The principal investigator, Jessica Singer Early, is an Assistant Professor of English in Arizona State University’s Department of English. Early conducted this study with three doctoral students, Meredith DeCosta, Arturo Valdespino, and Cynthia Nicholson. As former high school English teachers and as current writing researchers and teacher educators, we are committed to providing underserved secondary students with access to the writing skills necessary to gain access to post secondary institutions and scholarships. We are also interested in building bridges between high schools, colleges, and underserved students and their communities. Based on these interests, we created a six-week genre-based workshop on writing college admission essays with the assistance of one high school English teacher, which took place three days a week for six consecutive weeks during the fall semester of 2008. Our university maintains a close research and mentoring relationship with the high school where these workshops took place. This connection allowed us to collaborate, prepare, and teach the college admission workshop. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of writing instruction based on genre theory for teaching writing to low-income, multi-ethnic high school classes.
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