Is it appropriate to speak about death in a personal statement

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Lucymarie01
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I’m hoping to apply for a journalism course and am writing my personal statement. Because of covid it has been so hard to get work experience, but my family asked me to write a couple of obituaries for our local newspaper for a couple of family members that passed away this year. Just basically telling their life stories. I’m really in two minds about putting this in my application because I don’t know if it’s too morbid. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Lucymarie01)
I’m hoping to apply for a journalism course and am writing my personal statement. Because of covid it has been so hard to get work experience, but my family asked me to write a couple of obituaries for our local newspaper for a couple of family members that passed away this year. Just basically telling their life stories. I’m really in two minds about putting this in my application because I don’t know if it’s too morbid. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
It's a good example of how you can adapt your writing style to different purposes. You aren't writing about their life stories, emotions, philosophies etc and dwelling in it in the PS. It's not morbid, death is a fact of life, but it is a skill to be able to write about it in an obit.
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tinygirl96
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no but do not obsess over detail
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Lucymarie01
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
It's a good example of how you can adapt your writing style to different purposes. You aren't writing about their life stories, emotions, philosophies etc and dwelling in it in the PS. It's not morbid, death is a fact of life, but it is a skill to be able to write about it in an obit.
Thanks for this! I was just unsure what universities might think if I was going to include it
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elssssssssa
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(Original post by Lucymarie01)
I’m hoping to apply for a journalism course and am writing my personal statement. Because of covid it has been so hard to get work experience, but my family asked me to write a couple of obituaries for our local newspaper for a couple of family members that passed away this year. Just basically telling their life stories. I’m really in two minds about putting this in my application because I don’t know if it’s too morbid. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
I am very sorry about your family members passing. In my opinion as long as you make it relevant to your course and what you are applying for there shouldn't be any reason that it is too morbid. The people who read personal statements are human and they will understand that death is an important and relevant part of life. If you personally want to put it in your personal statement and think it is relevant then absolutely go for it, the personal statement is about you and if it means a lot to you then you should definitely include it! x
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McGinger
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You should mention that you have written brief obituaries for local papers - don't go into any detail beyond that, it'll sound like a plea for special treatment.

Your referee should mention family bereavements in their reference - and any impact that has had on your studies. You shouldn't mention this in your PS, save that for 'why I want to be a journalist'.

Btw, remember that journalism isn't just newspapers, and you need to show that you are very aware of how the arena is changing (digital) and the implications of this (privacy, paywalls, censorship, freedom of speech, speed of news transmission etc etc)
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