Genres Final [Zachariou]

College admissions essays typically look for something that stands out about a person and makes them different from the hundreds of other applicants. Mostly every college looks for various meanings of essays because every school has a different goal. Usually, the applicants essay involves that schools goal to demonstrate that they have a similar aim, along with a personal achievement or story that has shaped them into the person that they are today. The reason for this format is understandable, the universities want to directly understand who that applicant is and what they can bring to the university. Considering that all universities tend to look for a similar structure of essays, it is evident that these college admissions essays are their own genre. As Kirk suggests in her essay, a genre is defined as something, in this case an essay, which has certain expectations or locations. Dirk then states how a genre was originally defined as “simply a matter of filling in the blanks” (251) and compares it to today’s definition of a genre, “when something new happens that requires a response, someone must create that first response (…) resulting in the creation of a new genre” (252). Dirk’s modern definition of a genre demonstrates how college admissions essays are their own genre, due to the understanding that someone created a response to the prompt of the essay, allowing the second person to use the first response as a basis for their essay, and the cycle repeats until the genre of college admissions essays are created.

Applying to a variety of different schools, I observed a range of different questions that were ultimately all asking the same thing, “who are you?”. My essay attempted to meet the demands of the college admissions essay genre by answering this question. I found myself writing about my community service experiences throughout Middle School and High School. Answering those questions, I was able to incorporate my objective of wanting to help make a difference while using a personalized location that clearly communicated significant elements of my character, which included leadership and compassion. College admissions essays are their own genre, which entails the applicant’s personal experiences that ultimately reveal their character.


3 thoughts on “Genres Final [Zachariou]

  1. Natalie, as your revise your post, please include more specific detail about i) the ways in which the college admissions essay constitutes a distinctive genre in the terms Dirk proposes, and ii) the ways in which your own essay attempted to meet the demands of the genre. What about the particular story you chose to tell about yourself did you think was going to be effective in producing the result you wanted?

  2. – start explaining the specific aims of college admission essays in first paragraph and then tie back to what Dirk said about genres
    -apply details of your personal essay and how it fulfilled the norms of the genre of application essays
    -what were you trying to accomplish in your admissions essay? As you ended by saying that admission essays are supposed to reveal your character, what character were you trying to show in your essay?

  3. Just talk more about how this relates in terms of Dirk’s piece. In terms of the genre I would talk more about the structure and what the admission officers are looking for. What about this genre makes it unique?

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