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History Personal Statement

I have always read widely and, due to my English Exhibition at Woodbridge School and my enjoyment of writing, at one point I had hoped to read English at university. However, whilst studying World War One poetry for my English Literature GCSE, I found that I was most interested in the times and conditions in which the author was writing.

The study of history evokes great curiosity in me; during my study of 19th Century Germany last year I found the debate concerning Bismarck’s role in German unification fascinating. A.J.P. Taylor’s examination of Bismarck's character in "The Man and the Statesman” was particularly illuminating because its challenge to the previously accepted ‘great man’ theory shows the impact an individual can have upon a situation.

In my view, past and present are inseparable, in that what we are today has been formed by past events and, therefore, the study of the past illuminates the present. For example, my independent coursework study of the decline of the Liberal Party has demonstrated to me the effects of war on all aspects of society and the need for political parties to adapt to the current electorate – subjects still very relevant today.

As Arthur Marwick writes, “because everything has a history, history as a body of knowledge and as a discipline covers everything,” and history is indeed the most inclusive of all intellectual pursuits – its wide range of subject matter is a definite factor in its favour. History also can be a challenging and totally absorbing intellectual exercise, which develops valuable skills in synthesising and presenting information.

Although at this early stage, I feel unable to predict a career path, I could envisage becoming a journalist. This stems from a work experience placement shadowing the journalist Dominic Kennedy, the crime writer for The Times, last year. This experience encouraged me to write five articles for the school’s award-winning Times Educational Supplement “newspaper day competition” submission in my role as Home Affairs Correspondent. History, like journalism, involves selecting relevant facts to create either narrative or a persuasive argument, and consequently it is both useful and informative.

Moving to a boarding school for my Sixth Form Studies has afforded me increased opportunities to contribute to the school community. I am a member of House Council - a committee which liaises with the Head of House on academic and boarding-related issues – and participated in a paired reading scheme last year. I played Benjamin in the school’s production of “Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat” last year, despite breaking my ankle playing for the school football team the week before. I attempted the complex dance routines on crutches notwithstanding!

I enjoy most team sports, and have played for school cricket and rugby teams throughout my school career; however, I find myself most suited to football and hockey. I received junior full colours for Woodbridge School hockey team, and play for the Wymondham College Second Eleven football team. I play the tuba to Grade 6 standard, and have recently toured Italy and Austria whilst representing the county as a member of the Suffolk Youth Wind Band. Outside school, my home close to the sea provides an ideal location for my hobbies of surfing and sailing. I have a part-time job at Lowestoft Public Library, which improves my communication skills and self-confidence.

I am taking a gap year in order to broaden my horizons, and to this end I have made plans to teach English in a Tibetan community in India in conjunction with GAP Activity Projects.

I look forward to extending my knowledge of the many aspects of history available for study, and believe that university will enhance these opportunities.

Year applied: 
0
Subject: 
History

Comments

History Personal Statement

Hi, this statement is really good but what uni's did you apply/get into, thanx.

i think its a great personal

i think its a great personal statement because i feel the same. im not sure what i want to do(maybe journalism too) and i needed a way to sound confident without makin promises to a particular course...thanx
p.s where are you studying?

a lot of this is really good,

a lot of this is really good, but the start's not great - it makes whoever this is sound more into english than history, and yeah, the impression's corrected later on, but i'd still have given it a different opening

That person didn't focus too

That person didn't focus too much on teaching in their gap year, it was one sentence! And if you have planned a gap year like that it is great to tell them that!

I thought it was a good personal statement, although some of the grammer was a bit off. But I liked the way they explained what it is about history which makes them want to study it and the value they place on it. Something I'm having a little trouble putting into words about English Lit. in my statement!

deagle

"In my view, past and present are inseparable, in that what we are today has been formed by past events and, therefore, the study of the past illuminates the present"

what book u read that from???

