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Essay Topic Selection

Mandip Subedi Mandip Subedi 0 replies1 threads New Member
Is is worth to write about how your best friend's suicide has affected you in a positive way?
4 replies
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Replies to: Essay Topic Selection

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6941 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Any topic can be a great one. But remember it's not about your friends tragic loss (very sorry). It's about you and how you fit on campus. Since it affected you in a positive way that could be an interesting pivot. Nothing wrong to come up with a draft and show it to an English teacher or counselor to get some feedback.

    I would come up with like 3 different themes (idea's for an essay) and see which ones speaks to you but I warn you, get some very early feedback. My son had 3 really good ideas but only one of them was the perfect one for him to write about. It took him awhile to see everyone's advice (4/4 people chose it). He finally came around and it made more sense to him after he was done. But it was soooo obvious to everyone but him. So. Be open minded.
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  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1017 replies47 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 28
    One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to never write a college essay about someone else. Even if it's how they affected you and you think you wrote it to be about it, the admissions officer ends up learning more about them than they do you.

    They want to learn about you and what makes up your personality. An admissions officer at one of my schools said she would much rather see an essay about how much you love podcasts rather than how much your favorite teacher changed you.

    A list of "no-no" topics (I've heard from teachers/admissions officers):
    -How so and so/such and such changed me
    -The big game/performance
    -A resume in essay form
    -Politics, religion, and polarizing topics
    -Illegal activities you've learned from
    -Depressing Topics (death, divorce, etc)
    -Info already covered in your application
    edited April 28
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  • apcookieapcookie 10 replies3 threads New Member
    Why should we not talk about how so and so/such and such changed me? I thought that was an important thing to talk about because it shows you as a person and not just your accomplishments.
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  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1017 replies47 threads Forum Champion
    edited May 18
    @apcookie When you talk about how someone changed you, you're talking about how they did a good thing, and the essay becomes more about them than it does you. Your admissions officer ultimately doesn't care about who you were, they want to know who you'll be on campus. An admissions officer I once interviewed with told me that she'd rather "read about your obsession with star wars than how your grandma's death changed you".
    For example, one of my good friends got into UPenn and her common app essay was about how her favorite podcast helped her choose her major.
    Your essay should help the reader imagine you sitting in the campus' classrooms and taking their classes.
    edited May 18
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