A Summary of Your Accomplishments When you’re brainstorming ideas, you can narrow down your options right away by knowing what not to write in college essays. 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. Avoid preaching about sensitive topics, no matter how passionate you are about a particular one… Yes, you’ll be trying to persuade them to consider you, but you need to show why you’re desirable without directly telling them. Student athletes especially might be tempted to choose sports as the topic of their essay, since it’s something they know well. Make smarter college financial decisions. However, the school isn’t likely to see it this way. Worst of the worst The sports game. Are you, your spouse or parent (if you are 24 or younger) associated with the U.S. Military? Reply STOP to cancel. Leave this kind of content out of your essay altogether and avoid trying to achieve a humorous or sarcastic tone. College essays are similar to life and, in life, nobody likes a braggart. The admissions committee reads countless essays, and a lot of them cover the same prompts- here are some of the common topics to avoid. There are a few clichés to avoid in the college essay world. 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 Essay Topics To Avoid. Avoid focusing on writing about a trip in general terms, since this won’t make your essay a memorable read. College essay topics to avoid also include anything that’s highly personal or a delicate subject. 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. But before plunging into the writing process, you’ll need to decide what topic to explore in your essay. 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. For example, avoid doing an essay that provides too much detail on an illness, disability, or injury, especially a severe one. Staying away from these 12 topics can give you a better chance at having your application considered instead of tossed aside. The key topics to avoid here are the same as those at the Thanksgiving table: politics and religion. 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. 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! That’s why it is important to know what college application essay topics to avoid. Double check when it’s due. This could cost you the chance to have your application taken into serious consideration. College Admission Essay Topics to Avoid Anything that you’ve heard of before:. 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. An analytical essay about the controversial nature of the election or topics will come off as generic. Avoiding the topics above and keeping your essay fresh and focused will enhance your chances of having it placed in the “yes” pile. For example, avoid doing an essay that provides too much detail on an illness, disability, or injury, … College Admissions Essay Topics to Avoid 1. This depends on your own comfort level in handling this type of topic, such as losing a loved one. 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. Creative writing is one of the most common examples of what not to write in college essays. This is their chance to sell themselves, and do it in their own words. Avoid any topic you would not want your Mom to read. Too Clichéd or Boring. 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. Most families don't! Part 1:What is an Argumentative Essay? 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 Controversial Topics If you had volunteer experience, don’t just list the activities and dates, explain why they were significant and how it affected you personally. Think about an … You might also come across as bragging or boasting about your achievements. 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. Personal Achievements and Accomplishments. Become an educated consumer of higher ed. 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! It is important to first understand the purpose of the college application essay. Your essay isn’t a resume. You don’t know who will read your college application essay or what they believe. 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. 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. Handing in what amounts to a list of your accomplishments doesn’t allow you to let your own voice and personality shine through your writing. © 2020 Road2College. 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. Message frequency may vary. 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. 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. Aug 23, 2020. Great writers can take the most mundane, banal, and generic topic and transform it into a captivating composition. Sports is a common topic, though, which can make it much harder for you to stand apart from the competition. 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. To help you stand out from other applicants, we asked admissions officers to shed light on … 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. 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 … These... 2. This might not seem difficult, but it’s important to know which college essay topics to avoid. The person reading your essay might not get your humor, or they might find attempts at jokes or humor inappropriate or unprofessional. 9. A story is only as good as what you’ve taken away from it. Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing College Essay Topics. Handling a tragic topic in this way helps the school learn more about you rather than just reading about the details of the event. What Should You Not Write Your College Essay About? If you want to enter one of the best universities in your country, your essay … College essay topics to avoid also include anything that’s highly personal or a delicate subject. Students preparing to get into college are naturally going to be pitted against each other in a game of stats. 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. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn. However, travel-related college essays are another common type that might not give you a good chance to be noticed. Your college application should have a list of your achievements and accomplishments, such as any honors or awards you’ve received. Liam Gaughan is a writer and journalist who has been published in Dallas Observer and Dallas Morning News. Maybe you lost a parent or overcame a disability. To a degree, this mystery person holds your future in their hands, and you don’t want to risk offending the… Gimmicks Avoid anything gimmicky, such as directions to the college from Mapquest. 