What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Most common college essay topics?

As I start to brainstorm my college essays, I'm wondering what the most common essay topics are? I'd like to know so I can avoid clichés and make my essay stand out. Any advice on choosing unique and interesting topics would be amazing!

6 months ago

Knowing the most common college essay topics can indeed help you avoid clichés and make your essay stand out. Some clichéd topics you might want to avoid include:

1. Sports injuries or victories

2. Moving schools or adjusting to new environments

3. Immigrant's story (arriving in a new country and adapting)

4. Working hard in a challenging class

5. Community service or mission trip experiences

Though these topics are common, you can still write about them if you have an incredibly unique angle, deep personal connection, or transformative experience. The key is to focus on a specific incident or aspect that showcases your individuality.

To choose unique and interesting topics, try reflecting on the following:

1. Personal challenges or obstacles you've overcome, and how they shaped you

2. A specific interest or hobby that has had a significant impact on your life

3. A unique family tradition, home life, or cultural background that influenced your perspectives

4. A moment or period of growth, change, or self-discovery

5. An intellectual curiosity or academic passion that has driven you to explore a subject in depth

Consider brainstorming with these questions:

- What experiences have shaped your identity, values, or beliefs, and why?

- Are there any aspects of yourself or your life that are not well represented elsewhere in your application?

- Can you think of an anecdote or experience that encapsulates your personality or interests?

- What unique perspective or contribution will you bring to the college community?

Remember that a strong essay topic will have a clear focus, reflect on your personal experiences, and reveal something about your character or values. Ultimately, a great essay doesn't have to be about an earth-shattering event; it's more about how you communicate your thoughts, emotions, and insights connected to that event. Good luck!

6 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.