Which are the College Essay Topics To Avoid For Students?

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Written by Prakriti Yadav

Mass media graduate with a flair for writing and an eye for creativity. Constantly seeking wonder, magic and Meraki. Also, a curious soul who is always willing to learn.

June 29, 2021

Which are the College Essay Topics To Avoid For Students?

Often, deciding what topics to write on for your college admission essay can be difficult for students. A good college essay topic is one that is impactful and engages the reader. The essay reveals something about your personality, how you think, and what you think. However, there are also numerous college essay topics to avoid for students as they may qualify as mistakes and lessen your chance of being selected for admission.  What are these topics? Why should you avoid them? Read on to find which college essay topics to steer clear of while writing your college essays. 

List of college essay topics to avoid :- 

Writing Essays About Other People 

Your college essay should mainly focus on you. If there is someone you look up to, say a celebrity, family member, historic figure, leader, etc. take inspiration from them but don’t refer to them in the essay.  Keep the focus on yourself.  You need to market yourself and present what value you bring to the college- which will not be possible if you focus on someone else’s achievements. This is why it is best to avoid this college essay topic. 

Don’t Make It Seem Like You Have Already Peaked in Life.

It is important to explain your personal growth and achievements in the essay but don’t make it seem like you have already figured out everything there is to know about life. Colleges aren’t looking for fully matured adults but for young people who they can teach and nurture for the next 3-4 years. They don’t expect you to know everything yet, and making it appear so in your essay may result in you coming across as pretentious or condescending.

Highly Controversial or Sensitive Topic

Talking about politics, religion, and other such sensitive subjects are best avoided in your college admission essays. Even if you are very vocal and passionate about them. Why? For the simple reason that you have no idea who the person reading your essay is going to be and what are their views and stands on the issue are. If your essay touches the wrong chords with them it may cost you your admission to the college. This is one of the main college essay topics to avoid. 

Stories of Immigration

Immigrants now constitute a large part of the population in most countries. This is great for globalization but not so much for college admission essays and there are millions of people who might use the same topic to write about! Avoid using stories of immigration in your admission essays as college admissions officers are used to them and they do not classify as unique. 

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Bragging About Your Personal Achievements

Your college admission forms include all your achievements and accomplishments in your student life. So avoid making them the focus of your admission essay.  It may come across as you are bragging about your personal achievements, which might act as a turn-off for the college admissions officer. The topic also might not seem interesting or engaging. You need to let your personality shine through in your admission essay, and make sure that this personality is more than just a mere list of achievements.  This is one of the most important topics to avoid in college essays.

Forced or Over The Top Humor

If you are someone who naturally has a good sense of humour, then it is acceptable to put in a couple of well-placed jokes in the admission essay. But make sure these jokes are not force-fed for the sake of it and not offensive. Humour should also not be the main theme of your admission essay. Many times humour doesn’t come across too well in writing. Admissions officers may find your humour offensive and not be too amused by it. It is thus best to avoid topics based on humour, satire or sarcasm for your college admissions essays.

Topic Centred on Luck Or Privilege

If you come from a wealthy or privileged background avoid mentioning that too much or using it as an essay topic or making it a personality trait. Such writing can easily create the impression that you are showing off, especially if not everyone is lucky enough to receive the same privilege. These topics also don’t encompass all your talents and what you are capable of achieving on your own. 

Writing Essays in the Second Person

Avoid writing college essays in the second person. They sound too preachy and unsubtle, almost as if you are forcing the admissions officer to agree with you rather than convincing them. The essay should always be in the first person and speak authentic truths about your personality. Writing in the second person may end up even annoying the reader and making them feel that reading your essay is a waste of time. This is one of the main topics to avoid in college essays.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on College Essay Topics To Avoid. To know more about related fields do check out our other blogs. 

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