Challenge Your Topic with These Questions

Challenge Your Topic with These Questions :

Once your topics pass the two tests above, you will want to subject them to a final battery of questions. These questions will help you prioritize those topics with the most potential.

Does your idea have good supporting examples or stories? To be memorable, your essay will need to have concrete details or even anecdotes. You don’t want an essay filled with generalizations (again remember that anyone can make a generalization) so you will want to make sure that you have specific detail. Think about details according to your senses - sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. You want to help your readers develop a mental picture of your experience with your description.

Can your idea be expressed within the limits of the essay? Some topics just require more words to express than you are allowed for your admission essay. While you may not be certain at this stage, you need to be ready to chuck a topic that is just too complex to properly express in approximately 500 words - which is the word limit for most application essays.

Will your essay be interesting? This is a very subjective question, but you should try to answer this as objectively as possible. Put yourself in the place of the admission officer who has already read 200 or more essays and has just grabbed yours which also happens to be the last before he or she can go home. Will your essay pique the interest of this tired admission officer? Will the topic or your approach to the question make the admission officer want to read past the introduction? Just because a topic is original does not always guarantee that it will be interesting.

Can you present the topic in a way that will appeal to a wide audience? Do you need specific knowledge of the topic in order to understand it? For example, the best topic may not be polymerized nanocomposites. Remember who your readers might be. Don’t assume that an admission officer has any particular knowledge. They are generally well-read but may not necessarily be able to appreciate a topic that requires in-depth scientific or technical knowledge.

Is the topic truly meaningful to you? Essays about something that you care about are much easier to write and much more interesting to read. Think about all of the writing that you have done in the past. It is much easier and more enjoyable to write about something that you care about than an assignment that you are forced to complete. Help yourself write a better essay by picking a topic that really matters to you.

Can the essay be recycled? Since you will have to write many essays, one of the ways you can reduce this work is to write essays that you can use for more than one college. Often, just by making small changes you can use a well-written essay to answer a similar question by another college. As you eliminate topics, you will notice that a few will rise to the top as being the most promising.

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