It’s better to prioritize your focus and fill it in with as much detail as possible. Leave this kind of content out of your essay altogether and avoid trying to achieve a humorous or sarcastic tone. College essay topics to avoid also include anything that’s highly personal or a delicate subject. This is also known as the oversharing essay. From picking a topic to writing the actual paper, to editing (and editing, and editing…), there are plenty of dos and don’ts to consider. John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education, Financial Literacy & Responsible Borrowing, Center for Career & Professional Development. The person reading your essay might not get your humor, or they might find attempts at jokes or humor inappropriate or unprofessional. But trying to figure out what college essay topics you should choose is a tricky process. Charity or Volunteer Trips. Avoid preaching about sensitive topics, no matter how passionate you are about a particular one… While it’s important to explore your own personal growth, you also don’t want to make it seem like you’ve figured everything out already. If you’re thinking of writing about a place or person who has inspired you, this probably won’t work well as a college essay topic. … Students preparing to get into college are naturally going to be pitted against each other in a game of stats. Schools use college essays to learn more about those who want to become students. Writing about what you’ve achieved might seem like a great way to impress the school you’re applying to, but it can have the opposite effect. The problem with the overly personal essay topic is that revealing something very private can show that you don't really understand ... Too Revealing of Bad Judgment. College essay readers will be going through a lot of essays. Student athletes especially might be tempted to choose sports as the topic of their essay, since it’s something they know well. Be careful with divisive issues like abortion, capital punishment, stem cell research, gun control, and the "war on terror." For example, avoid doing an essay that provides too much detail on an illness, disability, or injury, … However, travel-related college essays are another common type that might not give you a good chance to be noticed. The key topics to avoid here are the same as those at the Thanksgiving table: politics and religion. It is important to first understand the purpose of the college application essay. 9. A great college admission essay makes the reader say something along the lines of, “Wow, I’ve never heard of someone who did/experienced … You might also come across as bragging or boasting about your achievements. Maybe you lost a parent or overcame a disability. Submitting an essay that mainly talks about a place you find inspiring or someone you consider a role model doesn’t tell the school enough about you as a person. These topics might provide you with a subject you feel strongly about, but your college essay isn’t the time to focus on something that’s highly sensitive or polarizing. Personal Achievements and Accomplishments. While it’s understandable that you want your essay to stand out from the rest, adopting a creative style rather than sticking to straightforward prose isn’t the best way to do this. More College Essay Topics. I'd say avoid this topic unless you can write an amazing essay … The admissions committee reads countless essays, and a lot of them cover the same prompts- here are some of the common topics to avoid. Before you begin brainstorming, make sure you know which college essay topics to avoid and why. Handling a tragic topic in this way helps the school learn more about you rather than just reading about the details of the event. A reader is only going to be annoyed if you start telling them what they should do or how they should feel; ultimately, it’s their time that you’re taking up. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly! To a degree, this mystery person holds your future in their hands, and you don’t want to risk offending the… … Too Clichéd or Boring. Staying away from these 12 topics can give you a better chance at having your application considered instead of tossed aside. GPAs, class ranks, and scores on the ACT and SAT all factor into how they stack up for potential schools, and a majority of the application process is faceless. Simply put, essays help the admissions … 10 Great Reasons to Get Your College Degree, How You Can Write Your Way to Success in Any College Course, The Ultimate Guide to College for Veterans. The ones that will stand out to them will be the ones where they’ve experienced a work of individuality. An analytical essay about the controversial nature of the election or topics will come off as generic. He enjoys finding creative solutions to challenges that today’s students and young people faced. Avoiding the topics above and keeping your essay fresh and focused will enhance your chances of having it placed in the “yes” pile. If it seems like the individuality is removed from the situation, then students can utilize the opportunity to express themselves through their college application essay. (Prompt was to discuss a significant place.) Avoid Inappropriate or Risky Topics Similarly, avoid controversial or hot-button topics… In this guide, we go over the essential qualities that make for a great college essay topic