English Literature Personal Statement Introduction

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English Literature personal statement example 1

"I have chosen to study English Literature because I don’t as yet have a clear idea of what career I want to enter and feel it is a subject that will give me plenty of options after my education has ended. Furthermore I believe that it will provide me with the basis for the kind of innovative thinking necessary in any job as well as give me a broad range of transferable skills that many employers would appreciate.

The one thing that I really enjoy doing and would never get tired of is reading and am constantly looking out for stimulating and thought-provoking material. It was therefore only natural that I drifted towards studying English Literature at college. That experience gave me an excellent introduction to the world of academia, as well as wetting my appetite for the subject by enabling me to fully see the many literary issues and themes that were available for research, discussion and analysis. College also made me realize just how valuable good writing, researching and presentation skills are to communicating and finding employment.

I am currently looking for a university where modules are taught in a atmosphere of discussion and where independent thought and contribution is encouraged and valued. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to further my studies at your university and also because of its good academic environment and strong professional reputation. Since my first prospective email right through to when I attended your open day (where I walked around and talked to staff) I realised that your institution had a warm and welcoming environment and was a intellectually stimulating place in which to be a undergraduate. I was also pleased to discover that although it is a big university, it's very easy to get around. I firmly believe that your university is the place to be for anyone with a serious interest in English Literature."

English Literature personal statement example 2

"It is estimated that there are over three hundred and fifty million people in the world who speak English as their first language and over one billion who can speak it as a second language. These  simple facts show that English is one of the most widely used forms of communication on our planet and it was this reason more than any other that first inspired me to learn more about it.

During my research at college I quickly discovered that it was one of the richest languages known to mankind, had an immense vocabulary and that the only way to truly master it was through formal higher education. Throughout my studies I became amazed at the power of simple words and the effect they can have on people. History is full of examples of creative writing being used to build hopes, inspire people, create revolutionary movements and destroy lives. I came to the conclusion that language if used correctly can express how we feel about ourselves and others and stimulate both intellect and imagination. 

At college I studied the development of English Literature over the course of history and read works from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings onwards right through the Middle Ages to the present day. I was so eager to learn that I would regularly read and studied outside of the syllabus. My tutors were very supportive and thanks to them I now have a comprehensive understanding of drama, poetry, grammar, punctuation and the effects of digitalisation on literature.

Apart from simply enjoying reading and writing I am also attracted to learn more about literature and the written word because to me it’s more than just a rewarding challenge it’s a active pleasure. I want to earn a degree that is for me as well as any future career. On a more practical level a degree in English literature can open many doors to a successful career. A graduate can enter the jobs market with well-developed skills of oral communication, research and writing, together with a high level of cultural literacy and critical sophistication. All of these transferable skills are highly valued by employers in many industries.

As well as spending time reading great book and learning about language academically I also wanted some practical work experience in a job related to literature. So over the summer months I took a Saturday job as an assistant to a professional copywriter and author. Under his guidance I learnt how to analyse literature at different levels, discovered authors from different periods / parts of the world and began to think critically about what I read. Recently I have also used my spare time to became a member of a local reading club, participated in debating societies and developed a keen interest in contemporary non fiction as well as fiction.

Right now I feel confident enough to enrol on a degree course at your university. My grades from college will demonstrate a proven ability to do a lot of independent study and research. The glowing references from my course tutors will also show that I am able to use my initiative, creativity and strong imagination to write compelling articles. On top of all of this I can quickly gain a complex understanding of text and then communicate my conclusions and ideas through a reasoned and articulate analysis in the form of a essay or oral presentation.

I went to both your university and English department open day, where I got a feel for student life and familiarised myself with the campus. I found the college to be a enjoyable and stimulating place in which to carry out my studies with helpful and friendly academic and administrative staff. A degree programme at your institution will help me to study a subject that I love. In conclusion I would like to say that I have chosen to study at your university because I believe your course can harness the energy of its students and help them reach their full potential."

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© These English literature personal statements are the copyright of Dayjob Ltd August 2011. Students may use these example for their own personal use to help them create their personal statements. You are most welcome to link to this page or any other page on our site. However these examples must not be distributed or made available on other websites without our prior permission. For any questions relating to the use of these English literature personal statements please email: info@dayjob.com.

