I thought of two more 'common' essays that make my eyes roll:1. The 'I will survive' essay - While I think it's perfectly acceptable to talk about circumstances that tested your perseverance and will to succeed, I find that most writers who choose this topic spend SO much time focusing solely on the negativity of their experiences that I only feel pity for them. They usually end the essay by saying that they're not a quitter or some other trite ending. 2. The 'Pity' essay - If the above topic generated self-pity, this essay generates pity for someone else. Whether it's a small impoverished boy, Brazilian prostitute, imprisoned orphan or whatever, these essays focus so much on the negativity (and usual recovery) of the subject that focus shifts drastically away from the writer. Essentially, it suffers the same problems as #1.