derek15
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#1
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I'm an American applying to 3 British Universities. I'm just gonna keep this quick, I sat for a month pondering if I should use a quote or not in my PS I loved it and it was not a cliché one and I figured it's my personal statement so if I think it makes it better I should put it. Am I screwed out of Ox/Lse/kcl? I hear quotes aren't necessarily great, but am I pretty much automatically screwed or is it ok if my PS is generally good? I already submitted just wondering if I should erase all hopes of an acceptance
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nikleinapickle
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Of course not!
If the quote was relevant to the point you were trying to make, and something that really, really means something to you, you're good!
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Interrobang
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Quotes are generally not advisable in any situation but they won't mean an instant rejection either! It's best to avoid them but admissions tutors look at your application as a whole
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_Fergo
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Do you honestly fear a rejection on the grounds of a single quote? On the PS? Universities will hardly care.
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Snufkin
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Quotes are a bit of a grey area. Personally, I wouldn't use them but you can certainly get into top universities as long as you've used the quote properly. As long as you have explained why the quote is there and why it is relevant to you and your application, you should be okay. If you have just added a nice sounding quote at the top of the page and not mentioned it again, you're in trouble.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by derek15)
I'm an American applying to 3 British Universities. I'm just gonna keep this quick, I sat for a month pondering if I should use a quote or not in my PS I loved it
and it was not a cliché one
and I figured it's my personal statement so if I think it makes it better I should put it. Am I screwed out of Ox/Lse/kcl? I hear quotes aren't necessarily great, but am I pretty much automatically screwed or is it ok if my PS is generally good? I already submitted just wondering if I should erase all hopes of an acceptance
There are three problems with quotations:-

The official line is that universities want to hear what you think rather than what some "great man" thinks.

However more realistically the problems are that most quotations are clichés when you read the number of PSs that admissions staff have to read and that they are often the opening line and betray an inability to start a formal piece of writing with an original idea.
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RosieEPQ
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I discussed a very short quote in my PS because it was relevant and I had an opinion on it, and I got into Cambridge so I wouldn't worry at all unless your quote takes up more than a couple of lines, in which case you might have gone overboard! Good luck x


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PQ
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While quotes aren't recommended they are still (unfortunately!) extremely common.

Using a quote wont put you on the reject pile. Especially if you're applying from outside the uk and so have limited help and guidance on the uk system.
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TheFuture001
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In general, I don't see the problem with quotes at all. I would think they problem is the specific type of quote; if you're quoting some random famous fella who has no affiliation with your subject, for example an actor, musician, celebrity etc; then I don't think admission tutors would be very impressed. Might come across cliché, or worse even cringy. But if it is directly related to your subject area and correlated with a point you're trying to make, then it can by all means be great. I applied to Oxford for Maths last year, included a quote from a well known 20th century Mathematician that I came across whilst reading a book, and I received an interview. Granted I didn't get an offer, but I hardly think my quote had anything to do with it

At worst, I would think a bad/boring/pointless quote simply wouldn't benefit you, but I doubt it would disadvantage you! Focus on any admissions tests/submitted work; they're hardly likely to reject on the basis of a quote in your personal statement, if you've smashed an admissions test!
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by TheFuture001)
In general, I don't see the problem with quotes at all. I would think they problem is the specific type of quote; if you're quoting some random famous fella who has no affiliation with your subject, for example an actor, musician, celebrity etc; then I don't think admission tutors would be very impressed. Might come across cliché, or worse even cringy. But if it is directly related to your subject area and correlated with a point you're trying to make, then it can by all means be great. I applied to Oxford for Maths last year, included a quote from a well known 20th century Mathematician that I came across whilst reading a book, and I received an interview. Granted I didn't get an offer, but I hardly think my quote had anything to do with it

At worst, I would think a bad/boring/pointless quote simply wouldn't benefit you, but I doubt it would disadvantage you! Focus on any admissions tests/submitted work; they're hardly likely to reject on the basis of a quote in your personal statement, if you've smashed an admissions test!
Two years ago 189 applicants used "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only” as their opening line in their personal statement. Think how many applicants will have used that quote elsewhere in their application. That quote matches your test. It was relevant, being by Coco Chanel and could be correlated to what the applicant, presumably for a fashion course, was saying. I suspect every application thought they were saying something interesting and reasonably novel. I suspect every fashion admissions tutor cringed every time they read it.
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derek15
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#11
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For those wondering, I'm applying for hist/pol and I said politics enables us to (as Obama puts it) blah blah blah I quoted him talking about shaping history so it ties together hist and politics something along those lines it's in my first paragraph
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