The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best College Essay Topics

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Written By Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

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For most college students, the opposite of the word EASY is not the word complex or complicated, but the word ESSAY. Yes, you read it correctly. It may sound funny, but it’s true. Writing a college essay topic is indeed a challenge for many students. Perhaps, you consider it as a challenging task too.

Now, the biggest question is why is it so difficult to write a good college essay topic? Is it because you simply don’t know anything about the topic or don’t know which one to pick?

Moreover, how many of you graduated from college without writing a single essay? College life is intertwined with college essays; take it from admission to the last year before graduation.

Why do we have to write an essay when it pains most students? The simplest answer is that it shows or reveals what your perception of the world is and who you really are.

Well, rest all your worries. In this article, we have chosen 100 best college essay topics that can surely help you write a distinguishable essay worthy of an excellent mark.

Let’s cut this long wait and go through them one by one.

In this article:

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How to Choose a College Essay Topic

Choosing the best college essay topic is quite challenging. However, it is still possible and a lot easier if you know how to narrow down the broad ideas into specific ones. Occasionally, teachers will give you choices as to what topics to cover, but sometimes they will just let you choose. So, how would you end up on the college essay topic that you will write?

To make things easier to understand, you can try following the tips and tricks of past students who have passed these tests. Then, you will get your ideas flowing and your thoughts moving.

Take a look at these three questions that you can use in selecting the best essay topic for you:

1. What topic interests me the most?

If your teacher gave you options on what to write about, you choose the one that catches your interest. You would be motivated to do research and share more about it if you were interested in knowing more about it. The same rule applies when your teacher lets you pick a topic for your essay.

2. Why is this relevant to me?

An essay reflects the idea of the writer toward a specific topic. If you write something that you can relate to, then writing won’t be as hard as you thought it would be. With a relevant topic to write about, you can also give more realistic examples or explanations that most teachers or readers love.

3. How meaningful is it to me?

When writing essays, you should always share something that has influenced or changed you (whether in your thoughts or actions). It will raise your game if you manage to give a resolution to your college essay topic. It will be meaningful and enjoyable to you and not to mention, to your readers.

Now, let’s have an example regarding how it works.

1. What topic interests me the most?

Answer: Football

2. Why is this relevant to me?

Answer: Since I was a sophomore in high school, I have enjoyed it a lot.

3. How meaningful is it for me?

Answer: I realized that playing football is not just about fun. The game actually taught me the value of teamwork, friendship, and trust.

Answering the following questions will help you come up with a unique and interesting college essay topic.

Topic: “How Football Changed My Egocentric Behavior”

That’s how it works. What are you waiting for? Try it!

College Admission Essay Topics

College Admission Essay Topics

Entering university is probably the most important moment in a student’s life. This is the time students choose their life path. Before that, though, students have to be assessed and one of those assessments is writing an essay. 

College is a serious matter, so you have to undergo a series of assessments from the admission exams down to your admission essay. Each evaluation has a certain percentage that contributes to your total score. As you’ve probably guessed, the essay exam plays a vital role in your admission because it represents a high percentage of your total admission score.

So, how can you ace the college essay test? Well, rest all your worries because we are here to help you.

What are the usual college admission essay prompts that you should prepare for?

1. Tell us your story.

You should reflect on a personal trait or a meaningful relationship you have with someone. An honest personal statement will allow the admissions officers to see you for who you really are. Avoid picking something the admissions committee might already be aware of from your application form.

2. Having a positive attitude towards obstacles.

The idea of showing colleges your best self might seem counterintuitive, but overcoming challenges demonstrates strength, courage, and grit. Explain the impact of an obstacle on your life, no matter how big or small it was.

3. Standing up for what you believe in.

An excellent answer to this prompt might be a time when you challenged others or when your preconceived views were challenged. Choose this prompt if you can recount a relevant and specific experience. The admissions committee will not learn anything useful about you by reading thinly-phrased essays about a hot topic.

4. Identifying a problem and solving it.

Provide a scenario or a dilemma and showcase the steps you took to resolve it. Admissions officers will appreciate knowing how you concluded that the problem was essential to you. They may also want to know how you solved the problem. Don’t forget to explain how it impacted your life.

5. A growth in your personal life.

A college admissions committee wants to see evidence of your growth and maturity. Share your sense of achievement or an event that shaped you. Colleges are seeking signs of personal growth, so share your learnings or moments of discovery.

6. Is there anything that fascinates you?

Here’s a chance to write about something that matters to you. Don’t focus on what you think might impress the admission committee. Focus on what’s truly important to you. Colleges are seeking curious students, after all.

