In the end, there are no bad topics,          just bad essays.However, some topics are TRICKIERthan others – either becaus...
How you’re so awesomeHow did you get that way? Your essay should make you lookawesome without just saying it.
Your High School DramaBecause it makes you look like highschool is your whole life, instead of     thinking about college.
Your Travel JournalIt can be done well, but you have to  show what YOU gained from the  experience, not just how cool the ...
Religious or Philosophical          ArgumentsFigured out the meaning of life? Great. But don’t preach to theperson who’s r...
Quoting famous peopleMartin Luther King once said… thatstudents should come up with their      OWN brilliant words!
Making fun of the promptYou can definitely be funny in youressay, but don’t try to turn it into asatire, or be cynical in ...
Your Excuses  There may be very good reasons that you didn’t perform as well asyou should have in high school – but  this ...
Your illegal behaviorEven if you got caught, got punished and learned from the experience…    colleges don’t want trouble.
Hot-button issues People have strong feelings about topics like abortion, terrorism, guncontrol, police, etc… no matter wh...
Stories outside of high schoolShow that you’re engaged with the          larger world!
Show how you’ve grownYou may be awesome now, but what key life experience, mentor, or idea did you have which helped you g...
Specific personal detailsYour essay should be so specific that there is no WAY it could belong to            anybody else.
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College Essays: Yellow, Red, Green Flags

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College Essays: Yellow, Red, Green Flags

  1. 1. In the end, there are no bad topics, just bad essays.However, some topics are TRICKIERthan others – either because they are in bad taste or just cliché. Examples…
  2. 2. How you’re so awesomeHow did you get that way? Your essay should make you lookawesome without just saying it.
  3. 3. Your High School DramaBecause it makes you look like highschool is your whole life, instead of thinking about college.
  4. 4. Your Travel JournalIt can be done well, but you have to show what YOU gained from the experience, not just how cool the places you visited were.
  5. 5. Religious or Philosophical ArgumentsFigured out the meaning of life? Great. But don’t preach to theperson who’s reading your essay.
  6. 6. Quoting famous peopleMartin Luther King once said… thatstudents should come up with their OWN brilliant words!
  7. 7. Making fun of the promptYou can definitely be funny in youressay, but don’t try to turn it into asatire, or be cynical in your essay – colleges won’t want you on their campus.
  8. 8. Your Excuses There may be very good reasons that you didn’t perform as well asyou should have in high school – but this should be coming from your advisor. Stay positive in your own essay.
  9. 9. Your illegal behaviorEven if you got caught, got punished and learned from the experience… colleges don’t want trouble.
  10. 10. Hot-button issues People have strong feelings about topics like abortion, terrorism, guncontrol, police, etc… no matter what you write, you may offend the reader of your essay.
  11. 11. Stories outside of high schoolShow that you’re engaged with the larger world!
  12. 12. Show how you’ve grownYou may be awesome now, but what key life experience, mentor, or idea did you have which helped you get there?
  13. 13. Specific personal detailsYour essay should be so specific that there is no WAY it could belong to anybody else.
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