Hmmm

I'm really not sure about this PS as a unique and individual piece of writing, but I will admit that it's a good, solid 'basic' style PS - but nothing beyond good really. There's a rather obvious statement about Bismark and the 'great man' theory (poss one of the most widely debated factors about the guy) and I think that he could have been a bit more off the wall here, maybe discuss something more conceptual. Also the 'past and present inseparable' thing is a bit cliche. The joke about the crutches is a total mistake - jokes and exclamation marks always look bad. I don't like the beginning either where he goes on about wanting to do English - is that really relevant when you're applying for History!? Also some tutors may take it to not look like you're that committed if you've had to weigh up the pros and cons of history and another subject (rather than just having natural desire etc.)
Anyway, I think it's def better than ok, but I think the whole PS thing is a lottery. I've seen absolutely crap statements get offers from the best unis. Think I might just pee on mine and send it in...

This is a pretty decent ps in

This is a pretty decent ps in my opinion though i agree that perhaps focussing some much on english hindered it, and doesn't help to communicate your passion for history.

However, the person who uses this to make jokes obviously has no life if they have nothing better to do. Being pretentious i agree isn't good, but you have to at least sound intelligent on your personal statment. Sounding exceedinly down to earth will get you nowhere!

quotes?

I noticed you used a quote, does anyone know if this is a good idea or not? I have a quote I like that I could use, but don't want to look like a moron.

Personal statement

This is really super. I love it and think this is one of the best ones that i have read. Thanks babes, Kieran Rutherford

This is a great personal

This is a great personal statement, if a little pretentious with the quote! Also, I think that too much is said about extra-curricular activities, and that it does not focus enough on history itself!

It doesn't start well but

It doesn't start well but from about half way through it gets good! I hope I can manage something like this.

Nice statement, well done!

Nice statement, well done!

It is a good statement (in my

It is a good statement (in my opinion) but I'm not sure that I would emphasise the boarding-school issue, especially not for an Oxbridge application; since they have to be shown to being 'fair' being privately educated can be a disadvantage (yay for attending a bog-standard comprehensive).

However well done to the writer for getting offers from the universities she/he did: Durham after all is harder (statistically speaking) to get into than Cambridge!

what were youre grades?

what were youre grades?

Erm?

Looks like you want to study English but picked History for no apparent reason. Less about English, less cliché and more History.
Good structure though.

Quite good

Well, this application is very well written and proves intelligence, but it lacks a focus on History and strays to English at the beginning. After this it goes on for around 2 paragraphs about History and spends the last 1/3rd on extra curiculum activities. I think the part about 'what I want to do when I'm older' can be missed out, along with the expansions of your achievements, which could be better replaced with more History!

The gap year stuff - did you

The gap year stuff - did you apply for deferred entry?

a few improvements...

the first line does seem to invite skim-reading and i'd consider changing it,

'subjects still very relevant today' - need to elaborate

quotes such as ;' History involves selecting relevant facts to create either narrative or a persuasive argument, and consequently it is both useful and informative' should be taken out - dont tell the admissions tutors what they already know, this is not about what history can give you, its about what you can offer them

telling them about their own subject:
'As Arthur Marwick writes, “because everything has a history, history as a body of knowledge and as a discipline covers everything,” and history is indeed the most inclusive of all intellectual pursuits – its wide range of subject matter is a definite factor in its favour. History also can be a challenging and totally absorbing intellectual exercise, which develops valuable skills in synthesising and presenting information'

do not waste words talking about what history is, they know what it is, tell them what you have to offer. Quotes aren't neccessary either. Other than that I want to hear where you're interest in history comes from outside of school - do you know anything about the history of your area? etc

This statement is FAR too

This statement is FAR too general!
It comments on the study of history and what it is/ how it adds to society!
HISTORY ADMISSIONS TUTORS KNOW THAT!

Good statement! You should've

Good statement! You should've switched your first two paragraphs around to avoid confusion over which subject you are applying for

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