Writing a common Application Essay
College applications carry a lot of weight and there are many different topics that you can be asked to write about. Often times this essay is the first and maybe only chance you have to impress the selection committee at the college you are trying to get into. So there is a lot on the line. Being prepared can really give you an edge, so here are some of the most common options you can expect to see when writing that college application essay.
- Option 1. Talk about a person or event that has impacted you and evaluate how it changes your way of thinking about something or inspired you to do something new.
- Option 2. Discuss a current event or issue that is of importance to you.
- Option 3. Describe a character- real or imaginary- who has inspired you or had an impact on you and describe that impact.
- Option 4. Topic of your choice.
The important word to keep in mind here is evaluate. You aren't just describing or talking about something at surface value. You need to analyze the impact that this had on you and show how good your critical thinking abilities really are. Be careful that you stay focused on analyzing and critically thinking on the topic. These essays have a tendency to quickly become a matter of "look how great I am” and lot of self-promotion, which is not what the committee is looking for.
Stay on track and make sure whatever you choose to write about that it does relate to you personally. Avoid topics like global warming, abortion, or hot political items, unless they can be related directly to you and how it helped make you who you are today. The admissions folks want find out about you, your thoughts, ideas, passions, and concerns- they do not want a lecture or research paper.
Although it says to describe, you want to make sure you do more than just list off some descriptions, you need to dig deep and analyze. Make sure you talk about the importance of this character, how they impacted or inspired you, and how you are different because of it. Remember the admissions team wants to see what inspires you and how you look at every day things.
Sometimes this topic is given as an option and if your story or angle does not fit the other given options you can use this one to write under. But remember that just because you get to choose what to write about it still needs to be well thought out, informative, applicable, and of the highest quality possible.