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College Essays


Most colleges and universities in the United States require applicants to submit at least one essay as part of their application. But trying to figure out what college essay topics you should choose is a tricky process. There are so many potential things you could write about!

In this guide, we go over the essential qualities that make for a great college essay topic and give you 50+ college essay topics you can use for your own statement . In addition, we provide you with helpful tips for turning your college essay topic into a stellar college essay.

What Qualities Make for a Good College Essay Topic?

Regardless of what you write about in your personal statement for college , there are key features that will always make for a stand-out college essay topic.

#1: It’s Specific

First off, good college essay topics are extremely specific : you should know all the pertinent facts that have to do with the topic and be able to see how the entire essay comes together.

Specificity is essential because it’ll not only make your essay stand out from other statements, but it'll also recreate the experience for admissions officers through its realism, detail, and raw power. You want to tell a story after all, and specificity is the way to do so. Nobody wants to read a vague, bland, or boring story — not even admissions officers!

For example, an OK topic would be your experience volunteering at a cat shelter over the summer. But a better, more specific college essay topic would be how you deeply connected with an elderly cat there named Marty, and how your bond with him made you realize that you want to work with animals in the future.

Remember that specificity in your topic is what will make your essay unique and memorable . It truly is the key to making a strong statement (pun intended)!

#2: It Shows Who You Are

In addition to being specific, good college essay topics reveal to admissions officers who you are: your passions and interests, what is important to you, your best (or possibly even worst) qualities, what drives you, and so on.

The personal statement is critical because it gives schools more insight into who you are as a person and not just who you are as a student in terms of grades and classes.

By coming up with a real, honest topic, you’ll leave an unforgettable mark on admissions officers.

#3: It’s Meaningful to You

The very best college essay topics are those that hold deep meaning to their writers and have truly influenced them in some significant way.

For instance, maybe you plan to write about the first time you played Skyrim to explain how this video game revealed to you the potentially limitless worlds you could create, thereby furthering your interest in game design.

Even if the topic seems trivial, it’s OK to use it — just as long as you can effectively go into detail about why this experience or idea had such an impact on you .

Don’t give in to the temptation to choose a topic that sounds impressive but doesn’t actually hold any deep meaning for you. Admissions officers will see right through this!

Similarly, don’t try to exaggerate some event or experience from your life if it’s not all that important to you or didn’t have a substantial influence on your sense of self.

#4: It’s Unique

College essay topics that are unique are also typically the most memorable, and if there’s anything you want to be during the college application process, it’s that! Admissions officers have to sift through thousands of applications, and the essay is one of the only parts that allows them to really get a sense of who you are and what you value in life.

If your essay is trite or boring, it won’t leave much of an impression , and your application will likely get immediately tossed to the side with little chance of seeing admission.

But if your essay topic is very original and different, you’re more likely to earn that coveted second glance at your application.

What does being unique mean exactly, though? Many students assume that they must choose an extremely rare or crazy experience to talk about in their essays —but that's not necessarily what I mean by "unique." Good college essay topics can be unusual and different, yes, but they can also be unique takes on more mundane or common activities and experiences .

For instance, say you want to write an essay about the first time you went snowboarding. Instead of just describing the details of the experience and how you felt during it, you could juxtapose your emotions with a creative and humorous perspective from the snowboard itself. Or you could compare your first attempt at snowboarding with your most recent experience in a snowboarding competition. The possibilities are endless!

#5: It Clearly Answers the Question

Finally, good college essay topics will clearly and fully answer the question(s) in the prompt.

You might fail to directly answer a prompt by misinterpreting what it’s asking you to do, or by answering only part of it (e.g., answering just one out of three questions).

Therefore, make sure you take the time to come up with an essay topic that is in direct response to every question in the prompt .

Take this Coalition Application prompt as an example:

What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What's the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?

For this prompt, you’d need to answer all three questions (though it’s totally fine to focus more on one or two of them) to write a compelling and appropriate essay.

This is why we recommend reading and rereading the essay prompt ; you should know exactly what it’s asking you to do, well before you start brainstorming possible college application essay topics.


53 College Essay Topics to Get Your Brain Moving

In this section, we give you a list of 53 examples of college essay topics. Use these as jumping-off points to help you get started on your college essay and to ensure that you’re on track to coming up with a relevant and effective topic.

All college application essay topics below are categorized by essay prompt type. We’ve identified six general types of college essay prompts:

Why This College?

Change and personal growth, passions, interests, and goals, overcoming a challenge, diversity and community, solving a problem.

Note that these prompt types could overlap with one another, so you’re not necessarily limited to just one college essay topic in a single personal statement.

  • How a particular major or program will help you achieve your academic or professional goals
  • A memorable and positive interaction you had with a professor or student at the school
  • Something good that happened to you while visiting the campus or while on a campus tour
  • A certain class you want to take or a certain professor you’re excited to work with
  • Some piece of on-campus equipment or facility that you’re looking forward to using
  • Your plans to start a club at the school, possibly to raise awareness of a major issue
  • A study abroad or other unique program that you can’t wait to participate in
  • How and where you plan to volunteer in the community around the school
  • An incredible teacher you studied under and the positive impact they had on you
  • How you went from really liking something, such as a particular movie star or TV show, to not liking it at all (or vice versa)
  • How yours or someone else’s (change in) socioeconomic status made you more aware of poverty
  • A time someone said something to you that made you realize you were wrong
  • How your opinion on a controversial topic, such as gay marriage or DACA, has shifted over time
  • A documentary that made you aware of a particular social, economic, or political issue going on in the country or world
  • Advice you would give to your younger self about friendship, motivation, school, etc.
  • The steps you took in order to kick a bad or self-sabotaging habit
  • A juxtaposition of the first and most recent time you did something, such as dance onstage
  • A book you read that you credit with sparking your love of literature and/or writing
  • A school assignment or project that introduced you to your chosen major
  • A glimpse of your everyday routine and how your biggest hobby or interest fits into it
  • The career and (positive) impact you envision yourself having as a college graduate
  • A teacher or mentor who encouraged you to pursue a specific interest you had
  • How moving around a lot helped you develop a love of international exchange or learning languages
  • A special skill or talent you’ve had since you were young and that relates to your chosen major in some way, such as designing buildings with LEGO bricks
  • Where you see yourself in 10 or 20 years
  • Your biggest accomplishment so far relating to your passion (e.g., winning a gold medal for your invention at a national science competition)
  • A time you lost a game or competition that was really important to you
  • How you dealt with the loss or death of someone close to you
  • A time you did poorly in a class that you expected to do well in
  • How moving to a new school impacted your self-esteem and social life
  • A chronic illness you battled or are still battling
  • Your healing process after having your heart broken for the first time
  • A time you caved under peer pressure and the steps you took so that it won't happen again
  • How you almost gave up on learning a foreign language but stuck with it
  • Why you decided to become a vegetarian or vegan, and how you navigate living with a meat-eating family
  • What you did to overcome a particular anxiety or phobia you had (e.g., stage fright)
  • A history of a failed experiment you did over and over, and how you finally found a way to make it work successfully
  • Someone within your community whom you aspire to emulate
  • A family tradition you used to be embarrassed about but are now proud of
  • Your experience with learning English upon moving to the United States
  • A close friend in the LGBTQ+ community who supported you when you came out
  • A time you were discriminated against, how you reacted, and what you would do differently if faced with the same situation again
  • How you navigate your identity as a multiracial, multiethnic, and/or multilingual person
  • A project or volunteer effort you led to help or improve your community
  • A particular celebrity or role model who inspired you to come out as LGBTQ+
  • Your biggest challenge (and how you plan to tackle it) as a female in a male-dominated field
  • How you used to discriminate against your own community, and what made you change your mind and eventually take pride in who you are and/or where you come from
  • A program you implemented at your school in response to a known problem, such as a lack of recycling cans in the cafeteria
  • A time you stepped in to mediate an argument or fight between two people
  • An app or other tool you developed to make people’s lives easier in some way
  • A time you proposed a solution that worked to an ongoing problem at school, an internship, or a part-time job
  • The steps you took to identify and fix an error in coding for a website or program
  • An important social or political issue that you would fix if you had the means


