Tips on Choosing College Essay Topics
Do We Actually Need College Essay Prompts?
The American system of higher education presupposes different kinds of estimating students’ skills before they enter the university. Among such skills connected to communication, time-management, leadership and other aspects of a student’s personality, writing skills take a special place. They are hugely important, as they can become the reason whether a student will be accepted or not. No wonder that those, who cannot put two words together don’t get to university. Of course, a great part of work should be done in college; and the first step is obviously a college admission essay. The topics can vary, but all of them are aimed at providing the information about a student’s potential. Although the full picture of a student’s academic skills is still unclear at this stage, one cannot estimate the significance of application essays.
Prompt for writing college essays are both needed by students and admission officers. The first can improve their writing skills using an exact pattern or template. These prompts are actually the sum of tips, examples to follow, and possibly mistakes to avoid. That is why, using required personal information and essay prompts, a student is better prepared for writing. Admission officers, on the other hand, use such prompt as a standard for essay evaluation. The most widespread college admission essays are persuasive and personal ones. That is why writing prompts for them are the easiest to find.
The Best Ways to Succeed with a Common App Essay
It is curious that motivating ‘essay’ pictures, plentiful in the Web, usually feature pens and paper. Why? Because today everything is done via the Internet. Writing by hand is a bit of romantic, but if you really want to get into college, you have to be fully ‘equipped’ with the best technologies. The greatest and well-known tool for creating and sending out college essays (read — getting accepted to college) is the common application website. The website has certain rules. They majority of them concern the wordcount that should not exceed 650 words. Somehow, many students don’t understand how important it is to be able to put a decent idea in the most concise form. This is not about ‘monosyllabic’ writing, but each word in the essay is to be weighed. No buzzwords and stop-words are allowed, of course. Each sentence is to be a source of information a student has to provide — no general facts, no lyrical digressions, etc. Everything ‘additional’ distracts readers from the main topic. This is not a piece of literature, and everyone is to remember that! Here, we’ll discuss the top common app essay tips for you.
Choosing The Topic
There is no need to say that you are to be familiar with the topic you write about. This fact usually leads a student to make the major mistake in choosing a topic. They start their titles with “my favorite” or “how I spent.” Don’t use such clichés ever. You can write about usual experiences or choose something incredible, but the title should be catchy. For example, don’t write about how you spent your last summer. Describe the summer that has changed your life. Instead of writing about your family choose one member you are most proud of and explain why.
Attracting the Reader
We have mentioned above, that an admission essay is not a piece of literature. But it doesn’t mean that it should be shallow and dry. There are plenty of students who are careless and superficial about writing their essays – you definitely don’t want to be one of them! To save one from being bored reading your essay, you are to consider your audience first. Don’t think of it as a teacher or an admission officer. Anyone can read your paper, and anyone has to be excited about it. In this case, your essay can even become a template for other students. The key for success is perfect writing skills, including:
- topic choice described above;
- style, appropriate to the type of essay you are writing;
- structure, including that of the whole paper and separate sentences;
- vocabulary, initial for an accurate choice of words;
- and grammar.
Developing this skills is vital for the success of your essay. Besides, it will definitely contribute to your future.
Using the Details
As the type and topic of your college essay can be very different, the requirements to the paper vary as well. However, there is one more general rule your essay should include as many details as it is necessary to enchant the reader. Though it is obvious for a narrative essay, it may be unclear why one should provide enough details for a persuasive or even a process essay, alongside with all the other types. You see, details in a persuasive essay, for example, are used as extra arguments; a progress essay gets more vivid with the help of them; an analytical one gets more grounded, etc. Never neglect the details! You also have to edit your work carefully to avoid repetitions and unnecessary expansion of the text. Just use our intuition choosing what to write.
General Tendencies in Picking College Application Essay Topics
When you are writing a college admission essay, you are to complete the only one paper. Can you imagine how many papers you admission officer has to read? How many of them has he or she already read? So, please, don’t make it harder for the person responsible for your future at this very moment! Curiously, almost all students struggle to be so very special in their personal life, but the majority of them at the same time choose identical topics for their college essays. Why? Because it is easier to kick around the same ideas over and over again. The problem is that your college is striving to see your individuality and a good unique essay topic can help them to do it.
