You’ve taken the tests, requested the recommendations, completed the common app, and now it’s finally time to refocus on what you’ve been putting off: the essay.
While most students spend days, sometimes weeks, perfecting their personal statements, admissions officers only spend about three to five minutes actually reading them, according to Jim Rawlins, director of admissions at the University of Oregon.
High school seniors are faced with the challenge of summarizing the last 17 years into 600 words, all while showcasing their “unique” personality against thousands of other candidates.
“It’s hard to find a balance between sounding professional and smart without using all of those long words,” says Lily Klass, a senior at Milford High School in Milford, Mass. “I’m having trouble reflect myself without sounding arrogant or rude or anything like that.”
The following tips will help applicants make the leap from ‘average’ to ‘accepted’:
1. Open with an anecdote.
Since the admissions officers only spend a brief amount of time reviewing stories, it’s pivotal that you engage them from the very beginning.
“Instead of trying to come up with gimmicky, catchy first lines, start by sharing a moment,” says Janine Robinson, writing coach and founder of Essay Hell. “These mini stories naturally grab the reader … it’s the best way to really involve them in the story.”
Let the moment you choose be revealing of your personality and character. Describe how it shaped who you are today and who you will be tomorrow.
2. Put yourself in the school’s position.
At the end of the day, colleges want to accept someone who is going to graduate, be successful in the world and have the university associated with that success. In your essay, it is vital that you present yourself as someone who loves to learn, can think critically and has a passion for things—anything.
“Colleges always say to show your intellectual vitality and curiosity,” Robinson says. “They want kids who are going to hit the ground running—zoom to class and straight out into the world. They want them hungry and self-aware.
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3. Stop trying so hard.
“One of the biggest mistakes students make is trying too hard to impress,” Robinson says. “Trust that it is those every day, specific subjects that are much more interesting to read about.”
Colleges are tired of reading about that time you had a come-from-behind- win in the state championship game or the time you built houses in Ecuador, according to Robinson. Get creative!
Furthermore, you’re writing doesn’t have to sound like Shakespeare. “These essays should read like smart, interesting 17-year-olds wrote them,” says Lacy Crawford, former independent college application counselor and author of Early Decision. “A sense of perspective and self-awareness is what’s interesting.
4. Ditch the thesaurus. Swap sophistication for self-awareness
There is a designated portion of the application section designated to show off your repertoire of words. Leave it there.
On the personal essay, write how you would speak. Using “SAT words” in your personal statement sounds unnatural and distances the reader from you.
“I think most students are torn between a pathway dividing a diary entry and a press release. It’s supposed to be marketing document of the self,” Crawford says.
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5. Write about what matters to you, not what matters to them
Crawford recommends students begin by answering the question, “if you had 10 minutes to talk to them in person, what would you say?” The admissions teams are looking for authenticity and quality of thinking.
“Theoretically, I think anything could be ‘the perfect topic, as long as you demonstrate how well you think, your logic and ability to hold readers’ attention,” Crawford says.
6. Read the success stories.
“The best advice is to read essays that have worked,” Robinson says. “You’ll be surprised to see that they’re not winning Pulitzers; they are pieces of someone. You want your story to be the one she doesn’t put down.”
Once you find a topic you like, sit down and write for an hour or so. It shouldn’t take longer than that. When you write from your heart, words should come easily.
Rawlins recommends showing the essay to a family member or friend and ask if it sounds like the student. “Take a few days and come back to it. But only do that once,” Rawlins says. “Reading it over and over again will only drive you nuts.”
7. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
While colleges tend to nod to disadvantaged students, roughing up your background won’t help your cause.
“It’s less about the topic and more about how you frame it and what you have to say about it, Robinson says. “The better essay is has the most interesting thing to say, regardless of a topic that involves a crisis or the mundane.”
The essays serve as a glimpse into how your mind works, how you view the world and provides perspective. If you have never had some earth shattering experience that rocked your world, don’t pretend you did. Your insights will be forced and disingenuous.
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8. Follow the instructions.
