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Writing essays do not come naturally to all of us. Most students are terrified at the mere thought of having to write not one but many essays in order to secure a college admission. I would rather go to the moon than write an essay. Well, almost. Let’s just say that writing an essay is certainly not on the top of my list of favorites with mountain climbing or scuba diving. So what can I do to avoid the common pitfalls that students usually make while writing the dreaded essays for college admissions.

Here are a few of the topics that students usually think will bowl over the person who reads them. But it is far from the truth and has exactly the opposite effect and therefore it would be advisable to steer clear of these topics.

1. Political and religious discourse

Politics and religious discourse is a no-no just like in the workplace. Every individual is entitled to have their own opinion about politics and religion, but they are advised to keep it to themselves. Do not attempt to write these unless you can come up with a fair minded and informative essay without putting your own personal spin on it. Even then, it is not really advised. Also, steer clear of controversial topics like abortions, gun control, women’s rights or any other topic that you know would make another person uncomfortable. You don’t want your reader to squirm in their chair. You want them to enjoy your essay and give you an admission and not toss your paper away.

2. Your sex life

As much as you think this topic might interest others as much as it interests you, the truth is that this is a taboo topic which cannot be written in any possible positive note at all and is best left alone.

3. About yourself and your heroism

Writing about your strengths with examples that are valuable to the course you are applying for is okay, but a self promoting essay which is focused only on you may not achieve the results that you are looking for. You might come across as a narcissist or as extremely self-obsessed.

If your write an essay about how your school team won the championship because of your sole effort at scoring all the goals, chances are it will make good reading but it will also make the reader doubt your integrity. Writing on a humble note and by giving praise to your teammates where it is due will get you more worthy attention than if you appear to be hogging the whole limelight.

4. Your negative character traits

Some students think that they should be totally honest and come clean about all their negative character traits. Students might do this to maybe emotionally appeal to the reader by trying to come across as a truthful person. But you have remember that ultimately the college admissions personnel is there for the good of the college and by dishing out all your negativity, you might turn him or her the other way.

5. Displaced sense of humor

Even though humor is generally appreciated, an overdose of humor and especially crude jokes or humor at the expense of others can work against you. But you can use humor to downplay a tough situation you had or as an example of how you might handle tough situations in life.

6. Travel junkie

If you like to travel, you might think that writing about the places you visited will make a good essay. Unfortunately, the college admissions personnel are not looking for travel brochures. Instead they are trying to assess your writing skills, intelligence and passion for the course you want to enroll in. So it is better to avoid making use of the essay as a travel journal.

In a nutshell, always go for topics that are time tested and safe. Try the topics on your family and close friends. If they are comfortable with the topic you can safely assume the reader will be too.

SunMaag provides counsel to students aspiring to pursue career-focused associate degree programs such as nursing, criminal justice, medical assisting, radiologic technology, business administration etc. at the reputed NorthWestern College.