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Good college admission essay prompts

  • 29.03.2019
Good college admission essay prompts

Did going to a Picasso exhibit inspire you to start an art collection that has since expanded beyond the borders of your bedroom?

What are the challenges and rewards of having same-sex parents? Or of being raised by your siblings? Or of being part of a family made up of stepsisters and stepbrothers? Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on solutions than problems. Applicants should aim to showcase qualities like resilience, determination, and humility.

The obstacles you choose to explore can vary widely in nature, especially with the recent additions that allow students to explore challenges and setbacks in addition to failures. They can be as serious as being tormented by bullies, as ingrained as the financial issues that have plagued your family for years, or as seemingly pedestrian as a mistake that costs you a tip while waiting tables.

Still, if you can isolate an incident of trial in your life and illustrate how you learned from it, this can be a rewarding prompt to explore. Some key questions to consider: How do you deal with hardship? What qualifies as a challenge or setback in your life and world?

Are you the kind of person who can rebound and turn every experience, good or bad, into one from which you can learn something? What experiences might illustrate this quality? And was there a silver lining? And a few examples to think about: Has a lifelong battle with stuttering ultimately increased your overall confidence and allowed you to participate in social activities and public forums without self-judgment?

Did a series of setbacks on your road to becoming a child actor introduce you to screenwriting, your professional goal and biggest passion? Did your failure to follow directions lead you to a botched home science experiment root beer explosion!

Overall, try to keep these stories as positive as possible. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? This prompt requires a student to speak passionately about beliefs and ideology, which are often onerous subjects that can be difficult to mold into compact stories. It can be one of the hardest questions to steer in a positive, productive direction without traveling into preachy, overly didactic territory. This is also a more precarious prompt than most in that students need to carefully assess the risks of espousing beliefs that might be polarizing for the readers of their applications.

Applicants who can articulate their thoughts and feelings while showcasing malleability and willingness to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others will likely stand out as valuable additions to any campus.

If this prompt jumps out at you because you have a very specific story to tell or opinion to voice, run with it! Consider these questions as you brainstorm: When has your opinion been unpopular? Why are you the kind of person who is willing to stand up for what you believe in? Instead of attempting to impress the Admissions Officer by making up unusual or shocking things, think about how you spend your free time and ask yourself why you spend it that way.

You can discuss the experience of growing up, interacting with family, and how relationships have molded who you are. A background can include long-term interactions with arts, music, sciences, sports, writing, and many other learned skills.

In addition, you can highlight intersections between multiple backgrounds and show how each is integral to you. One of our consultants wrote about how growing up in a poor Vietnamese immigrant family inspired her to seize big opportunities, even if they were risky or challenging.

She describes the emotional demand of opening and running a family grocery store. Note: all of the following essay excerpts have been shortened and edited for this post.

Names have also been changed to protect the identity of the author and subjects. My parents took the chance, risking all of their savings. On the first day, the business brought in only twenty dollars. Twenty dollars. My mother and my father wept after they closed the shop.

Seeing the business as a failure, my mom commenced her packing that night; returning to Vietnam seemed inevitable. The next business day, however, sales increased ten-fold.

More and more customers came each successive day. My mother unpacked a bag each night. Fifteen years later, my parents now own Blue Ravine Grocery. My parents work, work, work to keep the shelves stocked and the customers coming. The grocery store holds a special place in my heart: it is the catalyst for my success.

So when the opportunity to attend the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science presented itself, I took it and ran, as did my parents by leaving Vietnam and by buying the store. Although the opportunities that my parents and I pursued are different, our journey is essentially the same: we walk a road paved with uncertainty and doubt with the prospect of success fortified by our hearts and our hands.

However, reflecting on how your culture has shaped your experiences can make for a compelling essay. Alternatively, focusing on a dominant personality trait can also make for a compelling theme. One important thing to note: the topic of identity can easily lack originality if you cover a common experience such as feeling divided between cultures, or coming out. If such experiences are integral to who you are, you should still write about them, but be sure to show us your unique introspection and reflection.

One of our consultants detailed how growing up as an American in Germany led to feelings of displacement. Moving to America in high school only exacerbated her feelings of rootlessness.

After moving from Berlin to New York at age fifteen, my feelings of cultural homelessness thrived in my new environment. Americans confused me as I relied on Urban Dictionary to understand my peers, the Pledge of Allegiance seemed nationalistic, and the only thing familiar about Fahrenheit was the German after whom it was named.

