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You have everything that you need: clean notepads, pencils, pens, and your computer. You’re ready to write yourcollege application essay. Just open Microsoft Word and let your ideas flow.
It’s too bad that writing a college application essay isn’t actually that easy. However, with a few tips, you’ll be able to pick a good topic and smooth-out the process.
Have you ever felt egocentric? If not, you soon will. Your college admission essay should focus on only one person: you. It can, and probably should, include other characters, but the core of the essay must describe you – your feelings, what you’ve learned, how you view yourself, how you see yourself fitting in the world. Three primary sorts of you-based topics exist: events, routines, and descriptions. Events constitute life-altering experiences. When listing events, don’t think of things that happened during your life; think of those that happened in your life. They should be things that affected you and your future. Routines and descriptions are a bit more complicated. In a routine-type essay, the author writes about a routine or aspect thereof in the same way as he or she would write about an event, describing his or her qualities and values in the process. In a description-type essay, the writer describes an important person or object and uses metaphor to relate it to him or her self.
After you’ve thought about the significant events, relevant routines, and important figures in your life, you can begin to narrow your list of potential topics. First, think about your best qualities, the ones that you want to feature in your application, and select the topics that would best feature them. Next, consider the uniqueness of your topics. Each college admissions officer will read hundreds of essays throughout the spring and will only be able to remember the most interesting few (if you think that it’s easy to remember essays, try to read every entry on this page then summarize them, in order, without peeking). Make especially sure to avoid cliché topics and those conducive to platitudes. Of course, you should stay away from potentially controversial issues unless they truly intersect with your core values. Finally, remember that colleges don’t admit students retroactively. That is, they don’t really want to read about your past unless it has some bearing on the present or future.
If you still have a long list of potential topics, simply begin to write. Finish a few rough drafts, read through them, and figure out which one best represents your qualities and values. Sometimes you just can’t determine how good a topic is until you actually write a draft of the essay.
Wading through the plethora of potential essay topics may seem impossible; however, with a few pointers, anyone can pick a good one.