How to Build a College Essay in 6 Easy Steps

Once you’ve decided on a college essay topic you want to use, it’s time to buckle down and start fleshing out your essay. These six steps will help you transform a simple college essay topic into a full-fledged personal statement.

Step 1: Write Down All the Details

Once you’ve chosen a general topic to write about, get out a piece of paper and get to work on creating a list of all the key details you could include in your essay . These could be things such as the following:

  • Emotions you felt at the time
  • Names, places, and/or numbers
  • Dialogue, or what you or someone else said
  • A specific anecdote, example, or experience
  • Descriptions of how things looked, felt, or seemed

If you can only come up with a few details, then it’s probably best to revisit the list of college essay topics above and choose a different one that you can write more extensively on.

Good college essay topics are typically those that:

  • You remember well (so nothing that happened when you were really young)
  • You're excited to write about
  • You're not embarrassed or uncomfortable to share with others
  • You believe will make you positively stand out from other applicants

Step 2: Figure Out Your Focus and Approach

Once you have all your major details laid out, start to figure out how you could arrange them in a way that makes sense and will be most effective.

It’s important here to really narrow your focus: you don’t need to (and shouldn’t!) discuss every single aspect of your trip to visit family in Indonesia when you were 16. Rather, zero in on a particular anecdote or experience and explain why and how it impacted you.

Alternatively, you could write about multiple experiences while weaving them together with a clear, meaningful theme or concept , such as how your math teacher helped you overcome your struggle with geometry over the course of an entire school year. In this case, you could mention a few specific times she tutored you and most strongly supported you in your studies.

There’s no one right way to approach your college essay, so play around to see what approaches might work well for the topic you’ve chosen.

If you’re really unsure about how to approach your essay, think about what part of your topic was or is most meaningful and memorable to you, and go from there.

Step 3: Structure Your Narrative

  • Beginning: Don’t just spout off a ton of background information here—you want to hook your reader, so try to start in the middle of the action , such as with a meaningful conversation you had or a strong emotion you felt. It could also be a single anecdote if you plan to center your essay around a specific theme or idea.
  • Middle: Here’s where you start to flesh out what you’ve established in the opening. Provide more details about the experience (if a single anecdote) or delve into the various times your theme or idea became most important to you. Use imagery and sensory details to put the reader in your shoes.
  • End: It’s time to bring it all together. Finish describing the anecdote or theme your essay centers around and explain how it relates to you now , what you’ve learned or gained from it, and how it has influenced your goals.


Step 4: Write a Rough Draft

By now you should have all your major details and an outline for your essay written down; these two things will make it easy for you to convert your notes into a rough draft.

At this stage of the writing process, don’t worry too much about vocabulary or grammar and just focus on getting out all your ideas so that they form the general shape of an essay . It’s OK if you’re a little over the essay's word limit — as you edit, you’ll most likely make some cuts to irrelevant and ineffective parts anyway.

If at any point you get stuck and have no idea what to write, revisit steps 1-3 to see whether there are any important details or ideas you might be omitting or not elaborating on enough to get your overall point across to admissions officers.

Step 5: Edit, Revise, and Proofread

  • Sections that are too wordy and don’t say anything important
  • Irrelevant details that don’t enhance your essay or the point you're trying to make
  • Parts that seem to drag or that feel incredibly boring or redundant
  • Areas that are vague and unclear and would benefit from more detail
  • Phrases or sections that are awkwardly placed and should be moved around
  • Areas that feel unconvincing, inauthentic, or exaggerated

Start paying closer attention to your word choice/vocabulary and grammar at this time, too. It’s perfectly normal to edit and revise your college essay several times before asking for feedback, so keep working with it until you feel it’s pretty close to its final iteration.

This step will likely take the longest amount of time — at least several weeks, if not months — so really put effort into fixing up your essay. Once you’re satisfied, do a final proofread to ensure that it’s technically correct.

Step 6: Get Feedback and Tweak as Needed

After you’ve overhauled your rough draft and made it into a near-final draft, give your essay to somebody you trust , such as a teacher or parent, and have them look it over for technical errors and offer you feedback on its content and overall structure.

Use this feedback to make any last-minute changes or edits. If necessary, repeat steps 5 and 6. You want to be extra sure that your essay is perfect before you submit it to colleges!

Recap: From College Essay Topics to Great College Essays

Many different kinds of college application essay topics can get you into a great college. But this doesn’t make it any easier to choose the best topic for you .

In general, the best college essay topics have the following qualities :

  • They’re specific
  • They show who you are
  • They’re meaningful to you
  • They’re unique
  • They clearly answer the question

If you ever need help coming up with an idea of what to write for your essay, just refer to the list of 53 examples of college essay topics above to get your brain juices flowing.

Once you’ve got an essay topic picked out, follow these six steps for turning your topic into an unforgettable personal statement :

  • Write down all the details
  • Figure out your focus and approach
  • Structure your narrative
  • Write a rough draft
  • Edit, revise, and proofread
  • Get feedback and tweak as needed

And with that, I wish you the best of luck on your college essays!

What’s Next?

Writing a college essay is no simple task. Get expert college essay tips with our guides on how to come up with great college essay ideas and how to write a college essay, step by step .

You can also check out this huge list of college essay prompts  to get a feel for what types of questions you'll be expected to answer on your applications.

Want to see examples of college essays that absolutely rocked? You're in luck because we've got a collection of 100+ real college essay examples right here on our blog!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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12 Strategies to Writing the Perfect College Essay

College admission committees sift through thousands of college essays each year. Here’s how to make yours stand out.

Pamela Reynolds

When it comes to deciding who they will admit into their programs, colleges consider many criteria, including high school grades, extracurricular activities, and ACT and SAT scores. But in recent years, more colleges are no longer considering test scores.

