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Grand Service Editing Sample

When evaluating the quality of EssayEdge's edits, please bear in mind the quality of the original version to understand the dramatic improvement made to the essay.

Unedited Version (the "Before" - Quite a Poor, Unfocused Essay)

Medical School Personal Statement

These are the steps up the ladder of life that have led me to where I am today. Please read this not as an essay but as an idea generator. I did not write in essay format I just sat down and typed what came to mind, and what I had jotted down from paper. I am a non traditional student applying to medical school. Having learned the lessons adulthood teaches, I am now more dedicated to my education and future than ever before.

Keeping in mind that my essay needs to be interesting as well as fact filled, I am having trouble gathering my thoughts and placing the ideas in an orderly way. I wish to project the image ­without actually saying it—that I am capable of holding up under the pressure of medical school, and that I will be a good candidate for the entering class of 2000. I am competetive and the experiences of life have added to my personal strength and stamina. I was raised in various foster homes and became a mother at eighteen. My second child was diagnosed with Krabbe’s disease which is terminal and debilitating. She required twenty-four hour a day care and I was never able to leave her with anyone for they feared she may die while in their care. She managed to live to age 4 but only due to the extreme care she was given. She had a life expectancy of eighteen months, but lived longer due to what the doctors attributed to the care I gave her. During her life time I was unable to work outside the home and took in sewing for others. This experience taught me determination and persistence.

I had tried to pursue college earlier, but was unable to complete because I had to work to financially support my family. After the birth and death of my second child I worked various places trying to support myself and surviving child for I had separated from my first husband. I worked as a secretary and eventually opened a Beauty Salon. I understand that this is not prerequisite material for medical school, but these events are those that brought me to where I am today. I gained skills as a business leader and employer that should enhance my application. I feel that the experience of “people pleasing” and communication skills from owning this business are a plus. As a business leader I donated time and money to the community and often performed services for the local nursing home or charity function.

Finally when the time was right I entered college at night and worked during the day. I felt that I wanted to pursue medicine but was unsure if I could handle the coursework. I found a part time job at a local prison in the medical office and decided that would give me a feel for what I was about to get into. Being a prison atmosphere I was able to do more hands on care than I would have been able to do in a public setting. I often changed bandages or assisted in minor surgeries. One event that stands out in my mind is a young boy who had almost cut his thumb off working in the kitchen. His hand was cut deep into the palm and the thumb hanging on by a thread. I decided that I would go into the room and see if the sight made me sick. I was fascinated by the sight of the internal parts of his hand,and the structures that performed the operations needed for movement. I was enrolled in Georgia Southern University the next quarter as a full time student where I have been ever since.

I live 70 miles away from college and I commute every day which shows the dedication I have to my career choice. I feel that that is the determination that the medical school is looking for and I want to stress my good points so that I will be considered as a competitive applicant.

I live in the rural south where there is a lot of migrant Hispanic workers. I feel that my summer abroad trip to Costa Rica to study Spanish will help me communicate better with my patients. I wish to work in a small town atmosphere. The cultural experience I found in Costa Rica should also enhance my application. I have worked with the church since high school by helping with Children’s church and singing in the chior.

As far as personal skills, my hobbies include sewing, white water rafting, horseback riding, and my latest accomplishment is wood working. I build furniture for myself and lately for others. I bought a few books, and of course power tools, and taught myself to build cabinets. I have built the entire cabinetry of my house as well as both a China and entertainment center. I enjoy a challenge and my hobbies reflect that. There is really nothing that I have tried to do that I did not succeed. I have been married for the past 10 years to a farmer, and I have learned what it is to work a farm. I have a seventeen year old daughter. I am an advocate for birth control and have convinced several of my daughters sexually active friends to seek medical care in order to prevent accidental pregnancies. I am very capable of handling the courseload and pressure associated with medical school and wish to convey this to the admissions board. The board wants to see a person who has personality but also has the skills necessary to succeed. I thought about using Ecclesiastes 3 as by theme because of all the times of my life this is the time that is best suited for college I think that all of the other had to occur in order for me to be mentally ready and persistent enough to succeed.

During my research experience at XXX in the Spring Semester of 1999 I synthesized a novel piperazine compound. My partner and I were under the direction of Dr. XXX and who studies the anti cancer effects of the Dragmacidine sponge. The compound formulated was very similar to hers with a different side chain. This experience was exhilarating since it is often difficult to formulate and actually get the end result


Since you’re not sure about the format or progression of thought that you would like to use, I will give you a suggested outline. I can then read your version of the essay and edit that. Please use email to communicate with me.


1. Introduction:
Since you would like to use the theme of Ecclesiastes 3, it would be a good idea to employ a framing device. A framing device is a type of overarching theme that you introduce at the beginning and refer to in the conclusion. This creates a sense of continuity and originality. My advice would be to open with a comment on this biblical chapter, and then apply it to your life.

2. Your history:
I know it must be painful for you to refer to the death of your second child, but this will show the admissions committee that you are a mature person, who has lived deeply, suffered deeply, and emerged stronger for the process. Your problems with your childhood (foster homes) should also be briefly referred to. Try to express what you have learned from this, and then carry those lessons into your discussion of your adult life. Perhaps you could say that you learned compassion, which is an essential aspect of any medical career. Then you could apply that to your job in the prison, where you felt deep sympathy for the inmates and tried to give them the care that any human being deserves, whether or not he has committed a crime. That’s one of the basic tenets of medicine (all people deserve good care), so it would be good to write about it. This is also the section in which you should mention any pertinent experiences in the workplace. Medical schools like people with a lot of experience in different areas, so always try to demonstrate the ways in which you have learned and grown from a particular job or event.

