyze personal statements. I was a bit concerned that the reader might think I was grandiose in a bad way.

    So yes, it did help and it did dramatically improve my personal statement, but I got the rewritten statement, and basically just rewrote my statement on my own using some added zest and pizazz that the professional editor put in the new one.

    All in all it did help. The editor was able to show me how to soup up my statement to make it much more colorful, but its not like they should write it for you. Besides to some degree I would find that a bit unethical.

    Again, I don't know if it was the same service, but the service I used did keep in contact with me and ask me on what I thought on their essay editing advice. I would reccomend such a service.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    edieb

    edieb Senior Member
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    Thanks for responding, I really appreciate it
     
  6. sga430

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    check out www.medfools.com and kaplan. i had a freebee and used kaplan's editor. dunno if it is worth the 350$ but the editor did give me some good feedback. also check out 1st aid for the match and isserson's.
     
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  7. casimir pulaski

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    or you could just write your PERSONAL statement yourself.

    too obvious?
     
  8. maranatha

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    No offense to the OP, but I second this. I understand the pressure of wanting to do everything you can to get an interview, but I personally have a hard time with people getting professional help with their statement. I think half of what programs want to see with a PS is how well you can write. Just my opinion...:oops:
     
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  9. grishko2007

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    There exists a huge distinction between having something you wrote copyedited and plagiarizing someone else's original work. Unfortunately this line is too often blurred by students and evaluators alike. Case in point: ghostwriters-- apparently even Shakespeare had one. This still goes on in the contemporary publishing world (and movie industry) and is apparently legal. I'd give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume he/she was talking about copyediting, not ghostwriting or plagiarism. :confused:
     
  10. maranatha

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    I'm not suggesting that someone who uses a professional editor is trying to plagiarize or that they are willingly doing something unethical. However, I have friends that have used professional editors and believe me they do not pay $150 to $350 to have them correct their use of commas! (I probably have a few mistakes in this post!:laugh: ) You cannot tell me that using a professional editor demonstrates your true ability to write an essay.
     
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  11. grishko2007

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    150-350??? Now I know what I'll do if I don't match....

    I just finished a medical humanities rotation with my fellow m4's and if personal statements are supposed to demonstrate your true ability to write an essay then I think most med students are screwed. I saw the most brilliant MD/PhD's brought to their knees by the simple act of having to write a non-scientific paper.

    The purpose of the ps is to highlight who you are and how you would like to be perceived ouside of your CV and grades/scores. If an editor (or your friends/husband/wife/mother) can help you do this then I say more power to you. It does suck for the rest of us who DO write our own essays start to finish to not get that extra nod for our abilities.... So here's a couple for you and me, Maranatha: :laugh: :laugh: (that's the closest thing I could find to a nod).
     
  12. maranatha

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    Good point. I do understand why somebody would want the help...Maybe I'm really just bitter b/c I couldn't afford the money to help my PS look better! ;)

    (But getting multiple complements on my PS from people I interviewed with was good for my goofy ego. :) And...here is a nod right back at you :laugh:. )
     
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  13. jjbmsiv

    jjbmsiv INTJ
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    I think the idea of involving something more than proofreading borders on fraudulent, ESPECIALLY in the realm of psychiatry. I don't think it's off the mark to say that in psychiatry these folks (PDs) may just be looking for psychopathology in their applicants, and the PS is the place to start. Could having someone else 'ghost' your statement cover up such flaws? Maaaaybe?

    In general: Do any of the specialties care much if you can write? Probably not. Do they want to get to know you? Absolutely. How then can your words be interpreted as truly yours, if a so-called copy-editor jazzes it up by rewriting half your paragraphs? I've no quarrel with a proofreader, or bouncing ideas for topics off of a bunch of people, but, holy cow.
     
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  14. RustNeverSleeps

    RustNeverSleeps Walker, Texas Ranger
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    Agree. I think if a "proofreader" significantly changes your PS, it is a bit fishy, and it becomes questionable if the work is still truly your own.
     
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  15. maranatha

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    I agree with many of your points on the importance of writing your own essay, but respectfully disagree with the above quote. But if you are right, then I think they should care. IMHO, being able to write and have a decent command of the English language is very important and has multiple implications in psychiatry, especially if one is going into academics.
     
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  16. Neurotica

    Neurotica Emotion Detector
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    i thoughtz they's goin to learn me how to write it up during residency?
     
  17. jjbmsiv

    jjbmsiv INTJ
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    I'm actually a pretty good writer, and one of the things that attracted me to psych in the first place was the awesome, awesome language used in day to day communication. I was definitely being a little flippant, and you called me on it. *laughs* So sure, writing skills are important, and I certainly agree the gestalt of communication as a _whole_ is definitely the basis of quality patient interaction and damn fine medicine.
     
