Should I merge my paragraphs? -personal statement

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Laurasaur
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I have about 3200 characters, but with 45 lines (and the limit is 47 lines). About 6 lines are taken up by blank space, should I delete the to add more to my statement?

Is 3200 characters too short? I'm applying for neuroscience at UCL, Bristol and Nottingham.
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Thinking_Aloud
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
I have about 3200 characters, but with 45 lines (and the limit is 47 lines). About 6 lines are taken up by blank space, should I delete the to add more to my statement?

Is 3200 characters too short? I'm applying for neuroscience at UCL, Bristol and Nottingham.
If you are writing on Word, UCAS automatically removes the space between paragraphs, copy and paste it in to see how many characters you have left.
I would say 3200 characters is too short, you should be evaluating any experiences you have had, not just mentioning them. However if you have done, I would get someone to read it over for suggestions, resist the temptation to put in something random just to fill up characters. Make sure you have mentioned any extra-curricular activities you do and what skills they develop and why you want to take the course- what you are looking forward to studying.
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Laurasaur
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(Original post by Thinking_Aloud)
If you are writing on Word, UCAS automatically removes the space between paragraphs, copy and paste it in to see how many characters you have left.
I would say 3200 characters is too short, you should be evaluating any experiences you have had, not just mentioning them. However if you have done, I would get someone to read it over for suggestions, resist the temptation to put in something random just to fill up characters. Make sure you have mentioned any extra-curricular activities you do and what skills they develop and why you want to take the course- what you are looking forward to studying.
Thanks

I pasted it into ucas and it kept the spaces in between paragraphs. It's annoying because I have so much more I could say, but I can't jam it all in to those 47 lines if I have separate paragraphs.
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
Thanks

I pasted it into ucas and it kept the spaces in between paragraphs. It's annoying because I have so much more I could say, but I can't jam it all in to those 47 lines if I have separate paragraphs.
Start a new paragraph by simply starting a new line, you don't need actual spaces.
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Laurasaur
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(Original post by thecatwithnohat)
Start a new paragraph by simply starting a new line, you don't need actual spaces.
My paragraphs are spaced like this.

I didn't mean to make it sound like I repeatedly press the space bar 😂. It takes up an extra line though. Is it needed?
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Thinking_Aloud
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
Thanks

I pasted it into ucas and it kept the spaces in between paragraphs. It's annoying because I have so much more I could say, but I can't jam it all in to those 47 lines if I have separate paragraphs.
Odd, automatically removed them for everyone else I know. I would remove them then. Universities know that UCAS controls the layout and would rather you use characters to give more information than to make it look nice (though it goes against everything you have been taught to do). If you have more to say have a look at your sentence structure, have you used four words where you could use two etc, as well as whether there are any shorter synonyms that you could replace words with.
It is better to write too much and cut it down than to write too little and miss out something really important. The personal statement shows your passion for the subject, if you write too little or too generically it can reflect badly on you.
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username1230881
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
I have about 3200 characters, but with 45 lines (and the limit is 47 lines). About 6 lines are taken up by blank space, should I delete the to add more to my statement?

Is 3200 characters too short? I'm applying for neuroscience at UCL, Bristol and Nottingham.
I've encountered really mixed advice about leaving blank spaces between paragraphs. Some people say it's an absolute must because it's all managed online by the universities (and blank spaces make it read a lot better, giving it a better first impression), while others say it unnecessarily wastes space. I compromised by merging two of my smaller paragraphs, but otherwise keeping three blank paragraph lines. UCAS removes them after pasting, so I have to re-add them.

If you're short on space, I'd say merge a couple of paragraphs but keep spaces generally. If you're really short on space, and keeping even a couple of blank spaces would harm your PS, just remove all spaces. But if you can say pretty much the same thing with less characters (and 3200 is fine - a concise, high quality PS is better than one which rambles!), which is often possible, keep the spaces - small details like that can add up to build a positive impression.
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Laurasaur
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(Original post by Thinking_Aloud)
Odd, automatically removed them for everyone else I know. I would remove them then. Universities know that UCAS controls the layout and would rather you use characters to give more information than to make it look nice (though it goes against everything you have been taught to do). If you have more to say have a look at your sentence structure, have you used four words where you could use two etc, as well as whether there are any shorter synonyms that you could replace words with.
It is better to write too much and cut it down than to write too little and miss out something really important. The personal statement shows your passion for the subject, if you write too little or too generically it can reflect badly on you.
Thank you very much for your help!
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Laurasaur
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(Original post by doctorwhofan98)
I've encountered really mixed advice about leaving blank spaces between paragraphs. Some people say it's an absolute must because it's all managed online by the universities (and blank spaces make it read a lot better, giving it a better first impression), while others say it unnecessarily wastes space. I compromised by merging two of my smaller paragraphs, but otherwise keeping three blank paragraph lines. UCAS removes them after pasting, so I have to re-add them.

