do i need to read the whole book if it’s on my personal statement?

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Anonymous #1
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sorry if this is a really obvious question, but i’m starting to plan my personal statement and i’m talking about a few parts of academic books that i’ve read around my subject. My issue is these topics are quite specific and the whole books mainly cover other things so I don’t particularly want to finish these books - but i’m considering applying to oxbridge so there’s the possibility of having to do an interview. in an interview would they ever ask questions that would mean i would have needed to read the whole books, or is it okay to mention parts of the books and not read them in full?
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eayr4ywhr
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For the personal statement, you don't have to read the whole book, just referencing certain chapters and bits that interested you is fine. If you're lucky enough to get an Oxbridge interview - READ THE BOOKS!!! They can pick up on anything in your statement, and if they ask you to talk about a book you mentioned and you didn't actually read it all you're a bit screwed.
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Paralove
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No, you don't need to. If you have the space to be specific about the bit/chapter read that's fine, but in an interview situation just say you only read xyz chapter/s - just be honest and they won't waste time pressing you on something not done.
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Theloniouss
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Specify which parts you read and you'll be fine.
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lucyyy12
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(Original post by Anonymous)
sorry if this is a really obvious question, but i’m starting to plan my personal statement and i’m talking about a few parts of academic books that i’ve read around my subject. My issue is these topics are quite specific and the whole books mainly cover other things so I don’t particularly want to finish these books - but i’m considering applying to oxbridge so there’s the possibility of having to do an interview. in an interview would they ever ask questions that would mean i would have needed to read the whole books, or is it okay to mention parts of the books and not read them in full?
if it’s oxbridge then yes read the books!
you want to be as clued up as you can!
they’ll ask you questions on anything and everything, they ask you things so you have to think on your feet and show you are capable and inventive and all that (or so I’ve been told ahaha)
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Peterhouse Admissions
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Don't claim you've read something that you haven't read. If you are reading relevant chapters, that's fine (particularly if the book is a collection of essays or similar) but I would recommend you make it clear in your PS that you've not read all of it e.g. 'I found the chapter on x in y book drew the same conclusions as...' or 'I followed j with k author's essay on l in m book'. You don't have to state the chapters you've read or that you didn't finish it or anything like that, but if you imply you've read the whole thing, interviewers may ask you about it.
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