Politics 1 *推荐

On 2010 年 11 月 03 日, in 个人陈述, by admin

Throughout the world politics has transformed, influenced and reshaped societies empowering movements for change be they civil rights in the U.S.A., environmentalism in Europe or demands for democracy in totalitarian regimes such as Burma, China and Indonesia. Yet it is not a one way process and a society also influences the mass culture of politics and what the media produces. Some, for example, argue the health of a modern democracy depends on the willingness of society to challenge the accepted orthodoxy of any established order. Nevertheless few doubt politicians ability to agenda-set and shape public attitudes for good or ill. Sociology is vital as it helps to influence politics with the latest trends in crime, poverty, education and culture determining government policy. I am particularly interested in International relations and the effect this has on society. For all these reasons I am passionate to continue my study of Politics to degree level as I would like to be a part of the debate which will shape the twenty-first century.

I have been interested in the Politics long enough to realise that experience is vital and, as a writer for the Winstanley College magazine, I have regularly contributed by writing, editorial decision-making and meeting deadlines. Working for the college’s own student television station has given me the most invaluable experience of live broadcasting and allowed me to chair political debate in front of others. I also co-edited the Politics magazine.

Academically I have studied largely essay-based courses. I enjoy writing and all my courses have improved my communication skills both orally and in written work. My Media Studies course has given me a better understanding of the commercial world of mass communications. Politics has deepened my knowledge of the essentially symbiotic relationship between the public and politicians both in the U.K. and in the U.S.A. I am particularly interested in the rise (and fall?) of ‘spin doctors’. Again English has helped me to appreciate the roles of accent and dialect in modern culture. All my subjects have encouraged my interest in current affairs, helping me to form opinions of my own. By regularly attending the college debating society, where issues as diverse as gay adoption and Tony Blair’s legacy are discussed, I have increased my general knowledge as well as my patience to listen to others.

Whatever I do in life, I do with passion. My upbringing and background has given me a committed work ethic. I follow rugby league, football and cricket throughout the year. Rugby League has always been a big part of my life and my gap year has enabled me to become actively involved in helping at grassroots level of the sport via coaching and charity events; all this has enabled me to meet a variety of diverse people from all walks of life. This has allowed me to further my social interactivity, which I feel is a key aspect of the media. My interest in current affairs is a major aspect of my life and I am constantly learning through the means of television, radio and newspapers.

I have good time management skills balancing the demands of college academic work with my extra-curricular interests and this will stand me in good stead for undergraduate life. I am conscientious, highly motivated and determined to succeed; I am looking for to university and would hope to contribute much to departmental life.

Comments

General Comments

Although this is listed as a politics statement, there are numerous explicit allusions to sociology (and implicit mentions of socio-political theory), Media, and International Relations so I suspect that the applicant applied to several joint honours courses. For those thinking of doing so, this is a brilliant way to approach it – I have spoken to people on the general message board who remain unconvinced that you can successfully incorporate sociology or media into a politics statement without making it a separate topic in itself, and this statement shows how to do it. It would even be appropriate for single honours sociology applications. The only topic that isn’t well incorporated is IR, but if the applicant was only applying to one, say, ‘politics and IR’ course I wouldn’t expect this to be problematic.
On the whole the SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) in this statement is pretty good. There are a couple of occasions where the subject is incorrectly capitalised (‘Politics’) and a few dodgy prepositions. The language is, on the whole, excellent – there are very few sentences which don’t quite read right, and few examples of ‘I am passionate/enthused/interested/amazed’ etc which rarely sit right in a 个人陈述 unless used incredibly sparingly. Stylistically this well communicates the strong content.
This statement sticks strongly to the point. The second paragraph could do with some elaboration on the politics magazine, and the ‘experience’ point to enhance the continuity of the statement. However, I am concerned by the lack of an reference to further reading. There are many points in the statement which indicate that the applicant is surprisingly knowledgeable, but this would be more impressive if the statement referenced the authors responsible for these ideas.
Overall this covers all the points necessary in a 个人陈述 and does it well. There is sufficient coverage of the academic interest in the course and the extra-curriculars are well integrated within this (rather than devoting half the statement to a passionate interest in mountain-biking or darts or any other irrelevant activity, which is a big no-no). The structure is well planned and marked. Overall, definitely a statement to emulate, and one that – with a few minor tweakings – I would expect to yield success in applications to top-20 universities.