If you're short on space, I'd say merge a couple of paragraphs but keep spaces generally. If you're really short on space, and keeping even a couple of blank spaces would harm your PS, just remove all spaces. But if you can say pretty much the same thing with less characters (and 3200 is fine - a concise, high quality PS is better than one which rambles!), which is often possible, keep the spaces - small details like that can add up to build a positive impression.
This was very helpful, thank you!
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Thinking_Aloud
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
Thank you very much for your help!
Your welcome.
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Interrobang
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Definitely leave spaces between paragraphs - it makes the job of the admissions tutors so much easier
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PQ
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(Original post by Thinking_Aloud)
Odd, automatically removed them for everyone else I know. I would remove them then. Universities know that UCAS controls the layout and would rather you use characters to give more information than to make it look nice (though it goes against everything you have been taught to do).
Universities know that UCAS control the layout - and would prefer that applicants make their PS easy to digest and focused than add in an extra 6+ lines of content that is unlikely to add more of substance and will make the PS borderline unreadable on a screen. I have NEVER read a PS that didn't contain worthless or pointless content and that wouldn't benefit from being condensed...trust me when I say admissions staff feel the same and help them do their job.

(Original post by Laurasaur)
This was very helpful, thank you!
Saying that 3,200 is on the short side - OP it might be worth combining a couple of paras (or looking to see if you're "losing" space by having a single word on a line at the end of some of your paragraphs - some editing of those paragraphs to prevent that happening often could gain you 4/5 lines to add without compromising on the readability of your PS).
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Jibberjab123
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
I have about 3200 characters, but with 45 lines (and the limit is 47 lines). About 6 lines are taken up by blank space, should I delete the to add more to my statement?

Is 3200 characters too short? I'm applying for neuroscience at UCL, Bristol and Nottingham.
Just a question about neuroscience I know this isnt really related,but do you know if UCL interview for neuroscience?
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PQ
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(Original post by Jibberjab123)
Just a question about neuroscience I know this isnt really related,but do you know if UCL interview for neuroscience?
See the bottom of this page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...roscience-bsc/
They have open days for offer holders for neuroscience not interviews.
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Jibberjab123
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(Original post by PQ)
See the bottom of this page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...roscience-bsc/
They have open days for offer holders for neuroscience not interviews.
Ah okay thanks a lot
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12284
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
I have about 3200 characters, but with 45 lines (and the limit is 47 lines). About 6 lines are taken up by blank space, should I delete the to add more to my statement?

Is 3200 characters too short? I'm applying for neuroscience at UCL, Bristol and Nottingham.
Even though spaces make personal statements easier to read, ,many admissions people understand that applicants have a lot to say and don't want to waste lines, so they don't mind.
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Good bloke
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I'm glad to see that you haven't been left with the silly early advice in this thread that getting rid of blank lines is a good idea, and that trustworthy and authoritative people have stepped in better guidance. Read my profile for a demonstration and explanation of better PS writing.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by 12284)
Even though spaces make personal statements easier to read, ,many admissions people understand that applicants have a lot to say and don't want to waste lines, so they don't mind.
That ignores the fact that one of them just said the opposite.
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Laurasaur
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(Original post by PQ)
Universities know that UCAS control the layout - and would prefer that applicants make their PS easy to digest and focused than add in an extra 6+ lines of content that is unlikely to add more of substance and will make the PS borderline unreadable on a screen. I have NEVER read a PS that didn't contain worthless or pointless content and that wouldn't benefit from being condensed...trust me when I say admissions staff feel the same and help them do their job.


Saying that 3,200 is on the short side - OP it might be worth combining a couple of paras (or looking to see if you're "losing" space by having a single word on a line at the end of some of your paragraphs - some editing of those paragraphs to prevent that happening often could gain you 4/5 lines to add without compromising on the readability of your PS).
(Original post by Good bloke)
I'm glad to see that you haven't been left with the silly early advice in this thread that getting rid of blank lines is a good idea, and that trustworthy and authoritative people have stepped in better guidance. Read my profile for a demonstration and explanation of better PS writing.
You are absolute life savers. There is a lot that I could cut out / go into more detail about. Thank you!

There are so many mixed opinions about this; I have asked numerous members of staff at my sixth form.
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Laurasaur)
You are absolute life savers. There is a lot that I could cut out / go into more detail about. Thank you!

There are so many mixed opinions about this; I have asked numerous members of staff at my sixth form.
Listen to Good Bloke and PQ.
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