While the directions on the applications may sound generic, and even repetitive after applying to a variety of schools, Rawlins points out that every rhyme has a reason.
“They have to know that college put a lot of thought into the instructions we give them—so please follow them!” he says. “We’ve given a lot of thought to the words we use. We want what we ask for.”
9. Use this space to tell them what your application can’t.
Most colleges don’t have the time or bandwidth to research each individual applicant. They only know what you put in front of them. “If they don’t tell us something, we can’t connect the dots,” Rawlins says. “We’re just another person reading their material.”
Like Crawford, he recommends students imagining they are sitting next to him in his office and responding to the question, “What else do I need to know?” And their essays should reflect how they would respond.
At the end of the day, however, Rawlins wants students to know that the personal essay is just another piece of the larger puzzle. “They prescribe way too much importance to the essay,” Rawlins says. “It makes a massive difference—good or bad—to very few out there, so keep it in context.”
Paige Carlotti is a senior at Syracuse University.
admissions essay, college applications, Paige Carlotti, writing, VOICES FROM CAMPUS
The studying of many disciplines is impossible without independent research work, when students should improve their understanding of the topic and delve deeper into the details of an issue. That’s why students are often assigned research papers.
So, you have realized that you are ready to write your research paper. It’s obvious that before you start writing, you should pick the right topic and research paper type. Perhaps you have one or several cool research paper ideas, but are you sure that you will be able to write a good paper?
Before you will be ready to pick one from research topics, you should answer the following questions:
– Is there an issue that you are really interested in?
– Have you heard something controversial or curious in articles and mass media about the topic?
– Do you have enough information to make research?
– Does the topic meet your further research plans?
In any case, the best assistants when writing research papers are only reputable sources like libraries, open access journals, encyclopedias, reliable news, and academic sources. Various materials that you can find on the internet should help you choose a topic, so don’t skip any chance to get more ideas.
Make the most to find more research paper topics from which you can choose the most suitable for you. To pick the right topic, think twice! Make sure that it will be interesting both for you and your audience. Many topics were already covered by hundreds of students and it’s become a real quest to find interesting and innovative topics for research papers.
List of Topics and Ideas for a Research Paper
We have created an exhaustive list of topic ideas that would be a good basis for research papers. You can use them as they are or choose the direction they are leading to. We hope this list of good research paper topics will serve you as a good source of inspiration, so let’s check it out!
Marketing Research Paper Topics
- Marketing in the healthcare industry: overcoming characteristic features and following trends.
- The relationship between cultural indicators and attitudes toward ads.
- Retro design and nostalgic marketing: influence of nostalgic trends in consumer behavior.
- Quantitative research of consumer attitude toward food product advertising.
- The peculiarities of sporting event marketing and promotion of tourist destinations.
- The impact of religious traditions on tourism marketing and its commodification.
- Analysis of characteristics the content should have to help advertisements go viral.
- Marketing analysis of the intelligence property market and its peculiarities.
- Peculiarities of marketing strategies and market analysis in the video game industry.
- Using symbols as a marketing tool in the example of Starbucks.
International Business Research Paper Topics
- What is Baidu? Describe what products it does and what perspectives it has.
- How can MME (Multi-National Enterprises) and global institutions contribute to global sustainability in the fishing industry?
- How do US corporations like Microsoft cheat with tax and profits? (check out our tax research paper about US corporations)
- What is the financial state of TATA Motors? What are the perspectives?
- What challenges has Netflix faced during the launch in India? What strategies does Netflix implement in developing markets?
- What distinctive characteristics does China’s internet have compared to the US?
- What problems does Uber face? What should be done to avoid them?
- What retail assortment management strategies does Amazon implement?
- Why global computing companies like IBM move their centers to India?
- What is Ethereum and how can it be used in business processes? (read an Ethereum research paper sample to find out the answer)
Find more international business research paper topics.
Economics Research Paper Topics
- What are the principles of monopoly power? What are functioning and regulation problems of a monopoly?
- Should the Adani Carmichael mine be supported? Describe the situation and possible solutions.
