English Literature and History Personal Statement

Since my childhood, barely a night has gone by without indulging in a book. I cherish the hours spent poring over literary masterpieces as diverse as The Great Gatsby, Othello and the poems of John Donne, all of which I particularly enjoyed.

After extensive analysis, many people feel as if a book has been spoilt and overdone, but I feel as if a locked box has been opened, revealing the treasures within. I have a long established love of historical literature, where the use of setting and allusions to historical figures and events is particularly appealing.

Sometimes to understand a text truly you have to be familiar with the historical background of the author, where and how they lived, and how context influenced their writing. For me the combination of English Literature and History would really bring this interest and passion for knowledge of the past to life.

After University English and History can open doors leading into many careers, but journalism stands out as an exceptional career path for me as I am interested in the modern world as well as the historical world. An undergraduate course will allow me to develop the writing and researching skills needed to excel in this field.

I am currently in my 6th year and enjoying studying Advanced Higher English, with the intention of widening my literary knowledge.

It is a course that encourages learning and development of reading and writing. My dissertation focuses on the works of the Brontë sisters, more specifically 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Jane Eyre', beautiful, literary classics whose storylines and universal themes will stay with me for years to come.

Recently, I have been exposed to a far more diverse range of literature and I am currently studying Thomas Hardy and Shakespeare. I am enjoying these new texts and I feel as if my literary horizons are widening.

For the past 4 years I have been part of the school orchestra, primarily the Swing Band in which I play piano and guitar. This has taken hard work and dedication and has given me the opportunity to perform regularly with my friends and teachers.

In summer 2007 the orchestra travelled to Lake Garda in Italy, playing concerts while developing a sense of unity and a team identity.

I have played lead guitar in a 4-piece rock band for 2 years, our success and enjoyment peaking after playing in the Stirling Battle of the Bands in March 2007 which gave me more self-confidence and a renewed desire to express myself musically.

The band has helped develop my leadership and management skills as well, as I have had to organise practices and gigs. Since Second year I have been the annual winner of a Maths Challenge award, my greatest achievement being a Gold certificate in 4th year.

I feel the Maths Challenge has enhanced my problem solving abilities and shown me that trying my best can actually reward me with something. It also proved that I have a logical mind and pay attention to detail. My interest in sport helped me gain a place in the school football team in which I enjoyed representing my school and playing with my friends while keeping my fitness up.

For 10 years now I have been a Karate-ka, practising Shotokan karate twice a week. This dedication has led to me reaching 1st kyu, one grade below the revered black belt. Karate has taught me discipline, manners and has helped keep me fit and healthy.

I have also demonstrated hard work and commitment in my position in a busy restaurant. This post requires reliability, punctuality, and has taught me how to relate to customers as well as undertaking work at a variety of levels.

My musical interest has led to me taking the Grade 5 piano exam and passing with Distinction, the highest award. These traits I feel would be very valuable in University, and I know that I would be a positive asset to any University, as I can expand upon and use the skills I have learned to better myself and achieve a Joint Honours Degree.

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This personal statement was written by digimon-master for application in 2008.

digimon-master's Comments

Just finished it today, let me know what you think. I'll tell you about my offers when they come.

Grades (Highers)
English - A
History - A
Maths - A
Physics - A
Computing - B

I got 5 unconditionals! :D Think i'm gonna accept English and History at Edinburgh.

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Comments

Hmmm...

Well, I agree with what the person above has just said. Your statement is good, however I'm not in a position to criticise. I am also applying for the same course which you have written about, and this statement has given me an insight to what I should be writing. However, just right towards the end, you sound a bit...I dont know, pretentious perhaps? I'm not saying you are, but it's just the feeling I got LOL. It's far better than what I could have produced and I credit you for it. Excuse all the spelling and grammatical error, yes I know...I'm rubbish. ;)

(applying for the same course...)

This is also going to sound picky, despite the excellent content... But, surely you need to put in more about particular books and authors and what you loved about them to show your ability to interpret in detail? Also, you haven't mentioned anything you love about History, just that it helps with Eng Lit.
But, the five unconditionals probably snub my comments majorly haha.

to the first person who

to the first person who commented: advanced higher english, is NOT a-level, that is a completely different qualification. a-level is english, adv higher is scottish.

4 years later...

This is my statement from 4 years ago, before starting a degree at Edinburgh University. Just found it again by chance and read it over. It's hilariously pretentious and in some parts awfully written. Apparently you learn a lot about writing from an English/History degree!

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