In between games and snacks, Laya would ask me questions about American life, touching on everything from Halloween to President Obama. 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. 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.

More College Essay Topics Individual schools sometimes require supplemental essays. Here are a few popular application essay topics and some tips for how to approach them: Describe a person you admire. 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.

How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea.

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Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this college like you, then please share your story. How good it essay you, and what did prompts learn from the admission Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.
During snack time, we could choose between apple juice and grape juice. One important thing to note: the topic of identity can easily lack originality if you cover a common experience such as feeling divided between cultures, or coming out. Did a summer-long role as the U. Find this year's Common App writing prompts and popular essay questions used by individual colleges. And in this case, your audience does not think anything about your high school relationship sounds impressive.
Good college admission essay prompts

Worst of the Worst

Based on extensive counselor feedback, the existing essay prompts provide great flexibility for for to tell their unique stories in their own voice. Retaining the applications prompts provides the added benefit of consistency for students, counselors, parents, parent members during the admissions process. 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 college the final year of high essays. Counselors looking to get a head start with application workshops this year can take advantage of Common App Readya suite of on-demand resources, training videos, and infosheets, details everything students, counselors, and families need to know about using the Common App.
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Do you have an appetite for knowledge about something specific? It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. What prompted your thinking?
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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. If this prompt jumps out at you because you have a very specific story to tell or opinion to voice, run with it! The storyteller anecdote never would have come through in the rest of his Common Application, but it was truly one of his most significant personality traits. Applicants around the world likely let out a big exhale when they saw they could still serve up a big scoop of Prompt 7 to admissions last year.

Want to know your real chances of admission?

During snack time, we could choose between apple juice and grape juice. By submitting my email address. Consider these questions as you brainstorm: When has your opinion been unpopular? How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Good college admission essay prompts
What has that meant for your self-esteem and personal relationships? Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. What new projects within the company are you most excited to work on? As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: how you discovered this activity, what drew you to it, and what it's shown you about yourself. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea.

Better essay ideas

The time has come. This wide range of questions, meant to inspire candidates in their search for compelling personal stories, is ideal for exploring essay essay of all tones, styles, and subjects. Because we are good to getting you the most admission and comprehensive essay advice on the interweb, we have made a guide to help you scientific topics for persuasive essays college the comics and outs of all seven prompts. Before you dive or cannonball! In fact, in college instructional writing course and private promptswe encourage writing to root around essay their most meaningful stories first and consider the prompts later.
Good college admission essay prompts
Now that you have read our handy-dandy prompt guide and understand what admissions is looking for from these prompts, you could very well have a notebook filled with ideas that are ripe for expansion by the time you sit down to write. I was the only kid in the second grade to color the sun red. Americans confused me as I relied on Urban Dictionary to understand my peers, the Pledge of Allegiance seemed nationalistic, and the only thing familiar about Fahrenheit was the German after whom it was named. One of our consultants detailed how growing up as an American in Germany led to feelings of displacement. What qualifies as a challenge or setback in your life and world? Trying to tailor your essay to a more specific prompt option may inspire an interesting spin on the story you are trying to tell—one you may not have thought of otherwise.

–20 Common App Essays

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. Alternatively, focusing on a dominant personality trait can also make for a compelling theme. For example, if you lost a friend due to an argument, you can analyze the positions from both sides, evaluate your decisions, and identify why you were wrong. Consider this approach instead.
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Overview of the Common App

When I was little, these sentiments felt more like commands than assumptions. What prompted your thinking? We stayed up half the night talking. My parents took the chance, risking all of their savings. If, after careful consideration, your magic essay topic does not work within the confines of Prompts , you are in luck.
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Voodoot

What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? And was there a silver lining? Be sure to describe the event or experience that caused you to realize the gravity of the problem, the specific actions you took to plan or execute your solution i. Bottom line, the topic you choose for this prompt should, like every topic, highlight your personality, identity, and how you think about the world.

Shaktir

We have often found that smaller, less formal events make for more surprising and memorable essays; but as with any of the other prompts, as long as you can answer with originality and put a unique twist on your subject matter, all ideas are fair game. This prompt is an invitation to write about something you care about.

Mazusida

Have you learned to love the football team playback sessions that force you to routinely examine your mistakes, welcome constructive criticism and point yourself toward self-improvement? And this year will be no different.

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