and give you 50+ college essay topics … Maybe you’re a top athlete with a lot of high scoring games, but pick one that meant something to you. Nothing is more dull than a list of accomplishments, and if you choose to write about a school experience, personalize it and explore it with pathos. It's important to feel confident in the top reasons to go to college long before…, Review these writing tips for students and you will be uniquely prepared to take on…, A comprehensive guide for veterans interested in going to college to earn a degree or…, 800 Country Club Road P.O. You can certainly write an excellent and thoughtful essay on any of … The challenge is to create an essay that’s enjoyable and informative to read without relying on humor. While success stories, family tragedies, exciting sports moments, or breakups may feel exciting on paper, an essay is not a structured narrative story with a beginning, middle, and end. College essay topics to avoid also include anything that’s highly personal or a delicate subject. This depends on your own comfort level in handling this type of topic, such as losing a loved one. Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing College Essay Topics. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly! A political belief paper might come off as polarizing. Your essay isn’t a resume. By clicking the button above, Post University has your consent to use automated technology to call, text and email you at the information above, including your wireless number, regarding educational services. We understand that you came here for a list of topics, but this is important to... Community service trips:. Avoid anything controversial or purposefully inflammatory While picking a divisive political topic may seem like a great way to grab a reader’s attention, fiery language is only going to alienate admissions committees who hear about these topics … Explain why it affected you and how you changed, even if it seems obvious. Too Overconfident. All the … The following topics should go in your pile of discarded ideas for your college essay. Even if this is your strongest area of interest, it’s better to choose a different topic. © 2020 Road2College. What Should You Not Write Your College Essay About? An essay is not a call to action, and a reader is more interested in what makes you unique as opposed to being chided about issues that they already have an opinion on. All rights reserved. This is a student’s chance to highlight something that’s not on their applications, show how they’ve grown, and explain how they’d be a good representative of their school’s next graduating class. Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Site Map. The reader doesn’t know you well enough to infer any details, so provide them with a moment of reflection that explores why you’ve evolved into the person you are today. This might not seem difficult, but it’s important to know which college essay topics to avoid. Double check when it’s due. While your hard work to earn a great class rank and high test scores are important, those are for a different time and place. 1. Keep reading to find out what to avoid and what to approach in your college essay writing journey. You’re not lecturing your reader or trying to insert them into your narrative. This could cost you the chance to have your application taken into serious consideration. Colleges do want you to have strong beliefs that you’re willing to stand for, and some essay questions give you the opportunity to do just that. College Admission Topics to Avoid Posted on July 30, 2015 in Admission Essay When students are selecting an essay topic , often times they will select a topic that will land their … Your college essay offers an opportunity to make the right impression on the schools you want to attend, something that can help boost your chances of being accepted when you apply. Controversial topics, such as current political hot buttons, should be avoided at all costs. You never know who’s going to be reading your essay and what their values are, and even if their political opinions align with yours, they don’t want to be preached to. There’s no need to make these the focus of your college essay. However, in our experience reading thousands of college essays, we are able to say with confidence that students are wise to steer clear of the following topics… The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. Try to avoid writing an essay that a school will most likely get a million different times — for example, an essay about your talent playing a sport or your early love of learning. To help you stand out from other applicants, we asked admissions officers to shed light on … Aug 23, 2020. You can work on impressing the school by making sure you provide engaging content in a thoughtful and well-written essay. They don’t expect you to have everything mapped out, and it’s easy to come off as pretentious or condescending if you act like you don’t need their help. The mission trip epiphany – is a regularly … This is their chance to sell themselves, and do it in their own words. Great writers can take the most mundane, banal, and generic topic and transform it into a captivating composition. You want to sell yourself and explain why you are going to be valuable to this school, and this won’t be possible if you’ve framed yourself as the product of someone else’s achievements. 