- What were the main causes of the Asian currency crisis in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Korea?
- Describe Sino-Pakistani cooperation and the history of rapprochement of relations between Pakistan and India.
- What is intelligence-led policing (ILP)? What strengths and weaknesses have been identified with this model of policing?
- What influence does the federal reserve system have on the US economy?
- Competitive risk assessment and the estimated target market.
- Economic issue of importance in food policy. How can food policy prevent world hunger?
- Discuss the role of the WTO in freeing the world trade during the past 10 years.
- Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency?
Medical Research Paper Topics
- How can children’s drawings help with the diagnosis of psychological and somatic disorders?
- How does epidemiological monitoring influence the changing approaches in asthma treatment?
- How to evaluate risk factors of osteoarthritis and prescribe contemporary therapy?
- How to handle pain among newborns? How to prevent pain or minimize the level of a newborn’s discomfort?
- How does over-attention relate to obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)? What is the exact behavior of over-attention? (you will find the OCP Disorder Research Paper here soon)
- What are characteristics of viral and alcoholic cirrhosis? What differences are in disease management?
- Does proper nutrition and dieting influence the development of dementia? (read the full Dementia Research Paper about Proper Nutrition)
- What treatment is the most effective for blunt chest trauma care in acute nursing?
- What treatment should be chosen for managing patients with HPV in the reproductive age?
- What therapy should be chosen for functional disorders of digestion in children?
History Research Paper Topics
- Why did Italian cities turn to minting gold in the thirteenth century?
- Is it helpful to describe the Agora in Athens as a ‘zone of competitive reciprocity’?
- Analyze etymology resources of a word’s history and stories.
- Discuss conventional theories and causes of the Great War.
- What was the background and consequences of the Battle of Jerusalem 1917?
- How did the American Revolution influence women’s rights? (find more details in our Women’s Rights Research Paper sample)
- What was the significance of chivarlic code and how did it work?
- How did Japan’s food culture transform through the centuries?
- What was the most important figure in the history of Christianity?
- Ancient traditions of the Amazon: territorial and religious aspects.
IT and Technology Research Paper Topics
- What is net neutrality and where can it lead to?
- What technological innovations are developed in mechanical engineering?
- How to protect automotive software of smart cars from cyber attacks?
- What does “NextGen” mean for business aviation?
- What are solutions in the current problem of the mobile payment systems in Walmart?
- How can automation and smart service improve HR services?
- Describe the Big Data technologies and their opportunities on the market.
- What strategies are implemented for sharing intellectual property?
- What are the prospects of online privacy security? Can it be real?
- What opportunities does a virtual reality business have?
Business Research Paper Topics
- How to build trust and bid for a price in negotiations?
- Do bonuses boost the effectiveness of sales?
- Does gender diversity enhance the financial success of the company?
- How should competitors of the same industry collaborate and why?
- Should the companies create the new product or first announce the idea to consumers and analyze their reaction?
- What are the effects of inaccessibility to a company’s mobile application?
- How can inviting millennials to management positions help the business?
- What helps some companies stand out during negative macro shocks?
- How do consumers conclude that certain goods are worth their prices?
- Which strategy saved IBM from insolvency?
Find more business topics for research paper.
Art History Research Paper Topics
- How was the human body represented in the works of the epoch of the Renaissance?
- What was the function of Egyptian art? Why were people not supposed to see it?
- What were the specifics of depicting scenes from the life of Christ in medieval Europe?
- What are common types of mosque architecture?
- What is the historical significance of “The Death of General Wolfe” – the painting by Benjamin West?
- Why was futurism the most politicized movement in the 20th century?
- How did Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution influence art?
- What similar characteristics do paintings of the time of the French Revolution and ancient Greek art have and why?
- How have Impressionists changed the hierarchy of subject matter in art? (here is the Impressionism Research Paper Sample)
- What significant changes did Andy Warhol bring to the advertising industry through his art?
Check out more art history research paper topics.
Psychology Research Paper Topics
- Psychological effects of child molestation that can cause problems in personal relationships.
