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    Hi, so i'm looking to apply for English at Oxford.

    So far in my personal statement i have mentioned Jane Eyre and The Bell Jar (books included in my epq), On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Howl by Allen Ginsburg (a poem).

    I am thinking of also discussing one of Crime and Punishment, Lolita and Dangerous Liaisons. Which do you think would be most appropriate? I want to link it to a further topic i.e. existentialism in Crime and Punishment, epistolatory writing in Dangerous Liaisons.

    Also, do i need to state why my A Level subjects help me with English?
    Seems a waste of words, but school encourages it.
    Thanks!
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    I didn't put in anything about my other subjects and it didn't harm me!

    The most important thing is to show you have the ability to analyse critically what you have read so mentioning a few texts and pointing out what you've found interesting in them is more important than fitting in a lot of texts. Also, you need something you are willing to talk in depth about at interview so I would go with whichever you are most comfortable with and make sure nothing's in there that you would be stuck talking about.

    I haven't read Crime and Punishment, or Dangerous Liasons so I can't help you choose between them unfortunately Making connections will be well thought of though :yep:
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    If I were you, I'd mention Lolita over the other two, simply because it's a work written originally in English, even though it's considered an American text. At Oxford (not sure about other unis, sorry), translations are not a part of the course, so it might be more relevant to talk about it. In terms of relating it to something else, you could talk about the unreliable narration, the games N plays with the reader in terms of obscure literary references and the interaction of 'McFate'. I'd be least likely to mention Crime and Punishment if I were you as to my mind On The Road already covers the existentialism quotient, unless you wanted to briefly compare the two?
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    only you should pick which book to put in because you will need to know it really really well for interviews. i made the mistake of throwing in loads of different titles and then realising a couple of weeks before interview that i would have to revise them all, that some of them were awful (ie castle of otranto- not the best book in the world), and that i did not know any of them as well as i ought. (i did somehow get an offer in the end though!)

    i put in stuff about my other subjects helping english... but i dont think it is exactly necessary. do it if you can but if you are pushed for words it probably isnt the end of the world.
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    (Original post by uni123)
    Hi, so i'm looking to apply for English at Oxford.

    So far in my personal statement i have mentioned Jane Eyre and The Bell Jar (books included in my epq), On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Howl by Allen Ginsburg (a poem).

    I am thinking of also discussing one of Crime and Punishment, Lolita and Dangerous Liaisons. Which do you think would be most appropriate? I want to link it to a further topic i.e. existentialism in Crime and Punishment, epistolatory writing in Dangerous Liaisons.

    Also, do i need to state why my A Level subjects help me with English?
    Seems a waste of words, but school encourages it.
    Thanks!
    I wouldn't write anything about how your other subjects help you in English, most people don't.

    It's best to put in a few select pieces of work that you'll be comfortable talking about. Don't throw in a text that you only half know, otherwise you'll find yourself stuck if you're asked about it at an interview.
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    If you can think of perhaps a line or so to mention your other A Level subjects, then schools deem this beneficial. I applied to do English at University, but I also did Physics at A Level. Clearly, the two are basically unrelated, but my Head of Year recommended I mention it, as it shows diversity in my studies. If your other subjects genuinely do help you with English, then I'd say it's definitely worth spending a sentence on.
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    Could I mention a history-related book? It's by an author who won the Nobel prize for literature and its about life under Stalin.
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    (Original post by sonam5)
    Could I mention a history-related book? It's by an author who won the Nobel prize for literature and its about life under Stalin.
    Not an admissons person here so I would get a second opinion but if it relates in some way to the subject itself I do not see why not.

