The goal of all college essays are essentially the same: to share a piece of information about yourself that will ultimately result in an acceptance to the school you are applying to. Due to the broad nature of the prompts given for college essays, many differ in subject matter and style, but there are common trends that exist throughout most college essays. In Kerry Dirk’s essay about genre she emphasizes the impact location has on an essay, or in other terms the impact the context of which you are writing has on the decisions you make in your writing. Within the context of college essays, students are attempting to appeal to a college admissions officer. In order to gain admission, students attempt to advertise themselves as suitable fits for the university that they are applying to, showcase writing abilities, and convey themselves in a memorable manner. Dirk describes genre in her essay and how “knowing what a genre is used for can help people to accomplish goals” (Dirk 253). Knowing what the precedent for college essays is can be beneficial in eventually gaining the desired outcome of acceptance to university.
Most students decide to write a personal piece that both shows off their good qualities while showing off their writing skills. For my college essay I chose to focus on how I was impacted by a set back in my life and how it allowed me to grow as an individual. Deciding on this topic was difficult for me. I didn’t want to write a pity piece that intended on making the college officers feel bad for me. I wanted them to learn about me and how I’ve grown as a person in the past. I worked hard at editing my essay to make sure it flowed cohesively, used professional language, and had no grammatical or spelling errors. Applying to a small catholic school, I emphasized my experience with thriving in small communities, and my personal journey with faith in my childhood. I connected these experiences and discussed how I hoped to leave an impact on the college I attend.