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A lot of students worry about their opening sentence(s).
‘We are looking for bright, lively and articulate students who can tell us exactly why they are different or an individual.’ Cut the academic talk and long-winded sentences.
Why say something in 20 words that you could say in ten words?
I enjoy the challenge of trying to read French literature, listen to French songs and watch French movies and plays in their original forms.
I want to study French at university to improve my understanding of the language.’ To make sure it’s personal to you, draw on your own experiences and knowledge.
Then try and summarise this in one or two sentences.
You could start your statement with something along the lines of ‘What I like most about studying French is getting to grips with a new culture.Did you shadow a teacher at your local primary school for a week?Or do you spend your Sundays coaching the local children’s football team?You might think that a famous quote will help you stand out but you won’t be the only person who thinks it would be a great idea to include a well-known quote from the likes of Mahatma Ghandi, William Shakespeare, Karl Lagerfeld and so on.If you’re applying to study psychology, for example, it would be better to ditch the quote from Sigmund Freud in favour of a quote from a less well-known psychologist that you encountered through your wider reading.It’s good to think of a memorable way to kick things off but don’t overthink it or spend too much time on your opening; it’s not the be all and end all.Admissions tutors are less concerned with your ability to write a fancy or wacky introduction and more interested in your passion and enthusiasm for the course.You should also think about whether the person you are quoting is appropriate or not.‘Avoid inspirational quotes from Drake or Kanye West, for example,’ says Emma.‘It might be tempting to start your personal statement with an epigraph but, often, beginning with your own words is best and more likely to be original,’ says Dr Helen Moggridge, a lecturer in geography at the University of Sheffield.If you do want to include a quote, make sure it’s relevant to the course you’re applying for and always explain how this quote links back to you and the subject you want to study.