Finding an original idea for your college essays

Why does choosing a unique essay topic matter?

The average college professor must read and evaluate between fifty and two hundred essays per semester. With that kind of reading load, it is only natural that essays begin to run together and all seem the same. Over time, a college instructor tends to get jaded and bored with the quality of their pupils’ writing, especially when so many essay topics are overplayed year after year. If your essay does not stick out from the rest, it will be skimmed over and neglected like all the rest, and may earn a merely mediocre grade.

However, if you choose a unique essay topic and writing in an unusual and interesting way, your essay will be notable and memorable. If you spark your professor’s interest, he or she will read your paper with far more care, and will make a mental note that you are a student to watch. This can be invaluable later in your college career, particularly if you need a thesis supervisor or someone to write a letter of recommendation for grad school.

It is plain to see: finding an original idea for your college essays can make a huge difference in your grade and how you are evaluated. It’s just a matter of finding a rare, engaging topic, and running with it. But how do you find such a topic?

Locating a unique essay idea.

The best way to find a unique essay topic is to delve into your own realm of expertise. Think of the knowledge you are already bringing to the table; specifically, the information you did not pick up in any class or as part of your major. What are your hobbies and passions? What do you spend your time reading about when you don’t have school assignments? What kinds of television shows, films, comic books, or other pieces of culture do you consume?

Every person has a unique sphere of expertise. Perhaps your grandmother taught you a lot about baking or gardening. Maybe you rode horses for years, since you were a child. Maybe your uncle or grandfather has told you many stories about their war experience. Maybe you have been a history buff since you were a child, or a dinosaur aficionado. Whatever your passion is, find a way to make it relevant to your class. Even if the connection is tenuous, you can use what you already know to inform and impress your professor.