Skip Nav

6 College Essay Topics

Types of Essays

❶What would you describe to be your most unique or special skill that differentiates you from everyone else?

Schools that Use the Common App

2018-19 Common App Essays
Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts
Can’t choose a winning topic for your essay?

There are five new prompts to choose from, and this essay can be used for multiple colleges. Beyond the Common Application essay, many colleges also have supplements that ask additional, university-specific questions which applicants must respond to with shorter-form essays.

While topics vary from supplement to supplement, there are a few standard essay formats that many colleges use:. This is the most common essay and is used for the main Common Application essay. In this essay, the applicant talks about a meaningful life experience that helped shape who she is today.

Many colleges, including Columbia University and Duke University , use the supplement to ask applicants to explain why they have chosen to apply to this particular college.

In this essay, students need to be detailed and offer specific examples for wanting to attend this school. Not only does it help students reiterate their passions, it also serves as a gauge for demonstrated interest and a vehicle for students to better articulate how they will contribute to the campus environment.

In this essay, students write about an extracurricular activity or community service project that was especially meaningful to them. This essay was previously on the standard Common Application, but was removed starting in the —15 application season. Instead, some colleges, like Georgetown University , choose to include a variation of this essay among their supplements by asking students to discuss an activity and its significance to their life or course of study.

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.

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. For further guidance and examples, check out Noodle's collection of expert advice about college essays. The college essay is tough.

A lack of gumption? Doubtful — many students even take it upon themselves to create their own version of an anti-essay see number seven on the list. It was there he met Anita, a local elderly woman who wanted to learn how to read but came from a poor family so she never had the opportunity. Joe and Anita developed a friendship…. See, you want to read more of the story, right? A Summary of Your Accomplishments College essays are similar to life and, in life, nobody likes a braggart.

These topics are broad, unfocused and make a boring read. You may have accomplished a lot, but let your essay speak by allowing the reader to get to know you as a person through your experiences — not through you telling them how accomplished you are. Highly Polarized or Sensitive Topics The key topics to avoid here are the same as those at the Thanksgiving table: Avoid preaching about sensitive topics, no matter how passionate you are about a particular one.

You never know who is going to be reading your admissions essay and the goal at hand is to gain admission into college. Sports The sports essay is predictable and should be avoided, if possible.

Everyone knows how an athletic story will play out, regardless of the story or the sport. Humor Stop trying to be so funny. If it comes out naturally in your essay, great. Admissions officers will see the futile attempt — and likely not find it amusing. 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.

Scholarships, Financial Aid, Student Loans and Colleges

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Get help writing your college application essays. Find this year's Common App writing prompts and popular essay questions used by individual colleges. 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).

Privacy FAQs

Jul 10,  · 6 College Essay Topics By Lynn O'Shaughnessy on July 9, in Admissions, Applying If you (or your child) is a rising senior, now is a good time to get started on the dreaded college essay.

About Our Ads

Sep 06,  · Admissions Officers Discuss 3 Common Essay Topics A college essay topic doesn't have to be unique to be a good choice for applicants, experts say. The college essay is your opportunity to let your personality shine on your application. Don’t waste it on the trite or cliché! Consider this approach instead.

Cookie Info

Jul 18,  · / The Ultimate List of College Essay Topics to Write About in Topics to avoid in a College Essay. Describing anything about your sex life. How to Write a Winning College Admission Essay. July 22, | GradeMiners read more. Blog; Assignment Help; Case Study;. List of easy essay topics for high school and college. Find example of topic and write your own essay.