Cognitive Structuring of Personal Statements in Philippine English

Ferdinand L. Rellorosa


That graduate application essay plays a vital role in
any graduate admission process in most universities in the
Philippines and that little is known about its nature—both
structure and function, this descriptive-exploratory study zeroed
in on unearthing the underlying cognitive structure of personal
statements written in Philippine English by Filipino graduate
students of a graduate school in the Philippines, its possible
recognition as a legitimate genre of inquiry and instruction.
Using the hand-tagged method in genre analysis under the movestep
framework pioneered by Swales (1990), cognitive structuring
model of Hopkins and Dudley-Evans (1998), and Bhatia’s (1993)
model of genre analysis, the study identified five recurring
moves, namely stating purpose/s and explaining reason/s for
pursuing graduate studies, indicating research interest,
enumerating personal attributes, stating career expectations and
explaining social contribution. The study likewise revealed that
Filipino graduate students tend to discuss their reason for
pursuing a graduate degree more than to enumerate their
qualities in establishing themselves as an ideal candidate for the
program. These results proved to be valuable in considering
personal statement a legitimate academic genre worthy of
inclusion in any undergraduate academic writing course.


structuring, genre analysis personal statement, Philippine English

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