Instead, many (including Harvard through 2026) are opting for “test-blind” admission policies that give more weight to other elements in a college application. This policy change is seen as fairer to students who don’t have the means or access to testing, or who suffer from test anxiety.

So, what does this mean for you?

Simply that your college essay, traditionally a requirement of any college application, is more important than ever.

A college essay is your unique opportunity to introduce yourself to admissions committees who must comb through thousands of applications each year. It is your chance to stand out as someone worthy of a seat in that classroom.

A well-written and thoughtful essay—reflecting who you are and what you believe—can go a long way to separating your application from the slew of forgettable ones that admissions officers read. Indeed, officers may rely on them even more now that many colleges are not considering test scores.

Below we’ll discuss a few strategies you can use to help your essay stand out from the pack. We’ll touch on how to start your essay, what you should write for your college essay, and elements that make for a great college essay.

Be Authentic

More than any other consideration, you should choose a topic or point of view that is consistent with who you truly are.

Readers can sense when writers are inauthentic.

Inauthenticity could mean the use of overly flowery language that no one would ever use in conversation, or it could mean choosing an inconsequential topic that reveals very little about who you are.

Use your own voice, sense of humor, and a natural way of speaking.

Whatever subject you choose, make sure it’s something that’s genuinely important to you and not a subject you’ve chosen just to impress. You can write about a specific experience, hobby, or personality quirk that illustrates your strengths, but also feel free to write about your weaknesses.

Honesty about traits, situations, or a childhood background that you are working to improve may resonate with the reader more strongly than a glib victory speech.

Grab the Reader From the Start

You’ll be competing with so many other applicants for an admission officer’s attention.

Therefore, start your essay with an opening sentence or paragraph that immediately seizes the imagination. This might be a bold statement, a thoughtful quote, a question you pose, or a descriptive scene.

Starting your essay in a powerful way with a clear thesis statement can often help you along in the writing process. If your task is to tell a good story, a bold beginning can be a natural prelude to getting there, serving as a roadmap, engaging the reader from the start, and presenting the purpose of your writing.

Focus on Deeper Themes

Some essay writers think they will impress committees by loading an essay with facts, figures, and descriptions of activities, like wins in sports or descriptions of volunteer work. But that’s not the point.

College admissions officers are interested in learning more about who you are as a person and what makes you tick.

They want to know what has brought you to this stage in life. They want to read about realizations you may have come to through adversity as well as your successes, not just about how many games you won while on the soccer team or how many people you served at a soup kitchen.

Let the reader know how winning the soccer game helped you develop as a person, friend, family member, or leader. Make a connection with your soup kitchen volunteerism and how it may have inspired your educational journey and future aspirations. What did you discover about yourself?

Show Don’t Tell

As you expand on whatever theme you’ve decided to explore in your essay, remember to show, don’t tell.

The most engaging writing “shows” by setting scenes and providing anecdotes, rather than just providing a list of accomplishments and activities.

Reciting a list of activities is also boring. An admissions officer will want to know about the arc of your emotional journey too.

Try Doing Something Different

If you want your essay to stand out, think about approaching your subject from an entirely new perspective. While many students might choose to write about their wins, for instance, what if you wrote an essay about what you learned from all your losses?

If you are an especially talented writer, you might play with the element of surprise by crafting an essay that leaves the response to a question to the very last sentence.

You may want to stay away from well-worn themes entirely, like a sports-related obstacle or success, volunteer stories, immigration stories, moving, a summary of personal achievements or overcoming obstacles.

However, such themes are popular for a reason. They represent the totality of most people’s lives coming out of high school. Therefore, it may be less important to stay away from these topics than to take a fresh approach.

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Write With the Reader in Mind

Writing for the reader means building a clear and logical argument in which one thought flows naturally from another.

Use transitions between paragraphs.

Think about any information you may have left out that the reader may need to know. Are there ideas you have included that do not help illustrate your theme?

Be sure you can answer questions such as: Does what you have written make sense? Is the essay organized? Does the opening grab the reader? Is there a strong ending? Have you given enough background information? Is it wordy?

Write Several Drafts

Set your essay aside for a few days and come back to it after you’ve had some time to forget what you’ve written. Often, you’ll discover you have a whole new perspective that enhances your ability to make revisions.

Start writing months before your essay is due to give yourself enough time to write multiple drafts. A good time to start could be as early as the summer before your senior year when homework and extracurricular activities take up less time.

Read It Aloud

Writer’s tip : Reading your essay aloud can instantly uncover passages that sound clumsy, long-winded, or false.

Don’t Repeat

If you’ve mentioned an activity, story, or anecdote in some other part of your application, don’t repeat it again in your essay.

Your essay should tell college admissions officers something new. Whatever you write in your essay should be in philosophical alignment with the rest of your application.

Also, be sure you’ve answered whatever question or prompt may have been posed to you at the outset.

Ask Others to Read Your Essay

Be sure the people you ask to read your essay represent different demographic groups—a teacher, a parent, even a younger sister or brother.

Ask each reader what they took from the essay and listen closely to what they have to say. If anyone expresses confusion, revise until the confusion is cleared up.

Pay Attention to Form

Although there are often no strict word limits for college essays, most essays are shorter rather than longer. Common App, which students can use to submit to multiple colleges, suggests that essays stay at about 650 words.

“While we won’t as a rule stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as you’d hoped it would,” the Common App website states.

In reviewing other technical aspects of your essay, be sure that the font is readable, that the margins are properly spaced, that any dialogue is set off properly, and that there is enough spacing at the top. Your essay should look clean and inviting to readers.

End Your Essay With a “Kicker”

In journalism, a kicker is the last punchy line, paragraph, or section that brings everything together.

It provides a lasting impression that leaves the reader satisfied and impressed by the points you have artfully woven throughout your piece.

So, here’s our kicker: Be concise and coherent, engage in honest self-reflection, and include vivid details and anecdotes that deftly illustrate your point.

While writing a fantastic essay may not guarantee you get selected, it can tip the balance in your favor if admissions officers are considering a candidate with a similar GPA and background.

Write, revise, revise again, and good luck!

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About the Author

Pamela Reynolds is a Boston-area feature writer and editor whose work appears in numerous publications. She is the author of “Revamp: A Memoir of Travel and Obsessive Renovation.”

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By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., crafting an unforgettable college essay.

Most selective colleges require you to submit an essay or personal statement as part of your application.

college essay

It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work. But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores . However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit. So they use your essay, along with your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities , to find out what sets you apart from the other talented candidates.

Telling Your Story to Colleges

So what does set you apart?

You have a unique background, interests and personality. This is your chance to tell your story (or at least part of it). The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through.

Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable. Many students try to sound smart rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about a subject that they don't care about, but that they think will impress admissions officers.

