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Personal Statement opening lines - passion or realism? Watch

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    Teacher's saying passion, I'm thinking reason...
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    i made a joke. cant remember what it was and its not on this comp but everyone i showed laughed. shows you easy going, then put the passionate serious line in i say.
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    if they are both honest then either would be ok, they want a personal statement that is personal to you and gives them an insight into you as a student and you're passion for the subject
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    (Original post by Guy_1991)
    i made a joke. cant remember what it was and its not on this comp but everyone i showed laughed. shows you easy going, then put the passionate serious line in i say.
    That's funny, because I've been told by everyone categorically to not joke in the personal statement, just like you shouldn't use quotations or use rhetorical questions....
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    I've heard 'from an early age...' is a bit cliche.
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    realism.your dealing with academics Then go into detail how special you are.
    Check the PSs of those who got into oxbridge and make up your mind
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    They are both perfectly fine and pretty good first lines.

    Pick either, then just keep up that standard of writing throughout. And I'm sure you won't have a problem for that as you are applying for English literature after all!
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    I say go for the passionate one, but change "From an early age" - it's irrelevant. And by the way, if you're applying for English, consider changing "percieve" with "perceive". They might be put off by silly mistakes. Just saying. Good luck.
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    I have a similar problem. It's so difficult to do your passion for literature justice without being sentimental, isn't it?
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    (Original post by Skadoosh)
    I've heard 'from an early age...' is a bit cliche.
    Yes, it's gone already.
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    That's funny, because I've been told by everyone categorically to not joke in the personal statement, just like you shouldn't use quotations or use rhetorical questions....
    Except for the simple issue that your advice is useless. Quotations, if used well, work brilliantly, whilst rhetorical questions can similarly be used to good effect if used judiciously.
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    (Original post by ExDeusVenitBritannia)
    Quotations, if used well, work brilliantly,
    No, not generally. The problems with quotations are threefold: (a) they waste space as you have to give the quotation and then explain why you think it is relevant to you and your application; (b) admissions tutors are actually interested in what you have to say about why you want to study the subject you are applying for, and why you have potential to succeed at doing so - not what someone who never met you said apropos something else entirely; and (c) unless the person you are quoting actually said it about you, it is completely irrelevant and just another cliche.
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    I'm applying for English Lit and have been pondering over the nature of my opening lines in the personal statement.

    I'm truly torn between going for something with passion like; 'From an early age, literature has been the foundation of my learning and has shaped the way in which I percieve the world.' As opposed to something real, yet potentially boring, such as; 'I have always felt that English is where I've made my biggest impact academically, and would relish the prospect of pursuing the subject at degree level.'

    Any advice?
    I think saying "from an early age" or "I have always felt.." is a overused and it reads fine without them there. "English is where I've made my biggest impact academically, and would relish the prospect of pursuing the subject at degree level" sounds good but I'd go for "Literature has been the foundation of my learning and has shaped the way in which I perceive the world". That's my personal opinion of what sounds better but I'd go with whichever you feel matches your writing style.
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    Neither of your opening statements say why you are passionate about literature, or why you are interested in it. They're both very generic and could have been written by anyone... and, as others have said, starting a PS with "from an early age" is very overdone (and I'd avoid starting it with the word "I"). I could bash it a bit more but, out of the two, the second one is definitely better. But why, why, why are you interested in it? You're not interested in it because it has been the foundation of your learning (whatever that means), nor are you interested in it because you've made a big impact in it academically (the inverse is more likely); be more specific. WHY?

    Repetition intended for impact.
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    I think passion is the way forward but I think it should be a true reflection of how you feel, rather than an attempt to sell yourself.
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    I'm applying for English Lit and have been pondering over the nature of my opening lines in the personal statement.

    I'm truly torn between going for something with passion like; 'From an early age, literature has been the foundation of my learning and has shaped the way in which I percieve the world.' As opposed to something real, yet potentially boring, such as; 'I have always felt that English is where I've made my biggest impact academically, and would relish the prospect of pursuing the subject at degree level.'

    Any advice?
    Whatever it is, be honest. That's easier with realism =]
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    I'm applying for English Lit and have been pondering over the nature of my opening lines in the personal statement.

    I'm truly torn between going for something with passion like; 'From an early age, literature has been the foundation of my learning and has shaped the way in which I percieve the world.' As opposed to something real, yet potentially boring, such as; 'I have always felt that English is where I've made my biggest impact academically, and would relish the prospect of pursuing the subject at degree level.'

    Any advice?
    Whatever you do, dont put the line 'From a young age'. The people who have to go through all the statements see this kind of thing ALL the time. Try and make the statement sharp and precise. Make all the words count, cut the waffle. Perhaps draw on a personal experience in your life which demonstrates your attatchment to the subject. In terms of passion or realism, you can do a bit of both but try and avoid cliches. Just be truthful. Hope that helps a bit
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    I used passionate realism :yep:
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    first line is better you could use the second line when talking about your academics.
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    *Sends off on October 15th*

    An Englishman, Irishman and a Pakistani walk into a bar...Englishman wins. I love English. It is my favourite subject at school. It opens a new door full of adventure for me. *finishes PS*

    *Gets a letter on November 3rd*

    Thank you for your application. You have been successful and we have offered you an unconditional offer. The first line was creative, brave and innovative. Well done. We hope to see you soon.

    Best wishes, University of Cambridge.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    The above is not true and did not really occur. Please do not try this at home!!! :ninjagirl:
 
 
 
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