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  • Personal Statement:English 5

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English Personal Statement

JK Rowling had her midnight cafes; Roald Dahl's garden shed has produced wheelbarrows of children's literature and the Bronte sisters roamed the vast expanse of the Yorkshire moors. I personally retreat to a caravan at the bottom of my garden where I find the creative stimulus required to write prizewinning poetry and biology essays alike

Whilst some people are terrified by, or worse, ambivalent towards modern poetry, I fail to remain unmoved after reading Jean 'Brita'Breeze' s "Moonwise" which epitomises the strength of emotion found within a short verse. The beautiful simplicity of the syntax found in such work inspires my creative writin; my poetry has won national competitions and been published in anthologies. Thus my daily diet of literature is a colourful juxtaposition of John Donne's solipsistic love poems, Tess Durbeyfield with her compassionate mentor Hardy and the infamous nobody Mr Pooter. A level English has not dictated but cultivated my critical opinions through analysis of such texts, and so I have been able to appreciate the subtly of fine writing, for example in Joyce's 'Dubliners'

The other subjects I am taking for A level support and complement my continual study of English. The methodology applied to research and evaluate critical arguments undertaken for A level history independent study are paralleled during my consultations with Bradly about Othello. A level biology demands the application of analysis with knowledge, and through my AS physics course I was selected to participate in the Engineering scheme, which enhances my ability to work in a team and to produce reports and presentations. Such attributes were firmly in place after my work experience at the publicity department of Bloomsbury publishing, and in my duties as elected Head Girl

The majority of my extra-curricular activities demonstrate the aptitude I have for English; I write articles for the school magazine, take acting coaching and was the lead role in an all-female production of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies."I was awarded a sports scholarship for sixth form, play hockey for the school first XI and represent Somerset at the South West England hockey trials. To the amazement and horror of my friends I have started a running club at my college and the sport has given me great self-motivation and a sense of humour. My outside interests are huge, literally. After hockey and orchestra I regularly have to employ my skills as a manipulator to fit my cello and hockey goal keeping kit in the boot

Although some would argue the study for an English degree is not vocational I see the next few years of my life as the opportunity to become immersed in a subject I love. To develop my potential as a writer, I need to analyse and understand the work of those who inhabit library shelves. This course offers me the chance to explore the depths of Shakespeare, unravel the mysteries of Byron and grow in confidence as a literacy critic and person.

Comments

General Comments:

Overall, this is a poor statement. There is no engagement with texts that are mentioned or really showing any interest in them. Instead, the applicant focuses too much on wanting to be a writer, which isn’t attractive to admissions tutors. They want applicants who enjoy literature and analysing it, not ones who want a literature degree as a means to an end (i.e. being a writer). There is too much focus on extra-curricular activities and the humour used is inappropriate in a formal document such as this. This applicant also has a tendency to use overly complex sentence structures when their message would be conveyed better by keeping it simple.

Comments on the statement:

