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He says, if you can answer "yes" to these two questions, then you've got the makings of a great essay: So how do you translate this checklist into essay topic action items? Write about something personal, deeply felt, and authentic to the real you (but which is not an overshare).Take a narrow slice of your life: one event, one influential person, one meaningful experience – and then you expand out from that slice into a broader explanation of yourself. In this case, your reader is an admission officer who is slogging through hundreds of college essays.You don’t want to bore that person, and you don’t want to offend that person.
Go through the process of letting a few days pass and then rereading your ideas at least one more time.
This time, don't bother looking at the topics you've already rejected.
What does your application tell admissions officers about you?
Mostly it's just numbers and facts: your name, your high school, your grades and SAT scores.
But I’m going to tell you a secret: half of a great personal essay is a great topic idea.
If you’re passionate about what you’re writing, and if you’re truly documenting something meaningful and serious about yourself and your life, then that passion and meaning will come alive on the page and in the mind of your reader. The best way is to brainstorm your way to an event from your life that reveals a core truth about you. Keep reading to find 35 jumping off points that touch on every possible memory you could harness, as well as advice on how to use your brainstorming session to fully realize your idea for an essay topic.
The idea here is to jog your memory about the key life events that have shaped you and affected you deeply. I would also recommend doing this over several sittings to get your maximum memory retrieval going - even if it takes a couple of days, it'll be worth it.
I recommend you spend at least two minutes on each question, coming up with and writing down at least one answer - or as many answers as you can think of. Then, we will use this list of experiences and thoughts to narrow your choices down to the one topic idea that you will use for your college essay.
Put them away for a couple of days so that you create a little mental space.
When you come back to everything you wrote after a day or two, you will get the chance to read it with fresh eyes. When you reread your topics after having let them sit, do two things: Rinse and repeat.