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09/14/2020 at 02:01AM
Admissions Advice

How do you find a good Common App essay topic?

I am a senior and I was wondering how I should brainstorm ideas for my Common App essay. I have written many drafts yet none of them makes me stand out ( according to my mentors). How do I find something that is unique to me? I don't want to sound like everyone else. People told me that my experiences were too common.


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
09/15/2020 at 03:00AM

It sounds like you have a lot of people providing feedback--that's great, but it can definitely get confusing. I'd say the most important thing is to write about something that really matters to you. You want your topic to really feel like it reflects you. Try and think of some moments when you really felt like YOU and what (activity, person, mindset?) made that possible. Good luck!

09/15/2020 at 02:09PM[edited]

You already got some good answers, but I just want to add that most students don't have wildly unique experiences. It's how you write about them that counts - you want to be able to write so that no one else could've written the same essay, even if it's a more common experience. Share your thoughts, feelings, what you observed. That's how you make it unique.

Of course, you still want to avoid cliche topics, unless you can spin them into something unexpected. Cliche topics include: an immigrant's story, sports injury, tragedy, struggling in a class, etc.

These two CollegeVine articles might help:

Let me know if you have more questions!

09/14/2020 at 03:49PM

Hi, First of all I feel that I and a lot of other people can relate to this issue. In this case, I feel that you can write about how even these simple everyday elements of your life have helped in shaping the person that you are today. A lot of us don’t have particularly groundbreaking events in our life and I think that is something that admissions officers would understand.


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