College essay is standard requirement in admission process run by US colleges. It is a piece of writing that offers chance to provide meaningful description of who you are as an individual. This paper type helps demonstrate valuable or unique ideas, beliefs, background, experience, life story, interests, inspiration, achievements, or abilities. Given that it is direct account of who you are as a person, represents very important component in evaluating application complementary to academic achievement scores.
Given this, choosing appropriate topic can be very difficult and stressful task. When considering what to write about, it is wise to follow a set of general recommendations to produce top college essay ideas as described below.
Features of Great Essay Topic
Given how diverse human intelligence patterns are, it is unlikely that an exhaustive explanation or universal formula may be given for how to pick interesting college essay topics. Still, there are a few generic traits that interesting titles tend to share:
- inspiring – evoking exaltation feeling, positive or constructive attitude, picturing higher goal or link with something greater than us;
- controversial – for instance, challenging some established moral values and calling for some soul-searching, or challenging some established facts or theories;
- shocking – making very daring statements or bringing together apparently unrelated elements (mixing which is inconceivable);
- creative/original – creative college essay topics usually tell something new or in somewhat new manner (e.g. from new perspective);
- relevant for the context – this could imply that the topic fits the audience or that it fits the current cultural/moral/social/intellectual landscape by dealing with a currently trending phenomenon, behavior, issue, etc.;
- backed by the appropriate sources – an extravagant or rare source may instantly make topic seem more interesting. Oftentimes, even mentioning reliable and reputable source should also boost audience’s interest in topic. Most typical situation for college essays is that students themselves are sources – nothing beats an authentic direct source when talking about human issues, ideas or life challenges;
- involving an intimate, brave confession (of private life event, thought, feeling) – this is ensured, for instance, either by originality of confession or by evoking in readers very similar but repressed, concealed, unrealized thoughts, feelings, behaviors, attitudes.
Ideas for Common Application Essay Prompts
Here are some useful themes that will inspire and give some tips on how to write a college paper.
1. Examine anatomy of your own achievement.
If you are lucky enough to have already accomplished something meaningful, it is probably the wisest paper type to write. It demonstrates not only ideals and beliefs but also means to turn them into reality. This achievement does not have to be big but you should do your best to talk about motivation as well as challenges encountered and how you managed to overcome them, what conclusions or life lessons one took from this that are applicable to your future.
2. Overcoming personal obstacle
A relatively popular but still valid story idea is that of pursuing high academic achievement despite bad circumstances, for instance, growing in an underprivileged community/ neighborhood. This is also considered as valuable achievement but which is limited to your person rather than to external world.
The fact that one managed to overcome this problem means you understand the challenges and potentially help others do the same. You can work towards meaningful changes in respective communities by having deep understanding of them. It is important to mention constructive attitude, how you went about overcoming challenges, lessons learned in process but also don’t hesitate to highlight strengths acquired during process and that might even be owed to this community.
3. Describe strong interest/curiosity
Share your passion regardless of whether this is fractal geometry or problem of the origin of life on Earth. Don’t be afraid to make impression of a nerd – today’s world is very complex and there are multiple niche areas of knowledge advancing which may revolutionize fields that you could never even think about (did you know that Velcro was created by a guy who decided to closely examine burrs his dog caught during a walk?). Here, it is important to demonstrate your passion with evidence, explain why and how you pursue your interests ideas, what it means, how you see importance of this topic.
4. Describe a transformative failure
What makes most people successful is often not exceptional talent but persistence in their path and any path without exception involves failures (big or small). Wisdom is ability to recover after each failure with better resilience, an updated perspective (new understanding) on problem or situation, and an undeterred motivation to pursue your goals or new ideas. Mention how you failed, what was the reason for doing so, what was the new understanding acquired, and how the latter changed you or made you stronger.
5. Describe how you overcame common misconception
Here in the US, or anywhere else in the world, we, humans, are all victims to multiple stereotypes, many of which we are not even aware of. Yet sometimes in our lives, things (or thoughts) happen that make us question. If you have such an inspirational story, feel free to expand on it by indicating what you thought (or what you didn’t) about the issue originally, what triggered the change in your worldview, what implications it had, and how you acted after its acceptance. This paper would be especially successful if you could demonstrate the transformative role of this worldview change (on yourself or others) in practice (in real life).
College Application Essay Topics to Inspire
Below you can find a list of examples of essay topics for college applications:
- Describe problem you want to solve – it’s probably wiser to pick a smaller relevant problem and a pragmatic/elegant solution rather than a persistent mankind issue
- Detail a belief or creed, potentially by citing an inspiring quote that you find very truthful or descriptive of your personality or your life
- Describe a moment/event that made you wiser or more mature
- Expand on your life goals
- Describe a moment in your life when you had to take a stand and how it impacted you or other people
- Tell some valuable pieces of advice received – from whom it came, at what moment in life, why you start valuing it, etc.
- List top things you want achieve in life
- What form your patriotism for the U.S. takes, in what way you would like to contribute to your country mostly
- What practices or laws you would be willing to change in your country
Note that in case you have trouble identifying college application essay themes, capstone project ideas, or have questions regarding other assignments you can make use of our writing services.
Create Your Topic With Brainstorming Techniques
Even the best of the writers can suffer from occasional blocks, especially when starting to work on given topic. Fortunately, there are a number of brainstorming techniques specifically designed to enhance creativity, produce lots of ideas, and efficiently explore imagination. A few of them are listed below:
- Freewriting. It is one of the most basic techniques that involve simply putting the pen on the paper (usually within short allocated time windows, like 15-minute bursts) and writing down everything that comes to mind (even if it is nothing or absolutely unrelated thoughts). Although it could be messy at first, this should at least get you into writing mood. A much less extreme version of this is just start writing topic-related content with the inner critic focusing exclusively on ideas (ignoring grammar, sentence structure, word choice, and even logical inconsistencies, etc.).
- Ask questions. Start by answering What?, Where?, When?, Who?, Why?, and How? questions related to your subject and then decide in which direction content should be expanded, or notice whether there are imbalances in content for each question (which might dictate further research for these specific questions).
- List words or phrases (terms, concepts, ideas) concerned with your topic or argument/thesis you want to present in the paper. This helps shape content, especially for topics where lists of things need to be compared, like arguments in favor of an attitude, even, etc. (it might be even useful to list words opposing thesis in order to develop story by adding counterarguments).
- Webbing/clustering – this technique involves placing a term denoting subject in the middle and drawing as many related terms and ideas from this central point as possible (including opposing concepts or arguments). (In a variation of this technique, process is repeated (iterated) by drawing related concepts from each newly drawn branch to produce multi-level structure.) Later, related terms and ideas are linked (with lines) into clusters. The result typically looks like a web or a map.
If, despite these suggestions, you find yourself in the middle of creativity crisis, go ahead and get help of an online college essay tutor to get things going.
We Can Help You Right Now
College essay is crucial element that determines your application’s success. There are a number of rules to follow to ensure the chosen topic is appealing. Starting with generic prompt or essay topic is a sound idea as long as you can build your strong individual story. To help with this, a few creative brainstorming techniques should be employed to explore your imagination and produce best topic for college essay.
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