‘Singing your tune’: Genre structure and writer identity in personal statements for doctoral applications

Article


Chiu, T. 2015. ‘Singing your tune’: Genre structure and writer identity in personal statements for doctoral applications. Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 21, pp. 48-59.
AuthorsChiu, T.
Abstract

Personal Statements are considered as an academic promotional genre that students will usually have to compose as part of their application for graduate study. Yet, relatively little research has explored this type of text across institutional contexts. The present study looks into the personal statement and also explores the perspectives of writers who composed these texts in the context of PhD admissions. The text data were drawn from 21 PhD students at one UK- and one US-based university with the aim to explore rhetorical patterns of structure of the student personal statements following genre analysis. Student interviews were used to complement the results of text analysis to better understand how they present and position themselves in their texts. The findings reveal that the rhetorical moves and the discoursal construction of writer identity are associated with their sense of writer positioning, sensitivity to target audience, and the context for this act of writing. The findings have implications not only for writing pedagogy but also for future research to investigate the different and often implicit features of the personal statement across different disciplines, programmes, and institutional contexts.

JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Journal citation21, pp. 48-59
ISSN14751585
Year2015
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2015.11.001
Publication dates
Print27 Nov 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Dec 2015
Accepted13 Nov 2015
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/853wy

  • 14
    total views
  • 61
    total downloads
  • 3
    views this month
  • 5
    downloads this month

Related outputs

Let me entertain you: the ambivalent role of university lecturers as educators and performers
Wong, Billy and Chiu, T. 2017. Let me entertain you: the ambivalent role of university lecturers as educators and performers. Educational Review. 71 (2), pp. 218-233.
Personal statement in PhD applications: Gatekeepers' evaluative perspectives
Chiu, T. 2015. Personal statement in PhD applications: Gatekeepers' evaluative perspectives. Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 17, pp. 63-73.
The Significance of Kinship for Medical Education: Reflections on the Use of a Bespoke Social Network to Support Learners’ Professional Identities
Hatzipanagos, Stylianos, John, Bernadette and Chiu, T. 2016. The Significance of Kinship for Medical Education: Reflections on the Use of a Bespoke Social Network to Support Learners’ Professional Identities. JMIR Medical Education. 2 (1), p. e1.