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  18. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Don't ya just LOVE being able to drop f-bombs in "official" notes--as in:
    CC: "I'm going to KILL my f***ing a$$hole boyfriend!" :laugh:
     
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  19. jjbmsiv

    jjbmsiv INTJ
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    It was one of the highlights of my third year! *laaaaaaaughs*
     
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  20. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    I don't think anyone here would have a problem with someone having a good friend, attending or other person check out a personal statement and ask for any advice.

    Don't see much difference in getting someone who has some writing talent do so either for about $100-200.

    I would though have a problem if someone outright had someone else write a PS for them.
     
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  21. Chewbacca Jung

    Chewbacca Jung Walking Carpet
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    I'll write somebody's ps for $300 (obo).
     
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  22. RustNeverSleeps

    RustNeverSleeps Walker, Texas Ranger
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    Yes, but I see a difference between asking for advice (which parts the readers do and don't like, any grammatical errors they spot), and what these services seem to do, which is not only give you advice, but give you a rewrite. I'm sure people could do this and get away with it, but I consider it unethical and would not do it.
     
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  23. DebDynamite

    DebDynamite Attending
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    This may sound prudish to some, but I think it's cheating. No one proofread those rinky-dink essays I had to crank out for the MCAT. No one checked my H&P's before I submitted them, and no one is gonna "fix" my PS for me. I'll consult Harbrace myself.

    I'm really not trying to be mean, I'm just calling a spade a spade. If I were the PD and I thought an IMG's PS was flawlessly written, then they showed up to interview and their prepositions were bouncing all over the place, I'd be suspicious. Think about it. It will only help if you speak as well as you write, and vice versa.
     
  24. maranatha

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    I think you nailed the issue here. Nobody is going to pay for a professional service to just have them say what they "do and don't like" and "point out any grammatical errors." Whopper's case is different, but that's the exception...
     
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  25. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    I agree that a service shouldn't write one for you.

    However, and we might be debating minutia here, talking to someone person to person, and them giving a suggestion such as--instead of writing x,y,z, write a,b,c isn't much different IMHO.

    The service I used didn't write one for me as if I didn't have to write one myself. They asked for the one I written, broke it down sentence by sentence, and said what was and wasn't working.

    I think if someone had their friend do the same thing (read your essay, show you what was and wasn't working, then verbally state what they would've written), it really isn't different. The service did the same thing but in email/text format.

    Also, in several written assignments in college, professors usually don't have a problem with people doing similar things on papers, in fact several of them expect you to do it.

    The MCAT analogy not congruent. The MCAT is more about judging a person's communication, writing and grammar skills. The personal statement is more about them getting to know you and why you want to go into the field.

    In the MCAT case, a person should be getting no assistance, which is much more black and white, and that test is judged on objective standards. The personal statement is usually judged on subjective standards.
     
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  26. DebDynamite

    DebDynamite Attending
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    Well, I don't really think my MCAT analogy is that off. Because I think that I should be able to present myself pretty well in my personal statement without assistance; it is after all a PERSONAL statement. It just seems fabricated to me, to have someone else assist me with something personal, that's all (I do agree that proof reading and finding places where someone put the comma in the wrong spot isn't cheating, but I would just rather do it myself by setting it aside and looking at it with fresh eyes after a few days).
     
  27. sga430

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    i had mine edited yet the essay is still mine. i got advice like "provide more examples of such an such" or on rewording certain phrases. the advice was invaluable but no substitute for writing my own essay.

    if your first language is not english yet ur essay sounds like shakespeare, in the interview it would seem odd.

    i feel the essay is important in psych and i was complimented on mine. i spent months on it and felt the time was well worth it. yes the editor did help as well as my friends and family but the essay is mine.
     
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  28. grishko2007

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    As a long time college writing instructor, I've always told my students that it is downright insulting to the professor/TA to turn in a paper riddled with grammatical/spelling/structural errors. To not pay attention to these things makes you look lazy and unmotivated, and if you're not strong in these areas then it is expected that you should go out and get help from a copyeditor/editor/friends in order to show some effort. I'd imagine PD's would feel the same way.

    Also, if the residencies were really that concerned about evaluating a candidate's writing skills, this would likely be reflected in a written portion of the boards or a writing course requirement for med school.

    I've been told by residents on admissions committees that the only way you can really get into trouble with a program regarding your ps is to misrepresent your INTERESTS, not your WRITING SKILLS.
     
  29. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    I frequently asked to review applicants' statements, conduct tours, and generally review applications for residency.

    To put it simply...at this point I'd rather read an edited statement that at least makes sense and is in coherent English than the insulting, spelling-error laden, non-gramatically-correct stuff that people seem to feel is fine to hand in.

    At least an edited statement shows that someone has some sense of pride in their work.
     

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