You don't need to have started your own business or have spent the summer hiking the Appalachian Trail. Colleges are simply looking for thoughtful, motivated students who will add something to the first-year class.

Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay

1. write about something that's important to you..

It could be an experience, a person, a book—anything that has had an impact on your life. 

2. Don't just recount—reflect! 

Anyone can write about how they won the big game or the summer they spent in Rome. When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary. Describe what you learned from the experience and how it changed you.

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3. Being funny is tough.

A student who can make an admissions officer laugh never gets lost in the shuffle. But beware. What you think is funny and what an adult working in a college thinks is funny are probably different. We caution against one-liners, limericks and anything off–color.

4. Start early and write several drafts.

Set it aside for a few days and read it again. Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer: Is the essay interesting? Do the ideas flow logically? Does it reveal something about the applicant? Is it written in the applicant’s own voice?

5. No repeats.

What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application–nor should it repeat it. This isn't the place to list your awards or discuss your grades or test scores.

6. Answer the question being asked.

Don't reuse an answer to a similar question from another application.

7. Have at least one other person edit your essay.

A teacher or college counselor is your best resource. And before you send it off, check, check again, and then triple check to make sure your essay is free of spelling or grammar errors.

Read More: 2018-2019 Common Application Essay Prompts (and How to Answer Them)

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  • How to Write a College Essay

College admissions experts offer tips on selecting a topic as well as writing and editing the essay.

where should i write my college essay

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Students can go online to review essay requirements for the colleges they want to apply to, such as word limits and essay topics. Many students may start with the Common App, an application platform accepted by more than 1,000 schools.

For college applicants, the essay is the place to showcase their writing skills and let their unique voice shine through.

"The essays are important in part because this is a student's chance to really speak directly to the admissions office," says Adam Sapp, assistant vice president and director of admissions at Pomona College in California.

Prospective college students want their essay, sometimes called a personal statement, to make a good impression and boost their chances of being accepted, but they have only several hundred words to make that happen.

This can feel like a lot of pressure.

"I think this is the part of the application process that students are sometimes most challenged by," says Niki Barron, associate dean of admission at Hamilton College in New York, "because they're looking at a blank piece of paper and they don't know where to get started."

That pressure may be amplified as many colleges have gone test optional in recent years, meaning that ACT and SAT scores will be considered if submitted but are not required. Other schools have gone test-blind and don't consider such scores at all. In the absence of test scores, some admissions experts have suggested that more attention will be paid to other parts of an application, such as the essay.

But just as each applicant is unique, so are college admissions policies and priorities.

"Being test optional hasn't changed how we use essays in our selection process, and I wouldn't say that the essay serves as a substitute for standardized test scores," Barron wrote in an email. "A student's academic preparation for our classroom experience is always front and center in our application review process."

On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled against college admissions policies that consider an applicant's race. The ruling, though, does not prohibit students from writing essays on how their race has affected them, which experts say could significantly affect how students approach this portion of their applications.

Essay-writing tips offered by experts emphasize the importance of being concise, coherent, congenial, unique, honest and accurate. An applicant should also flex some intellectual muscle and include vivid details or anecdotes.

From brainstorming essay topics to editing the final draft, here's what students need to know about crafting a strong college application essay.

Getting Started on the College Essay

How long should a college essay be, how to pick a college essay topic, writing the college essay, how the affirmative action ruling could change college essays, editing and submitting the college essay.

A good time for students to begin working on their essays is the summer before senior year, experts say, when homework and extracurricular activities aren't taking up time and mental energy.

Starting early will also give students plenty of time to work through multiple drafts of an essay before college application deadlines, which can be as early as November for students applying for early decision or early action .

Students can go online to review essay requirements for the colleges they want to apply to, such as word limits and essay topics. Many students may start with the Common App , an application platform accepted by more than 1,000 schools. Students can submit that application to multiple schools.

Another option is the Coalition Application, an application platform accepted by more than 130 schools. Students applying through this application choose from one of six essay prompts to complete and include with their application.

In addition to the main essay, some colleges ask applicants to submit one or more additional writing samples. Students are often asked to explain why they are interested in a particular school or academic field in these supplemental essays , which tend to be shorter than the main essay.

Students should budget more time for the writing process if the schools they're applying to ask for supplemental essays.

"Most selective colleges will ask for more than one piece of writing. Don't spend all your time working on one long essay and then forget to devote energy to other parts of the application," Sapp says.

Though the Common App notes that "there are no strict word limits" for its main essay, it suggests a cap of about 650 words. The Coalition Application website says its essays should be between 500 and 650 words.

"While we won't, as a rule, stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as you'd hoped it would," the Common App website states.

The word count is much shorter for institution-specific supplemental essays, which are typically around 250 words.

The first and sometimes most daunting step in the essay writing process is figuring out what to write about.

There are usually several essay prompts to choose from on a college application. They tend to be broad, open-ended questions, giving students the freedom to write about a wide array of topics, Barron says.

The essay isn't a complete autobiography, notes Mimi Doe, co-founder of Top Tier Admissions, a Massachusetts-based advising company. "It's overwhelming to think of putting your whole life in one essay," she says.

Rather, experts say students should narrow their focus and write about a specific experience, hobby or quirk that reveals something personal, like how they think, what they value or what their strengths are. Students can also write about something that illustrates an aspect of their background. These are the types of essays that typically stand out to admissions officers, experts say. Even an essay on a common topic can be compelling if done right.

Students don't have to discuss a major achievement in their essay – a common misconception. Admissions officers who spoke with U.S. News cited memorable essays that focused on more ordinary topics, including fly-fishing, a student's commute to and from school and a family's dining room table.

What's most important, experts say, is that a college essay is thoughtful and tells a story that offers insight into who a student is as a person.

"Think of the college essay as a meaningful glimpse of who you are beyond your other application materials," Pierre Huguet, CEO and founder of admissions consulting firm H&C Education, wrote in an email. "After reading your essay, the reader won't fully know you – at least not entirely. Your objective is to evoke the reader's curiosity and make them eager to get to know you."

If students are having trouble brainstorming potential topics, they can ask friends or family members for help, says Stephanie Klein Wassink, founder of Winning Applications and AdmissionsCheckup, Connecticut-based college admissions advising companies. Klein Wassink says students can ask peers or family members questions such as, "What are the things you think I do well?" Or, "What are my quirks?"

The essay should tell college admissions officers something they don't already know, experts say.

Some experts encourage students to outline their essay before jumping into the actual writing, though of course everyone's writing process differs.

The first draft of an essay doesn't need to be perfect. "Just do a brain dump," Doe says. "Don't edit yourself, just lay it all out on the page."

If students are having a hard time getting started, they should focus on their opening sentence, Doe suggests. She says an essay's opening sentence, or hook, should grab the reader's attention.

Doe offered an example of a strong hook from the essay of a student she worked with:

"I first got into politics the day the cafeteria outlawed creamed corn."

"I want to know about this kid," she says. "I’m interested."

