What Are Some Examples of Cliché College Essay Topics
Posted: August 7, 2018
- How I won the big game (or “how I lost the big game and then worked and worked and worked on my skills until I won the next one—yay me!”)
- I traveled the world/did some community service and found out that people are the same all over.
- My Eagle/Gold Award project made me a better person.
- I did community service and now I really want to help people in my life.
- My adult relative was such an amazing person! (where the essay is only about the relative, not about the student)
- Behold the plethora pronouncements I envision! I'm a sesquipedalian!
- Let me tell you about the biggest challenge I've ever faced: learning how to parallel park
- The “tell us when you challenged an idea” prompt on Common App leads many students to a “the time I stopped listening to my religious leaders” or “the first time I stood up to my parents” story
- Describing your bedroom as a metaphor for who you are/what is important to you (which leads to a lot of telling rather than showing, ironically)
- A narrative version of your resume or activities list
- Anything in five-paragraph persuasive essay format
These topics can be effective if handled correctly. For example, the famous Costco essay from a couple years ago is basically a “describe your bedroom” essay with an interesting twist. Focusing your writing on something extremely specific and personal can elevate one of these cliché topics into a more effective essay, but it’s best to find a fresher way to introduce yourself to the admissions committee.