Making a case for college: A genre-based college admission essay intervention for underserved high school students

Jessica Early, Meredith DeCosta-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

A significant percentage of students who attend secondary schools in the United States do not acquire the basic writing skills required to gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. In the present study, participants were 41 low-income, multi-ethnic 12th-grade students, 19 of whom received instruction on specific genre features for writing college admission essays. The other 22 12th-grade students formed the comparison group and received instruction as usual in their regular English class (mostly on literary analysis). The students wh o received instruction on genre features of the college admission essay scored higher on a rubric-based rating of the pre and post test essay writing and on writing self-efficacy surveys associated with the genre. Findings yielded from this study point to the merit of using a features-based genre instructional approach to teaching college admission essays to low-income, multi-ethnic high school students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-329
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Writing Research
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • College admission essay
  • Composition
  • Features-based instruction
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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