Are the texts mentioned in my English Literature personal statement ok? Watch

loveyouforaday
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Do you think the texts I've mentioned are ok? e.g. From a wide range of times in history, all quite different, the right amount mentioned etc? If not please tell me what I should include instead? Thanks

Talked about the gothic genre:
‘The Castle of Otranto’ by Walpole (1764)
and ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ by Edgar Allan Poe (1839)

Talked about dystopian genre
‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1921)

Talked about feminist aspects of literature and used Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1796) and compared this to 'Persuasion' and 'Emma' also by Jane Austen

I mentioned these texts I have read that are linked to my study of Psychology:
‘The Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller (1949)
'King Oedipus' by Sophocles (429 BC)

I mentioned I’ve seen the plays King Lear (1603) and Waiting for Godot (1953)

Aswell as mentioning studied AS texts Wuthering Heights by Bronte (1847) & The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne (1850) & Mushrooms by Plath (around 1950’s)
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D.R.E
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Needs more Harry Potter, they'll respect you for that!
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alharrison4
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Whoa! They want to know about you, not receive a list of all the different genres of books you've read, or an essay about them. I was told that if you just try to cram in loads of different books, that's exactly how it'll come across.
I've been to see Waiting for Godot too, but I think that's the only work of literature I mentioned in my PS to study English, and that was in relation to the fact that I like the theatre
Make it more about you.
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loveyouforaday
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(Original post by alharrison4)
Whoa! They want to know about you, not receive a list of all the different genres of books you've read, or an essay about them. I was told that if you just try to cram in loads of different books, that's exactly how it'll come across.
I've been to see Waiting for Godot too, but I think that's the only work of literature I mentioned in my PS to study English, and that was in relation to the fact that I like the theatre
Make it more about you.
Oh ok haha I'm glad I asked then.. to mention only one seems not enough though surely? I also have no hobbies outside of school other than reading that would look good on a personal statement so I thought I should just write about all of the books I've read? :/
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alharrison4
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I don't know, when I was writing mine it didn't really seem that relevant to name drop, but I already had quite a bit to write about, about things I've done that are to do with English... Maybe it's better placed in your PS
I kind of put that I have an interest in many different types of literature, novels, plays, etc. And a little bit about how my other subjects complimented my English A Level (I did History, Religious Studies and Psychology at AS). Can't remember what I put exactly...
Have you done any relevant work experience? Helped in school assemblies/ drama productions/ public speaking? Just think of anything 'English-y' you might have done whatsoever!
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member520746
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Jane Austen for feminist literature? Girlfriend puh-leez.
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Jess (:
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(Original post by loveyouforaday)
Oh ok haha I'm glad I asked then.. to mention only one seems not enough though surely? I also have no hobbies outside of school other than reading that would look good on a personal statement so I thought I should just write about all of the books I've read? :/
I agree with alharrison4. I'm not trying to do an English Literature personal statement but it seems excessive. Depending on how it was written it might just look like fillers and screams for more information about yourself.

Perhaps you should get some hobbies. You could do some volunteering, do-it.org.uk is a good website for this. There is probably a book club in the local area. It might only be a couple of hours a week but it could really help you and your personal statement. You could go and see a play in your local theatre. Or even attend an open lecture at your local University on Literature. Just something that shows you don't just read because a lot of people can do that and it might not be impressive. Also some people read books just so they can put it down on their personal statement so rather then standing out, you might just blend in.

I'm not trying to be harsh but perhaps this is the kick that you need to have more hobbies out of school, related to your desire to do English Literature.
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Kater Murr
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I'm sure those will be fine for getting into Hull university, sweetie
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hobnob
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Where did you get the 1796 date for Pride and Prejudice from?:confused: That may have been when Austen finished her first draft, but I'm pretty sure it was revised at least once before it was eventually published in 1813 (or thereabouts).
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morematterlessartx
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(Original post by loveyouforaday)
[B]

Talked about feminist aspects of literature and used Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1796) and compared this to 'Persuasion' and 'Emma' also by Jane Austen
Not the most riveting of comparisons..
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Kalliope
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(Original post by loveyouforaday)
Do you think the texts I've mentioned are ok? e.g. From a wide range of times in history, all quite different, the right amount mentioned etc? If not please tell me what I should include instead? Thanks

Talked about the gothic genre:
‘The Castle of Otranto’ by Walpole (1764)
and ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ by Edgar Allan Poe (1839)

Talked about dystopian genre
‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1921)

