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    I've barely started an introduction, anyone have any tips?
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    Are you applying for Language or Literature?
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    (Original post by simplylldxo)
    Are you applying for Language or Literature?
    Literature!
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    I wrote in my personal statement what it is about Literature that I have a passion for, what pieces of Literature influenced me into applying for an English Literature degree (it doesn't have to be older pieces either, it can be modern - I mentioned about John Green in fact), what I hoped to take from the degree e.g. career wise and the pieces of Literature I was studying for my Literature module in my foundation year
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    What about extra curricular activities and work that relates to the course?

    And I see you're at Derby, which is gonna be one of my choices :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by JayDu)
    I've barely started an introduction, anyone have any tips?
    Hi, I applied for English (and got 4 offers).
    My personal statement basically went like this:
    - Short intro
    - Books/plays I have enjoyed studying or reading. Brief mention of coursework topics and literary elements/genres I am most interested in.
    - What I have done to pursue literature outside of school. E.g. going to see plays, writing, mentoring GCSE English students
    - Work experience. (Mine was in a primary school, so I wrote some bs about how this lead me to recognise the importance of educating kids to write).
    - Random other hobbies (piano, D of E, etc).

    Best of luck
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    Hey there, I should be starting English Literature at UCL this September. Thought I should be able to offer a little help.

    Look super closely at the statements for English on TSR, you'll notice a striking number of similarities between them. Avoid these patterns; English is very competitive and you need to stand out. Of course, you need to write about what you love to read, but try to be selective about what you choose. It's best to not stick to a particular era also. Mentioning modern works is fine, but don't mention only modern literature.

    Cater to the courses you're applying to as well! Each university has very particular modules etc. on offer; show some interest in what makes their course unique. You're not just applying for English, you're applying for their take on English. Some universities also have specific information on what they want to see, for example, UCL have a video about personal statements for English Literature, in which they specifically advise you to steer away from the philosophical "I want to study literature because ..." approach. Research carefully; you'll be surprised how much information is on offer.

    You should briefly analyse the literature you discuss, so don't try to fit in lots of name dropping. It's better to have fewer, with deeper comment, than a couple of shallow remarks about a lot of books/plays/poems etc. This is made easier by styling paragraphs around literary themes. For example, I had a paragraph on LGBT+ representation in literature (Baldwin, Isherwood, Whitman - all relatively modern) which was then countered with a paragraph on Old English, specifically the poem 'The Wanderer'. Try to make sure you have a spread of novels, plays and poetry.

    The majority of your statement should really be on what you've read outside of your curriculum, with a paragraph on the curriculum itself and extra curriculars. This isn't really what they're interested in.

    It depends on which universities you plan on applying to, but if any of them interview, remember to leave some room for questions. You don't need to justify every comment you make.

    Hope this helps!
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    What could you write for a english personal statement?
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    (Original post by JayDu)
    What about extra curricular activities and work that relates to the course?

    And I see you're at Derby, which is gonna be one of my choices :rolleyes:
    Well my foundation year (which I did at Derby Uni) is integrated with the Joint Honours degrees so I had a guaranteed place anyway... I didn't do any extra curricular activities as I was busy doing the course and my part-time job!

    Also what's with the comment about Derby? I go there because it's my local university... Plus it's a top 50 university.
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    I'm not an expert but got 4/5 offers for mine (one of which was Russell Group) so I'll try and help!

    I just opened with a brief (probably cheesy) introduction about why I want to study English. I then went into talking about books and plays I'm passionate about. If I remember, I began with Gatsby (throwing in other works by Fitzgerald as he is my favourite author of all time. I then discussed Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind (it's my favourite play so covers more than just novels, also allowed me to talk about Drama which is one of my few extracurriculars and finally the play is lesser known and from 1800s Germany so shows a wider view than just english language novels). Then finally I tried to be a bit too smart, probably not a good idea, and talked about Twilight (I have a crush on Robert Pattinson, the book itself isn't a favourite, but I used to love it). I offered alternate views on it showing that while most critics see it as conforming to patriarchy, it can be seen as feminist in some sense, which let me bring in Reader Response Theory (showing critical approaches).

    After that, I had used up most of my word count, but talked a bit more about English as an extracurricular (in my case writing poetry) and how it changed my view of literature (I despised poetry until recently, and I got an even greater appreciation for poems through writing them). I also mentioned what I hoped to continue with after my degree (teaching). I think that was it.

    Basically?
    -Introduce yourself
    -Discuss literature
    -Relevant extracurriculars (honestly who cares about being on a volleyball team if you're studying English? My tutor tried to convince me to take up sport or something to boost my personal statement but it didn't help me at all)
    -Future plans

    Hope this helps. My personal statement wasn't that brilliant, but it worked for me
 
 
 
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