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    I'm currently in Year 13 and from around the beginning of Year 12 I have decided I want to study English Literature at university. It's always been one of my stronger subjects and I really love the lessons and books we study at sixth form! However, I am writing my personal statement at the moment and I am really struggling to properly get across my passion for literature and write about some of the books I love! I was going through my personal statement today with my English teacher and she asked what my favourite book was and I couldn't even give her an answer! It's not that I haven't read any classics, its just that they are so diverse that I cant really pick one topic to talk about for my PS. Obviously writing that I loved the Great Gatsby is far too obvious (even though I did) and if I chose to write about anything else, claiming it was my 'favourite' then I'd be most likely lying. Shall I talk about what I have read and comment analytically on the themes etc, or pick a book I liked and read similar novels (from that time period etc) to talk about? More importantly, does all this indicate that I'm not on the right course??? I'm looking to go to a Russell Group Uni so my personal statement does need to be impressive (but obviously I want it to be truthful and honest about me as well)
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    (Original post by anisha1999)
    More importantly, does all this indicate that I'm not on the right course??? I was going through my personal statement today with my English teacher and she asked what my favourite book was and I couldn't even give her an answer!
    I don't think so. If anything, the fact that you're thinking hard about which book, or kind of book you might discuss shows that you're committed to and thoughtful about literature. I can't tell you what my favourite book is either, and I have three degrees in English. Picking something just gets harder as you read more amazing things…

    (Original post by anisha1999)
    Obviously writing that I loved the Great Gatsby is far too obvious (even though I did) and if I chose to write about anything else, claiming it was my 'favourite' then I'd be most likely lying.
    Your personal statement doesn't have to discuss your absolute favourite text, and you can say with a perfectly clear conscience that you like Text A and Text B that aren't The Great Gatsby if you would feel more comfortable talking about other things for the purposes of the statement. When you go to university you will spend the vast majority of your time talking and writing about texts which aren't your single most favourite (though you will, I hope, like most of them!). The people assessing your statement will want to see that you can talk thoughtfully and interestingly about literature but they won't demand an instant window into your very soul.

    (Original post by anisha1999)
    Shall I talk about what I have read and comment analytically on the themes etc, or pick a book I liked and read similar novels (from that time period etc) to talk about?
    There are a number of different ways you can play it. Demonstrating that you can compare texts sensibly, demonstrating that you can comment on texts' form, and demonstrating that you read widely, across time or genre or both, are all potentially impressive. I don't think there's a single ideal solution to the problem. Try not to let the idea of a perfect all-singing, all-dancing personal statement which ticks every box possible get in the way of writing a good personal statement which does what's necessary.
 
 
 
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