International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Personal Statements written by Chinese and English-speaking applicants: a Study on Move-Step Arrangements and Word Distribution
Zhanni Luo

Personal statement (PS), an academic promotional document, plays an important role in undergraduate and postgraduate admission application in most English-speaking countries. However, applicants suffer from unfamiliarity with this particular type of writing because few samples and little guidance are available. Applicants of non-native speakers, for example, Chinese, are more disadvantaged due to language barriers and cultural differences. In the current study, this author collected 15PSs written by Chinese applicants and 15 by English-speaking applicants for the application of Master’s study in English-speaking countries. Based on the 30 PSs, this author summarized a move-and-step framework which reveals the writing differences of Chinese and English-speaking applicants. Since the personal statements by Chinese applicants are reported being too long, this author investigated participants’ word allocation in each move and gave suggestions accordingly. This study can be helpful for the instruction of academic writing of this genre; it can also develop our understanding of the cultural differences between China and English-speaking countries.

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