Opening for Personal Statement Watch

xx007
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#1
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#1
Hi
What is a good way to open a personal statement?? i intend to study maths btw.
Thanks
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Roll-The-Dice-And-Win
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'I have always been interested in the field of mathematics, and this is clearly demonstrated by bla bla bla bla bla'.

'My fascination with mathematics began when bla bla bla bla'

blaaaaaaaaaa
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Knogle
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Open with a quote by a great mathematician.

Or open with an abstract example of why maths interests you and excites you to pursue it at undergrad level.
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Juno
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Start with a boring "I am passionate about mathematics because..."

Then, once you've written it you'll find it so much easier to go back and change it to something better. But if you sit there trying to write an interesting start straight away, you'll never manage it.
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silent ninja
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I would try and sum up your feelings of maths in one sentence, trying to make it that little bit striking. Then expand that in the rest of the paragraph, relating things you've read, specialist areas of interest etc
Or maybe start by showing how your interest in maths was triggered.
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Champagne Breakfast
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(Original post by Knogle)
Open with a quote by a great mathematician.

Or open with an abstract example of why maths interests you and excites you to pursue it at undergrad level.
"Cogito ergo sum". And hence began my fascination with mathematics.
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fairygirl21
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i started mine with a little story about a girl who was crying & confused when i worked with as a Millenium volunteer, and then finished my personal statement by referring back to the young girl, saying i wanted to be given the chance to wipe away her tears & studying Psychology at university would give me the ideal oppurtunity to do that. slightly soppy, but very effective & different, managed to get 5 out of 6 offers.
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Knogle
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(Original post by fairygirl21)
i started mine with a little story about a girl who was crying & confused when i worked with as a Millenium volunteer, and then finished my personal statement by referring back to the young girl, saying i wanted to be given the chance to wipe away her tears & studying Psychology at university would give me the ideal oppurtunity to do that. slightly soppy, but very effective & different, managed to get 5 out of 6 offers.
More like cheesy. But good try.
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Madprof
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#9
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#9
"SEX!!!"

... or alternatively, take some of the good advice on this thread!

I shouldn't worry too much about your opening sentence to start with - like Juno says, it's important to write a draft so you have something to start with, even if you know you can improve on it. First time through, I'd just write anything and everything that comes into your head, then edit it out later.

In general, mentioning a specific topic, mathematician (?sp), or book, is a good way to start and shows off your reading-around-the-subject. Personally, I started off with a phrase in Kiswahili, but that's just me...
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Aceofspades2345
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Last Year I was stuck choosing between 2 opening lines. My first choice (and the one I eventually went for) was

Mathematics offers me the opportunity to do what I have loved doing from an early age; solving problems logically.
My second one was

I is mint! Gimme an offer, you knows you wants to!
Personally I think either would have worked.
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Chewwy
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#11
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(Original post by The Ace is Back)
"Cogito ergo sum". And hence began my fascination with mathematics.
i think, therefore i add?
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ImperceptibleNinja
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I don't want to sound completely silly, but unless we're expecting people to take only a very brief glance at your personal statement, then wouldn't it be better to think more about the end of your statement, which will be the bit they're more likely to remember?
Unfortunately, I applied for a right mix of courses last year, so I didn't want to direct my personal statement completely in the maths direction. I did end up writing an additional statement, mainly about maths, and I started by commenting on a certain thing that people often percieved about maths, and went on to comment that although it was true, there is a lot more interesting stuff to maths as well. The additional statement worked very well with one uni, but apparently didn't with another [however, I stuffed up the interviews with that one :rolleyes:].

Another thought: won't a lot of people be applying for maths, and writing about it all? If you do that, then although you might display the fact that you find differentiation jolly fascinating, you won't really separate yourself from all the other maths applicants. I would suggest you write at least a bit of your statement about who you actually are, rather that just 'I want to do maths, offer me a place I'm nice!'. When you tell them about yourself, you can say how you got interested with maths, and include all of the little things about you that not only make you you, but which make you good at maths.
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Chewwy
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just fit in a nice, original, yet short proof you've came up with in the realm of number theory. if you just say you like maths without any proof you are in fact the next ramanujan, they could think you're just lying.
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Kolya
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(Original post by chewwy)
just fit in a nice, original, yet short proof you've came up with in the realm of number theory. if you just say you like maths without any proof you are in fact the next ramanujan, they could think you're just lying.
How about an outline of a proof showing that all nontrivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function have a real part of 1/2?
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Chewwy
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#15
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that would suffice.
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loggins
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#16
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#16
You definately need to explain WHY exactly you want to pursue a degree in maths. The admissions tutors will undoubtedly have hundreds and hundreds of personal statements to read, so if yours doesn't catch their immediate attention they may not look on you so favourably! Hope this helps!
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Gael
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#17
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as long it´s got good grammar and correct spelling it doesn´t really matter. it will sound like everyone elses anyway.
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~Jinxes~
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Yeah I think you've just got to get to the point ... "My desire to read maths stems from..." or "I wish to read maths because". That's what my dad told me anyway.
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Elements
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#19
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I've got a good start or ending for any mathematicians out there: I am positive that it wont be difficult to differentiate me from the other candidates because my passion for Mathematics knows no limits or bounds because it is infinite! I have another idea too if you want to hear it?
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Champagne Breakfast
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#20
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heheh
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