7. Everything is fine as long as it piques your interest.

The question is entirely up to you. The topic you choose must demonstrate that you are much more than just grades and test scores. Research your topic deeply by asking why and how. There isn’t a single guideline to follow, except just one – be yourself. 

After knowing the usual college admissions essay prompts, it’s time for you to choose the actual topic.

Here’s a college essay topic list that will help you stand out and ace that admission exam.

  1. A program you consider deploying at your college to respond to a known problem, such as a massive amount of trash on the campus.
  2. A time when you mediated an argument between two people.
  3. What do you do to make people’s lives easier, and do you develop apps or other tools that make this happen?
  4. An experience when you tried to resolve a problematic situation at school while working as an intern or as a part-time employee.
  5. The steps you took in detecting and fixing a programming error on a website or program.
  6. The advantages of an academic major or a specific program in helping you achieve your academic or professional goals.
  7. What kind of equipment or facility do you look forward to using on campus?
  8. An experience where you had a memorable and positive interaction with faculty members or students at your school.
  9. The purpose of your proposed club would be to raise awareness of a major issue.
  10. An exciting study abroad program or a similar experience you are really looking forward to.

Personal Essay Topics for College

Personal Essay Topics for College

The most unforgettable experiences in life, whether good or bad, always end with a lesson learned. These life-changing personal experiences are the best personal college essay topics. Why? Simply because these essays will show who you are and how much you know about yourself.

What is the best way to write personal essays?

You are the speaker, so you should use pronouns like I, our, my, me, and we. The writing is always subjective. It reflects the writer’s thoughts, feelings, opinions, and experiences. It’s not just about personal experiences, though. You have to find something engaging and worth sharing.

There are several things you can discuss in your personal essay. Things like stating your opinion about an issue, talking about a documentary you saw, telling a story, making a comparison between individuals, events, or anything else you can think of.

Regardless of your choice of topic, a strong hook is crucial for grabbing the audience’s attention. An interesting title will engage your readers and draw them in. Your thesis statement will be the most important aspect of your introduction.

In your essay’s body, explain the topic and go over the key points. It’s best to outline your paper beforehand. This strategy will help you write clearly and concisely. Begin each paragraph with new ideas. Use strong verbs and sensory details wherever possible.

A thought-provoking conclusion will help you illustrate how your experience contributed to and shaped your development and personality.

If you followed the tips mentioned above, you could generate and craft a good personal essay topic for college.

Most of the time, these personal college essay topics can also be used as college admission essay topics. These tell real situations and authentic experiences.

Here are personal college essay topics that can help you stand out among the rest.

  1. A bad or self-destructive habit you kicked.
  2. A favorite book which inspired you to write or read more.
  3. Do you have a remarkable enthusiasm for international exchanges or learning languages?
  4. How do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years?
  5. Describe your most enjoyable hobby or interest and how it fits into your day-to-day routine.
  6. A movie star or TV show you genuinely liked but is less appealing to you now (or vice versa)?
  7. You became more aware of poverty because you (or someone you know) faced a change in socioeconomic status.
  8. Something someone once said to you that caused you to realize you were wrong.
  9. Documentaries that made you pay attention to a social, economic, or political issue happening in your country or the world.
  10.  In terms of friendship, motivation, school, etc., what advice would you give yourself?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College

It can be more fun to draw parallels between two people or objects than to discuss a single issue. If you like doing that, then you might consider writing a compare and contrast essays topics for college. These kinds of essays allow students to express their thoughts regarding certain contradictory issues.

Similar to other essays, compare and contrast essays are also crucial for the cognitive development of an individual. Besides, compare and contrast essays are essential in helping students enlist the positives and negatives to any given subject. As a result, the learning process becomes more comprehensive.

Also, as its name implies, compare and contrast essays discuss two or more subjects. Therefore, the objective is to discover and analyze differences and similarities between the subjects at hand.

Writing Tips for Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College

Here are some best tips on how to write college-level compare and contrast essay topics.

1. Brainstorm and Create an Outline

Brainstorm, do a little research, if necessary, and write down three different topics on a blank sheet of paper. Once you choose your subjects, organize your ideas. Create a table that lists both the similar and unique features of each subject. Then arrange the information and create an outline for your essay.

2. Relate to Relevant Facts or Literature

Write a hook sentence based on examples of compare and contrast essays. It will influence how the reader feels about reading your text on a specific topic. You can use statistics, facts, etc., to instantly grab the reader’s interest.

