Genres Final [Garcia]

The College Admissions Process

The college admissions process is a long and tedious process that is required of any student wishing to further their education. To have the best possible chance of acceptance, it is recommended that for each University, students customize their essays to fit the type of school to which they are applying. In Kerry Dirk’s article “Navigating Genres”, she refers to the term “rhetorical situation” and tells how the goal of writers is to “recognize these shifts in location” and to adjust your writing accordingly (256). Further, each college essay that a student writes should reflect key parts of their life that would not be reflected in their main application. In their essays, students are advised to reveal something about their past or discuss their hopes and dreams. Kerry Dirk defines genres as “tools to help people to get things done” (252). With this in mind, the college essay genre is used as a tool to help students portray aspects of their lives that are not reflected in the technical portion of the application. The college essay is a portion of the application that will help students set themselves apart.

In my college essay process, I focused a lot on the rhetorical situation technique Dirk talks about in her essay. In each supplement that I wrote for different Universities, I slightly changed the focus of my essay to reflect the values of the particular school. When applying to USD, a Catholic institution, my supplement heavily reflected on the Catholic education I have received throughout my life and how I wish to continue attending a Catholic institution. Additionally, as USD labels themselves a “Changemaker Campus”, I discussed my passion for service and how I want to find a school where I can deeply involve myself in service. I wrote about these two aspects of my life because they could not be realized in looking at my GPA or test scores. In other words, I used the essays to help me tell USD why I would be a good fit for the school, outside of academics. The college admissions essay is a genre to its ability to help students portray themselves in a different light and because of the ability to appeal to rhetorical situation.

2 thoughts on “Genres Final [Garcia]

  1. When you talk about changing your essays to match the school you’re applying too I think that is a really good key part but then maybe go into what you wrote to USD, a short summary of your actual essay. I also really like the first paragraph, it sets up what you are going to talk about really well.

  2. Isabella, The first paragraph is about the college admissions process in general. It’s a good paragraph, and would be appropriate in a longer essay on the subject. For this assignment, however, you have a limited number of words in which to do two things: i) show that a college admissions essay is a genre in the sense that Dirk defines it and using her terminology, and ii) show how your own college admissions essay(s) worked within (or transgressed) the boundaries of the genre. I’m not suggesting you get rid of the first paragraph entirely, but make it tighter and refocus it on Dirk’s definitions. The expand the second paragraph to give us more detail about your own decisions.

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