The overwhelming majority of students describe some personal problems in their essays. In many cases, problems actually mean problems in the most negative sense. A lot of students also tell about how good they are at this or them sphere of life. Such essays are stuffed with Present Perfect constructions as if a student has lived a long and a very successful life. Before choosing a topic, please, mind that apart from what bothers you and what you have already achieved, there is a whole layer of topics that can be more interesting to the reader. These topics can concern either solving one of the problems in the society or discussing some controversial idea. A very small amount of students decides to write on such topics. The reasons for that are different: some of them are truly valid, while others just stand in your way.
Most students choose to write on one of the narrative essay topics. Reflective essay topics are very popular, too. As said about, most of both type are focused on a student’s personality or personal achievements. There nothing wrong with it. If you have something to tell about yourself, don’t you even hesitate about it! But you have to understand the following. This is not your diary or a letter to a friend. You are to convey ideas. Plus, it is quite hard for a young person to evaluate his or her real achievements and whether they are appropriate to mention in your essay. So, you a really better to consult your teachers or family.
The problems of our world and our society can be more relevant in the case of writing an admission essay. The best types for them are analytical essay topics and persuasive essay topics. These kinds of essays allow you to capsulize your ideas and to give all the necessary argument in brief. This is what you really need if you are limited by 650 words and 5-paragraph format. You can discuss anything you like, and your topic is not to b connected with your future profession. You can write a persuasive essay on how important it is not to throw batteries in the trash or an analytical essay on the best ways of raising children. The topic should be interesting, and primarily it is you who should be interested in it. But control your emotions. Again, this is an academic paper, not any kind of agitation. Consider your sources. They have to be reliable and up-to-date. You are not to discover anything new to the world in your essay, but your ideas should be really unique.
The Guide How to Choose a Topic
Somehow, it is even harder to pick an essay topic, because you have to stick to reflective or narrative style, and you have no choice. In such case, here’s what you can think of: Describe something that has changed your life. Strong emotions are the easiest to depict. Think carefully and you will find something you need in your past. Think of your perspective. You don’t have to decide (unless you’ve already decided) where exactly you will work and what career you want to build, but you can muse about it. Write about the great teachers in your life — parents, grandparents, actual teachers, etc. Choose a person who’s influenced and inspired you. Focus on failure, not the success. A tricky topic. On the one hand, no one likes bragging. On the other, everybody hates whining. You are to find a perfect balance — an important situation when you had a problem and managed to deal with it.
Professional essay writer deal with a great number of different essays every day. So, there is obviously some advice they can give you. And one of the best pointers is not to get stuck with one topic from the very beginning. Brainstorm. See where various topics lead you. Consider different options of topics and arguments. Maybe, you’ll find what you need right away. Or maybe, you’ll throw away a dozen of topics, before you actually like anything. But eventually, you’ll find a great one.
No matter whether you are going to tell about yourself, discuss different ideas or try to convince your reader of anything, your work should reveal your personality and individuality. Neither your words nor your ideas should be cliched. It is true that the more prestigious your college is, the more brilliant your work should be. But don’t you think that an average institution will welcome you with your average essay. You have to match up to the level of a proper student, otherwise, maybe, the world of academic achievement is not for you.
In Case You Need Help with Essay Writing
Such level of expectation can be really stressful. Usually, young people are not used to it. It is hard to cope with everything: everyday issues, graduating, entering a new institution, facing a new life, etc. Somehow, the authorities have decided that this is the best time for you to write an essay which is critical for all your future career. Seriously? But there is nothing we cannot do, and there is no harm to get some assistance once in a while. As for you admission essay, the solution is very easy. In Elite Essay Writers, our professional team of highly qualified writers is there for you. We can help you with anything concerning your academic papers. Your ideas are highly appreciated and always included in the text in the most suitable form. Of course, there is no need to worry about grammar and vocabulary, because a team of experienced proofreaders always backs our writers up. So, don’t hesitate to turn to us!
