College Admission Topics to Avoid

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Admission Essay

When students are selecting an essay topic, often times they will select a topic that will land their application in the Rejection Pile. The following are the types of topics that you should avoid and that have actually come up on students papers.

The jail time you've served

Many students think that highlighting a negetive event and then showing how they have grown and learned from it makes for a good essay. While this is sometimes the case, you never want to draw attention to the fact that you have broken the law and served time for it, no matter how far you've come from it. College officials want safe campuses - and waving a felony conviction in front of them is the wrong way to win them over.

A heroic act

Being a hero is a great thing and you should be proud if you have acted in a way that warrants the title. However, writing a full essay on how great you are and how brave you have acted in the past comes across as self-absorbed and arrogant. Humility is a good thing and often better received than flaunting your accomplishments over 1000 words.

Your sex life

Admission officers do not care about your sex life. Moreover, it can come across as embarassing to read about the sex life of a complete stranger. Unless you are a single mother and touching upon the subject of sex in a TASTEFUL manner, the topic should be avoided all together.

Political, religious or social lectures

Its generally a good idea to avoid divided and tense issues such as religion, abortion, capital punishment, etc. While you can write an excellent essay on any of these topics, if the admissions officer reviewing your paper is a hard opponent of the stance you are taking, you're gonna have a hard time making headway with them.

A comedy sketch

A good essay will subtely highlight the authors humor. A bad essay will be ABOUT the authors humor. Don't fill your essay with unnecessary jokes and one liners. Humor is individual to each person so your essay shouldn't show off how witty and clever you are, especially since you have no clue what the officer finds funny.

The piti-party

A paper on overcoming personal adversity makes for an excellent topic. However, you want to make sure not to overdo the pain and suffering in your paper. Talking about rape, abuse, incest and so on can be uncomfortable topics for an admission officer to read and may come across as pulling at heartstrings. If you are talking about a struggle that you faced, make sure the focus of the essay is how you overcame it, and not just a journal of the traumatic events in your life.

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