The most difficult personal statement??? Watch

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blueblood
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#1
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Hi there,

I am applying to study Creative Writing and English Literature this year and am finding the personal statement to be rather daunting.

Has anyone been in my unfortunate position? It's a fine line to walk, trying to sound enthused, showing some degree of writing skill, but not sounding wanky.

*sigh*

Meme
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blissy
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(Original post by blueblood)
Hi there,

I am applying to study Creative Writing and English Literature this year and am finding the personal statement to be rather daunting.

Has anyone been in my unfortunate position? It's a fine line to walk, trying to sound enthused, showing some degree of writing skill, but not sounding wanky.

*sigh*

Meme
I'm currently doing an English degree and, obviously, wrote a PS for that. No creative writing for my course but I still had to show competence in original writing. It's a tricky thing to do! Don't try and show-off because you'll just look silly (or wanky )
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~Sam~
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(Original post by blueblood)
Hi there,

I am applying to study Creative Writing and English Literature this year and am finding the personal statement to be rather daunting.

Has anyone been in my unfortunate position? It's a fine line to walk, trying to sound enthused, showing some degree of writing skill, but not sounding wanky.

*sigh*

Meme
Just out of interest, what unis are you applying for? Cos I'm interested in doing that course.

As for your PS...have you had any stories or poems published at all? Even if it's only a school newsletter or something, it will make it look like you're serious about writing. Have you ever entered prose or poetry competitions? Do your writing interests lie in a certain genre?
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blueblood
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(Original post by ~Sam~)
Just out of interest, what unis are you applying for? Cos I'm interested in doing that course.

As for your PS...have you had any stories or poems published at all? Even if it's only a school newsletter or something, it will make it look like you're serious about writing. Have you ever entered prose or poetry competitions? Do your writing interests lie in a certain genre?
I'm just applying to greenwich, as it's five mins walk from me and I already have a stable home life and don't/won't want to travel.

Nothing major but there are a few things. One poem published in the States, and 8 essays and one poem published in the five year end books. The last year three of my works where published out of a school body of 1200 making me the most featured writer. Now that sounds wanky, but I spose I could work it in somehow.

Genre no...fiction but I feel I need more direction in that to find my style.
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~Sam~
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(Original post by blueblood)
I'm just applying to greenwich, as it's five mins walk from me and I already have a stable home life and don't/won't want to travel.

Nothing major but there are a few things. One poem published in the States, and 8 essays and one poem published in the five year end books. The last year three of my works where published out of a school body of 1200 making me the most featured writer. Now that sounds wanky, but I spose I could work it in somehow.

Genre no...fiction but I feel I need more direction in that to find my style.
Even if you don't have a particular style you could say something like "I especially enjoy writing poetry/horror stories/whatever. Something to make it look like you have clear aims about what you want to do.
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blueblood
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Pls remember I am a mature student (25) and am from South Africa, plus my career so far here is completely different from what I want to study.



For the past eight years since leaving high school, my enduring love of the English language, written and spoken, has impelled me to study Creative Writing and English.

I have chosen Creative writing as my main subject. I have always loved the process of writing and using language as a material to create a work. Now I would like to develop my skills further. I need to know how to use criticism constructively and be able to redraft my work accordingly. I feel that this course can broaden my knowledge on writing styles and techniques, and in doing so can assist me on a career path in writing.

My choice of combining Creative Writing with English is a natural one. Reading and writing are two pairs to a whole. I would like to be able to familiarise myself with the contemporary literature, as well as classical literature, and analyse works from these periods in a more in-depth manner. I want to learn different literary techniques, conventions and stylistic devices. I believe this would help me to write with confidence in various styles, and guide me in finding my own voice.

As a director and actor of the RAPS play, an inter-school competition run by the Amateur Players Society of South Africa, I was a reliable leader who achieved my goals. In 1993, I received a Junior Merit Award for Drama. In 1994 a Special Mention, Full Colours in 1995 and a re-award Full Colours in 1996. I won best senior actor award in 1995, and received a gold diploma (90%+) for Dramatic Improvisation at the Randburg Eisteddfod, both in 1995 and in 1996, as well as a gold diploma for Dramatic Dialogue and Group Dramatic Improvisation. I was also a lead actor in the school musical production of Grease.

I participated in debating throughout my school career, reaching the semi-finals of the 1993 South African Council for English Education Debating League. Through high school, I received a team award (1994), half colours (1995) and a re-award (1996). I won the prepared speech section of the public speaking festival with an A+ score, who described me as a skilled and persuasive orator.

I am also a keen sailor and have this previous year passed my Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses with the Royal Yachting Association, of which I am a member.

I play the piano in my spare time, and enjoy tennis and golf. I understand the school offers many extra curricular activities of which I would love to become an active participant in.