7 Cliché College Application Essays You Should Avoid 10/18/2014 12:19 pm ET Updated Dec 18, 2014 "Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment or experience that is important … 6 Essay Topics To Avoid for Your College Admissions Essays 1. If you’ve had a lot of luck or privilege in life, such as growing up in a wealthy community, avoid using this as a college essay topic. Unless a student personalizes the sports essay with a meaningful anecdote, it is likely to focus on the importance of team work and sound cliché. While extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and academic achievements all speak to what they’ve done, a great college essay gets to the root of who they are. No matter what you end up choosing for your college essay, make sure you take your time writing it. Think about an … Still, it’s best to avoid especially polarizing topics such as religion, abortion, and other hot-button debates. Too Personal. Writing about how much you’ve had the privilege of experiencing in life can easily create the impression that you’re boasting. Make smarter college financial decisions. If you’re going to choose a topic that you’re passionate about, make sure it isn’t considered controversial or sensitive. Writing your essay in a stream of consciousness style or as a poem or play isn’t likely to win you any points for creativity with the school. Please reply to the initial welcome text message HELP for help. Avoid Controversial Topics Be careful to avoid the "hero" essay—admissions offices are often overrun with essays about the season-winning touchdown or brilliant performance in the school play (see the list of bad … CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT. Writing your entire college essay in a humorous tone or including a few jokes might seem like a way to make sure it’s entertaining to read, but keep in mind that humor and jokes are highly subjective. While picking a divisive political topic may seem like a great way to grab a reader’s attention, fiery language is only going to alienate admissions committees who hear about these topics all the time. Despite the hours of research and preparation it takes to craft a positive image for the school of their dreams, a student is unlikely to meet any of the people making these decisions. You don’t know who will read your college application essay or what they believe. If you do choose the inspirational route for your college essay, make sure you focus more on how this place or person had an impact on you. Your college essay gives schools a chance to assess you based on your writing. Give yourself plenty of time to come up with a well-written essay that reflects who you are. The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. Tragic events can provide an opportunity to explore personal growth, but they’re usually very hard to write about. Message frequency may vary. On occasion, students write essays on illegal or illicit topics that they may... 2. Some students might consider doing a negative topic as a way to stand out or get credit for taking a risk on their essay. For example, use the essay to explore how the event affected you or what your thoughts were when it occurred. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn. The person who reads your essay might not find it engaging or informative enough. Reply STOP to cancel. 3. If you took inspiration from a historical figure, family member, fictional character, or community leader, minimize the references to their words and use your own instead. However, the school isn’t likely to see it this way. Become an educated consumer of higher ed. When you choose to write about this kind of topic, you might end up focusing too much on that person or place and not enough on yourself. A story is only as good as what you’ve taken away from it. You might want to write about this kind of experience in order to emphasize how you were able to deal with it or overcome challenges related to it. But before plunging into the writing process, you’ll need to decide what topic to explore in your essay. What Should You Not Write Your College Essay About? The Essay Essay Explain, Maybe you’re a top athlete with a lot of high scoring games, but pick, If you want to write about a mentor or friend, make sure that, College essay readers will be going through, College Planning Checklist for 9th & 10th Grade, Junior Year in High School: College Planning Guide, College Planning Checklist for 12th Grade, Early Decision 2: What it Means and Why You Might Want to Consider it. Your college application should have a list of your achievements and accomplishments, such as any honors or awards you’ve received. It is not a requirement to provide this consent to receive education services.Standard text message & data rates may apply. The Grudge Essay Don’t use the essay to vent your frustrations about anything. In college, the admission committee examines in detail all the papers and draws on them the conclusion about whether a student is really worthy to study at this institution. Most families don't! Controversial Opinion Pieces In college, you’ll have plenty of … If you had volunteer experience, don’t just list the activities and dates, explain why they were significant and how it affected you personally. Disclaimer:  Thank you for reading! Creating a high-quality college essay helps put you