In other words, a great topic is an event from your past that you can narrate, draw conclusions from, explain the effect of.
Most importantly, you should be able to describe how it has changed you from the kind of person you were to the better person that you are now.
He says, if you can answer "yes" to these two questions, then you've got the makings of a great essay: So how do you translate this checklist into essay topic action items? Write about something personal, deeply felt, and authentic to the real you (but which is not an overshare).
Take a narrow slice of your life: one event, one influential person, one meaningful experience – and then you expand out from that slice into a broader explanation of yourself. In this case, your reader is an admission officer who is slogging through hundreds of college essays.
What does your application tell admissions officers about you?
Mostly it's just numbers and facts: your name, your high school, your grades and SAT scores.
But I’m going to tell you a secret: half of a great personal essay is a great topic idea.
If you’re passionate about what you’re writing, and if you’re truly documenting something meaningful and serious about yourself and your life, then that passion and meaning will come alive on the page and in the mind of your reader. The best way is to brainstorm your way to an event from your life that reveals a core truth about you. Keep reading to find 35 jumping off points that touch on every possible memory you could harness, as well as advice on how to use your brainstorming session to fully realize your idea for an essay topic.
This is why it’s very important to make the essay topic personal and deeply felt.
Readers can tell when a writer isn’t really connected to whatever he is writing about.