Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed. Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth.
Prompt 6: What captivates you? This prompt is an invitation to write about something you care about. So avoid the pitfall of writing about what you think will impress the admission office versus what truly matters to you. Colleges are looking for curious students, who are thoughtful about the world around them. Make sure you explain how you pursue your interest, as well.
Prompt 7: Topic of your choice. You can even write your own question! Whatever topic you land on, the essentials of a standout college essay still stand: 1. Show the admissions committee who you are beyond grades and test scores and 2. Dig into your topic by asking yourself how and why. My mother was often fatigued, so I assumed more responsibility, juggling family duties, school, athletics, and work. I made countless trips to the neighborhood pharmacy, cooked dinner, biked to the grocery store, supported my concerned sister, and provided the loving care my mother needed to recover.
I now take ownership over small decisions such as scheduling daily appointments and managing my time but also over major decisions involving my future, including the college admissions process. My mother remains a guiding force in my life, but the feeling of empowerment I discovered within myself is the ultimate form of my independence. Why does it captivate you?
What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? This prompt allows you to expand and deepen a seemingly small or simple idea, topic, or concept. A tip for expanding on these topics and achieving specificity is to select particular details of the topic that you find intriguing and explain why. You can delve into why certain spices or garnishes are superior in different situations, how flavors blend well together and can be mixed creatively, or even the chemistry differences between steaming, searing, and grilling.
Regardless of your topic, this prompt provides a great opportunity to display writing prowess through elegant, specific descriptions that leverage sensory details.
In the case of surfing, the salty water, weightlessness of bobbing over the waves, and fresh air could cater to senses. Alternatively, for less physical topics, you can use a train of thought and descriptions to show how deeply and vividly your mind dwells on the topic. Well-executed trains of thought or similar tactics are successful ways to convey passion for a certain topic. When brainstorming this particular essay, a tip would be to use a web diagram, placing the topic in the middle and thinking about branching characteristics, themes, or concepts related to the topic that are directly engaging and captivating to you.
Need help with your college applications? Learn more about how our Applications Program can help your chances of admission. Learn more about College Apps Prompt 7 Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Always refer back to the Strategy section of this article and make sure the topic and essay of your choice addresses the Core Four questions necessary for a good Common App essay. This prompt, more than the others, poses a high risk but also a high-potential reward. Writing your own question allows you to demonstrate individuality and confidence.
Here, you can craft an innovative essay that tackles a difficult topic for example, whether to raise or lower taxes or presents information with a unique format such as a conversation with an historical figure. We encourage you to try something unconventional for this prompt, like comparing your personality to a Picasso painting, using an extended philosophical metaphor to describe your four years of high school, or writing in a poetic style to display your love of poetry.
If you are extremely passionate about a topic or an expert in a certain area, for example Renaissance technology or journalism during World War II, you can use this prompt to show your authority on a subject by discussing it at a high level.
Be careful to frame the essay in a way that is accessible to the average reader while still incorporating quality evidence and content that would qualify you as an expert. Be sure to execute the essay clearly and justify your decision by seeking high-quality feedback from reliable sources.
As always, the essay should demonstrate something meaningful about you, whether it is your personality, thought process, or values. In conclusion… All Common App essays must show your personality, identity, and aspirations, as well as spark discussions on interests, character, values, and community. The goal for any Common App essay is to impart a lasting, authentic image and sense of yourself on the reader.
With these tips and strategies, you should be well on your way to writing a perfect Common App essay. Best of luck from the CollegeVine team! Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.
Over colleges and universities use the Common Application , which has one required essay, called the personal statement. There are five new prompts to choose from, and this essay can be used for multiple colleges. Related: Why I Love the New Common Application Essay Prompts Beyond the Common Application essay, many colleges also have supplements that ask additional, university-specific questions which applicants must respond to with shorter-form essays. While topics vary from supplement to supplement, there are a few standard essay formats that many colleges use: Personal Statement This is the most common essay and is used for the main Common Application essay.
In this essay, the applicant talks about a meaningful life experience that helped shape who she is today. In this essay, students need to be detailed and offer specific examples for wanting to attend this school. Not only does it help students reiterate their passions, it also serves as a gauge for demonstrated interest and a vehicle for students to better articulate how they will contribute to the campus environment.
Does Class Size Matter? Is Prom Worth It? Do You Support Affirmative Action? Do College Rankings Matter? How Necessary Is a College Education? Has Baseball Lost Its Cool? IsCheer-leadinga Sport? Player Came Out as Gay?
Is the hybrid American Health care system sustainable or will it collapse back to the state it was at prior to the recent passing of laws? Should Cosmetic surgery be covered by insurance? Can mental health clinics be attached to American high schools? What is the real cost of medicine, and why are health care costs so high in the first place?
In this essay, students need to be detailed and offer specific examples for wanting to attend this school. There are five new prompts to choose from, and this essay can be used for multiple colleges.
All of this preparation, however, can distract attention from one of the most notorious sections of the college application: the essays.
What was the outcome? I was no longer socially awkward. How Important Is Arts Education? Plus, with essay prompts remaining the same, students rolling over their existing Common App accounts have more time to plan and prepare their applications prior to the final year of high school. Is It O. This prompt, more than the others, poses a high risk but also a high-potential reward.