This question is asked when entering almost any American university, forcing the members of the Admission Committee to read thousands of essays that differ little from each other.
So, how do you make your essay noticed in the ocean of the same stories? You should start with the selection of a suitable topic, which will help you describe your experience in a sincere way, while demonstrating the opportunity to write beautifully.
However, it’s easier to say than to do this. Before choosing what you will write your application essay, it is useful to know which topics should be avoided and why. Here are some of the most popular topics examples taken from https://academicsavers.com/application-essay/ for you to write your best application essay.
1. A story about a volunteer project
“Many applicants decide to write about their participation in the volunteer projects or involvement in the activities of the church,” said Marie Chaufer, the head of the Admissions Committee at Cornell College. “This is a wonderful experience that has undoubtedly affected their personal development. The only problem is that wherever you go and whatever projects are involved, the conclusion is always the same – you like helping people. And it’s great, – she explains, – but, unfortunately, this experience will not help you stand out against the background of other arrivals.”
2. Continuity of a certain profession in your family
“There is nothing wrong with being proud that your family is also associated with the profession you choose, but the continuity speculation does not help you to ‘sell’ yourself to the admissions committee,” explains Christopher Hall, professor assistant at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. “Perhaps Mick Jagger is an excellent singer,” he adds, “but this does not guarantee that this gift was passed on to his children. Therefore, it is better to tell about your own talents and abilities, and not about the achievements of your great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers.”
3. Overcoming sports trauma in the center of the narrative
Drew Nichols, the head of the Admissions Committee of the University of St. Edwards, observes, “Applicants of most American universities come from different classes of society. Many promising candidates had to go through such difficulties as poverty, a difficult family situation, a serious illness. The essay on the topic of a sports injury is demonstrated only by the fact that you do not realize how lucky you are.” “If you bring the inability to play football for one semester as the greatest difficulty in your life,” he explains, “then you simply do not realize what challenges some of your peers have to face.”
4. Description of the national disaster
“Usually, American universities ask you to write an essay to learn more about you, but this information can get lost if in the center of the narrative, the tragic events from the history of your country,” explains Michel Curtis-Bailey, a lead reception officer and coordinator of the University’s Educational Opportunities Program at Stoney Brook.
“After the Sandy hurricane hit New York in late October 2012, at the peak of the application season,” she says, “we received a lot of essays, the authors of which somehow referred to these events. But, again, retelling what happened to them and their families during the hurricane, the entrants did not achieve their cherished goal, because this information did not say anything about their personality.” “We already know how natural disasters can affect the lives of our future students, do not just write about the experience, which exactly repeats the stories of other arrivals,” sums up Michel.
5. A story about a trip that helped you realize how hard it is for young people from poor US classes
“Quite often, we get essays that describe the experience of helping poor countries, for example, by building houses or teaching English to local people,” Hall says. “But the whole value of such an experience comes to naught as soon as people start writing about how this project helped them to understand the situation in which the inhabitants of the poor areas of American cities are living, or to feel a special emotional connection with the people of the United States in distress.” Hall believes that “the comparison of young people from poor areas of the US with the inhabitants of Third World countries shows the lack of understanding of cultural differences and the ability to sincerely empathise.”