Entrance Essay Writing Hints: Choosing An Original Topic

Looking to set yourself apart in the college admissions process? Do you fear that your essay is going to be lacking in originality? Fear no more—here are 10 original entrance essay topics to help give your paper that little extra spice to whet the palate of admissions boards everywhere.


You’d think that as old as the Bard is, he’d be a tired topic by now, but in fact, there are very few admissions essay topics that call for him, so if you’re looking for something unique and you receive an open-ended essay prompt—as some schools will ask you to “write your own topic,” you may want to give the Bard a try. There’s a ton of information on him, chances are you’ve already read him, and it’s your chance to prove to them you’re well-cultured.

A Sense of Humor

Just be sure that, whatever you do, pick an essay topic with a sense of humor. Colleges like that, they find that a bit unique. So, if you do Shakespeare, try and put a humorous twist on the Bard (not that hard, considering how many comedies he wrote.)


Believe it or not, Yahoo! reported a story last year about someone arguing for the importance of peanut butter, and the school was so blown away by the creativity that the application was a hit—perhaps it’s time for the natural sequel?

Rom Com and Clueless

Remember that whole “have a sense of humor” thing? If you have a truly open-ended prompt and you’re looking at a college that’s big on the liberal arts, you may want to take a stab at one of the more popular art forms of a genre today. Take, for example, film. You can do a quick and fun dissection of different Rom Com, and center your thesis around Clueless—a typical Rom Com and, best of all, tied back into high culture by way of being related to a Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility. This is a possibility with layers to it.

First News Story

Are you truly stumped? Write on the first news story you see in the morning—and you can always change your mind and try again the next morning.

Harry Potter

The Boy Wizard is slowly gaining in popularity among professors, who are just now learning what we’ve known for more than a decade—the Boy Who Lived makes for a great essay topic when you’re trying to show you’re creative and great with analyzing something you’re comfortable with.

Your Parents

Always a crowd pleaser. Colleges like students who are humble enough to thank others and write creatively and analytically about where they’ve come from, and there’s often a prompt or two about that.


Then again, it’s perfectly alright to right about that which you know best—yourself! Just don’t get too carried away, and make sure that your life story is A. worth telling and B. fits the open-endedness of the prompt.

Breaking Bad

Who didn’t love watching Walter White’s slow descent into crime? This show has layers and layers to it, and if you’re trying for anything media-arts related or a school that’s geared towards English Lit, this is a great chance to show off those analysis skills on a fresh new topic that’s ripe with material.

The West Wing/House of Cards

If you’re going the Poli Sci route, and think you can get away with it, you may want to slip in a reference to works in fiction that depict what Americans think of the political process. House of Cards is popular now, and The West Wing is one of the most acclaimed American shows of all-time, and besides—it features Martin Sheen as the


Who could reject that?

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