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. Charity or Volunteer Trips. 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. An essay … College essay readers will be going through a lot of essays. The ones that will stand out to them will be the ones where they’ve experienced a work of individuality. What Should You Not Write Your College Essay About? Too Personal. 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 … Explore our exclusive 100 best college essay topics and find the ones that work really well, including the assignments for college and university students. Maybe you lost a parent or overcame a disability. 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. 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. Avoid These 9 Topics When Writing Your College Essay 1. If you’re going to choose a topic that you’re passionate about, make sure it isn’t considered controversial or sensitive. The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. … Even if this is your strongest area of interest, it’s better to choose a different topic. 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. To make a travel topic really stand out, you would need to focus on a particular part of that vacation or trip, such as meeting someone who affected your life in some way or an unexpected event or challenge that occurred. The Grudge Essay Don’t use the essay to vent your frustrations about anything. Still, it’s best to avoid especially polarizing topics such as religion, abortion, and other hot-button debates. The challenge is to create an essay that’s enjoyable and informative to read without relying on humor. Thank you for reading! No one likes a complainer. A political belief paper might come off as polarizing. 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. While your hard work to earn a great class rank and high test scores are important, those are for a different time and place. 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. CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT. It’s better to prioritize your focus and fill it in with as much detail as possible. The following topics should go in your pile of discarded ideas for your college essay. 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 … Avoid Inappropriate or Risky Topics Sign up and get informed. If you do want to write about a tragic event in your life, make sure that you keep it focused mainly on yourself. 6 Essay Topics To Avoid for Your College Admissions Essays 1. You’re not lecturing your reader or trying to insert them into your narrative. The mission trip epiphany – is a regularly … Too Overconfident. 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. Too Off-Topic. For example, use the essay to explore how the event affected you or what your thoughts were when it occurred. We understand that you came here for a list of topics, but this is important to... Community service trips:. John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education, Financial Literacy & Responsible Borrowing, Center for Career & Professional Development. The person who reads your essay might not find it engaging or informative enough. 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… Be careful with divisive issues like abortion, capital punishment, stem cell research, gun control, and the "war on terror." I'd say avoid this topic unless you can write an amazing essay … Some students might consider doing a negative topic as a way to stand out or get credit for taking a risk on their essay. Before you begin brainstorming, make sure you know which college essay topics to avoid and why. 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. Before you write about your church missions trip to Guatemala or your weekend spent... 2. There’s no need to make these the focus of your college essay. Tragic events can provide an opportunity to explore personal growth, but they’re usually very hard to write about. Similarly, avoid controversial or hot-button topics… All rights reserved. Avoid … Topics to avoid in college essays also include jokes or humor. In this guide, we go over the essential qualities that make for a great college essay topic and give you 50+ college essay topics … Controversial Opinion Pieces In college, you’ll have plenty of … Did you speak with a Post Representative on a Military Installation? 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. 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. Individual schools sometimes require supplemental essays. Explain why it affected you and how you changed, even if it seems obvious. 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. … 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 … You can certainly write an excellent and thoughtful essay on any of … The Essay Essay 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. No matter what you end up choosing for your college essay, make sure you take your time writing it. Travel Experience If you’re a well-traveled person, you might want to write all about a vacation or even a volunteer trip you took. This is a straight-up first person essay that should speak to a personal truth, and you won’t be able to do that if you’re working at it from someone else’s perspective. He enjoys finding creative solutions to challenges that today’s students and young people faced. This is also known as the oversharing essay. Controversial topics, such as current political hot buttons, should be avoided at all costs. Maybe you’re a top athlete with a lot of high scoring games, but pick one that meant something to you. This can be a tricky one, but ultimately your essay is about you. Disclaimer:  Thank you for reading! 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. On occasion, students write essays on illegal or illicit topics that they may... 2. 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. 24 or younger ) associated with the U.S. Military essay or what your thoughts were when occurred! 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