Usually your professor gives you a topic to write about, but if for some reason you have been given the gift of being able to express yourself in a college essay, then you may at first not realize that this is truly a gift. While there are certain components that must be present in any college essay, if you have been given the freedom to choose your own topic, then there are really only two additional things to consider. What, if any, limitations or guidelines has your professor given you, and what would you enjoy writing about?
When writing any essay you must have an opening paragraph, a thesis statement, supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. Your words must be spelled correctly, and you must use proper grammar. If for some reason you choose to write about or write in a non-standard form of English, then you need to make it clear that you are doing so intentionally, otherwise your professor may mistake your use of the dialect as a lack of knowledge of how to write in Standard English.
How much leeway for expressing your creativity do you really have? Is your creativity limited only to your imagination? Can you write your life story on a surfboard? Can you write an essay about the popsicle industry on popsicle sticks? Or must you keep your essay confined to paper? Try to figure out just how much creativity your professor really wants. One way to do that obviously is to ask your professor; however, perhaps a better way is to ask students who have already taken the same class from the same professor before and find out what kinds of essays the professor liked the best and what kind of essays the professor disliked.
This is the easiest and the hardest part all at the same time. It is easy because you get to pick something that you enjoy writing about. It can be something you already know a lot about and something that you really care about and are interested in. It can be the hardest part if you have a lot of interests and have trouble picking just one topic. If you find it difficult to narrow it down to just one, set yourself a time limit of five minutes to list all the topics you are interested in and force yourself to pick one. If at the end of five minutes you have not decided, then close your eyes and pick one at random.
No matter what you pick, get started writing. Push yourself to complete the topic you chose in a timely manner. If you finish it and you still want to write about something else, you can. Then you will have two essays, and you can ask a friend to read them and pick the best one. Good luck.
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