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.