College essays are important to the admission process. They bring your application to life by connecting the dots to create a complete picture of who you are. Your essay reveals something about you that your grades do not… your personality.
For those planning their future studies, summer is the perfect time to begin your college essay. SUNY has a few tips to get you started, as well as the applySUNY essay topics!
Tips for Writing a College Essay
- Create an Outline
Your essay should consist of three parts – an introduction (one paragraph), body (several paragraphs) and a conclusion (one paragraph). Create an outline, decide where to include examples and write your first draft. Don’t worry about making it perfect; just let your ideas flow. You can fix mistakes and improve your writing in later drafts.
- Have a Focus
Your goal should not be to include all of your accomplishments and activities (that is what an activities resume is for). The most engaging essays tell a story and have a clear focus. A thoughtful and detailed narration of a significant time in your life tells far more about you than a list of competitions won and honors achieved. Think about ways you can turn defeats into success and challenges into learning opportunities.
- Creativity and Originality Count
This is your time to shine! Identify a topic or talk about something that is unique and different. Or, breathe life into a mundane subject by approaching it differently.
- Get Feedback and Proofread
Ask others – those who know you well and those who do not – to read your work. Honest, critical feedback will move you forward. Know the essay word limit and stick to it – ours is 650.
Essay Topic Choices When you Apply To SUNY
The SUNY application has essay topic choices that allow you to pick one that fits you best. The list below tells you what they are:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
- Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
- Topic of your choice.
Regardless of the option you select, stay focused and tell a story that represents who you are as a person. When the final piece is something you’re proud of, readers will recognize it. Good luck!