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Unveiling Your Authentic Voice: Guide to Brainstorming Main Essay Topics for College Admissions

When writing the main essay for your college application, students may be overwhelmed with finding the right topic. To help navigate this process, the College Essay Guy has coined two powerful brainstorming exercises that I absolutely love. Students can tap into their creativity and discover compelling main essay topics that reflect their authentic selves, making the essay process easier to tackle.


The Values Exercise

This exercise is valuable for uncovering your core beliefs and what matters most to you. Here's how you can use it to brainstorm main essay topics:

1. Reflect on your values: Start by listing your personal values. Consider principles, beliefs, or ideals that define you and guide your decisions. These values could be related to personal growth, social justice, creativity, leadership, or any other aspect that resonates with you.


2. Identify impactful experiences: Think about experiences or moments in your life that these values have deeply influenced. It could be a time when you stood up for something you believe in or an event that challenged your core principles. These experiences can serve as potential essay topics that reflect your values in action.


3. Connect values to broader themes: Look for patterns or overarching themes that emerge from your values and experiences. Are there any recurring ideas or concepts? You can refine your main essay topics by identifying these themes and creating a more cohesive narrative.


The Essence Objects Exercise

This exercise encourages you to explore significant objects or possessions that are meaningful to you. Here's how this exercise can help generate main essay topics:

1. Select meaningful objects: Choose a few objects that hold sentimental value, evoke strong emotions, or represent pivotal moments in your life. These objects could be tangible items like a treasured book, a cherished photograph or intangible elements like a particular smell or sound.


2. Uncover stories and memories: Each chosen object has a story behind it. Delve into the memories associated with these objects and reflect on how they have shaped your identity, values, or perspectives. These stories can serve as rich sources for main essay topics that offer unique insights into your life journey.


3. Draw connections to personal growth: Consider how these objects have influenced your personal growth or triggered transformative experiences. Explore the lessons learned, challenges overcome, or new perspectives gained through interactions with these objects. These connections can lead to compelling main essay topics highlighting your character development.


Brainstorming main essay topics using the Values Exercise and Essence Objects Exercise allows students to delve into their core beliefs, experiences, and personal artifacts. Students can craft compelling essays that authentically represent who they are by connecting values to impactful experiences and uncovering stories behind meaningful objects.


Your essay is an opportunity to showcase your individuality and make a lasting impression on admissions officers. So, embrace these exercises and embark on a transformative journey as you craft your main essay for college applications. For additional guidance, Resume All Day offers essay coaching services. Subscribe to Resume All Day's network and reach out to learn more about this service.




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