    As for OP have you read any books on linguistics?
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    If you like you can have a look at my PS for English - I got an interview at Cambridge with it. I can't remember what I put in it off the top of my head, but obviously if you haven't read them then it's pointless. I know I mention Der Erlkoenig ​ by Goethe.
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    (Original post by JackS94)
    If you like you can have a look at my PS for English - I got an interview at Cambridge with it. I can't remember what I put in it off the top of my head, but obviously if you haven't read them then it's pointless. I know I mention Der Erlkoenig ​ by Goethe.
    I would love to have a look at your PS, where can I find it? I'm applying to Cambridge , and I love reading, I've read so many books. It's just the books that I read aren't impressive enough to put on a PS. I'm really worried.
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    Apparently english at oxbridge isn't as competitive as other places so you won't need to overburden the PS with texts. Reeling off a list of respected books isn't all that you should do, as all it shows is that you know which books are highly regarded or not. Mention books that, even if they aren't part of the literary canon, you are interested in. It shows that you have your own interests instead of just copying down the list of books that everyone's read. That's why I'm going to mention things like Arthur C Clarke, Clifford Simak and Bill Bryson alongside the more pretentious ones.
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    (Original post by sonam5)
    I would love to have a look at your PS, where can I find it? I'm applying to Cambridge , and I love reading, I've read so many books. It's just the books that I read aren't impressive enough to put on a PS. I'm really worried.

    I send it to you
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    (Original post by JackS94)
    I send it to you
    Could I see your PS? Or at least an extract? I'm struggling to write mine as I'm applying for English Language and Literature, but my PS is baring more towards the Lit side, and I'm getting way stressed!
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    (Original post by Cool_JordH)
    Could I see your PS? Or at least an extract? I'm struggling to write mine as I'm applying for English Language and Literature, but my PS is baring more towards the Lit side, and I'm getting way stressed!

    Sure, I'll send it privately
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    Hello, would you mind if I could have a look at it too? I've scoured all the ones on the PS finder and find them really interesting (if only sometimes for reading material!) (JackS94)
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    (Original post by uni123)
    Hi, so i'm looking to apply for English at Oxford.

    So far in my personal statement i have mentioned Jane Eyre and The Bell Jar (books included in my epq), On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Howl by Allen Ginsburg (a poem).

    I am thinking of also discussing one of Crime and Punishment, Lolita and Dangerous Liaisons. Which do you think would be most appropriate? I want to link it to a further topic i.e. existentialism in Crime and Punishment, epistolatory writing in Dangerous Liaisons.

    Also, do i need to state why my A Level subjects help me with English?
    Seems a waste of words, but school encourages it.
    Thanks!
    Surely you're applying to more than 1 uni right? If that's the case, you can't just treat your personal statement about one uni if you're apply for others.
    Scratch this idea if you're solely looking at Oxford.

    You won't fit all those in one PS, unless you want to sound impressive by shoving a load of titles down their throats.

    Crime and Punishment, is hmm... courageous but I'd advice against it just because a lot of people who haven't studied it and have only read it seem to misinterpret the book. It's a book that you don't study until 2nd or 3rd year because of it's difficult philosophy. I read it this summer and it wasn't even that good!

    I wrote how my other A-levels helped me. But I also did Language and Philosophy so those really did help me; and related Philosophy to texts that had a lot of religious content in it. So like that, would be fine. But you should at least mention how one A-level has helped you out with Literature.
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    (Original post by uni123)

    Also, do i need to state why my A Level subjects help me with English?
    Seems a waste of words, but school encourages it.
    Thanks!
    If you're applying to Oxford, no. I applied to Cambridge this year and didn't write anything about my other subjects. They don't want to hear about how other subjects have donated skills to you and helped you excel in English.

    They just want to know what interests you about English - they want to see a passion for literature and a sign of higher level thought. Talking about other subjects not only - as you said - wastes words, but hinders the extent to which you can convey your passion for English itself.

    I would advise you to use your personal statement to showcase your true ability and use every word meticulously to demonstrate why exactly you love English.

    One of the English Literature students I spoke to while I was at interview wrote about The Waste Land in her personal statement and she had a really good discussion in her interview about how, each time she reads it, she understands more and more of the many allusions that Elliot employs. Don't worry if you're approaching something complex - go for it. If you're applying to Oxford, you certainly should be more than capable to interpret it and tease out higher level meanings that will impress
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    (Original post by kingaaran)
    If you're applying to Oxford, no. I applied to Cambridge this year and didn't write anything about my other subjects. They don't want to hear about how other subjects have donated skills to you and helped you excel in English.

    They just want to know what interests you about English - they want to see a passion for literature and a sign of higher level thought. Talking about other subjects not only - as you said - wastes words, but hinders the extent to which you can convey your passion for English itself.

    I would advise you to use your personal statement to showcase your true ability and use every word meticulously to demonstrate why exactly you love English.

