Writing Prompt or College Essay?

I’m a fan of Mental Floss, Random, Interesting and Amazing Facts.  It’s the kind of site that provide me with endless useless junk data and interesting facts that make it easy for me, as an INTJ, to make small talk with Extroverts.  Tossing a random fact about some obscure topic that is interesting, and the conversation takes on a life of its own.  Or, it will with a few well-placed questions.

Recently, they posted 27 Offbeat College Essay Topics.  Some of them made me wonder exactly what the college was trying to do.

  • How do you feel about Wednesday?  It follows Tuesday and if I make it that far, I usually know Friday is achievable.
  • Give us your top ten list.  Could you be a bit more specific?  Is there an area that I should think about?
  • You have 150 words. Take a risk.  Yes, I shall write 151 words.
  • How did you get caught? (Or not caught as the case may be.)  The best stories happen in college, not before college.

According to the College Board, “College admission officers look to the essay for evidence that a student can write well and support ideas with logical arguments. They also want to know something about the personality of the student.”

With that in mind, I can see why admissions offices would be tempted to have some quirky essay topics.  After all, it probably is more interesting to read about an 18 year old’s ideas about Wednesday then their dying passion for a school.

In the mean time, I think it is a good writing exercise to think about how I at my current age would answer the question, versus how the 18 year old version would answer.  Or just use the full list as a writing prompt set the next time I get stuck and need some assistance in getting unstuck.

Take a look at the questions.  Which is your favorite?

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