The key to a good college essay is striking a balance between being creative and not overdoing it, Huguet says. He advises students to keep it simple.

"The college essay is not a fiction writing contest," Huguet says. "Admissions committees are not evaluating you on your potential as the next writer of the Great American Novel."

He adds that students should write in the voice they use to discuss meaningful topics with someone they trust. It's also wise to avoid hyperbole, as that can lose the readers' trust, as well as extraneous adverbs and adjectives, Huguet says.

"Thinking small, when done right, means paying close attention to the little things in your life that give it meaning in unique ways," he says. "It means, on the one hand, that you don’t have to come up with a plan for world peace, but it also means thinking small enough to identify details in your life that belong only to you."

The Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action has left some students feeling in limbo with how to approach their essays. Some are unsure whether to include racial identifiers while others feel pressure to exclude it, says Christopher Rim, CEO and founder of Command Education, an admissions consulting company.

"For instance, some of our Asian students have been concerned that referencing their culture or race in their essay could negatively impact them (even moreso than before)," Rim wrote in an email. He noted that many students he works with had already begun crafting their essays before the ruling came. "Some of our other students have felt pressure to disclose their race or share a story of discrimination or struggle because they expect those stories to be received better by admissions officers."

Some of the uneasiness stems from what feels like a contradictory message from the court, Rim says. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., said the ruling shouldn't be construed "as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise." But he added that colleges may consider race only if it's tied to an applicant’s individual experiences or qualities, such as demonstrating courage against discrimination.

Personal essays shouldn't serve as a way for universities to ask students about their race as a means to admit them on such basis, Roberts added.

Rim says he expects there to be a lot of confusion from parents and students as they navigate that line when writing their essay. He says his guidance will vary with each student depending on their specific situation.

"For a student from an immigrant family, sharing their racial and cultural background may be integral to understanding their identity and values and therefore should be included in the essay," he says. "On the other hand, a student who has never meaningfully considered ways in which their race has shaped their life experience and worldview should not push themselves to do so in their essay simply because they believe it will better their chances."

While admissions officers try to learn about students via the essay, they are also gauging writing skills, so students want to make sure they submit top-notch work.

"The best writing is rewriting," Sapp says. "You should never be giving me your first draft."

When reviewing a first essay draft, students should make sure their writing is showing, not telling, Huguet says. This means students should show their readers examples that prove they embody certain traits or beliefs, as opposed to just stating that they do. Doing so is like explaining a joke to someone who's already laughed at it, he says.

"Let’s say, for example, that the whole point of a certain applicant’s essay is to let admissions officers know that she thinks outside the box. If she feels the need to end her essay with a sentence like, 'And so, this anecdote shows that I think outside the box,' she’s either underestimating the power of her story (or the ability of her reader to understand it), or she hasn’t done a good enough job in telling it yet," Huguet says. "Let your readers come to their own conclusions. If your story is effective, they’ll come to the conclusions you want them to."

After editing their essay, students should seek outside editing help, experts recommend. While there are individuals and companies that offer paid essay help – from editing services to essay-writing boot camps – students and families may not be able to afford the associated fees. Some providers may offer scholarships or other financial aid for their services.

The availability and level of feedback from free essay advising services vary. Some college prep companies offer brief consultations at no charge. Free essay workshops may also be available through local high schools, public libraries or community organizations. Khan Academy, a free online education platform, also offers a series of videos and other content to guide students through the essay writing process.

Colleges themselves may also have resources, Barron notes, pointing to pages on Hamilton's website that offer writing tips as well as examples of successful admissions essays. Likewise, Hamilton also holds virtual panel discussions on writing admissions essays.

Students have other options when it comes to essay help. They can ask peers, teachers, school counselors and family members for help polishing an essay. Huguet says it's typically wise to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to seeking feedback on essays. Too many perspectives can become counterproductive, he says.

"While it can be valuable to have different perspectives, it's best to seek out individuals who are experts in the writing process," he says. "Instructors or professors can be helpful, particularly if they possess subject expertise and can provide guidance on refining arguments, structure and overall coherence."

Proofreaders should not change the tone of the essay. "Don't let anyone edit out your voice," Doe cautions.

And while proofreading is fair game, having someone else write your essay is not.

When an essay is ready to go, students will generally submit it online along with the rest of their application. On the Common App, for example, students copy and paste their essay into a text box.

Sapp says even though students often stress about the essay in particular, it's not the only thing college admissions officers look at. "The essay is the window, but the application is the house," he says. "So let's not forget that an application is built of many pieces."

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What If I Don’t Have Anything Interesting To Write About In My College Essay?

What’s covered:, what makes for a good college essay, how to write a dazzling college essay, will your essay make or break your college application.

College applicants are constantly told that in order to be attractive to admissions committees they need to stand out—but how can you stand out when you live a pretty ordinary life? Lots of students worry that the events of their everyday life are too boring or clichéd to be the topic of a really good essay.

That being said, there’s no need to worry! Your college essay doesn’t need to be about an extraordinary experience you’ve had. Rather, it should depict you as extraordinary. “Uninteresting” topics actually make great college essays because the topic itself doesn’t carry the essay—the student’s individuality does.

Read on for tips on how to write a college essay about an “uninteresting” topic that still shows off your personality, values, interests, and writing skills.

The purpose of your college essay is to humanize yourself to admissions officers so that they can see the ‘real you’ behind the grades and test scores you’ve submitted.

Our article about awesome essay topics gives five structures for a good college essay (though there are many more!):

  • A unique extracurricular activity or passion
  • An activity or interest that contrasts heavily with your profile
  • A seemingly insignificant moment that speaks to larger themes within your life
  • Using an everyday experience or object as a metaphor to explore your life and personality
  • An in-the-moment narrative that tells the story of an important moment in your life

As you might notice, only one of these essay topics references anything exciting, extraordinary, or unique. Set aside the idea that you need to write about something dramatic and unusual. Unusual experiences are not what is most important to admissions officers—rather, it’s important to position yourself as someone that an admissions officer would like to see at their university.

Some things that make for a bad college essay include:

  • Not answering the prompt
  • Stretching a prompt so that your answer doesn’t make sense
  • Writing about a controversial issue, particularly in an irreverent way
  • Showing prejudice
  • Writing about a clichéd topic
  • Writing about anything that advocates disrespect for authority—this can be anything from insulting a teacher to doing an illegal activity
  • Assuming the opinions of your reader

Beyond these boundaries, you can pick any topic you want. It’s how you write about the topic that matters!

Read on for our advice on writing a compelling essay that offers a window into your personality and life experiences.

Our guidance for writing a dazzling essay about an “uninteresting” topic involves:

  • Picking a value or fundamental truth about yourself that will humanize you to admissions officers and tell them something important about yourself
  • Identifying an experience that exemplifies that value or fundamental truth
  • Writing a thoughtful essay that uses your “uninteresting” experience to say something interesting about yourself

1. Get the Ball Rolling

There are many different practices you might find useful as you start brainstorming your college essay. These include freewriting, listing, outlines, and more. That said, don’t feel restricted by brainstorming exercises. Remember that they’re meant to start the process and get the juices flowing. Write down anything and everything that springs to mind—who knows what it could turn into?

