English and English Literature Personal Statement

Choose your words carefully.

These words represent my key realisation of the true importance of meaningful communication, not least in the writing of this personal statement. My love of language continues to grow and I believe that from this course I will not merely acquire knowledge but will be truly shaped as an individual, developing the core basis of my communication for the rest of my life.

Reflecting on my studies to date the central element has been the exploration of, and my subsequent passion for, language. I have been particularly fascinated in understanding an author's intentions for the interpretation of language and how the meaning can be so vastly contrasting for every reader.

My recent exploration of two chosen texts, namely Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, has catalysed my desire to expand my knowledge and understanding of how language can be manipulated.

I was staggered by the vastly differing ways in which the authors wielded language to present their similar, horrific dystopian worlds. I was truly gripped by the texts and my work on them exemplifies my love for scrutinising and analysing language as I spent countless hours researching, learning and refining my response.

I am also compelled by poetry and the way that language can be distilled and used with such evocation. I was greatly inspired by a recent presentation analysing a sonnet by Shakespeare.

The complexity and immense depth of analysis astounded me. This scholarly level of interpretation fuelled my desire to attain the knowledge and insight into the language that only a Literature degree can provide.

Stemming from my schoolwork on the poem 'From the Journal of a Disappointed Man', I have explored and studied much of Andrew Motion's work for my own joy and satisfaction. My genuine appreciation of poetry promotes my pleasure in truly understanding the intentions that are conveyed through harnessing the language and creating the desired effects for the reader.

My other studies, Psychology and Drama, have broadened my relationship with, and experience of, language. They have demonstrated to me it's application as both a utility and an art form, and it's ability to explain or express. Through the study of Psychology I have had the opportunity to employ language critically as a tool to argue and illustrate.

Contrastingly, Drama has highlighted the subjectivity of language and enabled me to explore it's abstract beauty and express varied meanings through performance.

Throughout my education, I have participated in a variety of extracurricular roles and activities that have allowed me to develop invaluable skills to prepare me for life.

My involvement in my local Water Polo team for 8 years, the National Youth Theatre, Duke of Edinburgh Award and the National Citizen Service programme have all given me a platform to enhance a diverse range of skills including teamwork, communication and resilience.

My proudest achievements are being elected by my peers and teachers as House Captain in year 11 and as Sixth Form President this year. In my current position as President my personal focus is raising the awareness of positive mental health in students.

I have established a team of Ambassadors and coordinated an awareness event for my entire year group involving external professionals. Along with my other duties, this has built upon my skills of leadership, organisation and time management.

In the future, my ambition is to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Education to enable me to fulfil my goal of teaching English Literature. I have long wanted to pursue this career as I believe I could pass on my passion and zeal for Literature to my students.

The 2016 School Workforce National Statistics found that around only one in four teachers were male. This, combined with the fact of consistent male underachievement in English, has made me particularly driven to encourage and impart my enthusiasm in male students.

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Author's Comments

University of Bristol - Lowered Offer
University of Cardiff - Lowered Offer
Exeter - Conditional Offer
Oxford Brookes - Conditional Offer
Bath Spa - Conditional Offer

I really tried to avoid cliches with my personal statement, especially with the opening line, I felt that something punchy and poignant would pay dividends, even if it was a bit risky! I made sure to keep a very personal and connected focus to the course and, more widely, language, throughout. I also used quite a common structure of; personal interest/passion for the course, specific course studies and experiences, other subject studies, wider hobbies/experiences/skills, future ambitions. I believe this structure is really useful and allowed me to effectively get across everything I wanted to in a clear and coherent form.


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