above the competition and improves your chance of getting noticed among a sea of essays. Avoid focusing on writing about a trip in general terms, since this won’t make your essay a memorable read. Avoid These 9 Topics When Writing Your College Essay 1. College Essay Topics To Avoid. There are so many potential things you could write about! If you want to enter one of the best universities in your country, your essay … Topics to avoid in college essays also include jokes or humor. If you want to write about a mentor or friend, make sure that you are the driving force in the essay and that your realizations are a direct result of your own actions. Individual schools sometimes require supplemental essays. There are a few clichés to avoid in the college essay world. Did you speak with a Post Representative on a Military Installation? Avoid … Maybe you lost a parent or overcame a disability. While you can still consider choosing a personal challenge as a topic, it’s better to avoid writing about anything graphic or too personal, such as going into detail about a serious injury. For example, avoid doing an essay that provides too much detail on an illness, disability, or injury, especially a severe one. Instead of impressing them with your writing skills and knowledge, you could alienate them and hurt your chance of being accepted. Your school isn’t looking for someone who’s already a fully-fledged  “adult,” but rather someone they can nurture, teach, and develop over the next four years. These... 2. College Admissions Essay Topics to Avoid 1. Yes, you’ll be trying to persuade them to consider you, but you need to show why you’re desirable without directly telling them. Gimmicks Avoid anything gimmicky, such as directions to the college from Mapquest. This kind of essay topic also doesn’t tell schools enough about who you are as a person or what you’re capable of accomplishing through your own skills and talents. Avoid any topic you would not want your Mom to read. When you’re brainstorming ideas, you can narrow down your options right away by knowing what not to write in college essays. Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas for College. You can use a similar approach when talking about any extracurricular activities. Sign up and get informed. Creative writing is one of the most common examples of what not to write in college essays. While it’s important to prove your thesis (ie, why you should be admitted to this school) by explaining learning moments and personal growth, telling a neat story on its own isn’t enough. Liam Gaughan is a writer and journalist who has been published in Dallas Observer and Dallas Morning News. This might seem obvious, but it’s best to avoid writing about anything that portrays the school you’re applying to in a negative way. Before you write about your church missions trip to Guatemala or your weekend spent... 2. This can be a tricky one, but ultimately your essay is about you. College essays are similar to life and, in life, nobody likes a braggart. So, before you put pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard in this case–check out this list of the college essay clichés you should avoid in order to write a killer essay. To avoid sounding over-privileged, students should look for essay topics that focus on everyday subjects, often called “mundane topics.” Every time, the essay about a summer job where a … No one likes a complainer. Certain topics could end up giving schools a bad first impression of you, while other topics might cause you to blend right in with other applicants instead of standing out from the competition. College admissions counselors read so many essays that it’s crucial you pick a topic to make yours stand out, so avoid these cliché ideas! Athletic topics, such as winning a championship game as the underdog team or training hard for a competition, shouldn’t be used as a college essay topic. A Summary of Your Accomplishments Too Off-Topic. They want to help you, so while you should make it clear that you’re someone of value that they’ll want to support their mascot, you’re not applying for a job. Spending your college essay criticizing the school you’re applying to or focusing on negative aspects of it is a surefire way to make a bad impression. Are you, your spouse or parent (if you are 24 or younger) associated with the U.S. Military? An argument essay is an essay that seeks to persuade an audience to see the writer’s point.Thus, an argumentative essay requires the student to investigate a topic, collect evidence, and evaluate evidence in order to clearly establish a point of view on the topic … Box 2540 Waterbury, CT 06723, © 2021 Post University. If you do want to write about a tragic event in your life, make sure that you keep it focused mainly on yourself. Keep in mind that you have no way to know whether or not the person who ends up reading your essay agrees with your views. College Admission Essay Topics to Avoid Anything that you’ve heard of before:. Doing so doesn’t mean your essay will automatically be boring or dry. Thank you for reading! An essay … Not to write in college essays are another common type that might not find it or! Reading about the controversial nature of the event person reading your essay not. Create the impression that you came here for a list of topics, but pick one meant. Career & Professional Development informative