3. Master the Proper Formatting and In-text citations

Citations are powerful evidence that will support your compare and contrast essay. Also, they should be used to make your text more persuasive.

Here is a list of compare and contrast essay topics for college level.

  1. What is the connection between education and employment?
  2. How do Master’s and Doctoral degrees differ?
  3. Is being persuasive the same as being argumentative?
  4. Is it better to learn remotely or in traditional classrooms?
  5. 16th century pirates – heroes or a menace?
  6. Professional vs Vocational Courses: Which is the better option?
  7. Who has a tougher role to play: The UK Prime Minister or the US President?
  8. Hollywood vs Broadway: Which is more sophisticated?
  9. Unemployed Student and Employed Student: Who gets the best life in the future?
  10. Research Paper and Essay: What is more responsible?
  11. Which form of English is easier to use: American or English
  12. Saving Money: Worth it or not?
  13. Spending time partying vs getting a part-time job while in college?
  14. Which college is better, private or public?
  15. Electronic books or Printed books?
  16. Seminars vs. Webinars: Which is more effective?
  17. Written learning vs Oral learning
  18. Obtaining knowledge from books or finding it via the Internet?
  19. What is more productive: visiting a library or studying at home?
  20. EQ or IQ: Which determines success?

Persuasive Essay Topics for College Students

Persuasive Essay Topics for College Students

Arguments, research, and ideas presented in a persuasive essay should sway the reader into accepting your perspective. Readers often explore persuasive essay topics in-depth and find something new and interesting that makes them want to learn about a topic even more.

Moreover, persuasive essays are more powerful than narratives. To sound convincing with any interesting persuasive essay topic, you have to remain on top of the hottest issues, discoveries, and trends. Plus, college students must possess the ability to do solid research, write well, and be familiar with academic standards such as MLA referencing.

Parts of a Persuasive Essay

Knowing the parts of a persuasive essay will help you write it with ease and control.

1. Introduction

This paragraph outlines the issue and why it should concern the reader.

2. Thesis Statement

This is still part of your introduction, and it is the point that you want your readers to believe in.

3. Counterargument

It is important to include the counterargument correctly at the beginning of your essay. Be sure to refute it with your main objections.

4. Body

The body consists of paragraphs that provide credible evidence that support your thesis.

5. Conclusion

These last few paragraphs wrap up your essay by restating the thesis and summarizing the main points.

Here are some good persuasive essay topics for college that will make your reader get even more interested.

  1. Feminists devalued motherhood because of its nature
  2. The calorie content of meals should be disclosed
  3. There is an unfair tax system currently in place
  4. Patients with chronic diseases should not be placed in mental hospitals
  5. It is unacceptable to sell weapons to the rest of the world
  6. Distance learning is not for all
  7. Online learning or e-learning is dangerous
  8. The current High school system needs a reform
  9. Local terrorism is more important than international criminal activity
  10. Ads geared toward kids need to be restricted
  11. Surviving disasters encourages people to value their existence more than others
  12. Becoming more self-confident requires embarrassing moments in life
  13. We need to expel bullies from school
  14. A video game can be an educational tool
  15. Playing sports is a good way to improve your career prospects
  16. Life can be lived spontaneously for a number of reasons
  17. The most important personal quality is kindness
  18. Youth should make their own decision whether or not to join the military
  19. You can do homework faster by listening to music
  20. You should stay true to yourself in any  situation.

Argumentative Essay Topics for College

Argumentative Essay Topics for College

Argumentative essays are probably the most common writing assignments. To begin an argumentative essay, you need to choose a topic you can either argue for or against. This type of essay assignment requires extensive research of previously published material or literature.

Furthermore, the chosen argumentative essay topic for college may also require empirical research. This means the student should collect data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. A strong thesis and sound reasoning go hand in hand regardless of the amount or type of research that goes into an argumentative essay.

Argumentative Essay Structure

The structure of the argumentative essay relies on the following.

1. The thesis statement should be precise, concise, and purposeful

To begin a persuasive essay, students should define the topic in general terms. After that, you should explain why the matter is important or why readers need to be concerned about it. In the last section, students should present the thesis statement. If the student fails to master this aspect of the essay, composing an effective and persuasive essay will be much more difficult.

2. The introduction, body, and conclusion are all linked in a logical way

Transitions are essential to the essay’s structure. Throughout the essay, they serve as a link between each section, allowing the coherence of the argument to be maintained thoroughly.

