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Vincent
Aug 15th, 2009, 09:31 AM
Hello everyone. :-) You can see the latest personal statement with some new information below - could you please help tackle the grammar (as I am not an English native speaker) and offer me some more advice? Thank you a million times.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________________________________
I am a final year undergraduate studying a double-degree in English Language and Literature as well as English Language Training. While I have appreciated the diversity and wide-scope of the courses, I would love to foster my literary development in English Literature as an affiliated student. I am expected to achieve a high second-up honour in my first two degrees.

I have a great fascination of the arts, English and music have been my main focuses. I was attracted to Literature over all the various disciplines that were mandatory in the first two years of my university course. This is in part due to my extensive literary correspondence with my teacher whose witticism and poetic citations kindled, confirmed and solidified my interest in poetry of all periods. Additionally, seeing that my parents started cultivating my musical disposition as a pianist since I was four, I have also developed a special interest in musical aesthetics, Music in Literature and Literature in Music. I also have also a great interest in Romantic novels, literary theories as well as dramas. I believe that my strident efforts to gratify my own thirst for knowledge, my proactive research, extensive reading renders me a suitable candidate for your course.

I am currently writing my honours project on the contributions of music to setting in selected novels by Thomas Hardy. In the project, I try to link the characteristics of music, whether allegro or penseroso, to Hardy’s use of mood and scene. I would love to explore how and why Hardy chooses to incorporate music into his use of scene, and even landscape. Even if the chosen musical pieces may change from scene to scene, specific decisions he (or a character) makes as to why s/he requires musical accompaniment may actually be consistent in achieving setting and mood.

I am often described as a committed, literate and sophisticated person. My personality is shaped by the many difficulties I have had to overcome. Family, financial and health problems affected my Advanced Levels Examinations. I have survived bladder cancer against all expectations. I am now more daring in pursuit of my dreams, I give higher meaning to the mundane and I have more self-knowledge. Despite the cruel reality in life, I have not conceded for a single moment. The evidence is that I have fared well in a range of courses in university, for example, I got Grade A in Great Novels in English, Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (two of the most advanced undergraduate literature courses), Research Skills in English Language and Literature, Language Arts and Enrichment Activities (one of the most advanced education courses) and German. I also practise on the piano every single day. I have participated in many musical events and competitions, for example, Asia Chopin Piano Competition (Hong Kong). I was even invited to be a guest player in my friend’s graduation recital this past June. My orientation to arts also urges me to be an active writer: I worked as the cultural secretary of the English Language and Literature Society and the chief editor of the publication of the Society. I was also awarded the second-runner up in the 2008 Hong Kong Baptist University Poetry Writing Competition and merit in the 2007 Hong Kong Baptist University Public Speaking Competition. I am an active university tennis team player and was named the recipient of the Dr. Tse Chi Wai Sports (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=387593) Scholarship from 2006 to 2008 based on my academic merit and tennis skills. I also am a part-time teacher of all my skills in the hope of passing on my knowledge to others. I am a registered tennis coach at Hong Kong Tennis Association, a regular piano teacher and an English tutor. Therefore, my communicative and presentation skills are both sharp.

I am greatly attracted to the breath and depth of the Literature courses in Cambridge University. As aforementioned, my current double-degree programme offers me a great introduction to English Language, Literature and English Language Education all three at a time. The all-embracing nature explains my decision to apply for an affiliated place, which allows me to receive the most intensive training in Literature from the most significant school in England. Undergraduate study should give me more time to socialize with fellow students and fully enjoy my learning process in comparison to studying for a Master degree in nine months. I am also aware of the freedom to do creative writing and the warm support from the staff would be greatly useful to any serious learner. If I could be offered a place in Cambridge, I could see myself many steps closer to my aspiration to be a wordsmith, quality researcher and scholar in Literature. I also aspire to be a writer contributing to Hong Kong Literature in English as we have such tender regards for the English language and England. I sincerely hope you can give me the privilege of devoting and bettering myself at your fine institution.

veryborednow
Aug 15th, 2009, 01:45 PM
Hey, I started looking at it.

Is this a course in Cambridge or Cambridge university?

veryborednow
Aug 15th, 2009, 02:04 PM
I took out the specifics of your family problems, I don't think it's helpful to make extensive excuses (despite their seriousness) - I think that they might ask you about them in an interview - but you should focus much more on your strengths because there are lots of them!!

I think you should look at specific parts of the course and say why you want to do that particular course over others, ie. why do you want to study there. eg. Do they focus a lot on poetry?

You migh want to talk in a little but more detail about your honours project....

I'm quite minimalist so feel free to add stuff I took out, if you want to post it again I'll look at it and tidy it up.

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I am a final year undergraduate studying a double-degree in English Language and Literature as well as English Language Training. While I have appreciated the diversity and wide-scope of the courses, I would love to foster my literary development in English Literature as an affiliated student. I am expected to achieve a first-class honour in my first two degrees.

