‘Singing your tune’: Genre structure and writer identity in personal statements for doctoral applications
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.
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.
|Journal||Journal of English for Academic Purposes|
|Journal citation||21, pp. 48-59|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2015.11.001|
|27 Nov 2015|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||08 Dec 2015|
|Accepted||13 Nov 2015|
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