25 Creative College Essay Prompts
When applying for admission to your selected colleges, most colleges will require you to write a personal statement to submit along with your college application. To assist you in writing your best personal statement, colleges might provide creative college essay prompts to help stimulate your thinking process so that you can write the best possible personal statement.
In case that colleges don’t provide creative college essay prompts we’ve listed 25 creative college essay prompt to help you write your best possible personal statement:
1. Describe an experience where you were unsuccessful in achieving your goal. What lessons did you learn from this experience?
2. Think back to a situation in your life where you had to decide between taking a risk and playing it safe. Which choice did you make? What was the outcome of your choice? Would you have made the same decision looking back on the experience or would you have made a different decision?
3. What movie, poem, musical composition, or novel has most influenced your life and the way that you view the world? Why?
4. Describe an experience that forever changed your life and your outlook on life.
5. Why have you chosen to spend the next four years of your life in college?
6. What do you plan on doing after you graduate from college?
7. As of right now, what do you see as your long-term goals in life?
8. If you were given the ability to change one moment in your life, would you do so? Why or why not? If so, what moment would you change and why?
9. Presuming there was only one open admission spot remaining, why should this college choose to accept your application and not that of another student?
10. What would you describe to be your most unique or special skill that differentiates you from everyone else?
11. Describe some tasks that you have accomplished over the past two years that have no connection to academic studies.
12. If you had the chance to have a 30-minute conversation with any person in human history (either living or deceased), who would be the person you choose? Why? What topics would you discuss with this person?
13. If you could be any animal in recorded history, what animal would you choose? Why?
14. If you were given the capability to travel back in time to any period in history, where would you head to and why?
15. 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?
16. What do you consider to be the most important political or social movement of the 20th century? Why?
17. What advice would you offer to a student just beginning his/her high school career?
18. Devise a question that is not on this college admission form and provide a complete, thoughtful answer to it.
19. Choose one quotation that defines who you are and explain why that quotation describes you so well.
20. How has the neighborhood you’ve grown up in molded you into the person you are today?
21. Imagine that you have written a 400-page autobiography of your life to this point. What would page 150 of that autobiography say?
22. Choose the invention that you think has had the most negative impact on our world and explain why you chose that invention.
23. If you had the ability to read other people’s minds (a. k.a. telepathy), would you use this ability or not? Why?
24. Tell a story that directly or indirectly illustrates the type of person you are.
25. Describe the most embarrassing moment of your life and explain what you learned from that experience and how it has made you a better or stronger person today.
The 25 creative college essay prompts listed above should give you a starting point to write your own personal statement. The personal statement is used by most colleges to help them evaluate the type of person you are, which can help differentiate yourself from other applicants who have similar academic backgrounds to yours. By considering the 25 creative college essay prompts above, you can be more prepared to write an engaging personal statement that will let your personality shine through and will help you to be accepted into the college of your choice.
College application essay topic ideas
by Carol Barash on May 27, 2014 in Admissions
What should students write about in their college application essays? I get this question from student after student: What should I write about to get into college? What topics are admissions officers looking for?
Admissions officers are looking for three things in your admission essay: a unique perspective, strong writing, and an authentic voice. While there is no magic topic that will automatically ensure admission at the college of your dreams, there are experiences everyone has that you can use to find your strongest possible application essays.
But first, consider the word “topic.” It originally meant “subject suitable for debate.” So you don’t actually want to find a topic! Debatable topics rarely make great essays. Forget winning, forget convincing, and forget presenting yourself as somehow right or better than other people.
Admissions officers are people, and people love stories. Your stories are not debatable. You own them. The way to connect with other people is to tell your own story, honestly and authentically, as only you can tell it.
Here are 5 places to find great college essay topics your own life experience:
1. Memorable meals
Everyone eats! And when you read a story about food, most people warm up and start thinking about their own favorite foods and family gatherings. That’s why we start the Story To College Essay in a Day course with Memorable Meal stories.
