You’ve put your all into your personal statement and you are overjoyed when it is finally sent off but for many of you the writing doesn’t stop there.
‘Not more writing!’
Sadly, if you are offered a place at Oxford for any of the subjects which require written work, the likelihood is that you are going to be writing for the next three years, so now is the time to get used to it!
‘But they’ve already seen I can write in my personal statement’
Yes, this is true but in your personal statement you are telling the tutors about your passion for your subject, now it’s time to show them that passion through your work.
‘So, what should I write on?’
This is your moment to show off your skills, so pick an essay which reflects your writing at its best.
‘Can I reuse a school essay?’
Yes, Oxford tell you to send an original piece of school or college work. However, you need to make sure it’s not boring. If every pupil across the country has sent in their essay on Aristotle and Tragedy, it may be more difficult to make yours stand out. So, try to look at your school topic from an interesting new perspective. My teacher was convinced that everyone would write on Hamlet, so instead suggested I submitted my homework essay on Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.
‘How long should it be?’
The essay must not exceed 2,000 words.
‘Why do I have to sign the cover sheet?’
To state that you haven’t copied, rewritten or corrected the essay specifically for Oxford and to certify that this is your own work.
‘Why does my teacher have to mark it?’
To ensure that this is an essay that you have written for a school assignment and this also shows Oxford the sort of feedback your schools gives.
‘Can I send in my Extended Essay?’
An essay which exceeds 2000 words cannot be submitted by Oxford so state that you can send an extract. The Extended Essay will still be useful to put in your personal statement as it could be used as a discussion point at interview, if it is relevant to your chosen subject.
‘Can I type it?’
It can be typed or handwritten, so long as it is legible.
Choose an essay that you feel shows off your ability.
Try to write from an interesting perspective, so your essay stands out.
Proof read your work over and over again.
Make sure your citations are all correct, you don’t want to be accused of plagiarism.