Common College Essay Topics

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This wide range of questions, meant to inspire candidates in their search for compelling personal stories, is ideal for exploring essay topics of all tones, styles, and subjects.

Students’ personal stories and feats of insight will again be relegated to 650 words, which equates to a little more than a single-spaced page.

We happen to believe this is the perfect amount of space in which to make a quick and powerful impression with admissions (or write a comprehensive fan letter to Beyoncé), so as far as we’re concerned, you’re golden.

Because we are committed to getting you the most timely and comprehensive essay advice on the interweb, we have made a guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of all seven prompts. ) into our pool of essay advice, we’d like to leave you with one last little secret: the prompts are not actually as important as you think they are.

It can be one of the hardest questions to steer in a positive, productive direction without traveling into preachy, overly didactic territory.

This is also a more precarious prompt than most in that students need to carefully assess the risks of espousing beliefs that might be polarizing for the readers of their applications.Accordingly, Prompt #2 essays should be predominantly filled with a student’s response, outlook, and demeanor when presented with one of life’s many hurdles, rather than a detailed account of the hurdle itself.Applicants should aim to showcase qualities like resilience, determination, and humility.In fact, in our instructional writing course and private advising, we encourage applicants to root around for their most meaningful stories first and consider the prompts later.This is a process we call the Backwards Brainstorm, and you can learn more about it here.Each topic is divided into subtopics which you should prepare.You should practice developing ideas for all common essay topics used by IELTS so that you can write your essay within the given time limit.While the possibilities are almost endless, students should be careful not to choose challenges that may seem trite (the inability to achieve an A on an exam and/or secure tickets to that Drake concert) or that illustrate a lapse in good judgment (that time you crashed your car or ate 15 bags of Cheetos in one sitting).Still, if you can isolate an incident of trial in your life and illustrate how you learned from it, this can be a rewarding prompt to explore.Some key questions to consider: Overall, try to keep these stories as positive as possible.Remember, these essays are not contemplative musings on your toughest times or reflections on the hiccups that populate everyday life (though these things can certainly be touched upon); they are about overcoming obstacles and refusing to submit to life’s greatest challenges. This prompt requires a student to speak passionately about beliefs and ideology, which are often onerous subjects that can be difficult to mold into compact stories.

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