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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How specific should my topics be for a college essay?

Hey everyone, just starting to brainstorm for my essays and I’m wondering: how unique or specific do my essay topics need to be to stand out? I know they say to be unique, but is writing about a major life event too cliché? Really struggling to find that 'wow' factor.

8 months ago

Hi there! Finding the right topic for your college essay can indeed be a bit tricky, but it's wonderful that you're seeking ways to stand out. The key is to focus less on whether a topic is unique, and more on how you express your individual perspective within it. Major life events can be a great starting point as long as you're able to convey your personal growth, insights, or changes in perspective as a result of that event.

Think of your essay as a storytelling opportunity where the narrative isn't just what happened, but how it affected you and shaped your character. For example, if you choose to write about a major life event like a family member's battle with an illness, it could be a chance to illustrate your empathy, resilience, or the ways it spurred you on to pursue a career in medicine.

The impact and the lessons you draw from your chosen story are what will give your essay that 'wow' factor. Use your voice and experiences to breathe life into your topic, and the specificity will naturally shine through!

8 months ago

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