Avoid writing about things like scoring the winning goal, topics of public consciousness like natural disasters, or something that happened to you in middle school. Some students choose to write about things like sex or romantic relationships in order to stand out; yet, these topics fail to add substance or depth to an application.
Successful Essay Topics A successful essay will reveal something about you that the admissions reader may not have already known, and will show how you interact with family and friends and demonstrate your beliefs or explore your passions. A great essay also provides readers with a vivid picture. When crafting an essay, think of it as offering admissions readers a window into a certain event or story. Focus on the most meaningful moments, not the irrelevant background details.
For example, a student once wrote an essay about feeling out of place culturally during an internship. Instead of giving a general description of the internship and his conflicts, he opened the essay with a vivid description of what he saw when he first arrived, and used this scene to frame the feelings of alienation he underwent — giving the reader a striking image of his experience in great detail.
Remember, your college application essay is about you. Admission officers see what activities you did in high school, what classes you took in high school, and what scores you got—you guessed it—in high school.
While these things are important, so much of your personality forms as a child too. My friend Caroline, who was accepted to schools such as George Mason University , Wittenberg University , and Seattle University , wrote about how interest in exploration started as a child. She wrote a narrative about pushing boundaries.
As a child, Caroline always rode her bike just a little bit farther than her parents allowed her to. Eventually she ended up riding all the way into the forest and exploring nature, where she developed her passion for saving the environment. By writing about how her interests, tendencies, and passions came from her childhood, Caroline was able to give admission officers a more complete picture of who she is.
Think about what you did as a child that says something about your personality now. Write about what makes you, you! Keep calm and happy writing everyone! Presuming there was only one open admission spot remaining, why should this college choose to accept your application and not that of another student?
What would you describe to be your most unique or special skill that differentiates you from everyone else? Describe some tasks that you have accomplished over the past two years that have no connection to academic studies. If you had the chance to have a minute conversation with any person in human history either living or deceased , who would be the person you choose? What topics would you discuss with this person? If you could be any animal in recorded history, what animal would you choose?
If you were given the capability to travel back in time to any period in history, where would you head to and why? What do you consider to be the best advice you ever received?
Who gave you that advice and did you follow that advice or not? Nobody needs a summary of your vacation — people know what happens on mission trips and during volunteer hours. While you should feel free to mention a great experience or trip, but your entire essay should not talk about your one experience volunteering during a mission trip in Costa Rica. If you do want to bring up these topics, try to think of something interesting or unexpected that happened during your trip. Did a particular person or experience have an impact on you?
Specific happenings can make great topics — try to think of something unusual and craft your essay around that experience, instead. See example within the opening of this article. Some of the best and brightest students do this: basically, they create the anti-essay.
Fine, but be prepared to write whatever you feel like writing from a college that may not be your first choice.
Then come back to that moment at the end of your essay. Find this year's Common App writing prompts and popular essay questions used by individual colleges. For further guidance and examples, check out Noodle's collection of expert advice about college essays. Focus on a moment One of the easiest ways to think of a college essay topic is to focus on a specific instance that changed you or that represents something about your character. Who gave you that advice and did you follow that advice or not? What is an extracurricular activity that has been meaningful to you?
Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in. Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable. If you had the chance to have a minute conversation with any person in human history either living or deceased , who would be the person you choose? As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: how you discovered this activity, what drew you to it, and what it's shown you about yourself.
The college essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are apart from your grades and test scores and to distinguish yourself from the rest of a very talented applicant pool. Prompt 7: Topic of your choice. Over colleges and universities use the Common Application , which has one required essay, called the personal statement. Tons of kids work a part-time job in addition to all their other responsibilities. What topics would you discuss with this person?
Writing fluently and passionately about a book close to you is always better than writing shakily or generally about a book that doesn't inspire you. Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth.
See example within the opening of this article. Then come back to that moment at the end of your essay. Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific!
Joe and Anita developed a friendship… See, you want to read more of the story, right? Imagine that you have written a page autobiography of your life to this point.
Your love of superheroes, baking chops, or family history are all fair game if you can tie it back to who you are or what you believe in. What do you plan on doing after you graduate from college? For example, the fact that Jackson was able to stick with tennis and rehab after all of these trials shows that he is persistent and strong. Admissions officers will see the futile attempt — and likely not find it amusing. Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth. Tons of kids work a part-time job in addition to all their other responsibilities.
The same goes for trying to be creative and responding with one word, one sentence, or a poem.
If you had the chance to have a minute conversation with any person in human history either living or deceased , who would be the person you choose? The essay is important because it gives students the chance to showcase their writing and tell the college something new.