Sometimes simple questions can open students up and reveal what is important to them. Here are some questions that might help you brainstorm:

  • What’s the last news story you read and found interesting? This question can help you identify an issue that you are passionate about or a cause that matters a lot to you.
  • What is your proudest accomplishment so far? What about it makes you feel proud? This question can reveal what you consider most important about yourself, which is likely something you find important in life.
  • When have you been the most nervous, and why were you nervous? What was the outcome of the situation? This could be anything from an important performance to standing up for an issue you care about. People’s fears can be an indicator of what they value.
  • What’s the most recent topic you researched on your own just for fun or self-improvement? Have you found yourself going down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia articles recently? Your interests are important to you and say a lot about you.
  • What have you learned from the community you grew up in? What do you value about that community? Your individual history and family history are very important factors in who you are as a person.
  • When have you most recently changed your mind about something important? If growth is important to you, admissions officers want to hear about it.

2. Pick Your Value

If you aren’t going to have a flashy topic, you need to make sure that you use your “uninteresting” topic to say something interesting about yourself. When the admissions officer finishes reading your essay, they should feel like they know you better than when they started reading. So what are you going to tell them about yourself?

Your value or fundamental truth about yourself doesn’t necessarily need to be positive, but neutral/negative values will probably need to be accompanied by self-aware reflection throughout your essay.

Values and fundamental truths can be things like:

  • I have a growth mindset
  • Family loyalty is very important to me
  • Giving gifts that people will treasure is important to me
  • I don’t like to be like everyone else
  • Embarrassment is a major fear of mine
  • I don’t like seeing others in pain
  • I am super curious
  • I always like to be busy
  • I don’t like making mistakes
  • Having fun is important to me
  • I’m a people pleaser
  • Self-care is important to me

3. Pick Your Experience

You will want to pick an anecdote, experience, or example that can serve as a channel through which you can communicate your value. Finding significance in a small incident can be incredibly compelling for your readers. On the other hand, you could explore the meaning of something that you do every day or every week. You can even simply muse on one relationship in your life that speaks to your value. Once you have chosen an experience, you have your topic!

Some “uninteresting” essay topics with interesting implications could be:

  • Making dinner with my mom on Fridays allows me to see how matriarchal strength has been passed down in my family
  • Volunteering at my local community center is how I take care of the natural caretaker in me
  • Going to the mall with my best friend is important to me because choosing which stores to go into is structured spontaneity, and I need structured spontaneity
  • Making cards for my friends’ birthdays started as a way to save money, but I really enjoy how it fuses technical and artistic abilities in a unique way
  • Singing Disney show tunes in the car is when I feel most relaxed because people around me put a lot of pressure on me to grow up fast and sometimes I miss being a kid
  • Going to the hospital to visit my uncle after his surgery was uncomfortable for me because I love others so strongly that it truly hurts me to see them in pain
  • Sleeping with my same stuffed animal every night makes me feel safe, which is important to me because my sister’s health issues cause me anxiety and it’s nice to have something stable to rely on

Some final notes on choosing your essay topic:

  • The topic you initially like the most may not be the one that allows you to write the best possible essay. Be open to trying something different.
  • You don’t need to commit to a topic right away. If it becomes clear after you start outlining or writing that your initial plan isn’t going to work as well as you would like, there’s nothing wrong with altering your topic or starting over with a new topic.

If you still feel stuck, we recommend you take a look at the school-specific supplemental essay questions presented by the colleges to which you’re not applying. One of these prompts might spark an idea in your mind that would also be appropriate for the colleges to which you are applying. Check out the Essay Breakdown posts on the CollegeVine blog for a convenient way to look at this year’s essay questions from many different competitive schools.

4. Make Your Experience Shine

Once you’ve selected a topic, you’ll need to figure out how to develop an essay from it that is technically skillful, compelling to the reader, and true to the vision of yourself that you’re working to portray in your application. Remember, the value of your essay is much more in how you write about your experiences than it is in what experiences you write about.

To write a truly effective college essay, you’ll need to focus not just on depicting your chosen experience, but also on expressing your personal experience in an interesting manner. The experience is simply your scaffolding. The focus of your essay should be what that experience says about you—or what you make it say about you.

When writing about an “uninteresting” experience, you will want to be reflective, be self-aware, and show maturity in your view of your experience. Focus on communicating your thoughts and emotions in a way that evokes emotion in your reader and makes them feel connected to you.

Details are also important to pay attention to while writing your essay, as they’ll bring life and context to your story. Vivid and evocative details can turn your “uninteresting” experience into a relatable and interesting scene in your reader’s imagination.

With skillful writing, powerful word choice, and a good sense of how to develop a fragment of an idea into a longer piece of writing, you can make any topic—no matter how “uninteresting” it may seem—into a mature exploration of your values and a showcase of your skills as a communicator.

It depends . A brilliant essay can’t make up for severe deficiencies in your academic qualifications , but it will still have a significant impact, particularly at smaller and more competitive schools.

If you’re “on the bubble” for admissions, an essay that makes an admissions officer feel like they know you could give them a reason to accept your application. On the other hand, an essay that’s carelessly written, inappropriate, or full of technical errors will hurt your chances of admission, even if you have great qualifications.

If you finish your first draft of your essay and are still worried that your “uninteresting” topic will break your college application, we recommend that you get feedback. Sometimes it can really help to have someone else determine whether or not your voice is shining through in your work. Feedback is ultimately any writer’s best source of improvement!

To get your college essay edited for free and improve your chances of acceptance at your dream schools, use our Peer Review Essay Tool . With this tool, other students will tell you if your essay effectively humanizes you.

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Home — Blog — Topic Ideas — 200 Ethical Topics & Questions to Debate in Essay

200 Ethical Topics & Questions to Debate in Essay

ethical topics

Ethical topics and questions are essential for stimulating thoughtful discussions and deepening our understanding of complex moral landscapes. Ethics, the study of what is right and wrong, underpins many aspects of human life and societal functioning. Whether you're crafting an essay or preparing for a debate, delving into ethical issues allows you to explore various perspectives and develop critical thinking skills.

Ethical issues encompass a wide range of dilemmas and conflicts where individuals or societies must choose between competing moral principles. Understanding what are ethical issues involves recognizing situations that challenge our values, behaviors, and decisions. This article provides a thorough guide to ethical topics, offering insights into current ethical issues, and presenting a detailed list of questions and topics to inspire your writing and debates.

Ethical Issues Definition

Ethical issues refer to situations where a decision, action, or policy conflicts with ethical principles or societal norms. These dilemmas often involve a choice between competing values or interests, such as fairness vs. efficiency, privacy vs. security, or individual rights vs. collective good. Ethical issues arise in various fields, including medicine, business, technology, and the environment. They challenge individuals and organizations to consider the moral implications of their actions and to seek solutions that align with ethical standards. Understanding ethical issues requires an analysis of both the potential benefits and the moral costs associated with different courses of action.