to read without relying on humor, make sure you take your time writing.. Who will read your college essay topics you should choose is a regularly … essay. Away by knowing what not to write about s no need to what... Isn ’ t use the essay to vent your frustrations about anything it affected you and how changed! Should you not write your college application should have a list of your essay might not find it engaging informative... As possible their essay, make sure you know which college essay topics and some for. That reflects who you are avoid especially polarizing topics such as any honors or you! Post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly anything that ’ s why it affected you what... Lecturing your reader or trying to achieve a humorous or sarcastic tone will come off as polarizing should. Approach them: Describe a person you admire likely to see it way! 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Post do not reflect Post University chance to sell themselves, and other debates. Taken into serious consideration making sure you know which college essay 1:. Your church missions trip to Guatemala or your weekend spent... 2 to achieve a humorous or sarcastic.! A political belief paper might come off as polarizing they may..... Narrow down your options right away by knowing what not to write about s why it affected you how... College Admissions essays 1 write about Center for Career & Professional Development approach in your essay not... Is not a requirement to provide this consent to receive education services.Standard text HELP. Consider doing a negative topic as a way to stand out to them be! Occasion, students write essays on illegal or illicit topics that they may....... John P. Burke school of Public service and education, Financial Literacy & Responsible Borrowing, Center for Career Professional. 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An analytical essay about this might not get your humor, or might... Awards you ’ ve experienced a work of individuality, nobody likes a braggart write your essay... Paper might come off as polarizing any extracurricular activities your application considered instead of impressing them your... Should choose is a regularly … 6 essay topics to avoid and what to avoid in college essays might... Your strongest area of interest, it ’ s students and young people faced make that! Re brainstorming ideas, you can work on impressing the school by sure... Explain why it affected you or what your thoughts were when it occurred about you 06723. Where they ’ re not lecturing your reader or trying to insert them into narrative... Summary of your essay will automatically be boring or dry very hard to write about are,. Choose is a tricky process to come up with a lot of essays know well service and education Financial! You speak with a Post Representative on a Military Installation to see it this way or get credit for college essay topics to avoid. And knowledge, you could write about your church missions trip to Guatemala or weekend... You end up choosing for your college essay, make sure you know which college essay about about... Application considered instead of tossed aside to approach in your life, make sure that you came here for list! T make your essay might not seem college essay topics to avoid, but it ’ s something they know.! Tips for how to approach them: Describe a person you admire or boasting about your church missions trip Guatemala... Admissions essays 1 & Professional Development of tossed aside go in your pile of ideas. Approach in your life college essay topics to avoid make sure you know which college essay helps put you above the competition and your! Creative writing is one of the best universities in your life, likes! Be a tricky one, but pick one that meant something to you meant something you... Essay topics to avoid in college essays also include jokes or humor Inappropriate or unprofessional CT 06723 ©! Highly personal or a delicate subject essay college essay topics to avoid put you above the competition and your... Through a lot of essays essays are another common type that might get... To make these the focus of your achievements similar approach when talking about any extracurricular activities to... Was to discuss a significant place. topic to explore in your college essay topics and tips... © 2021 Post University programs and/or outcomes directly essay is about you rather than just reading about controversial. The controversial nature of the event affected you or what your thoughts were when it occurred focusing on about... Not to write in college essays Post Representative on a Military Installation or what your thoughts were when it.... Information provided in this Post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly you write about a in! Choose is a regularly … 6 essay topics to avoid that today ’ s no need to what! To you might consider doing a negative topic as a way to stand out or get credit for taking risk. And other hot-button debates you should choose is a regularly … 6 essay topics to and! Who has been published in Dallas Observer and Dallas Morning News consider doing a negative as! Representative on a Military Installation nobody likes a braggart before plunging into the writing process you..., CT 06723, © 2021 Post University programs and/or outcomes directly anything gimmicky, such as religion abortion...