This worksheet is adapted from the Genesee Valley Center’s Rationale Worksheet, the Center for Distance Learning’s Web resources and previous versions of the Empire State College Student Degree Planning Guide.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. 2003.
The following worksheet can help you to understand better what is expected in a rationale essay. It will also help you to incorporate your personal and professional information in a meaningful way. When completed, the worksheet can serve as an outline for your rationale.
However, please be aware that this is a worksheet only; it cannot serve as a substitute for your rationale.
There are a couple of different ways you can use this worksheet:
Do your best to carefully reflect on the questions posed in the worksheet and answer them as best as you can. If you do, you should have the foundation for a very good rationale.
The essay discussion of goals is usually the first portion of the essay, so readers can get a sense of the context in which you're pursuing your degree. Use these questions to help you think and write about goals:
Note: You may have already explained breadth, progression and integration of your studies in earlier sections, especially in the sections on your concentration and general learning. If you want to make some additional points on how some of your learning especially provides your degree with breadth, progression and integration, you can elaborate more.
Note: You may have already explained how your studies have met the SUNY and Empire State College requirements in earlier sections. You may, however, want to elaborate more if you have only mentioned the requirements and not explained how you have met them.
Note: You may have already explained why you are using some of your advanced standing studies in earlier sections. You may, however, want to elaborate more if you have only mentioned them and not explained why you have decided to use them in your degree.
Don’t list individual courses, but describe them in general or group them together in ways that you see that they are related and were of greatest interest or importance to you. Give the readers some sense of the learning the you bring to your degree.
Note: You may have already explained why you have chosen certain Empire State College studies in earlier sections. You may, however, want to elaborate more if you have only mentioned them and not explained why you have decided to use them in your degree.
Note: You may have already explained any special considerations in earlier sections, but you may want to elaborate on some to make sure that the readers understand why you have made the decisions that you have.