English Literature with Creative Writing Personal Statement

'Once upon a time' is a universal introduction to storytelling. The phrase is generic - it has opened thousands of tales, whilst 'happily ever after' has undoubtedly ended just as many. However, my interest was sparked by the diversity in the telling of the tale. It is this that has inspired me to study literature. My fascination stems from an old love of storytelling and a more recently discovered interest in philosophy. Concepts concerning the author and the journey interest me more than the ending or beginning. I think the poignancy of literature rests in the ability of an author to shape minds, and that this is influenced by their particular discernment of the world.

Variety makes literature such a vibrant experience for me, and I endeavour to read from a wide selection of texts, from Bronte to Wilde. I am primarily interested in character-driven works, for example Murdoch's warming and poignant 'The Italian Girl', because I feel that the glimpse that these offer into the intricacies of the mind are affecting and altering for the reader. Ian McEwan's 'Enduring Love' was so moving and philosophically provocative due to the lack of a traditionally defined protagonist and antagonist, that I read his other works avidly. There is an underlying darkness in the way that he presents the vacillation of traditional values which I find fascinating. As a result, I have read many works that discuss morality, especially those which explore it in an idiosyncratic fashion, such as Nabokov's 'Lolita', which I found bleakly absorbing because of the unusual depiction of such a sordid theme in so charming a narrative voice. This sparked an interest in philosophical texts, leading to my reading of Plato's 'Symposium' and 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' by Nietzsche.

Originally I found sanctuary in reading, but the captivation that I found in the myriad of worlds and existences in novels made me determined to become a novelist. I have dedicated much time to writing fiction, as it allows me to eschew the restrictions of daily life. Following Baudelaire's statement "Always be a poet, even in prose", I adore the elegant word mastery of the likes of Tennyson and Browning, whilst wishing to pursue the zest for storytelling of such compelling authors as Edgar Allan Poe. I have enjoyed the Nanowrimo challenge to craft a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. This required determination and perseverance, and I have discovered how important it is to set aside time every day to write. It also gave me the stimulating opportunity to meet and work with other writers, leading me to join a local writing group. I also organise and run a school writing club, with over 20 members. This confirmed my desire to study Creative Writing.

Studying Latin and Classical Civilisation has provided the opportunity to study ancient texts in their original forms. I enjoyed Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' for the highly evocative epic metaphors and the audacious challenge that it poses to the conventions of epic poetry. This has given me a greater appreciation of classical texts and awareness of the way that the storytelling tradition has developed. I studied Fine Art to develop my imagination, which was creatively liberating.

Opinion and viewpoint fascinate me. I am a founding member of a debating club, and enjoy the lively discussions that ensue. I have learnt to voice myself concisely and coherently, and to be highly analytical. In order to experience literature on a different level, I often attend plays, such as 'Hedda Gabler' and 'Travels with My Aunt'. I find that the transition from text to stage and the resulting dramatic interpretations enhance my appreciation. Playing the viola in an orchestra has shown me the importance of supporting others whilst also being a strong individual.

I would cherish the opportunity to study literature and the art of writing with others in a university environment to broaden my views, further my reading and aid my ambition to become a published novelist.

Universities Applied to:

  • UEA (English Literature Q300) - Offer (AAB) Declined
  • UEA (English Literature with Creative Writing Q3W8) - Rejection after portfolio
  • University of Birmingham (English Literature Q300) - Offer (AAB) Insurance
  • University of Birmingham (English Literature with Creative Writing Q3W8) - Offer (AAA) Declined
  • University of Warwick (English Literature with Creative Writing QW38) - Offer (AAA - accepted despite missed offer) Firm

Grades Achieved:

  • Art (AS) - C
  • Latin (A2) - B
  • Classical Civilisation (A2) - A*
  • English Literature (A2) - A*


Applied for English Literature as an insurance choice due to all Creative Writing choices of interest upping their offers to AAA for 2011 application. I was accepted to study English Literature with Creative Writing despite missing my AAA offer

General Comments:

UEA and Warwick both asked for portfolios of work for English Literature with Creative Writing, Warwick also interviewed.

Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018


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