history and politics personal statement help??

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gretelhouseg
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sooo i’m taking a gap year atm, but planning on applying to history and politics courses in september (i’m considering goldsmith’s, royal holloway, birmingham, warwick, and oxford)

i was just wondering what sort of structure to use in my personal statement?? i’ve already got a good idea of what i want to include (i’ve done a couple model UN conferences, i’ve got work experience with my MP lined up, some seminars i’ve been to and there’s a few books i’m planning to read to include as well) but HOW am i supposed to write something cohesive from all this?? my biggest issue is with how to introduce it - i know i’m not supposed to be like “i’ve loved history since i was born” but i don’t want to begin the main body of my statement too abruptly without a nice introduction. any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!!

(also if anyone has any book reccomendations for british political history or contemporary british politics that isn’t marr that’d be grand )
Last edited by gretelhouseg; 1 year ago
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Sinnoh
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The things you need to demonstrate in your personal statement:
- Why you're choosing this course (could briefly outline this in your intro)
- How you express your interest in it
- an understanding of the academic side, as well as debates, perhaps

There is no set structure and I agree that the introduction and conclusion are painful to write. You could have separate paragraphs for the above points, or separate paragraphs for each of the things you did to support your PS - as long as you're not just listing the stuff you did. try to link your experiences back to why it makes you want to study it for 3 years. It's like a history essay in itself, in that respect.
You just have to write something, anything, even if you hate what you write down, because only then can you start refining it and getting it good. For now, write it like it's just for you to read.
Try to write the main body first. It could give you a better idea of what to put in your introduction.
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gretelhouseg
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this is great, thanks!! just another quick question though - what do you mean by ‘debates’? as in general discourse around history as a field of study or debates within areas of history i’m interested in?
(Original post by Sinnoh)
The things you need to demonstrate in your personal statement:
- Why you're choosing this course (could briefly outline this in your intro)
- How you express your interest in it
- an understanding of the academic side, as well as debates, perhaps

There is no set structure and I agree that the introduction and conclusion are painful to write. You could have separate paragraphs for the above points, or separate paragraphs for each of the things you did to support your PS - as long as you're not just listing the stuff you did. try to link your experiences back to why it makes you want to study it for 3 years. It's like a history essay in itself, in that respect.
You just have to write something, anything, even if you hate what you write down, because only then can you start refining it and getting it good. For now, write it like it's just for you to read.
Try to write the main body first. It could give you a better idea of what to put in your introduction.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by gretelhouseg)
sooo i’m taking a gap year atm, but planning on applying to history and politics courses in september (i’m considering goldsmith’s, royal holloway, birmingham, warwick, and oxford)

i was just wondering what sort of structure to use in my personal statement?? i’ve already got a good idea of what i want to include (i’ve done a couple model UN conferences, i’ve got work experience with my MP lined up, some seminars i’ve been to and there’s a few books i’m planning to read to include as well) but HOW am i supposed to write something cohesive from all this?? my biggest issue is with how to introduce it - i know i’m not supposed to be like “i’ve loved history since i was born” but i don’t want to begin the main body of my statement too abruptly without a nice introduction. any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!!

(also if anyone has any book reccomendations for british political history or contemporary british politics that isn’t marr that’d be grand )
Hey! I've applied to study history and politics but currently in the process of changing courses - just waiting for Leeds to get back to me on that. In terms of structure, see what Sinnoh as said above, that's what I did and I made sure any experience or work experience I mentioned was relevant to the course. It's good that you've done Model UN conferences and got work experience with your MP lined up - those will give you quite a few things to say in your personal statement. Is there a particular area of history and politics you're interested in or even anything you're learning in history and/or politics that you're interested in pursuing further at undergraduate study? I wish I could send you a copy of my personal statement but since the current UCAS season isn't over, I can't do that for obvious reasons. If you need someone trustworthy to read it, I can certainly have a look for you but I do recommend using the TSR Personal Statement service which is free nearer to the time that you have to submit your final personal statement draft - it's all done on a private sub-forum that only you and the personal statement team can see. Hope this helps.
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gretelhouseg
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hey! yeah, there are quite a few areas i’m already interested in - for history, i’ve found a couple books to do with the haitian revolution, the algerian war for independence, FDR’s new deal, irish history, and britain under thatcher. regarding politics, i’ve got books on political philosphy and recruitment in parliament. somehow i’m gonna have to read up on all this before summer’s over, but from that i’ll decide which books aren’t worth including in my PS. would you say books to do with what i studied at school (british and american history) are going to be valued more than books that i’ve just read out of my own curiosity? i’m unsure at the moment of which areas i’d like to focus on most, but of course i have to actually read the books before i do that

and that’s no problem, thanks so much for offering! i also didn’t know about TSR’s service, so that’s fantastic

good luck with changing courses!
(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
Hey! I've applied to study history and politics but currently in the process of changing courses - just waiting for Leeds to get back to me on that. In terms of structure, see what Sinnoh as said above, that's what I did and I made sure any experience or work experience I mentioned was relevant to the course. It's good that you've done Model UN conferences and got work experience with your MP lined up - those will give you quite a few things to say in your personal statement. Is there a particular area of history and politics you're interested in or even anything you're learning in history and/or politics that you're interested in pursuing further at undergraduate study? I wish I could send you a copy of my personal statement but since the current UCAS season isn't over, I can't do that for obvious reasons. If you need someone trustworthy to read it, I can certainly have a look for you but I do recommend using the TSR Personal Statement service which is free nearer to the time that you have to submit your final personal statement draft - it's all done on a private sub-forum that only you and the personal statement team can see. Hope this helps.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by gretelhouseg)
hey! yeah, there are quite a few areas i’m already interested in - for history, i’ve found a couple books to do with the haitian revolution, the algerian war for independence, FDR’s new deal, irish history, and britain under thatcher. regarding politics, i’ve got books on political philosphy and recruitment in parliament. somehow i’m gonna have to read up on all this before summer’s over, but from that i’ll decide which books aren’t worth including in my PS. would you say books to do with what i studied at school (british and american history) are going to be valued more than books that i’ve just read out of my own curiosity? i’m unsure at the moment of which areas i’d like to focus on most, but of course i have to actually read the books before i do that

and that’s no problem, thanks so much for offering! i also didn’t know about TSR’s service, so that’s fantastic

good luck with changing courses!
Thanks regarding me changing courses. You're free to include anything you want in your PS that demonstrates your passion for history and politics. For example, I wrote about why I was interested in Thatcher and the end of consensus and a lecture I attended at Cambridge University history masterclass - I'd explained briefly what the lecture was about and explained what I found fascinating.

As for TSR's PS service, you'll have to post in the private sub forum. For more info, please see https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/con...SR-PS-reviewer.
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