Analysis of College Pressures
In the essay College Pressures , William Zinsser shows parents the burdens that college students have while they are in school. In the essay he states the four pressures that the students face: economic, parental, peer, and self-induced.
The reader can be easily confused when Zinsser first begins the essay. It starts off with someone writing notes to someone else, but who is speaking? Zinsser then follows this by fully explaining who is writing the notes, a student, and who he is talking to, his dean. He s explaining that the student is full of pressure and feels he cannot take it anymore. Zinsser makes the essay move along smoothly with the use of rhetorical questions and then answers them to prove a point he is making. The classical appeal Zinsser uses in College Pressures is ethos. He is telling the parents what is going on in the minds of the students and the pressures they build up for themselves.
College Pressures is written in a fairly straightforward manner. Zinsser explains the situations without using such terminology that only college professors can comprehend. He also uses understandable metaphors that make the reading more interesting. For example, when he explains that no one is to blame for the pressures, he says, Poor students, poor parents. They are caught in one of the oldest webs of love and duty and guilt (Zinsser 244). This is a classification and division essay. Throughout it, Zinsser talks about what the pressures of the students are; economic, peer, parental, and self-induced. He then separately explains how each of the pressures affects the students. Zinsser speaks in a way that makes the reader want to continue reading. He is persistent in informing the reader about the pressures and tries very hard to get his point out to the parents.
It may seem that throughout the essay, Zinsser sees the students in a totally negative way. He realizes this and states it to the reader. He tells the parents, I have painted too drab a portrait of today s students, making them seem a solemn lot (246). This isn t his purpose at all. He is trying to explain that college isn t a time to have all of these extreme pressures that the students induce upon themselves. He ends this essay in a way that shows the parents that lots of people go to college and change their paths several times before actually choosing what they want to be. He does this as a way of saying that it is alright to go to college unsure of what you want to be. Things will work out in the end.
William Zinsser is just trying to let parents know that college students have enough on their minds and they don t need their parents giving them a hard time about what to do with their lives. For the sake of their children, he wants the parents to be as supportive as possible.