IlexAquifolium 15:12, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Comments on the Statement

Throughout the world politics has transformed, influenced and reshaped societies empowering movements for change be they civil rights in the U.S.A., environmentalism in Europe or demands for democracy in totalitarian regimes such as Burma, China and Indonesia. This is a striking introduction, although it’s perhaps a slightly cumbersome sentence. I would be tempted to put a full stop after ‘societies’ and then begin a new sentence with ‘It has empowered…’. Yet it this, rather than it? is not a one way process and a society also influences the mass culture of politics and what the media produces. I really like this – the applicant is actually touching on some fairly advanced socio-political theory here, namely Giddens’ Double Hermeneutic, which I suspect will catch the eye of the reader. Some, for example, argue the health of a modern democracy depends on the willingness of society to challenge the accepted orthodoxy of any established order. This is good, although it suggests the applicant has done prior reading – so it’s a bit of a cop-out to leave it at ‘some’ rather than ‘some authors, such as…’. In a sense the PS is a chance to show that you will produce excellent first-year essays, and whilst A Level students are cut a lot more slack finding ‘some argue, others argue’ with no citation in a first year essay is one of my biggest bugbears! Nevertheless few ditto my comments on ‘some’ doubt politicians’ – I’ve added a missing apostrophe ability to agenda-set and shape public attitudes for good or ill Again this is basically the ‘faces of power’ debate – Dahl, P Bachrach and Baratz, and Lukes – it’s great as is, but the applicant would no doubt earn brownie points if they’d done further reading and could mention authors. Sociology is vital as it helps to influence formal politics with the latest trends in crime, poverty, education and culture determining government policy Hmm, I’m not completely convinced by this statement. I take it that the applicant means ‘academic sociology’ influences government? I agree, but I think that there’s a need to make the link between society > academic analysis > policy a bit more explicit (eg: ‘Academic sociology is a vital discipline, helping to progressively influence politics, and government policy, by analysing and questioning the latest social trends in…’. Otherwise it sounds a bit as though you are slightly suggesting that the horse comes before the cart.. I am particularly interested in International relations and the effect this has on society. Again, I don’t like this as much – I get the impression that the applicant is applying for, perhaps, one ‘politics and IR’ course and this was dropped in to tick that box. I think the applicant needs to unpack this statement, or drop it if words are short. ‘International Relations’ itself is usually understood as the academic discipline (not the subject matter), so what the applicant is basically saying is ‘IR [scholarship] influences society’ which, unlike in the previous sentence, is not I think the sense that’s intended. I would rephrase to something like ‘I am also interested to learn more about the discipline of International Relations, and in particular the increasing effect of transnational forces on the cohesion of national societies’. For all these reasons I am passionate keen, perhaps? ‘Passionate’ reads a bit oddly, and I don’t think the applicant needs to inject too much hyperbole here given that a strong interest is clearly demonstrated in the preceding paragraph to continue my study of Politics to degree level, as I would like to be a part of the debate which will shape the twenty-first century. Which debate?! This sounds a bit apocalyptic! I think the applicant might mean ‘debates’ here, in which case I would add something about being more informed – since any idiot can be part of a debate; but the goal during a politics degree is to gain the knowledge, understanding and analytical skills in order to comprehend and influence society.
I have been interested in the Politics politics long enough to realise that experience is vital Again this needs to be unpacked – what kind of experience? I’m not wholly sure what the applicant means here. Presumably it’s a comment about Westminster, but if this is the case the joke could do with being made a bit more obvious! and, as a writer for the Winstanley College magazine, I have regularly contributed by to writing, editorial decision-making and meeting deadlines. Working for the college’s own student television station has given me the most invaluable experience of live broadcasting and allowed me to chair political debate in front of others. I also co-edited the Politics should be ‘Politics’ or politics magazine. …And yet, of all the things covered in this paragraph, editing the politics magazine is hardly discussed at all. It is the most relevant of the activities here, and the other sentences are a little wordy; so if the applicant is running short on space I would truncate the rest of the paragraph in favour of adding an extra sentence about the magazine – were there any particular events covered that were especially interesting? How does journalism differ from academic politics? What about the experience was inpsiring? This paragraph as it stands breaks up the continuity of the statement somewhat, and the two points left hanging need developing I think.
