Confusedboutlife
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What it says!
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Confusedboutlife)
What it says!
Hope you get a lot of interest for this. Son's girlfriend has just graduated from Oxford English and Classics with a first.
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Confusedboutlife
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Hope you get a lot of interest for this. Son's girlfriend has just graduated from Oxford English and Classics with a first.
Wow, that's amazing!
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And thank you, confused! So many Oxford students use tsr to get in, then are too busy to stay here. The fact that are willing to answer questions as well is rare so it’s well appreciated
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Selfcare
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Hi Do you have any advice for personal statements for English please? Also what made you choose Oxford over Cambridge - there are pros and cons for both and I can't decide!
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Confusedboutlife
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(Original post by Selfcare)
Hi Do you have any advice for personal statements for English please? Also what made you choose Oxford over Cambridge - there are pros and cons for both and I can't decide!
Remember everything on your personal statement is fair game, so it should be texts you're comfortable discussing at interview (that's probably the main function of the PS for Oxbridge). I'd recommend setting a maximum limit of 10 texts. If you can link your texts together in some way, that can also be great, especially if you link together texts that you'd compare on a university course (for example, different texts by the same author, or two texts that influenced each other). Try to show a habit of intellectual curiosity, where one thing led you to another. If you can weave in a little historical and ideological context, even better (just a key phrase/ word is great) ! The In Our Time Archives are fantastic for this. I'd also say it is a good idea to ensure your PS is not descriptive, but analytical of each text: you're not writing an essay, of course, more like a few, concise essay-like sentences on each text. Using the words 'suggest' and 'implies' usually forces you to analyse.

I prefer the Oxford course's structure, it is less flexible than Cambridge's, but I think it makes more sense overall. I don't really enjoy modern literature so the fact exams for finals are 1350-1830 is something I preferred. But you also get to do modern and victorian literature in Prelims which is good if you want to do more modern options for your special option and dissertation in Finals! Also, the fact you spend 2 years on your assessed modules in Oxford while in Cambridge it is all taught in final year (I think) is something I thought took the pressure off. Cambridge is also supposed to be quite literary theoryish and I really don't like theory! But both courses give you lots of freedom and are similar. Oxford has also always been my favourite city, and I prefer its honey-coloured buildings and lively energy to Cambridge!
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(Original post by Confusedboutlife)
Remember everything on your personal statement is fair game, so it should be texts you're comfortable discussing at interview (that's probably the main function of the PS for Oxbridge). I'd recommend setting a maximum limit of 10 texts. If you can link your texts together in some way, that can also be great, especially if you link together texts that you'd compare on a university course (for example, different texts by the same author, or two texts that influenced each other). Try to show a habit of intellectual curiosity, where one thing led you to another. If you can weave in a little historical and ideological context, even better (just a key phrase/ word is great) ! The In Our Time Archives are fantastic for this. I'd also say it is a good idea to ensure your PS is not descriptive, but analytical of each text: you're not writing an essay, of course, more like a few, concise essay-like sentences on each text. Using the words 'suggest' and 'implies' usually forces you to analyse.

I prefer the Oxford course's structure, it is less flexible than Cambridge's, but I think it makes more sense overall. I don't really enjoy modern literature so the fact exams for finals are 1350-1830 is something I preferred. But you also get to do modern and victorian literature in Prelims which is good if you want to do more modern options for your special option and dissertation in Finals! Also, the fact you spend 2 years on your assessed modules in Oxford while in Cambridge it is all taught in final year (I think) is something I thought took the pressure off. Cambridge is also supposed to be quite literary theoryish and I really don't like theory! But both courses give you lots of freedom and are similar. Oxford has also always been my favourite city, and I prefer its honey-coloured buildings and lively energy to Cambridge!
Thank you so much! You're an actual legend, this is so helpful x
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Rachelxxmay1
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Hi! Do you have any pre-16th-century books that you would recommend? I'm trying to expand my reading for my personal statement, I am applying for English Literature
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Confusedboutlife
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(Original post by Rachelxxmay1)
Hi! Do you have any pre-16th-century books that you would recommend? I'm trying to expand my reading for my personal statement, I am applying for English Literature
Hey! Pre-1500s is all Medieval, so the language might be hard. I'd recommend using translations or glossed editions (saying you did so in your PS). You might want to check out Robert Henryson's animal fables, translated by Seamus Heaney. Glossed editions of The Canterbury Tales are also good, and 1 or 2 tales would be more than enough (if you want to include one on your PS). I like The Knight's Tale and The Franklin's Tale. You could also read Barry Windeat's translation of Julian of Norwich's writings, which have many beautiful metaphors describing her visions of Christ. I think the introduction is extremely helpful and tells you pretty much everything you need to know, but I'd also Wikipedia affective piety. For Medieval lit, it is really important to understand the context well, and read about your texts, or see if there are any good podcasts you can find. Also, I'd stress for anyone else who might read this, if most of the lit you mention is post-1900 with maybe a couple of older texts that is absolutely great too. Choose topics you like and can speak well about.
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Oxford Mum
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Of all the Canterbury tales, I studied the wife of Bath. It’s hilarious, and makes great reading!
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Confusedboutlife
That advice about personal statements is so amazing we should frame it.
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Confusedboutlife
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Confusedboutlife
That advice about personal statements is so amazing we should frame it.
very kind of you! WOBT is funny, she had such an eventful life
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