I have a great fascination of the arts, English and music have been my main focuses. I was attracted to Literature over all the various disciplines that were mandatory in the first two years of my university course. This is in part due to my extensive literary correspondence with my teacher whose witticism and poetic citations kindled, confirmed and solidified my interest in poetry of all periods. Additionally, seeing that my parents started cultivating my musical disposition as a pianist since I was four, I have also developed a special interest in musical aesthetics, Music in Literature and Literature in Music.

I am currently writing my honours project on the role of music in the novels by Thomas Hardy. I also have also a great interest in Romantic novels, literary theories as well as dramas. I believe that my strident efforts to gratify my own thirst for knowledge, my proactive research and extensive reading renders me a suitable candidate for your course.

I am often described as a committed, literate and sophisticated person. My personality is shaped by the many difficulties I have had to overcome. Family, financial and health problems affected my Advanced Levels Examinations. I have survived bladder cancer against all expectations and I am more daring in pursuit of my dreams, I give higher meaning to the mundane and I have more self-knowledge. Despite the cruel reality in life, I have not conceded for a single moment. I practise on the piano every single day. I have been involved in many musical events and competitions. I was even invited to be a guest player in my friendís graduation recital this past June. My orientation to arts also urges me to be an active writer: I worked as the cultural secretary of the English Language and Literature Society and the chief editor of the publication of the Society. I was also awarded the second-runner up in the 2008 Hong Kong Baptist University Poetry Writing Competition and merit in the 2007 Hong Kong Baptist University Public Speaking Competition. I am an active university tennis team player and was named the recipient of the Dr. Tse Chi Wai Sports (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=387593) Scholarship from 2006 to 2008 based on my academic merit and tennis skills. I also am a part-time teacher of all my skills in the hope of passing on my knowledge to others. I am a registered tennis coach at Hong Kong Tennis Association, a regular piano teacher and an English tutor. Therefore, my communicative and presentation skills are both sharp.

I am greatly attracted to the breath and depth of the Literature courses in Cambridge. I am also aware of the freedom to do creative writing and the warm support from the staff would be greatly useful to any serious learner. If I could be offered a place in Cambridge, I could see myself many steps closer to my aspiration to be a wordsmith, quality researcher and scholar in Literature. I also aspire to be a writer contributing to Hong Kong Literature in English as we have such tender regards for the English language and England. I sincerely hope you can give me the privilege of devoting and bettering myself at your fine institution.

Sally Struthers
Aug 15th, 2009, 03:21 PM
the sentence about your mother's lymp and the dog's canines is totally screwy and needs to be reworded. It sounds like a bad google translation.

" I am now cognizant of such is the paradoxical impetus for me to keep going."

makes no sense at all

On the whole I think you are using passive voice verbs (is, are, be, am was etc) too much. While there is nothing wrong with that occasionally, there are better ways to word things.

like:
My personality is shaped by the letdowns I have had over the years:

could be changed to:

Over the years, personal tragedy and adversity have shaped my personality.

I think your personal section where you talk about your problems borders on being a little sappy and even a bit desperate sounding. Tone it down a little so it does not sound like a sob story. Throw in something about how even with all these difficulties you managed to get where you are through hard work and perseverance.

I'd talk more about your academics and honors in English also. You are applying for school for English Literature. You only devote one small paragraph to that and don't really say much in it. You talk about the piano and music more than literature. Actually after reading it, I am left with the impression that you are more passionate about music than English Literature.

drake3781
Aug 15th, 2009, 03:55 PM
I read it all. Overall impression is that this is way too weighty; too dense. In verbiage. In content. In overall effect. Needs to lighten up quite a lot.

Vincent
Aug 16th, 2009, 12:54 AM
Thank you everyone for your comments. I will surely take them and refine my personal statement within today. Thank you again.

Ryan
Aug 16th, 2009, 01:01 AM
I wanted to tackle the grammar in this but three champs beat me to it. :(


One tip: when writing serious and professional applications like this, it really helps to write very simple and to the point. What you're saying should be the focus, not HOW you say it. The more fancy words and long sentences, the less likely people are to take you seriously or respect what you're saying IMO.

Direwolf
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:24 AM
oh no!!

how about Kevin?

Direwolf
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:46 AM
I think that thats a very long personal statement...

theres a very big chance of you getting into that UNI
once they see your
Academics and Personal achievements
attached...

ur way too talented to not get accepted...

Vincent
Aug 17th, 2009, 12:40 PM
I think that thats a very long personal statement...

theres a very big chance of you getting into that UNI
once they see your
Academics and Personal achievements
attached...

ur way too talented to not get accepted...
Hey John! :wavey:How often do you change your username here? What's with that? I couldn't recognise you at first until I saw your e-mail address in the user profile!
Well KeLvin? ;) I am now more sure than ever that I do not like him. I don't like that he often gets crushed by me on court lately and he mentioned that it's time for him to get married (despite having no girlfriend).
O well, if you have time, do help me improve my personal statement. I am dying to get in, however slim the chance is...:sad: