What They are Looking for in these Essay Questions

The admission committee wants to know what makes you a unique individual. These are the 2 principal things that will be carefully scrutinized in this question:

  1. Your creativity in selecting a topic
  2. The insight your provide in your response

Essay Topic Creativity

Spend some time thinking about ways in which you are unique and different from your friends and peers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything spectacular like inventing the next-generation computer chip or being the youngest person to summit Mount Everest. In fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t that spectacular.

The best essay topics are the ones that won’t lull the admission committee to sleep or force them to run to the coffee machine. Do the committee members and yourself a favor by writing something different from the normal cliché essays forced upon them.

Simple is Often Better

We don’t necessarily encourage you to use these specific examples (see our plagiarism page if you have any doubts), but one of the best topics we have seen was an essay about the discovery of a first gray hair.

The Insight from Your Essay

The key here is to show off your analytical skills and, as a result, favorably impress the college with your ability to contribute to a lively campus community. While we want to clearly state that there is no hard and fast recipe for a successful essay (that would surely stifle the key creativity ingredient, wouldn’t it?) the best ones often illustrate how a relatively routine and insignificant moment has actually had a profound impact on your life.

Once again, this is just one example and there are clearly other ways to show off your analytical skills.

One Last Note

Proceed with caution if you choose to write about topics such as world peace and racial harmony. These have been written many ties and, unless they are specifically tied back to you and what makes you unique you will run the risk of appearing insincere and cliché. Once again, recall what we said about giving the admissions committee something different to read.