⭐ Top 10 Ethical Topics [2024]

  • Climate Change Responsibility
  • Data Privacy in the Digital Age
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • AI and Automation
  • Animal Rights
  • Freedom of Speech vs. Hate Speech
  • Healthcare Accessibility
  • Human Rights in the Age of Globalization

Ethics Essay Writing Guide

Writing an ethics essay involves more than just presenting facts; it requires a thoughtful analysis of moral principles and their application to real-world scenarios. Understanding ethical topics and what constitutes ethical issues is essential for crafting a compelling essay. Here’s a guide to help you address current ethical issues effectively:

  • Choose a Clear Topic: Select an ethical issue that is both interesting and relevant. Understanding the definition of ethical issues will help you narrow down your choices.
  • Research Thoroughly: Gather information from credible sources to support your arguments. Knowing what ethical issues are and how they are defined can provide a solid foundation for your research.
  • Present Multiple Perspectives: Show an understanding of different viewpoints on the issue. This will demonstrate your grasp of the complexity of current ethical issues.
  • Use Real-world Examples: Illustrate your points with concrete examples. This not only strengthens your arguments but also helps to explain ethical topics in a relatable way.
  • Structure Your Essay: Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. A well-structured essay makes it easier to present your analysis of ethical issues.
  • Provide a Balanced Argument: Weigh the pros and cons to offer a well-rounded discussion. Addressing various aspects of current ethical issues will make your essay more comprehensive.
  • Conclude Thoughtfully: Summarize your findings and reflect on the broader implications of the issue. This is where you can discuss the impact of ethical issues on society and future considerations.

By following this guide, you will be able to write an ethics essay that not only presents facts but also offers a deep and nuanced analysis of ethical topics.

Selecting the Right Research Topic in Ethics

Choosing the right research topic in ethics can be challenging, but it is crucial for writing an engaging and insightful essay. Here are some tips:

  • Relevance: Ensure the topic is relevant to current societal issues.
  • Interest: Pick a topic that genuinely interests you.
  • Scope: Choose a topic with enough scope for research and debate.
  • Complexity: Aim for a topic that is complex enough to allow for in-depth analysis.
  • Availability of Sources: Make sure there are enough resources available to support your research.

What Style Should an Ethics Essay Be Written In?

When writing an ethics essay, it is essential to adopt a formal and objective style. Clarity and conciseness are paramount, as the essay should avoid unnecessary jargon and overly complex sentences that might obscure the main points. Maintaining objectivity is crucial; presenting arguments without bias ensures that the discussion remains balanced and fair. Proper citations are vital to give credit to sources and uphold academic integrity.

Engaging the reader through a logical flow of ideas is important, as it helps sustain interest and facilitates a better understanding of the ethical topics being discussed. Additionally, the essay should be persuasive, making compelling arguments supported by evidence to effectively convey the analysis of moral issues. By following these guidelines, the essay will not only be informative but also impactful in its examination of ethical dilemmas.

List of Current Ethical Issues

  • The impact of social media on privacy.
  • Ethical considerations in genetic cloning.
  • Balancing national security with individual rights.
  • Privacy concerns in the digital age.
  • The ethics of biohacking.
  • Ethical considerations in space exploration.
  • The ethics of surveillance and data collection by governments and corporations.
  • Ethical issues in the use of facial recognition technology.
  • The ethical implications of autonomous vehicles.
  • The morality of animal testing in scientific research.
  • Ethical concerns in the gig economy.
  • The impact of climate change on ethical business practices.
  • The ethics of consumer data usage by companies.
  • Ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care and assisted suicide.
  • The role of ethics in the development of renewable energy sources.

Ethical Issues in Psychology

  • Confidentiality vs. duty to warn in therapy.
  • Ethical dilemmas in psychological research.
  • The use of placebo in psychological treatment.
  • Ethical issues in the treatment of vulnerable populations.
  • The ethics of involuntary commitment and treatment.
  • Dual relationships and conflicts of interest in therapy.
  • The use of deception in psychological experiments.
  • The ethics of cognitive enhancement drugs.
  • Ethical considerations in online therapy and telepsychology.
  • Cultural competence and ethical practice in psychology.
  • The ethics of forensic psychology and assessment.
  • The impact of social media on mental health and ethical practice.
  • The use of emerging technologies in psychological treatment.
  • Ethical issues in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
  • The role of ethics in psychological testing and assessment.

Ethical Debate Topics

  • Is capital punishment morally justified?
  • Should organ donation be mandatory?
  • The ethics of artificial intelligence in warfare.
  • Is euthanasia ethically permissible?
  • Should human cloning be allowed?
  • The morality of animal rights vs. human benefit.
  • Is it ethical to use animals for entertainment?
  • Should there be limits on free speech?
  • The ethics of genetic modification in humans.
  • Is it ethical to have mandatory vaccinations?
  • The morality of government surveillance programs.
  • Should assisted reproductive technologies be regulated?
  • The ethics of using performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
  • Should healthcare be considered a human right?
  • The ethical implications of wealth inequality and redistribution.

Medical Ethics Topics

  • Ariel Case Study: a Comprehensive Analysis
  • The Case for and Against Daylight Saving Time
  • Technological Advancements in Medical, Educational & Other Fields
  • The Language of Medicine
  • Medical Ethics: Beneficence and Non-maleficence
  • Overview of What Sonography is
  • The Use of Steroids and HGH in Sports
  • Media and The Scientific Community Treat People Like Tools
  • Informative Speech for Organ Donation
  • Medicine in Our World
  • The Origin of Medical Terminology
  • Preserving Sight: My Journey to Becoming an Optometrist
  • Case of Dr. Eric Poehlman's Ethical Violation
  • Should The NHS Treat Patients with Self-Inflicted Illnesses
  • My Education as a Medical Technologist

Ethics Essay Topics on Business

  • Ethics Report on Panasonic Corporation
  • Case Study on The ACS Code of Morals
  • Differences in Business Ethics Among East Asian Countries
  • Business Ethics in Sports
  • Business Ethics in Different Countries, and Its Importance
  • Selfless Service and Its Impact on Social Change
  • Challenges in Doing Business Across The Border
  • The Importance of Ethics in Advertising
  • Ethical Issues that Businesses Face
  • Profitability of Business Ethics
  • The Law and Morality in Business
  • How Ethnic Variances Effect Worldwide Business
  • The Ethical Practices in The Business Sector in the Modern Economy
  • Key Responsibilities and Code of Ethics in Engineering Profession
  • Analysis of The Code of Ethics in Walmart

