Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 2 months ago

Is it appropriate to speak about death in a personal statement?

I’m hoping to apply for a journalism course and am writing my personal statement. Because of covid it has been so hard to get work experience, but my family asked me to write a couple of obituaries for our local newspaper for a couple of family members that passed away this year. Just basically telling their life stories. I’m really in two minds about putting this in my application because I don’t know if it’s too morbid. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

4 Answers

  • fcas80
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You should write about things that you feel strongly about, and if this is one of them, that's fine.

  • 2 months ago

    If you think your obituaries are well-written, mention them and include an example. If it's just the "He was a carpenter for 45 years. He is survived by a wife and 3 children", don't bother. 

  • 2 months ago

    At one level, writing is writing, but anyone can write an obituary. You weren't paid to do so and the newspaper will print whatever you submit, right? This is not the same things as a professional obituary produced for a public figure by the newspaper staff at the the WSJ or NY Times. I'm not sure how doing that improves your chances of admission.  

    You're free to include whatever you want in your personal statement, but again, I'm not sure how family members passing away or you writing the obituaries contributes to your resume.  

  • 2 months ago

    It's a brilliant idea.  Obits used to be deadly dull.  Now they are a fascinating read, warts and all.  Read the obits in a good quality newspaper to see what a good journalist can do with a life story.  Best obit writers are at The Times (the real Times not the skanky NY Times).  It is behind a paywall but you can get a free subscription.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.