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ERIC Number: EJ1013699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1003
The Rhetoric of College Application Essays: Removing Obstacles for Low Income and Minority Students
Warren, James
American Secondary Education, v42 n1 p43-56 Fall 2013
Recent research on the college application essay has shown that essay prompts are misleading, and that the expectations of admissions officers remain largely implicit. These studies have not, however, examined how essays written by low-income, ethnic minority students are scored by admissions officers. For this study, forty-two seniors at a low-performing, urban high school received instruction in persuasive argument and the concept of the rhetorical situation and were informed of the implicit expectations of admissions officers. Students who received instruction wrote college essays rated significantly higher by admissions officers than essays written by students in a control group. These results suggest that students who are unfamiliar with postsecondary culture may be at a particular disadvantage when it comes to inferring the expectations of admissions officers unless these expectations are made explicit. Implications for the college admissions process are considered. (Contains 2 tables.)
Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education. 229 Dwight Schar Building, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805. Tel: 419-289-5273; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A