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What To Write About For College Essay Cal Poly Essay Requirements

Badly chosen essay content can easily create an essay that is off-putting in one of a number of ways I’ll discuss in the next section.

The essay is the place to let the admissions office of your target college get to know your personality, character, and the talents and skills that aren’t on your transcript.

A politician calculating but capable of acting with passion and spontaneity.

Pay attention to the way these things come out in the types of stories. Some of the best examples of "show not tell" are to be found here. Believe in yourself - believe that you have something special to bring to the table, and you are telling a story that deserves to be heard.

Other bad topics suggest that you are a boring person, or someone who doesn’t process your experience in a colorful or lively way, which is a problem since colleges want to create a dynamic and engaged cohort of students.

This is because the admissions essay is also a place to show the admissions team the maturity and clarity of your writing style.

6.  Write about something you've done that has made an impact in someone else's life. 9.  What accomplishment are you most proud of?

7.  What are some things your school does well? 10.  If you could not go to college, what would you do instead? About your pet that died because your parents couldn't afford a vet, your grandmother's pile of world war two letters in the attic, how you felt the time your algebra teacher sent you to the principal's office for wearing the same shirt your friend was wearing, but only you got in trouble because you had bigger breasts. They will start to poke their noses out of the woodwork. Hold on to the themes, particularly the ones that are the most honest and the most identifying. If you could not go to college, what would you do instead?

1.  Write about something unfair that happened to you and how you dealt with it.

2.  Write about the first time you saw your parents fail at something and how that made you feel.


  1. This essay, as with your other college essays, is about to you, and first and foremost, your voice and perspective are what matter the most. For more ideas on how to write a diversity essay, check out our database of prompts and advice on how to answer them.

  2. If you get to this point, you will know what essay you want to write without having to ask for prompts. For further inspiration, don't read other college essays. Pull out the Atlantic, Vanity Fair.

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