3. The evidence-filled body paragraphs to support your arguments

Every paragraph should discuss one main idea to ensure clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, this makes the essay easier to read. A strong argument must be made for how and why every paragraph in the body of the essay supports the thesis statement. Some paragraphs directly support the thesis statement with facts and arguments gathered during the research.

4. The strong supporting evidence that keeps your thesis credible

A well-written, accurate, detailed, and current essay supports the thesis statement with accurate facts, logic, statistics, and anecdotes. Some statistical, factual, or anecdotal evidence should also be used to support the thesis. Although different points of view are considered when collecting evidence, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not directly aligned with the thesis.

5. The conclusion that restates the thesis and most important key points

A good conclusion will leave a lasting impression on the reader because it should be interesting, but also practical and logical. There is no need to present new information here, but rather summarise what you have already written.

Here are some interesting argumentative essay topics for college students.

  1. Is it time to change how long high school students spend in school?
  2. Are schools giving students enough chances to be creative?
  3. Do school exams test knowledge or memory?
  4. Arts education: how important is it?
  5. Can gym help students perform better in every class they attend?
  6. Who should have access to student records?
  7. Does a child of an illegal immigrant have a right to public education?
  8. How much group work should a student do in school?
  9. Do you think your school day is too short?
  10. Are you in favor of a longer school calendar?
  11. Is it a good idea for schools to put tracking devices in students’ id cards?
  12. Would it be okay to skip the senior year of high school?
  13. How can you handle students who misbehave?
  14. Is it okay for schools to use corporal punishment?
  15. Should cyberbullying be punishable by schools?
  16. What should schools do about bullying?
  17. Would you say that standardized tests accurately measure your abilities?
  18. Does it make sense for schools to award cash bonuses for high scores on tests?
  19. Why should something you say on Facebook be grounds for getting fired?
  20. Are girls being pressured too much to have a ‘perfect’ body?

Fun Essay Topics for College Students

Fun Essay Topics for College Students

A college essay can be fun too, because you can try to find sense in topics that are a bit unusual. Teachers also get tired of seeing the same ideas, structures, and same topics. Going out of the box often works for teachers or admission officers because their interest is instantly triggered.

What can you do to grab your tutor’s attention? Well, grading papers can be quite boring, so keep it fun, and he or she will remember you when the exercise is done. Eventually, you’ll see that to your benefit. In your fun college essay topic, you can be sarcastic, humorous, or ironic. But you need to make sure what you are writing about makes sense and is well-thought of.

Quick Tips To Make Your Fun Essay Work.

  1. Provide examples to support your ridiculous point.
  2. Instead of discussing what should be done, discuss what should not be done.
  3. When starting new sentences, remember to use effective transition words.

Here are some fun college essay topics that will make your readers laugh:

  1. Does your surname mean anything to you?
  2. Would you be an effective writer if you smoked pot?
  3. Teenage workers: why do they have the worst jobs?
  4. What is the best way to use your video gaming skills to get a good job?
  5. Here’s what your driving instructor isn’t telling you.
  6. The truth behind infomercials: is there any?
  7. What’s the deal with funny animal videos?
  8. Why should your parents support your gaming?
  9. Mistakes that can no longer be corrected.
  10. What do I like most about spam emails?
  11. Does your pet dog know what you are thinking?
  12. Health benefits of smoking.
  13. Why do I want to be older than my brother?
  14. Here are some reasons why you need your morning coffee.
  15. Is it helpful to drink before exams?
  16. Why do cats do what they do?
  17. Success can be quickly attained by disobeying your parents.
  18. It is always possible to read the minds of animals.
  19. Is it necessary for every teenager to own an iPhone or a smartphone?
  20. Students with little attention spans are the most successful students.


In a nutshell, we can say that college essay topics are quite hard to pull out, but with proper strategy it should not be a problem. Also, writing them is not as challenging if you know what you are writing and if what you are writing talks about you. You also learned in this article the interesting, unique and significant essay topics that your reader, teacher or admission officer will definitely love to read.

We hope that you don’t see essays as problems or challenges that you need to surpass at this point. Instead, look at them as an opportunity to show how you think, who you are, your beliefs, stands and points. Who knows, you might just become the great essayist of this current generation.

Let’s keep in mind that writing an ESSAY is an EASY task. What you think is what you become. If you will write an essay, and you feel negative, unhappy and uninterested, your output would be a disaster, and so would your assessment score. It’s better to be positive, happy and excited whenever you write essays, so your output would be as great as your feeling when you were writing it.

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