- Should parents ban children from playing with toys “out of their gender?”
- How should parents identify the gender of children with ambiguous genitalia?
- Are there differences in psychological needs of people who cause themselves suicidal and non-suicidal harm?
- How does same-sex parenting affect children?
- What similar traits do prematurely born children have?
- Are crying and maltreatment connected for children?
- To what extent should law regulate family affairs?
- Does the person who relates to several groups have many selves?
- Do children benefit from growing up in nuclear families? (read more in our Nuclear Families Research Paper Sample)
Sociology Research Paper Topics
- What is the impact of overcrowded prisons on American society?
- Can movies change the value systems of people? (check the sample of Research Paper on Movies and People Values)
- How can commercialization of organ transplants affect the amount of people saved due to transplantation? (check out our Organ Donation Research Paper)
- Do backup cameras set up on a car invade people’s privacy? (see the details in our Research Paper on Privacy of Backup Cameras)
- Can Islamophobia be considered as religious discrimination? (read the Islamophobia Research Paper)
- Are US driving laws more driver or pedestrian oriented? (check Research Paper Sample on US Driving Laws)
- Should Facebook be censored?
- How to protect informational safety in the era of social media?
- Should the government provide homeless children with education?
- What sphere negatively influences democratic journalism more significantly – politics or business?
Literature Research Paper Topics
- What role does size play in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels? What does the size symbolize?
- What does Mama’s plant symbolyze and how does this symbol develop throughout the novel A Raisin in the Sun?
- How has the role of the dream changed from Alice in Wonderland to Through the Looking-Glass?
- Through which characters and how is the theme of alienation from society revealed in Crime and Punishment?
- Does Jane Austen criticize women’s views on marriage of her era in Pride and Prejudice? (look through Pride and Prejudice Research Paper)
- How is the theme of superiority of youth and beauty depicted in The Picture of Dorian Gray? (The Picture of Dorian Gray Research Paper Sample will be available soon)
- Why can’t Claude Frollo be considered a typical antihero in The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
- How is the theme of animal instinct depicted in All Quiet on the Western Front? (All Quiet on the Western Front Research Paper will be available soon)
- How does the setting influence the perception of the story in The Great Gatsby?
- Which literary works are referred to in Fahrenheit 451 and why?
Drugs and Drug Abuse Research Paper Topics
- Is Marijuana a “gateway” or a “stepping stone” drug?
- Pathways to the disease and pathophysiological perspectives of heroin addiction.
- Prevention of substance abuse and addictions through counseling at-risk youth.
- Alcohol and drug abuse among homeless and runaway adolescents.
- Treatment research of addiction and substance abuse.
- Principles of drug abuse treatment for the criminal justice system.
- Prevention of prescription drug overdose and abuse.
- Substance abuse rates and treatment within LGTB communities.
- Side effects of principal doping substances.
- Pros and cons of drug testing among college students.
Education Research Paper Topics
- The effect of computers on students’ performance.
- Aspects and main principles of adolescent psychology.
- The role of prayer in schools and colleges.
- Social effects of teenage team sports in public schools.
- Psychological aspects of bullying in schools in the US.
- Future of digital learning at educational institutions.
- Using cognitive psychology in the learning process.
- Dynamic aspects of teenage friendships and educational attainment.
- Effects of standardized testing on the learning process.
- Pros and cons of home schooling compared to attending public schools.
Sports Research Paper Topics
- The reasons why chess should be considered a sport.
- Factors which influence the difference in female and male salaries in sports.
- The ways to reduce fan aggression that is enhanced by media.
- The appropriateness of women coaching men’s teams and vice versa.
- Sport betting should be prohibited as gambling.
- The role of sports in overcoming posttraumatic syndrome.
- The effect of age on the performance of athletes.
- Cheerleading should be banned for girls and boys aged under 18 for excessive sexualization of this type of sport. (check out our Cheerleading Research Paper Sample)
- The influence of athletes’ sexual orientation on their image and reputation.
- The most cruel kinds of sports that should be prohibited.
Find more sports research paper topics.