Rogers High School College Essay Topics


■ Yearbook- Attention parents and guardians of the class of 2018!  We are now accepting orders for celebratory announcements for our yearbook, the Binnacle.  Please see your school email for attachments and further information!


■ Newport Community School will run in the library today. Students participating in art, yoga with Ms. D, manicure Monday’s, Language exchange with Salve and senior project workshop please check into the library First. There is NO transition to college today.

■For the next three weeks, Rogers High School will be participating in ‘pennies for patients’! Help us raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and donate your change! Collection bins can be found in classrooms - money will be collected during advisory each week. If you have any questions or would like to help see Ms. Dugan in the NCS office.


■The SMILE Program will not be meeting today.


■ CCRI's Newport Campus will be holding a Free FAFSA Completion Night March 22, 2018.  If you have yet to complete your FAFSA this is a great opportunity to get it done!

■ Saturday, April 7th at PCTA there will be a workshop called " Keep'n It Real" hosted by the College Planning Center of Rhode Island. If you are interested in learning about what to expect in your transition from Rogers to College, this workshop is for you!  Pre-register online to be entered for a $500 scholarship!


■ The next mandatory meeting for the Class of 2019 NHS members is Thursday, March 22 in room 106 right after school.   Please contact Mrs. Kimes with any questions or legitimate conflicts at


■ During Advisory this Wednesday, there will be a cap/gown and ring assembly in the auditorium.

■ Senior project materials are due! Turn in your resumes, essays, letter of intents and complete hour forms as soon as possible. See Ms. Dugan if you have any questions.


■ During Advisory this Wednesday, there will be an assembly to introduce the Summer 2018 Internship Program through Prepare Rhode Island.

■ Juniors! There will be a college fair April 10th at the Rhode Island Convention Center. This fair has received rave reviews from last year's seniors and is worth the trip. Register for free at

■ Juniors! Johnson and Whales will be coming to visit for a brief information session Wednesday, March 14th. If you are interested please sing up with Miss DeCollibus.


■A huge congratulations to Indoor Track & Field student-athlete Brian Neal. Brian represented Rogers at this weekend's New Balance National Indoor Track & Field Championships in New York City. Brian competed in the 25 lbs. weight throw and had his best performance ever with a toss of 63'-7.25" placing him 15th in the nation! 

■ RMR hockey found themselves down a goal quickly to North Kingstown to start game two. However, that was the only goal the Skippers would score Saturday night. RMR scored three unanswered to win 3-1 and force a series-deciding game three.  Puck drops tonight, 6 pm at Portsmouth Abbey.

■ This afternoon the Unified Basketball team will open their season on the road against West Warwick.

■Girls lacrosse will hold one more final meeting after school today in the cafeteria. This will be the final meeting before practice begins on the 19th. 

■ All girls interested in learning more about the outdoor track team should attend a meeting after school this Thursday in room 813 (behind the auditorium).

■Boys lacrosse this Wednesday will have their final meeting before the season begins after school in the cafeteria.

■ Attention Spring athletes, registration is now open for all spring sports.   Please make sure we have a current physical (valid for one calendar year) and an Assumption of Risk form on file.  Questions please contact Mr. Cawley, Director of Athletics

Here’s a tip: Choose a topic you really want to write about. If the subject doesn’t matter to you, it won’t matter to the reader. Write about whatever keeps you up at night. That might be cars, or coffee. It might be your favorite book or the Pythagorean theorem. It might be why you don’t believe in evolution or how you think kale must have hired a PR firm to get people to eat it.

A good topic will be complex. In school, you were probably encouraged to write papers that took a side. That’s fine in academic work when you’re being asked to argue in support of a position, but in a personal essay, you want to express more nuanced thinking and explore your own clashing emotions. In an essay, conflict is good.

For example, “I love my mom. She’s my best friend. We share clothes and watch ‘The Real Housewives’ of three different cities together” does not make for a good essay. “I love my mom even though she makes me clean my room, hates my guinea pig and is crazy about disgusting food like kale” could lead somewhere

While the personal essay has to be personal, a reader can learn a lot about you from whatever you choose to focus on and how you describe it. One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.

Another guy wrote about making kimchi with his mom. They would go into the garage and talk, really talk: “Once my mom said to me in a thick Korean accent, ‘Every time you have sex, I want you to make sure and use a condo.’ I instantly burst into laughter and said, ‘Mom, that could get kind of expensive!’ ” A girl wrote about her feminist mother’s decision to get breast implants.

A car, kimchi, Mom’s upsizing — the writers used these objects as vehicles to get at what they had come to say. They allowed the writer to explore the real subject: This is who I am.

Don’t brag about your achievements. Instead, look at times you’ve struggled or, even better, failed. Failure is essayistic gold. Figure out what you’ve learned. Write about that. Be honest and say the hardest things you can. And remember those exhausted admissions officers sitting around a table in the winter. Jolt them out of their sugar coma and give them something to be excited about.

10 Things Students Should Avoid

REPEATING THE PROMPT Admissions officers know what’s on their applications. Don’t begin, “A time that I failed was when I tried to beat up my little brother and I realized he was bigger than me.” You can start right in: “As I pulled my arm back to throw a punch, it struck me: My brother had gotten big. Bigger than me.”

LEAVE WEBSTER’S OUT OF IT Unless you’re using a word like “prink” (primp) or “demotic” (popular) or “couloir” (deep gorge), you can assume your reader knows the definition of the words you’ve written. You’re better off not starting your essay with “According to Webster’s Dictionary . . . .”

THE EPIGRAPH Many essays start with a quote from another writer. When you have a limited amount of space, you don’t want to give precious real estate to someone else’s words.

YOU ARE THERE! When writing about past events, the present tense doesn’t allow for reflection. All you can do is tell the story. This happens, then this happens, then this happens. Some beginning writers think the present tense makes for more exciting reading. You’ll see this is a fallacy if you pay attention to how many suspenseful novels are written in past tense.

SOUND EFFECTSOuch! Thwack! Whiz! Whooooosh! Pow! Are you thinking of comic books? Certainly, good writing can benefit from a little onomatopoeia. Clunk is a good one. Or fizz. But once you start adding exclamation points, you’re wading into troubled waters. Do not start your essay with a bang!

ACTIVE BODY PARTS One way to make your reader giggle is to give body parts their own agency. When you write a line like “His hands threw up,” the reader might get a visual image of hands barfing. “My eyes fell to the floor.” Ick.

CLICHÉS THINK YOUR THOUGHTS FOR YOU Here’s one: There is nothing new under the sun. We steal phrases and ideas all the time. George Orwell’s advice: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.”

TO BE OR NOT TO BE Get rid of “to be” verbs. Replace “was” in “The essay was written by a student; it was amazing and delightful” and you’ll get: “The student’s essay amazed and delighted me.” We’ve moved from a static description to a sprightlier one and cut the word count almost in half.

WORD PACKAGES Some phrases — free gift, personal beliefs, final outcome, very unique — come in a package we don’t bother to unpack. They’re redundant.

RULES TO IGNORE In English class, you may have to follow a list of rules your teacher says are necessary for good grammar: Don’t use contractions. No sentence fragments. It’s imperative to always avoid split infinitives. Ending on a preposition is the sort of English up with which teachers will not put. And don’t begin a sentence with a conjunction like “and” or “but” or “because.” Pick up a good book. You’ll see that the best authors ignore these fussy, fusty rules.

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