News Nov 11th 2016

College Admission Essay Topics to Avoid

lucky student

Part of completing your application to college is writing your admission essay. Sometimes you are given a topic, but it might be broad and vague, giving you some leeway in making your essay work. Because you rely on the essay as art of your acceptance, it's pretty important to give it a lot of attention so you can get it just right. That means knowing which topics to avoid, which may surprise you as they are also the ones most commonly used.

A Summary of What You've Done

A list of your accomplishments is not what college entrance examiners want to read. It's fine to talk about some of the things you've done, but you need to weave those accomplishments into the story of your life experiences without bragging and going on at length at the things you've achieved. When the reader is done with your essay, he or she should feel like they know you better, not just what you've done.

Controversial or Sensitive Topics

You definitely want to stay away from topics that require people to choose sides that are clear opposites from each other. You also want to avoid writing about topics that could leave your reader feeling slighted or discriminated against. You want the reader to like you and feel like you'd be a good addition to the school and writing about a topic that your reader disagrees with can leave you with a rejection letter. You don't want to sound like you are preaching. In essence, no college essay should be written about politics or religion.

Skip the Sports Topics

Experts call this topic predictable and you want an essay that sets you a part from the other people applying to the college. Your sports story might feel completely unique to you, but chances are that the reader has already heard it multiple times. Most admissions officers have heard every victory or learning through defeat story out there and yours will likely not be something new to them.

Humor Has its Place

It's fine to relay a humorous incident or inject a small bit of humor into certain parts of your essay, but it shouldn't be entirely funny. You want the admissions officers to take you seriously, so you want your essay to be largely serious. You are welcome to use humor naturally, but trying too hard to make your essay funny will be pretty transparent and your reader will see right through the attempts and probably won't find them all that amusing.

Forget About Your Luck

When your college essay outlines why you're lucky to have the chance to apply, it's like saying you don't really have anything truly interesting to say about yourself. No matter whether you went to a private school or you grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth, admissions officials find these types of essays boring and they have a hard time getting to know you when your essay is all about what a great life you have.

Illegal Behavior

Under no circumstances should your essay refer to your use of illegal drugs, sex or any other crime. This tells the college that you may have a record and might not be a trustworthy addition to the college climate. If you don't want to be judged, skip writing about any type of criminal activity.

These are just a few things to avoid. Experts also say to skip writing about the most important person or event in your life, tragedies or volunteer experiences. These topics are cliché and won't make you stand out. You can do better!

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