Making your College Admissions Essay stand out requires some creativity and flair. Think about all the thousands of papers that admissions officers are sifting through day after day. They pretty much know after the first sentence or two if the paper they're about to read is going to be a yawn-fest or not. Getting your reader to become highly engaged and interested in your paper is crucial in order to land you in the "Yes" pile. Here are 4 tips to finding a snappy topic for your paper:
1. Begin with a defining quality about yourself. Are you self-disciplined? Creative? Curious? Look for situations or examples where you were able to demonstrate this particularly characteristic, and how you were able to develop it as well. It might take a little reflection to come up with exactly what that defining quality is, but you definitely have one, as everyone does!
2. Come up with something "unexpected" to add to your paper. Doing so will hook your reader even more. Throw something in there that happened to you that your reader wouldn't expect, or something that you love that people would be surprised to find out. For example, if you've described yourself as a rough-and-tough rugby player, people wouldn't exactly expect you to enjoy writing poetry. Throwing your reader for a loop can be entertaining and engaging.
3. Don't ignore the supposed "mundane" topics. A lot of students will try to come up with "impressive" topics that they think will engage the reader, but what you may not realize is that even seemingly boring topics can be interesting, and surprisingly relatable. Topics like "People Think I'm Dumb Because I'm a Jock", or "How I Came to Enjoy Riding Public Transit" are as every-day as you can get, yet can tug at your reader's ability to relate.
4. Read sample essays. If you're stuck for topics, scroll through a bunch of cheap essays that other students have written. They might just "trigger" an idea for you!
Don't get stuck thinking that you're too "normal" or "boring". All you need is to know where to look, and what you're looking for to write about!