    One of the English Literature students I spoke to while I was at interview wrote about The Waste Land in her personal statement and she had a really good discussion in her interview about how, each time she reads it, she understands more and more of the many allusions that Elliot employs. Don't worry if you're approaching something complex - go for it. If you're applying to Oxford, you certainly should be more than capable to interpret it and tease out higher level meanings that will impress
    Why do you keep commenting on the SAME posts as I do AND to give the exact opposite response I give. Are you trying to prove something?

    University isn't just about the academia and if you honestly think it is... well you'll be wasting your 9K per year... However, you haven't been to uni to know this.

    "Don't worry if you're approaching something complex - go for it" what? Are you serious? That's the worst advice you could give. Just because someone is to apply to Oxford, does not make them a literary genius. If you misinterpret a major work such as Crime and Punishment, it can be severely detrimental. You clearly underestimate the novel itself as well as the author and that's a pity.

    You can't just simply write about C&P in about 50 words and let the admissions from Oxford to be blown away? Esp as OP is considering other texts too. Such idiocy.
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    (Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
    Why do you keep commenting on the SAME posts as I do AND to give the exact opposite response I give. Are you trying to prove something?

    University isn't just about the academia and if you honestly think it is... well you'll be wasting your 9K per year... However, you haven't been to uni to know this.

    "Don't worry if you're approaching something complex - go for it" what? Are you serious? That's the worst advice you could give. Just because someone is to apply to Oxford, does not make them a literary genius. If you misinterpret a major work such as Crime and Punishment, it can be severely detrimental. You clearly underestimate the novel itself as well as the author and that's a pity.

    You can't just simply write about C&P in about 50 words and let the admissions from Oxford to be blown away? Esp as OP is considering other texts too. Such idiocy.
    Not at all. I didn't even realise I was posting on the same posts as you. I remember countering your opinion on the character of Lady Macbeth once, but surely you're not weeping over such a comment. As a Literature student, don't you enjoy discussing interpretations? The consensus about literature and literature exams is subjective, which is what makes it so personal.

    Also, never did I say that university is just about academic pursuit, but for Oxbridge, little liking is taken towards writing about your extra curricular activities in your personal statement. Super curricular is a different story, which, again, I was trying to make clear to the OP here.

    Next, how is it the worst advice that you can give? I applied to read maths at Cambridge. My interview was focused predominately on higher level stuff. All of the English Lit candidates I spoke to had delved into higher level literature and attempted to read beyond the limits of their specification. This is something that is appreciated.

    You should encourage students to embrace the challenge they are willing to take. If the OP wants to approach higher level literature, then it should be encouraged, no? So what if C&P is a piece of a literature with complex philosophy - who are we to devalue their ability and say they cannot write about it well in their personal statement?

    I have no idea why you are labelling it idiocy either because the only person who is showing the attributes of an idiot here is you.
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    (Original post by kingaaran)
    Not at all. I didn't even realise I was posting on the same posts as you. I remember countering your opinion on the character of Lady Macbeth once, but surely you're not weeping over such a comment. As a Literature student, don't you enjoy discussing interpretations? The consensus about literature and literature exams is subjective, which is what makes it so personal.

    Also, never did I say that university is just about academic pursuit, but for Oxbridge, little liking is taken towards writing about your extra curricular activities in your personal statement. Super curricular is a different story, which, again, I was trying to make clear to the OP here.

    Next, how is it the worst advice that you can give? I applied to read maths at Cambridge. My interview was focused predominately on higher level stuff. All of the English Lit candidates I spoke to had delved into higher level literature and attempted to read beyond the limits of their specification. This is something that is appreciated.

    You should encourage students to embrace the challenge they are willing to take. If the OP wants to approach higher level literature, then it should be encouraged, no? So what if C&P is a piece of a literature with complex philosophy - who are we to devalue their ability and say they cannot write about it well in their personal statement?

    I have no idea why you are labelling it idiocy either because the only person who is showing the attributes of an idiot here is you.

    Ignoring all the irrelevant **** you put, I never said not to read more challenging books or anything like that - or just to stick to the realm of specification and exam boards.
    I'll be the adult here and not call you out over just bs. What I was saying is if you have not read Crime and Punishment, you would not understand where I'm coming from. That is all.

    But you stay mad.
 
 
 
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