Academically I have studied largely essay-based courses. I enjoy writing and all my courses have improved my communication skills both orally and in written work. I think taking two sentences to say this is a little excessive; they will be able to tell from your UCAS form that your A levels are essay-based, so the most important thing the applicant says is ‘I enjoy writing’! I would look to build on that rather than providing unnecessarily repetitive information. My Media Studies course has given me a better understanding of the commercial world of mass communications Excellent. I don’t know the Media Studies course, but this is coming very close to the work of John Street on celebrity politicians. Might be someone to mention as evidence of further reading.. Politics has deepened my knowledge of the essentially symbiotic relationship between the public and politicians both in the U.K. and in the U.S.A. Again, really strong. I am particularly interested in the rise (and fall?) of ‘spin doctors’. Very nice. A bit of wry humour is never a bad thing! Again English has helped me to appreciate the roles of accent and dialect in modern culture My instant thought upon reading this was the political effect of dialect – in many countries, such as Britain, different dialects mark the boundaries of some very distinctive subnational political units. It’s not necessary for the applicant to say something to this effect, but I don’t think it would do any harm. All my subjects have encouraged my interest in current affairs, helping me to form opinions of my own. By regularly attending the college debating society, where issues as diverse as gay adoption and Tony Blair’s legacy are discussed, I have increased my general knowledge as well as my patience to listen in listening to others. Overall, a very strong paragraph. Well done.
Whatever I do in life, I do with passion. I like this. My upbringing and background has given me a committed work ethic. I follow rugby league, football and cricket throughout the year. If you don’t state that you participate in it, it implies that you spend a lot of time watching the telly! Best avoided as it takes up space without really demonstrating anything about the applicant as a person. Rugby League has always been a big part of my life and my gap year has enabled me to become actively involved in tautology helping at the grassroots level of the sport via coaching and charity events; all this has enabled ‘led’ – ‘enabled’ has already been used earlier in the sentence me to meet a variety of diverse people from all walks of life. This has allowed me to further my social interactivity, which I feel is a key aspect of the media. This says nothing really. My interest in current affairs is a major aspect of my life and I am constantly learning through the means of television, radio and newspapers. This sentence should not be here. If the applicant wants to say this, it probably ought to be in paragraph two, I would say.

I would run these two paragraphs together, since the conclusion is quite brief and it probably isn’t worth taking an extra two lines of formatting to give it its own paragraph. Merging them would also give the applicant a bit more room to elaborate on points above.

I have good time management skills balancing the demands of college academic work with my extra-curricular interests and this will stand me in good stead for undergraduate life. I am conscientious, highly motivated and determined to succeed; I am looking forward to university and would hope to contribute much to departmental life. This is OK, but I don’t think it does justice to the rest of the statement as a conclusion. I would like to see an extra final sentence tying together the themes that have been covered – politics, sociology, media – summarising in a pithy way why they ‘float your boat’ and why the applicant wants to spend three years studying them. As it is, the ‘I will contribute to your university’ ending is very generic and not very ‘lasting’. The rest of the statement is excellent, so it would be a shame to end on an uninspiring note.


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