3. Your experiences in college and your preparations for the medical career:
It’s a good idea to close the essay with this, because you’ve already captured their interest/sympathy with your history. Now you can work on impressing them with your expertise.

4. Conclusion:
You’ve told them about your college/medical experiences. Now is the time to reintroduce the Ecclesiastes theme, stating that it is the “season” for you to prepare for the future, etc.
Please remember, this is only a suggested outline. There are a million ways of structuring this essay, but this is a simple one that will give you good results if you are diligent.

Final Version - following more consultations and additional editing

I firmly believe in the powerful message of Ecclesiastes 3:1, which states that every endeavor man can undertake has its own time and meaning. Looking back on my own life, I see these different seasons as stages of growth that have helped me to understand my own potential and the path that I wish to take in life. I feel that I have lived deeply and fully, and now wish to apply the valuable life lessons I have gained to what I feel is my true calling. Now is the season to explore the fascinating world of medicine, and to finally make that dream a reality.
As a child, I never believed that I could succeed. Growing up in one foster home after another, I lacked the stability that a youth needs in order to excel in classes and build a proper foundation for the future. I was pregnant by the age of eighteen, and dropped out of school to try to forge a future for my children. Life was difficult but fulfilling, and I found much joy in being the mother of two lovely children. The day my second child was diagnosed with Krabbe’s disease, however, all of my happiness seemed to vanish before my very eyes.

Krabbe’s disease is both terminal and debilitating, and the doctors gave my daughter a life expectancy of eighteen months. Swallowing my shock and sorrow, I devoted myself to making the most of the precious time I had left with my child. I researched intensively on Krabbe’s disease, learning as much as I could about its mechanisms and the course it would run. I applied these lessons to caring for my daughter, and provided her with the twenty-four hour a day care that she required. Because I was afraid she would die at any moment, I never left her side, even to go to work. In order to pay the bills, I took in outside sewing and odd jobs. But no sacrifice was too great for my daughter. She lived to the age of four, long past her expectancy, which the doctors attributed to my constant care.

Being such an intimate witness to the struggle of life and death left me with a deep sense of human fragility. I realized that the human body is so very intricate and beautiful in its complex delicacy. Working closely with doctors, studying medical texts, and nursing a very sick little girl gave me my first taste of medicine. I was too numbed with pain, however, to focus my thoughts on any plans to enter that field. I instead tried to deal with my grief while providing for my remaining child as a single mother. During the next few years, I worked as a secretary and a beautician, and eventually opened a beauty salon of my own. As a business owner, I entered a new world of innovative ideas and social responsibility. Running the salon taught me the valuable lesson of “people pleasing,” and I gained the confidence and communication skills to fight for my rights as a businesswoman. I also devoted much time and funding to my community. I knew full well the horrors of poverty, and often performed services for the local nursing home and charities. My life was finally beginning to stabilize, and I decided that the time had come to think about the dream of medicine that had grown during my daughter’s illness.

Because my days were devoted to running the beauty salon, I attended college during the nights. I was hesitant at first; although I felt drawn to medicine, I did not know if I could handle the coursework. I therefore decided to explore the field before committing myself to it. I found part-time work in the medical office of a local prison, which gave me much exposure to the rigors of health care. Working with prisoners was an amazing experience, for it taught me that all humans need compassion, no matter what their past or their crimes. Whenever a man walked into the clinic, I saw him not as a prisoner, but as a human being in need of help. I poured all of my compassion into my work, and did my best to ensure that these men were receiving the care that every human deserves.

Because I was in a prison environment, the office granted me much more opportunity for hands-on care than I could have found in a public setting. For instance, I often changed bandages and assisted in minor surgeries. On one memorable day, I helped treat a young boy who had nearly cut off his thumb while working in the kitchen. The knife had bitten deep into his palm, and his thumb seemed to be dangling by a thread. Far from feeling repulsion, I was fascinated by the sight of his hand’s internal parts. I realized that I was viewing the physiological structures that enabled movement, and found the experience to be breathtaking. My resolve snapped into place. I knew then that medicine was my true calling, and I enrolled in Georgia Southern University immediately as a full-time student.

Attending college at this point in my life has not been easy. I live seventy miles away from campus, and commute every day. The distance always seems so tiny when I think of the wealth of information I am gaining in my classes, and the many noble goals that are now within my grasp. College is certainly not the only aspect of my life right now. I revel in white water rafting, horseback riding, and cabinet making, and enjoy the challenges and hard work that fill these activities. Having been married to a farmer for the past ten years, I also know the basics of running a farm. I am an advocate for birth control, and have devoted much of my time to convincing sexually active adolescents to seek family planning services. Additionally, I have striven to prepare myself for making meaningful contributions to my community. Because I am from a region with a large Hispanic population, I spent a summer in Costa Rica strengthening my knowledge of the Spanish language, as well as broadening my cultural awareness of other peoples and customs. I believe that a physician must be attuned to all of the needs of the community, be they physical or emotional or cultural.

Now is the season for me to tackle my true goal of medicine. I believe that all of my life experiences have been necessary to bring me to this point. I am mentally prepared and persistent enough to excel at any endeavor, and have developed the compassion and commitment to medicine that will drive me through the years to come. I look forward to my future with great anticipation, and know that the time has finally come for me to realize my dreams.

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