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    I'm an American student who is looking to study Media/Politics at LSE this coming fall. I am working on my personal statement now and I am at a loss about whether or not I can be passionate and opinionated in my essay. A lot of advice I have read leads me to believe this is the norm and will help me stand out, but being that I can be overly zealous at times, I just don't want to scare the reviewers. Does anyone have any advice about how much passion is too much passion?


    Three inches of passion is the absolute maximum.
    Seriously, why not post your PS or PM it to law people, and they can suggest that you tone it either up or down? It's hard to give helpful hypothetical advice. I would say try not to be too opinionated - you don't want to scare them off! Passion is good, but don't overdo it and make it sound cheesy and desperate.

    I tend to agree.... be passionate, but at the same time keep in mind what you are writing and try and control yourself. Once you have gotten a couple of drafts down get a billion people to read it and give their opinions, and they can tell you to tone it up or down.

    you do need to stand out, but that doesn't necessarily mean cranking up the passion. just write honestly and let your personality show through - surely there are some things that you have strong opinions on? you don't need to make big poweful statements - you just have to prove that you are interested in your subject, have thoughts about it and are able to express them.

    what you write must also be based on the type of subject you are taking. a friend of mine applied for politics this year who used to live in south-africa. as a result, she had strong opinions on the apartheid regime which she included in her PS. in my personal statement (for english lit) i wrote that i found desdemona (wife of the protagonist in 'othello') to be one of the most irritating characters i had ever encountered. neither of these examples conveys an extreme viewpoint, or challenges the status quo, but they both show personal feelings about the subject in question.

    basically, you have to have opinions on what you're writing about, but it doesn't have to be hyperbolic. it's true that writing a really boring, typical PS probably won't get you far, but there are loads of ways of standing out, other than being weird. the main thing is to make it personal - don't just say what you've read, but also why you liked it (or why you didn't). i wouldn't even try to "control yourself." the whole point of the thing is to let admissions tutors see who you really are. be honest, be yourself, but don't be cliched or over the top, and, whatever you do, don't be too formal.


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