Talked about feminist aspects of literature and used Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1796) and compared this to 'Persuasion' and 'Emma' also by Jane Austen

I mentioned these texts I have read that are linked to my study of Psychology:
‘The Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller (1949)
'King Oedipus' by Sophocles (429 BC)

I mentioned I’ve seen the plays King Lear (1603) and Waiting for Godot (1953)

Aswell as mentioning studied AS texts Wuthering Heights by Bronte (1847) & The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne (1850) & Mushrooms by Plath (around 1950’s)
Sounds good to me! Obviously, I'd like to make it clear I'm a year 11 so don't trust me though! (I just like to check out the English PS threads so I'm ready when the time comes )
I know people are saying less texts whoa, but from what I've seen people seem to talk about 4/5 text in detail and another 4 in passing. So maybe cut down slightly? Maybe you don't need all of those A level texts as I'm not sure they add much - they want to know you've read round the course, they'll assume you've done a level texts. Agree with the Jane Austen = feminist bit of hobnob's post...maybe tone that down? Quite a lot of people mention Austen so unless you are *really* into her and have very good points, maybe don't make a big thing of that. Generally, some really nice and original texts there though.

PS: What did you think of Waiting for Godot? (I'm guessing it was the recent London production?) I just loved it so much!
PPS: Was the King Lear the Ian McKellen one? That was amazing!
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moomin-matt
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I'm in no position to judge. My ps didn't mention any texts I must have had an aneurism. I mentioned authors and genres/techniques I enjoyed like Jewish fiction of kushner and African American lit of Morrison, metafiction in delilo and Vonnegut, but kinda failed to say why. Woops
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peachmelba
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I've been to see Waiting for Godot too, but I think that's the only work of literature I mentioned in my PS to study English, and that was in relation to the fact that I like the theatre
Make it more about you.
This flatly contradicts every talk I heard from English admissions tutors at seven of the top unis for the subject. They want to know why you want to study English, see evidence of wider reading and the kind of analysis, contrast/compare, contextual understanding that you will undertake at undergrad level.

They are not really interested in your captaincy of the hockey team, your job in Sainsbury's or your grade 4 piano, unless it is relevant evidence of the above.

OP, the number of texts is less important than the intelligence of the points you make about them. You do seem light on poetry though.
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moomin-matt
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(Original post by peachmelba)
This flatly contradicts every talk I heard from English admissions tutors at seven of the top unis for the subject. They want to know why you want to study English, see evidence of wider reading and the kind of analysis, contrast/compare, contextual understanding that you will undertake at undergrad level.

They are not really interested in your captaincy of the hockey team, your job in Sainsbury's or your grade 4 piano, unless it is relevant evidence of the above.

OP, the number of texts is less important than the intelligence of the points you make about them. You do seem light on poetry though.
oh gosh im worried now. haha. i had to spend over a third explaining my mature student-ness.... i hope some of the points i made were enough to get me in somewhere haha.
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jeffercake
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I wrote about 2 specific books and one specific poem in my PS, then i mentioned two genres i loved and gave an overall summary about what i got from literature.
I wrote about 4 or 5 lines of extra curricular activities - dont listen to people who are telling you to write less about literature ITS A LITERATURE PS! Thats what they want! Its an academic course, not a vocational one, they dont care if you like long hikes or knitting!

Good luck x
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RightSaidJames
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You need to make your background reading relevant, instead of namedropping endless works/authors you should be saying something significant about a select few of them, that you actually understand these works.

As for hobbies etc., it would be foolish to talk about English for the whole PS - they're also interested in you as a person and your ability to be an effective student, and any hobbies or extracurricular activities that could be used to show your intelligence, resourcefulness, enthusiasm etc. should definitely be mentioned. Once again, don't simply list them endlessly; pick one or two and make them relevant to the courses you are applying for.
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Colour Me Pretty
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I got told to cut down on mine and mentioned far less.
I've mentioned 5 books and about 10 authors.
Then I mentioned my work experience at a magazine being a learner representative and writing for a music website.
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hobnob
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(Original post by moomin-matt)
CRINGE...CRY...CRINGE... (What was I thinking - or not as is the case)
On the topic of 'what was I thinking', you have already sent this off, haven't you?:erm:
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grape:)
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I'm no expert, but surely there should be more about you and less about books?
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grape:)
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(Original post by moomin-matt)



CRINGE...CRY...CRINGE... (What was I thinking - or not as is the case)


Don't post bits of your PS online :facepalm:
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