“College Pressures” by William Zinsser, the master of Branford College, one of the Residential colleges at Yale University, details the various types of stresses that today’s college students encounter. Zinsser claims that there are four different kinds of pressure: economic, parental, peer, and self-induced. The economic pressures are due to the ever-increasing high cost of a college education and the desire to get out of college with as little debt accrued as possible. Economic pressure is tied closely to parental pressure; this strain on the student is from parents pushing their children to become what they, the parents, want them to be because they are paying for the education. This causes the students to be divided on whether to do what they want to do or what their parents want them to do.
Peer pressure and self-induced pressure are closely tied together because as the students see their peers succeeding it will drive them to do better than their peers in combination with their own already high goals and aspirations driving them to continually want to outdo what they have done in the past. Zinsser encourages students that there is more than one way to succeed and that it is important to relax during college and not get overwhelmed by all of the tension and stress. He also emphasizes the importance of making mistakes in the name of learning. By establishing authority on the topic of college pressures, implementing logical, consistent reasoning, and utilizing additional supporting evidence to bolster his argument, Zinsser delivers an extremely effective essay with “College Pressures.” In order to deliver an effective essay one must be viewed as an authority on the topic. Authority is needed so that there is trust between the audience and the author. Zinsser is undoubtedly an authority on the issue of college pressures because he deals with college students on a daily basis through his job as master of Branford College. He knows what he is talking about in...
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