Written Work for English Language and Literature at Oxford

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DrDante
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I was looking at the admissions requirements for English at Oxford and under written work it states that, "It should not be a short timed essay, a critical commentary on particular passages of text (practical criticism exercises), or a piece of creative writing". Do you think it would be okay for me to submit an essay on unseen prose/poetry that was completed outside of timed conditions? We covered this later in Year 12 so my essays on it are significantly better than the pieces I wrote for our set texts earlier in the year.
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QHF
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(Original post by TheAlexSurtees)
I was looking at the admissions requirements for English at Oxford and under written work it states that, "It should not be a short timed essay, a critical commentary on particular passages of text (practical criticism exercises), or a piece of creative writing". Do you think it would be okay for me to submit an essay on unseen prose/poetry that was completed outside of timed conditions? We covered this later in Year 12 so my essays on it are significantly better than the pieces I wrote for our set texts earlier in the year.
If it's an essay (not a commentary) which you wrote without direct time pressure—having time to avoid easy mistakes and to think through your argument—and it is more recent than some of your other candidate pieces of work, then it's probably suitable. I'm not quite clear on what 'an essay on unseen prose/poetry that was completed outside of timed conditions' exactly means, though: you wrote an essay on a text you'd not read before, outside timed conditions, but you… didn't look the text up?

Another useful way to tackle this question is, if you haven't already, to have a very careful read of the 'Shortlisting and selection criteria (undergraduate)' page on the Oxford English Faculty website: in section 2, they state the eight criteria used to mark the written work, and you can have a look at the pieces you're considering for submission in the light of these, and think about which ones most fully demonstrate your abilities according to those criteria. Note how the fifth to eighth bullet points are all things which are hard to assess if the written work is not an essay which makes an argument.
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DrDante
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(Original post by QHF)
If it's an essay (not a commentary) which you wrote without direct time pressure—having time to avoid easy mistakes and to think through your argument—and it is more recent than some of your other candidate pieces of work, then it's probably suitable. I'm not quite clear on what 'an essay on unseen prose/poetry that was completed outside of timed conditions' exactly means, though: you wrote an essay on a text you'd not read before, outside timed conditions, but you… didn't look the text up?

Another useful way to tackle this question is, if you haven't already, to have a very careful read of the 'Shortlisting and selection criteria (undergraduate)' page on the Oxford English Faculty website: in section 2, they state the eight criteria used to mark the written work, and you can have a look at the pieces you're considering for submission in the light of these, and think about which ones most fully demonstrate your abilities according to those criteria. Note how the fifth to eighth bullet points are all things which are hard to assess if the written work is not an essay which makes an argument.
Thank you, this is helpful
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