Ethics Essay Topics on Environment

  • Understanding The Importance of Keeping Animals Safe
  • The Importance of Treating Animals with Respect
  • CWU and The Issue of Chimpanzee Captivity
  • The Process of Suicidal Reproduction in the Animal World
  • Analysis of The Egg Industry to Understand The Causes of The High Prices in Eggs
  • The Dangers of Zoos
  • Importance for Animals to Be Free from Harm by Humans
  • Should Animals Be Killed for The Benefit of Humans
  • Reasons Why Genetic Engineering Should Be Banned
  • What I Learned in Ethics Class: Environmental Ethics
  • Nanotechnology and Environment
  • Review of The Environmental Protection Act
  • How The Idea of Preservation of Nature Can Benefit from Environmental Ethics
  • The Relation and Controversy Between American Diet and Environmental Ethics
  • Green Technology

Work Ethics Essay Topics

  • The impact of workplace surveillance on employee privacy.
  • Ethical considerations in remote work.
  • Discrimination in the workplace.
  • An Examination of Addiction to Work in The Protestant Work Ethic
  • The Work Ethic of The Millennials
  • My Understanding of The Proper Environment in the Workplace
  • Social Responsibility & Ethics Management Program in Business
  • The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961
  • The Issue of Stealing in The Workplace
  • Chinese Work Management and Business Identity
  • Ethical Issues of Using Social Media at the Workplace
  • The Teleological Ethical Theories
  • Learning Journal on Ethical Conflicts, Environmental Issues, and Social Responsibilities
  • Social Media at Workplace: Ethics and Influence
  • Ethical Issue of Employees Stealing and Whistleblowing

Ethics Essay Topics on Philosophy

  • A Critical Analysis of Ethical Dilemmas in Education and Beyond
  • Overview of What an Ethical Dilemma is
  • The Implications of Exculpatory Language
  • Ethical Dilemmas in End-of-life Decision Making
  • What I Learned in Ethics Class: Integrating Ethics in Aviation
  • Doing What is Right is not Always Popular: Philosophy of Ethics
  • An Analysis of Public Trust and Corporate Ethics
  • Ethical Concerns of Beauty Pageants
  • Simone De Beauvoir’s Contribution to Philosophy and Ethics
  • The Impact on Decision-making and Life Choices
  • Importance and Improvement of Personal Ethics
  • Personal Ethics and Integrity in Our Life
  • Analysis of The Philosophical Concept of Virtue Ethics
  • Understanding Moral Action
  • How to Become a Gentleman
  • A Call for Emphasis on Private Morality and Virtue Teaching
  • A Positive Spin on Ethical Marketing in The Gambling Industry
  • An Overview of The Ethical Dilemma in a Personal Case
  • Bioethical Principles and Professional Responsibilities
  • Ethical Considerations in Counseling Adolescents
  • Ethical Dilemma in College Life
  • Ethical Theories: Deontology and Utilitarianism
  • Issues of Fraud, Ethics, and Regulation in Healthcare
  • Navigating Ethical Dimensions in Education
  • The Ethical Landscape of Advanced Technology
  • Research Paper on The Ethical Issue of Publishing The Pentagon Papers
  • The Trolley Problem: an Ethical Dilemma
  • Analysis of "To The Bitter End" Case Study
  • Ethical Theories: Virtue and Utilitarian Ethics
  • Feminist Ethics: Deconstructing Gender and Morality
  • Is Deadpool a Hero Research Paper
  • My Moral and Ethical Stance
  • The Concept of Ethics and The Pursuit of Happiness
  • The Ethics of Graphic Photojournalism
  • The Quintessence of Justice: a Critical Evaluation of Juror 11's Role
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Ethics of Greed
  • The Importance of Ethics in Our Daily Life
  • Analysis of The Envy Emotion and My Emotional Norms
  • The Topic of Animal Rights in Relation to The Virtue Theory

Ethics Essay Topics on Science

  • The Cause of Cancer as Illustrated in a Bioethics Study
  • Bioethical Issues Related to Genetic Engineering
  • Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research
  • The Role of Ethics Committees in Biomedical Research
  • The Legal and Bioethical Aspects of Personalised Medicine Based on Genetic Composition
  • The Ethics of Clinical Trials: Ensuring Informed Consent and Patient Safety
  • Ethical Challenges in Neuroethics: Brain Privacy and Cognitive Liberty
  • Gene Therapy: Ethical Dilemmas and Social Implications
  • Overview of Bioethics The Trigger of Contentious Moral Topics
  • The Progression of Bioethics and Its Importance
  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Medical Ethics
  • The Drawbacks of Free Healthcare: Economic, Quality, and Access Issues
  • Bioethical Issues in My Sister’s Keeper: Having Your Autonomy Taken to Save Your Sibling
  • The Ethics of Biotechnology in Agriculture: GMOs and Food Safety
  • Ethical Considerations in Organ Donation and Transplantation

List of Ethical Questions for Students

Exploring ethical topics is crucial for students to develop critical thinking and moral reasoning. Here is a comprehensive list of ethical questions for students to discuss and debate. These topics cover a wide range of issues, encouraging thoughtful discussion and deeper understanding.

Good Ethical Questions for Discussion

  • Is it ethical to eat meat?
  • Should parents have the right to genetically modify their children?
  • Is it ever acceptable to lie?
  • Should schools monitor students' social media activity?
  • Is it ethical to use animals in scientific research?
  • Should companies be allowed to patent human genes?
  • Is it right to impose cultural values on others?
  • Should the government regulate internet content?
  • Is it ethical to have designer babies?
  • Should wealthy countries help poorer nations?
  • Is it ethical to keep animals in zoos?
  • Should there be limits to freedom of speech?
  • Is it right to use artificial intelligence in decision-making?
  • Should we prioritize privacy over security?
  • Is it ethical to manipulate emotions through advertising?

Moral Questions to Debate

  • Is genetic modification in humans ethical?
  • Should vaccinations be mandatory?
  • Is government surveillance justified?
  • Is it ethical to use performance-enhancing drugs in sports?
  • Is wealth inequality morally acceptable?
  • Should education be free for everyone?
  • Is it ethical to allow autonomous robots to make life-and-death decisions?

Ethical topics and questions are a rich field for exploration and discussion. Examining these issues, we can better understand the moral principles that guide our actions and decisions. Whether you're writing an essay or preparing for a debate, this comprehensive list of ethical topics and questions will help you engage with complex moral dilemmas and develop your critical thinking skills.

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where should i write my college essay

Apply to College

Everyone has questions about applying to college. Where do I start? How many should I apply to? What are all the steps? The resources below can help you get started on your college application journey.

Applying to College: FAQ

Applying to college is a big moment in your life. Here are some of the most common questions about the application process.

The Application Process

You’ve done all your research, you’ve picked your schools, and you’re ready to start applying. It can feel overwhelming, but we’ve made the process much easier by breaking it down into smaller steps.

12th Grade College Application Timeline

Want to know if you’re on track for the senior year timeline for the college application process? This college application timeline for seniors shows you what you should be doing, and when.


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