JK Rowling had her midnight cafes; Roald Dahl's garden shed has produced wheelbarrows of children's literature and the Bronte sisters roamed the vast expanse of the Yorkshire moors. The applicant is trying to use the literary structure of ‘rule of 3’, but it isn’t personal enough – the first sentence should explain why they are interested in literature by incorporating themselves in. This tells us nothing about the applicant’s interest in literature really – many people will like these authors. The applicant would need to answer WHY they like them (or literature more generally). I personally retreat to a caravan at the bottom of my garden where I find the creative stimulus required to write prizewinning poetry and biology essays alike. This is not a degree in writing literature (although obviously many essays will be involved!), so the applicant should focus their interests on reading and analysing literature, rather than writing poetry. The specifics of the applicant’s retreat are not important either. Also, it is important to have a full stop at the end of a paragraph. Whilst some people are terrified by, or worse, ambivalent towards modern poetry, I fail to remain unmoved It is unwise to make assumptions about other people in your PS – it should be focused on you and YOUR interests after reading Jean 'Brita' added space Breeze' s "Moonwise" which epitomises the strength of emotion the strength of what emotion?? found within a short verse. This needs expanding, to explain WHY it moved the applicant. The beautiful simplicity of the syntax examples? This would show engagement and analysis of the text found in such work inspires my creative writing; my poetry has won national competitions and been published in anthologies. It would be better for the referee to mention these sorts of things. However, it could be an opportunity for the applicant to discuss their inspirations, relating it to their interests. Thus my daily diet this phrasing is too informal of literature is a colourful juxtaposition of John Donne's solipsistic love poems, Tess Durbeyfield with her compassionate mentor Hardy and the infamous nobody Mr Pooter. Name dropping authors/writers like this adds nothing to the application. It would be better for the applicant to pick one or two and talk about what exactly they like about their books and discussing their critical engagement with the texts, as opposed to listing authors/books. A Level English has not dictated but cultivated my critical opinions through analysis of such texts, and so I have been able to appreciate the subtlety of fine writing, for example in Joyce's 'Dubliners'. This can be deleted as the applicant is just retelling the exam syllabus which the universities will know about and it isn't unique to them, all applicants for English will have studied it at this level, it says nothing about the applicant.

The other subjects I am taking for A Level support and complement my continual study of English. The methodology applied to research and evaluate critical arguments undertaken for A Level History independent study are paralleled during my consultations with Bradly about Othello. This needs to be more specifically related back to English and their interest in it. A Level Biology demands the application of analysis with knowledge, and through my AS Physics course I was selected to participate in the engineering scheme, which enhances my ability to work in a team and to produce reports and presentations. It isn’t necessary to justify every A Level. This tells us nothing about the applicant, as all A Level students for these subjects will be the same. Such attributes were firmly in place after my work experience at the publicity department of Bloomsbury publishing, and in my duties as elected Head Girl. This ‘firmly in place’ suggests that the applicant feels like they have nothing to learn about these attributes, which isn’t good. This also doesn’t flow with the A Levels in the rest of the paragraph. Instead, the work experience could be talked about in another paragraph, as long as it is related to the applicant’s interest in English.

The majority of my extra-curricular activities demonstrate the aptitude I have for English; this sounds arrogant – instead of making this assumption on behalf of the admissions tutors, the applicant should just SHOW that this is the case. I write articles for the school magazine, take acting coaching and was the lead role in an all-female production of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". The applicant needs to express exactly how this relates to their interest and ‘aptitude’ for English. I was awarded a sports scholarship for sixth form, play hockey for the school first XI and represent Somerset at the South West England hockey trials. To the amazement and horror of my friends Humour like this is best left out of a statement, as it is a formal document I have started a running club at my college and the sport has given me great self-motivation and a sense of humour. This last bit doesn’t really make sense My outside interests are huge, literally.Again, the humour is too informal. Plus, the statement is technically incorrect. After hockey and orchestra I regularly have to employ my skills as a manipulator to fit my cello and hockey goal keeping kit in the boot. This last bit doesn't really demonstrate the applicant’s capability or enthusiasm for an English degree… Nor does it really suggest any contributory skills towards said degree. It is also far too informal.

Although some would argue the study for an English degree is not vocational, it isn’t vocational, as it doesn’t lead directly into a specific job. However, it is important to show interest in something you will be studying for at least 3 years I see the next few years of my life as the opportunity to become immersed in a subject I love. To develop my potential as a writer, I need to analyse and understand the work of those who inhabit library shelves. This course offers me the chance to explore the depths of Shakespeare, unravel the mysteries of Byron and grow in confidence as a literacy critic and person. This sounds very course-specific, which could be detrimental if the courses at other universities that the applicant has applied to don’t cover these things. However, this sounds too based on the applicant wanting to be a writer – the applicant instead needs to show interest in reading and critically engaging with what they are reading. The focus of this conclusion is completely wrong.



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