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The Texts (All of which can be found on Google Classroom under the Project 1 Topic Header)
“Rhetorical Situation, an Introduction” by Itai Halevi
“Critical Reading Toward Critical Writing” and “Reading Critically”
“Writing Enacts and Creates Identities and Ideologies” from Naming What We Know
“Workin’ Languages” by Alvarez et. al.
“Habituated Practices” by Chris Anson
“The Rhetoric of College Application Essays” by James Warren
The Task
Using the knowledge and terminology you’ve gained thus far in the semester, consider the rhetorical situation; uses; limitations; claims; and habituated practices associated with college essays. Write a guide in which you use your own college admissions essay, as well as the readings for this unit, to explain to a potential college student what rhetorical decisions you would recommend them taking into account when they write their essays.
You should explore what you did well in your college essay as well as what you would do differently (explaining your recommendations and choices using the theoretical texts we’ve read so far).
The Terms
Length: 2-3 pages
Format: MLA, 12-point font, Double-spaced

College Essay
Growing up, I always dreamed of being a pediatrician. I believed it was my destiny to make a difference in the lives of children. Lately, I have been battling with making the right decision regarding my future. I find myself comparing my dream to the path my parents want to see me on. I come from a business-oriented family, but I never saw myself pursuing a career in business. Over the last year, I discovered a new passion for business, and I am even considering majoring in the field.
These days, my family is constantly inspiring me to look into various paths and not focus primarily on the medical field. During family reunions, I am overwhelmed with conversations surrounding our future. While I love the passionate debates, it makes me doubt myself, and I do not know if I should major in business. I am carrying the weight of being the eldest child on my shoulders. I have three younger siblings looking up to me. I realize the influence I have on my siblings, and my parents remind me to be mindful of my decisions. I feel trapped in a position that does not leave room for improvement. The pressure of avoiding failure is burdensome.
Making mistakes is a part of growing. I must take risks if I expect to see progress. My family is uncomfortable with the idea of allowing me to live on campus. They prefer I stay home while they dictate my every move. In their minds, if I live on campus, I will be influenced by other students. Realistically speaking, whether I live on campus or commute, the influence of my peers will not fade away. I can alter my mindset, but I cannot change the actions of another human being. Living on campus is my opportunity to grow, experience life, and find independence.
Taking a stand is the key to my future. I will not always have my parents beside me to make my decisions. My Upward Bound, College Readiness Advisor, always recites her favorite quote, “A closed mouth does not get fed.” I must communicate my needs and wants while taking control of my life. Overall, my family will support me no matter what path I take. I am confident that their passion for seeing me make a difference will outweigh the field I choose to study in college.

I now understand that I must trust my instincts and follow my dreams. I cannot make decisions based on fear or other people’s perceptions of who they want me to be. I have to live with the decisions I make and deal with the consequences if any. The influences in my life will always be there, but it is up to me to decide the path I follow. Today, I choose to study medicine in hopes of one day making a difference in a child’s life. While I am not following in my parent’s footsteps, I am taking steps towards my legacy and a new path that my children can one day embark on if they choose to.
There is an anonymous writer that states, ” Don’t base your decisions on the advice of those who won’t have to deal with the results.” What I understand from this quote is that no matter what, I will always be the one living with the consequences of my decisions in life. I have noticed that whenever I or somebody tries to make a decision, I will find plenty of people who will try to make me think otherwise, but I know that the best thing is to make your decision. I have decided what I know will be the best option to live with, which is medicine because since I was little, this was something that I have always dreamed of becoming. I am sticking to my choice, and I will be waiting for its success.

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