Above all else, I want the opportunity to learn, experiment, change, diversify and play with writing and the English language.
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~Sam~
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(Original post by blueblood)
Pls remember I am a mature student (25) and am from South Africa, plus my career so far here is completely different from what I want to study.



For the past eight years since leaving high school, my enduring love of the English language, written and spoken, has impelled me to study Creative Writing and English.

I have chosen Creative writing as my main subject. I have always loved the process of writing and using language as a material to create a work. Now I would like to develop my skills further. I need to know how to use criticism constructively and be able to redraft my work accordingly. I feel that this course can broaden my knowledge on writing styles and techniques, and in doing so can assist me on a career path in writing.

My choice of combining Creative Writing with English is a natural one. Reading and writing are two pairs to a whole. I would like to be able to familiarise myself with the contemporary literature, as well as classical literature, and analyse works from these periods in a more in-depth manner. I want to learn different literary techniques, conventions and stylistic devices. I believe this would help me to write with confidence in various styles, and guide me in finding my own voice.

As a director and actor of the RAPS play, an inter-school competition run by the Amateur Players Society of South Africa, I was a reliable leader who achieved my goals. In 1993, I received a Junior Merit Award for Drama. In 1994 a Special Mention, Full Colours in 1995 and a re-award Full Colours in 1996. I won best senior actor award in 1995, and received a gold diploma (90%+) for Dramatic Improvisation at the Randburg Eisteddfod, both in 1995 and in 1996, as well as a gold diploma for Dramatic Dialogue and Group Dramatic Improvisation. I was also a lead actor in the school musical production of Grease.

I participated in debating throughout my school career, reaching the semi-finals of the 1993 South African Council for English Education Debating League. Through high school, I received a team award (1994), half colours (1995) and a re-award (1996). I won the prepared speech section of the public speaking festival with an A+ score, who described me as a skilled and persuasive orator.

I am also a keen sailor and have this previous year passed my Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses with the Royal Yachting Association, of which I am a member.

I play the piano in my spare time, and enjoy tennis and golf. I understand the school offers many extra curricular activities of which I would love to become an active participant in.

Above all else, I want the opportunity to learn, experiment, change, diversify and play with writing and the English language.
I guess I just assumed you were English and in sixth-form doing A levels. Sorry about that! I think your statement is good. I think you should probably mention more specific details - favourite authors, books, etc. I think you need to write a bit more about English and less about other extra-curricular stuff (at least that's what I've been advised). On the whole though I think it's really good.
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blueblood
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(Original post by ~Sam~)
I guess I just assumed you were English and in sixth-form doing A levels. Sorry about that! I think your statement is good. I think you should probably mention more specific details - favourite authors, books, etc. I think you need to write a bit more about English and less about other extra-curricular stuff (at least that's what I've been advised). On the whole though I think it's really good.
Would it be superflous to add that I received distinction (A) for A- level english on higher grade even when it would be in the grades section?
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~Sam~
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(Original post by blueblood)
Would it be superflous to add that I received distinction (A) for A- level english on higher grade even when it would be in the grades section?
I don't think you should bother because, as you said, it will already be on your results section
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blissy
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(Original post by ~Sam~)
I don't think you should bother because, as you said, it will already be on your results section
Not necessarily. You should get your referee to mention it - anything grade related is mroe plausible (I know, silly isn't it?) coming from your referee.
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~Sam~
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(Original post by blissy)
Not necessarily. You should get your referee to mention it - anything grade related is mroe plausible (I know, silly isn't it?) coming from your referee.
But is there any point because he said it's already going to be on the results section
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blissy
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(Original post by ~Sam~)
But is there any point because he said it's already going to be on the results section
That was what my "not necessarily" was referring to. The fact that it was a distinction may not be on the results section. If it is, don't bother; but if it isn't gte your referee to point it out. My referee had to mention academic things like that (top 5s, 100% etc) because they weren't shown on the results and they might have seemed false coming from me.
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blueblood
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(Original post by blissy)
That was what my "not necessarily" was referring to. The fact that it was a distinction may not be on the results section. If it is, don't bother; but if it isn't gte your referee to point it out. My referee had to mention academic things like that (top 5s, 100% etc) because they weren't shown on the results and they might have seemed false coming from me.

Thanks you. That's all okay then as it is clearly diplayed on my certificate and shall be in the grades section. Thanks all for your input so far.
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~Sam~
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(Original post by blissy)
That was what my "not necessarily" was referring to. The fact that it was a distinction may not be on the results section. If it is, don't bother; but if it isn't gte your referee to point it out. My referee had to mention academic things like that (top 5s, 100% etc) because they weren't shown on the results and they might have seemed false coming from me.
Oh, ok. Sorry I just though that he said they would be on there. I'm sure you're right though, you've been there and done that whereas I have it all to come!
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Sponge Bob
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Seems like an impressive PS to me. Got some good hook lines in there. Way better than any of mine have ever been.
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