In their texts Both Zinsser and Barber are questioning the conventional assumptions that college is the main passage into a financial and social accomplishment. To achieve these goals students are often faced with unnecessary pressures. Their purpose or reason for challenging such assumptions is to make the readers become aware of the conventional notions, and possibly direct them out of their trapped positions to make their own choices. As today’s students will be the potential future leaders and make-up of the society, there is a high stake. In the past the society has accomplished to thrive the students into the clich?s and false assumptions about college that exist today, nevertheless this accomplishment has opened a door for some critics like Zinsser and Barber to come up with a different view on college education and pressures that can well be the next conventional assumption in the future.
One of the evidence that I found worthy of consideration in Zinsser’s text is that “In the late 1960s”, “the typical question that I got from students was ‘Why is there so much suffering in the world?’ or “How can I make a contribution?’ Today it’s ‘Do you think it would look better for getting into law school if I did a double major in history and political science, or just majored in one of them?” (Zinsser 197) This evidence shows that the views on college education is transient and can be changed. At the same time it gives us an idea of what kind of college education Zinsser favors. Real purpose of a college education should not be forced by career or parental influences but by personal choices especially by taking classes in the fields of liberal arts.
Zinsser once again has impressed me with his language and style. Although Zinsser takes a casual language and tone, his early mentioning of his credibility as a master of Bradford College, and his text filled with evidences and citations create a strong appeal, as one reads through his text. One of the styles that I liked was the repetitive use of “I wish” when he tried to point out his possible purposes of his text–this feature effectively strengthened his purpose. In contrary to Zinsser’s text Barber uses a rather formal language. His Inclusion of the survey and data give the text more of a factual texture than Zinsser’s.