use of quotes on personal statements

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bethwilliams97
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Hi, currently writing my personal statement for an English literature course and after watching numerous lectures on youtube I am still confused after the view on quotes. I have used one but tied it into my other points, but I do not want to be condemned to the no pile just because I have used one! Please help!
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Thinking_Aloud
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(Original post by bethwilliams97)
Hi, currently writing my personal statement for an English literature course and after watching numerous lectures on youtube I am still confused after the view on quotes. I have used one but tied it into my other points, but I do not want to be condemned to the no pile just because I have used one! Please help!
It really depends. Some universities don't like it at all, and some don't mind as long as you've tied it in. Your application won't be rejected on the sole basis that you've used a quote and as your applying for an English Lit course and have tied it in to everything else, I don't see what harm it can do. If the admissions tutors don't think it will add anything, they will just ignore it. It is not going to drastically harm your application, but it is a risk.
Generally, the rule of thumb is not to put anything in that you can do without. If the quote is not needed to make a point, does not talk about the course (or the themes of the course/ skills you will need or have demonstrated) then leave it out. As well as this, if it takes up a lot of characters (in the citation and explanation as well as the actual quote) then it might be best to leave it.
Remember, it is your voice the admissions tutors want to hear. Do some research, look at the university websites and get some feedback. Perhaps, even try writing your personal statement without the quote if you like (and have time) to see which one you prefer.
This is something that is personal to you and there is only a limited amount of help you can be given.
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bethwilliams97
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Thank you so much! I might wright it without the quote and see if I like that! Much appreciated!
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by bethwilliams97)
Hi, currently writing my personal statement for an English literature course and after watching numerous lectures on youtube I am still confused after the view on quotes. I have used one but tied it into my other points, but I do not want to be condemned to the no pile just because I have used one! Please help!
I think a good rule of thumb is "Don't, unless you've got a good reason to put one in". Definitely do not put a quote in for the sake of it. A quote is obviously not your own words and hence isn't personal which is why, in most cases, it's probably just a waste of space. Having said that, your application isn't going to be instantly trashed simply for using a quote if you've used one properly. I was reading a display at the Eden Project and came across a quote that made me instantly think, "Wow, that perfectly encapsulates my existing views on why I think my subject is important" so in that case, I thought I was justified in using a quote to introduce my personal statement. There was a clear flow from the quote into my introduction so it served an obvious purpose rather than simply hovering at the top of my personal statement, unmentioned.

So if there's a quote that's reasonably short, is completely relevant to your personal statement and you think it adds something meaningful to your personal statement, go ahead. But most people do seem to misuse quotes which is why a lot of Universities probably wouldn't advise people to use one. If you want to play it safe, don't use one.
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bethwilliams97
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
I think a good rule of thumb is "Don't, unless you've got a good reason to put one in". Definitely do not put a quote in for the sake of it. A quote is obviously not your own words and hence isn't personal which is why, in most cases, it's probably just a waste of space. Having said that, your application isn't going to be instantly trashed simply for using a quote if you've used one properly. I was reading a display at the Eden Project and came across a quote that made me instantly think, "Wow, that perfectly encapsulates my existing views on why I think my subject is important" so in that case, I thought I was justified in using a quote to introduce my personal statement. There was a clear flow from the quote into my introduction so it served an obvious purpose rather than simply hovering at the top of my personal statement, unmentioned.

So if there's a quote that's reasonably short, is completely relevant to your personal statement and you think it adds something meaningful to your personal statement, go ahead. But most people do seem to misuse quotes which is why a lot of Universities probably wouldn't advise people to use one. If you want to play it safe, don't use one.
Would you mind if I send you my personal statement to see if you think the quote is relevant ??
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by bethwilliams97)
Would you mind if I send you my personal statement to see if you think the quote is relevant ??
Please do not do that, you shouldn't send your personal statement to anybody that you don't know because they could plagiarise it or put it online somewhere which could ruin your entire application, sorry I suggest you ask a teacher.
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bethwilliams97
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Please do not do that, you shouldn't send your personal statement to anybody that you don't know because they could plagiarise it or put it online somewhere which could ruin your entire application, sorry I suggest you ask a teacher.
Okay well thank you anyway!
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