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Selecting the perfect topic for your essay is hard for many students. Here's how you can pick the best topic for your college essay.

How to Pick the Best Topic for Your College Essay

Selecting the perfect topic for your essay is hard for many students. However, as soon as you start brainstorming, you might realize that there are infinite possibilities—and that’s not even counting all the possible ways writers have approached similar topics in the past.

The good news is that we’re here to help! Here are some tips for narrowing down your list of potential topics and picking the one that will make the best impression on admissions officers.

Read the Questions and Instructions

The instructions and questions are your best friends. They give you the framework for what is required and provide insight into the thinking behind them. As a writer, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself before you start writing.

Afterward, you will be able to see if the task is asking something relevant, if it doesn’t make sense and if someone can interpret it in any way other than its intended interpretation. It will help set up a framework for your essay to flow logically from beginning to end and within each paragraph/section.

Map Out Your Topic’s Message

Next, map out the main message of your topic. Remember that a strong essay has a clear, focused point and purpose. To figure this out, write down everything you want to say about your subject and cut it in half. 

Once you have these main points in mind, think about how they relate and begin forming an outline for your paper. Ensure each sentence supports the paragraph’s main point and builds on previous ones. Therefore, readers clearly understand what you are trying to say as they read through it (i.e., make sure all parts work together).


After identifying your topic’s message, it’s time to brainstorm. Brainstorming is a recommended way to develop ideas for your college essay. The key is not to stop at the first thing that comes into your head, but instead, write down all the things that interest you and then narrow them down until only one topic remains.

This process helps you find a topic that interests you, as well as one that aligns with your purpose and audience. It also helps eliminate any topics that would be too big or abstract for a short essay or are simply irrelevant to what you’re trying to say in this particular piece of writing. Moreover, we recommend hiring essay services when stuck. 

Make a List of All the Topics You’re Interested In

To get started:

  • List all the topics you are interested in. You can start with your assigned topic and expand to include other things that interest you.
  • Don’t worry about how long or short your list is at this point—write down anything that comes to mind.
  • If something doesn’t seem relevant or interesting, cross it off the list and move on!

In addition to writing out all the topics that come immediately to mind, try putting yourself in situations where new ideas will come up naturally over time. This includes taking walks around campus or sitting at coffee shops near campus during breaks between classes (or even when classes aren’t going on). The more varied sources of inspiration for your essay topic, the better!

Narrow Down Your List

When you have a list of topics, narrow it down to one that is most relevant for your assignment. Then pick the one that will be most interesting to write about and has a clear thesis statement (the main idea of your essay).

It’s also essential to the time frame you must complete your college essay. If the deadline is tight, it might be best to avoid picking a topic that requires research or interviews because both tasks can take quite a bit of time.

Think about what is most interesting to you and what ideas you have the most passion for. If something has been nagging at you for a while, that may be a good topic for your college essay.


You can ensure that your essay will fit the prompt well by taking a few minutes to read the instructions. Then, you can take some time to map out your message and brainstorm ideas.

From there, it’s up to you! You may find yourself narrowing down your list of topics as you go through this process so that by the end, only one or two options remain on paper—which means these will probably work well together once it comes time to draft an essay!

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