College Admissions Essay Reflection

College admissions essays all have very similar goals from the perspective of the readers. The college admission board writes the prompts in order to provoke a response capable of deciphering between qualified and unqualified students. The term qualified depends upon the university one is applying to. Therefore, in order for the writer to know his/her audience well, they must conduct research on the institution, where they would find for example that it is a Changemaking campus. The writer’s goal of this essay is not just simply to get into college, but instead to humbly boast about oneself in order to show that he/she would be a good fit for the school.

Classifying college admissions essays as their own genre is a unique concept. I say so because they do have a distinct goal for both the reader and the writer, but they also share many similarities with other genres such as personal and argumentative essays. The similarities that they share include the autobiographical aspect and the ultimate goal of persuasion. Therefore, Instead of classifying it as its own genre I would instead group it into a sub-genre along with personal and argumentative essays. As Kerry Dirk pointed out, location is also a very important aspect of writing that needs to be considered. By location, she means how will the audience’s expectations affect one’s writing. This brings me back to my point of the importance of knowing who you are writing for and what they are looking for.

Many believe that because they are writing to scholars that their essays should be very formal and professional, but this is not always the case. Using a slightly informal tone can be a useful way of showing who you truly are and standing out from the crowd. Word wise, it is advisable to stick relatively close to the suggested word count which often does not permit a whole five paragraph essay. So for this genre three paragraphs would often be more effective. Overall, the formalities, and the goals of the readers/writers combine to make the college admission essay what it truly is.

2 thoughts on “College Admissions Essay Reflection

  1. You have a couple typos, one in the first paragraph when you say “the” I think it should be “he/she.” The other is in the last sentence of the last paragraph, I think you left out the word “would.” You also say that the college admissions essay has many things in common with personal and argumentative essays but I think you should include what some of those similarities are. You might want to reword your sentence that says “This leads me to believe that these three particular genres are sub-genres that can be placed into varying broader genres,” because it is a little confusing and says the word genres too many times. Maybe include an example to clarify what you mean. I also would reword the last sentence of the last paragraph to make it more complete, or add a final closing thought.

  2. Hey there, this is Marren. I really enjoyed your essay and I think you tackled this abstract concept relatively well. I did notice a few minor typos and your word choice is a little repetitive, but otherwise it is a very well written essay. There is a typo in your first paragraph in the fourth sentence where you wrote, “research on the institution, where the would” and I think you meant “they”? You did a great job at pointing out why the college admissions essay is a genre but when referencing Dirk, maybe use the title of the piece she wrote and her full name instead of just referencing her as Dirk. I made the same mistake in my essay so you are not alone haha. Also, in your last paragraph maybe consider changing “writing to scholarly people” to simply “scholars” or something along those lines. I enjoyed your concluding paragraph, however maybe a softer or more transitional sentence would be more effective for your last sentence. In all, I enjoyed your essay and I think you did a good job with the topic and only had a few bumps in the road.