Analysis of Genre – College Essays

“My aunt was so steadfast in her opinion that her temples pulsed as hard as a drum at a rock concert”. I wrote and revised the sentence multiple times in order to perfect the visual that would serve as a foundation for the rest of my story. College essays are unique as a genre because they all aim at a very particular, personal, goal and each will be about something completely different. I described an argument I had with my aunt about the role of Islam in society because I felt it portrayed myself as someone who stands up for what they believe in and does not fear confrontation. In deciding, I had to consider the location and purpose the prompt was inquiring.

Accounting for location is crucial to every college essay. Kerry Dirk demonstrates this by breaking down the core structure of genres in her piece “Navigating Genres”. The prompt defines the contextual lines on which the student needs to write their paper. Having a variety of prompts for a single essay, while attributing the location, is also a form of sub-genre. Every essay will aim to portray the writer as someone who is a perfect fit for the school they are applying to, but certain prompts ask the writer to achieve this in specific ways. The student writing the essay intends to prove to a school that they will contribute to a dynamic that the school has already defined. Therefore, the student must elaborate on different prompts and locations to strategically define themselves as a fit for the school.

2 thoughts on “Analysis of Genre – College Essays

  1. Nico,
    I really enjoy your writing style as it is concise and powerful in explaining a thousand words in single sentences. One minor suggestion would be to revise the structure of the first sentence, as I’m unsure if the very first sentence ends with the quote, or if the word ” That’s” is unnecessarily capitalized. I would suggest you either remove the period inside the quote and place it after the marks potentially using a better transition word than “that’s”, or simply alter the sentence to react more naturally as it strikes me as awkward to start a sentence with the word “that’s”.

    Other than that, I want to commend you on the way you structured the last two sentences with such power and effectiveness. It can easily tie in to what Kerry Dirk was saying, students need to fit into this dynamic but in creative different ways, so they write using new ideas and methods, thus evolving the genre of the college essay.

    All in all, very strong and concise response, and I look forward to reading your future work.

    Kristian Arreola

  2. Hi Nico. Overall, this is a very interesting and well-written response. Your first couple sentences did a great job of drawing me in and capturing my attention. I also like how you separated the response into one paragraph about your personal experience with college essays and one paragraph about the logistics of the college essay genre. If I could make a suggestion, I think it would be really beneficial to at least mention Kerry Dirk’s essay, as it would give your writing more credibility. While I really like how you captivated me with your intro, I also agree with the Kristian’s comment about how the first couple sentences are a little confusing and awkward at first. All in all, great job on the response!