A deep analysis of any written essay includes not only the author’s reasoned point of view on the theses. In addition, the writer must define the author’s projects, how he seeks to convey the idea to the reader, how he came to it, and by what methods he correlates examples with theory (Harris 16). This paper explores the work of James Warren in which he addresses college entrance essay issues and problems (Warren 43). This analysis will be conducted on Warren’s article through three perspectives: defining the author’s goals, highlighting keywords, and evaluating limitations and usage.
Warren, first of all, wants to draw attention to a socially significant problem. The author immediately emphasizes the importance of the college essay, confirming his findings with statistical studies (Warren 43). Warren argues that there are hidden admissions expectations in essays that hinder students on their way to admission. The study also includes the ethnicity of students in order to find additional correlations. As a consequence, Warren raises awareness of the issues that arise from such obstacles. First, the students, knowing these expectations, wrote much better essays, which in theory can create an unequal position in the competitive basis of the exam. Secondly, this fact casts doubt on the foundations of the education system – students are not in equal numbers receiving the basics of postsecondary culture, which contributes to academic writing skills.
The author expressed this idea based on a particular study in which students were divided into two groups. The first control group wrote the essay without any prior preparation, while the second group was told about the commission’s expectations (Warren 47). Thus, the author set the stage for an experiment based on the idea that students’ poor performance has a specific reason that can be eliminated. The author achieves continuity due to the progressive movement and the article’s logically built structure. From the description of the significance of the essay, through its definition and formulation of the problem, there is a transition to the immediate part of the experiment.
Warren looks for examples and evidence in the place of the problem he discovered – to the students who need to write this essay. Moreover, the author is studying many other essays from the available databases for several reasons (Warren 45). First, a detailed study of essays and their ratings can help better understand the mechanisms for evaluating such works and examine the main trends in the hidden expectations of the commission manifested through ratings. Secondly, this analysis allowed the author to conduct a four-day essay preparation procedure for a group of students who subsequently showed better results. The interaction of college students and high school students has allowed the latter to take this essay to the next level. Not everyone can have such an experience, but its presence creates a tangible advantage over other students when writing an essay.
The author rarely introduces direct citation in his article. As a rule, these are terms consisting of two words or phrases in which the author thereby maintains the tone and style of the story of the original source (Harris 28). As a rule, Warren uses this technique to strengthen his position – he emphasizes the “mystical quality” that is achieved by more successful students who have received high marks (Warren 44). With the help of this statement, the author draws attention to the problem, showing that, firstly, it does not leave indifferent not only him, and secondly, it requires a solution, as it still contains an element of mystery. Even below, describing the very essence of the essay, Warren quotes words such as “paradox” or “hoax,” thereby proving the existence of the need for proceedings in unknown methods of evaluating the essay (Warren 45). It is also worth noting that students do not use such words in an informal setting and their speech, but scientific papers written in an academic language.
Authors use quotes to make the transition between the general and the particular, between the global and the specific. Warren is quite clever at changing levels, introducing general phrases that reflect certain aspects of the problems of his projects and immediately citing a particular example from the scientific literature. For example, the article begins with specific statistical studies, mentioning a specific admission to the more global essence and nature of the essay itself. The author observes a similar relief of the narrative right up to the description of the experiment itself, where the description is carried out as a whole already at the same level and is not replete with quotations, as it should be in a well-structured work.
The author’s citation in the text is selective because he focuses on several aspects of the problem. Warren does not criticize the structure of essay writing; the author sees the problem precisely in the process of evaluating works, where implicit characteristics that the members of the commission are looking for are laid (Warren 48). Warren does a job of focusing attention on specific aspects of the structure of an essay, doing it through the prism of the mechanism of its assessment so that the reader focuses on the necessary details both in his and in the cited works.
Uses and Limits
As a rule, modern scientific works do not try to persuade the reader entirely to one of the conflicting sides; instead, they provide a particular point of view on a specific problem. In his work, Warren does not call for boycotting the essay and seeking explanations from the commission about the implicit preferences that may affect students’ future careers. The author hides the very structure of the essay and the nuances associated with the immediate preparation for the assignment. In return, like any concealing point of view provides a more precise overview of another issue, Warren invites the students themselves to focus on academic socialization that contributes to better essay results (Warren 49). Teachers need to encourage students to do this, as colleges and universities are unlikely to meet halfway and reveal their nuances of examining introductory essays. Rhetorical awareness will be helpful for students in academic writing in principle. Therefore, the scope of this research does not extend only to the exam writing procedure (Huisman et al. 959). However, certain limitations of this work do not allow its aspects to be applied to other exams, as much attention is paid here to the context.
Warren focused pointwise on a particular problem, fully illustrating the issues arising in society and scientific literature, clearly identifying the reason he would focus on the experiment. The research showed specific results, which the author connected with the original idea, keeping the narrative thread. The results confirmed the author’s hypotheses, which he transformed into recommendations at the end of the article.
Harris, Joseph. Rewriting: How to do things with texts. University Press of Colorado, 2017.
Huisman, Bart, et al. “Peer feedback on academic writing: undergraduate students’ peer feedback role, peer feedback perceptions and essay performance.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 43, no. 6, 2018, pp. 955-968.
Warren, James. “The rhetoric of college application essays: Removing obstacles for low income and minority students.” American Secondary Education, 2013, pp. 43-56.