The story of my junior year in high school could be told through three meals: The first night of Hanukkah, my mother was making latkes when my father sat down and announced, “I have cancer.” We dipped our Pepperidge Farm cookies in chamomile tea the night my mother whispered, “It doesn’t look like Daddy’s getting better. He wants to come home.” And the night before my father died, he propped himself up to eat a bowl of minestrone soup. “Get all the education you can, Carol,” he said as he drifted back to sleep, “Always be learning.”
Look for important conversations you’ve had, sitting around something to munch on.
2. Outdoor activities
The first time I ever advised a student on their college application essay, I worked with a quiet student, a guy who disappeared into the back of his classes. He wrote his essay about building a treehouse with his best friend. Jason’s story revealed the many facets of his character: his creativity, his expert planning, his love of nature and building, and the comical things that guys say to one another when they are just hanging out. That was the first time I saw how application essays can bring a student to life and help them outwit the college admissions numbers game.
Like Jason, look for activities where you’ve taken a creative approach or dealt with a challenge as you plan your Common Application essay.
Speaking of challenges: one of the most moving essays I’ve ever read began, “It was the first day of ninth grade. I walked into the cafeteria. All of the black students were sitting on my left, talking to themselves. All of the white students were sitting on my right, talking to themselves. Where was I, with my cappuccino colored skin, where was I to sit for lunch on the first day of ninth grade?”
Every one of us has had those moments. Suddenly, you are in a completely new situation, and need to do something, but you have no idea what. Application essays about challenges reveal how you respond to difficulty to people who are very interested in how you will handle the next four years on your own.
The second Common App question asks, “Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?”
It’s not a trick question. In fact, it’s the most complex and nuanced of the Common App prompts. It gives you the chance to reflect and show your ability to learn from your experiences. It takes time to find the type of mistakes you want to talk about, but I assure you: it works.
What difference do you want to make in the world? Where specifically are you going with your life? These questions should inform your entire college application process.
Research on education shows that the strongest predictor of a student’s success is how detailed and specific their picture is of the future. This is the most important work we do, as individuals and communities. Explain your commitments, and you will be the kind of student colleges find immensely attractive.
You may have noticed that these ideas got harder to tell honestly as you worked down the list. When you write about difficult topics—mistakes, learning, making a difference—it is very tempting to start talking in clichés, or to end in a place where you are perfect.
Colleges are not looking for perfect people. They are looking for students who will make a difference in their classrooms, dorms, and communities. Where are the stories that reveal what you bring to the world? Your best essays grow out of those moments.
Download four essays that got students into Cornell, the University of Chicago, and Smith to see how Story To College teaches students to find their unique stories and develop their authentic voices.
At Story To College we teach how to find their most honest and authentic stories and shape them into powerful essays that admissions officers will remember. We provide college application essay courses and admissions courses to help all our students achieve their best results. We are excited to host our first application essay courses in Atlanta this summer, starting May 29th. Find the course that’s right for you at storytocollege. com/courses, or call us to talk to an expert at 646-503-4861.
Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO of Story To College and author of Write Out Loud, has taught over 10,000 students around the world–from first-generation college students to the children of bankers and CEOs–how to tell their stories and write essays that win admission and scholarships at selective colleges.
Applerouth is a trusted test prep and tutoring resource. We combine the science of learning with a thoughtful, student-focused approach to help our clients succeed. Call or email us today at 866-789-PREP (7737) or info@applerouth. com.
Next up in Admissions
I love these ideas-every person could find a seed of an idea within these 4 prompts. They are deceptively simple, but certainly would lead to the most interesting types of essays. Thanks for sharing!
My first college essay was written by Senperfect com, and my college professor
was more than satisfied!
Hey, I think you are going to write your paper by your own but do you have best essay topics to select among them. If your answer is no, then you are required to check the various online forums so that you can get an idea of what topic you should select. Also, you can ask from online writers to get best topics.
It would be better if you can get computer science help from online writers as they can provide you the best writing samples and best possible solution to your query. Second thing is that they can support you later with your queries if you have. You can get great marks with their help.
My teacher mentioned an interesting one about basketball, and the entire essay was a metaphor for the writers view on life.