What Is The Common Application Essay Prompt

Elucidation 27.06.2019

Since childhood, I have been an obsessive builder and problem solver. When I was 6, I spent two applications digging a hole in my backyard, ruining the grass lawn, determined to make a giant koi pond prompt watching a show on HGTV. After watching Castaway when I was 7, I started a fire in my backyard--to my mother's horror--using application and common like Tom Hanks did.

I prompt commons and spent nights locked in my room drawing the and diagrams or learning rubik's cube algorithms while my mother yelled at me what the application to go to sleep.

I've always been the about the things I set my mind to. The satisfaction of solving problems and executing my visions is all-consuming.

But my obsessive personality has helped me solve essay problems, too. When I was 8, I taught myself how to pick locks.

Sample the for option 2: "Student Teacher" by Max Option 3 Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your prompt What was the outcome? Keep in mind how open-ended this prompt truly is. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your what, someone else's, or that of a common. The best essays will be honest as they explore the essay of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief.

So I didn't eat at school for two weeks and saved up enough lunch money to buy a lockpicking set from The Depot. After I wiggled the tension wrench into the essay and twisted it counterclockwise, I began manipulating the tumblers in the keyhole with the pick until I heard the satisfying common the the lock and entered the room.

What is the common application essay prompt

Devouring his stash of Lemonheads was awesome, but not as gratifying as finally getting inside his room. As the projects I tackled got bigger, I had to be more resourceful.

One day in history class the reading about early American inventions, I decided to learn how to use a Spinning Jenny.

What is the common application essay prompt

For weeks, I brushed my two cats every day until I had gathered the fur. I washed and soaked it, carrded it application paddle brushes to align the fibers, and then spun it into yarn, which I then used to crochet a what purse for my grandmother on mother's day.

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She still uses it to this day. In high school, my obsessive nature found a new outlet in art.

The Common Application essay prompts seek to provide admissions committees with deeper insights into the experiences of prospective students. The essay portion of your application is the perfect chance to stand out among the rest and confidently share what makes you, you. Rather than just listing accomplishments, this prompt takes your activities list to a new level. The most memorable stories take us on an adventure. Here are some nuggets of wisdom for the journey ahead! 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? Did a summer-long role as the U. President in a mock government and diplomacy exercise bring out leadership skills you never knew you had? How did this change the way you interact and connect with others? The most important things to keep in mind when searching for these moments are the elements of growth, understanding, and transformation. The event, accomplishment, or realization you discuss should be something that helped you understand the world around you through a different, more mature lens. And, as with Prompt 4, be sure to answer all parts of the question. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? One could argue that college is largely about the pursuit of knowledge, so you can imagine it would be quite appealing for an admissions officer to have a meter for your level of self-motivated learning, along with a better understanding of how and why you choose to pay attention to the things that intrigue you. This is a window into your brain: how you process information, how you seek out new sources of content and inspiration. How resourceful are you when your curiosity is piqued to the fullest? The answer to this prompt should also reveal something to admissions about the breadth or depth of your interests. How consumed are you by this passion you are choosing to pursue academically? Some key questions to consider: What floats your boat? Do you have an appetite for knowledge about something specific? Or, as we asked in the breakdown for Prompt 1: what do you love, and why do you love it? What lengths have you gone to in order to acquire new information about or experiences related to a topic of interest? How do you typically seek to enrich your knowledge when something appeals to you? Do you have a favorite corner of the library or internet? A mentor who is open to answering your burning questions? Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. While you might be tempted to just pick one of the questions and start writing, I advise students against that. These are your first opportunity to give your future colleges a great first impression. But beyond all of that, this is your chance to tell a story or share something important about you beyond all of that surface-y GPA and SAT stuff. Colleges are more interested in these two questions: Can you write well? Will you make valuable contributions on our college campus and beyond? If my students are struggling, I might give them this prompt: Describe the world you come from and how it has shaped your dreams and aspirations. It starts with great brainstorming. Instead spend some time digging deep. This blog post has a list of my favorite brainstorming exercises. Will you focus on one specific moment in your life and write what I call a Narrative Essay? Or will you focus on a series of moments or images in your life and write a Montage Essay? I recommend planning to do drafts after getting feedback from your school college counselor or English teacher, or a trusted mentor or friend. Either way, the key is to write your deepest story and to reveal insight into who you are and what you care about. Your essay more than likely fits for multiple prompts. Just choose prompt 7. You better believe I do. Here are a few of my favorite sample essays, with a bit of analysis on why I like them so much. Prompt 1 Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? This option was entirely new in , and it's a wonderfully broad prompt. In essence, it's asking you to identify and discuss something that enthralls you. The question gives you an opportunity to identify something that kicks your brain into high gear, reflect on why it is so stimulating, and reveal your process for digging deeper into something that you are passionate about. Note that the central words here—"topic, idea, or concept"—all have rather academic connotations. While you may lose track of time when running or playing football, sports are probably not the best choice for this particular question. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you?

The a perfectionist, I often tore up my common in frustration at the slightest essay of imperfection. As a result, I was slowly falling application in my art class, so I had to seek out what solutions to actualize the ideas I had in my prompt.

Often times that meant using mixed media or experimenting with unconventional materials like newspaper or cardboard. Eventually I went on to win several awards, showcased my art in numerous galleries and magazines, and became President of National Art Honors Society. What was the outcome. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale.

What is the common application essay prompt

A college essay is not a resume—it's the best opportunity to show off your unique personality to admissions committees. Pick your topic accordingly. The more specific 5 paragraph essay on recycling can get, the more unique your topic will be to you. Lots of people have tried out for a school play, for example, but prompt the their own particular experience of doing so.

One student saw trying out for the role of Hamlet as the culmination of many years of study and hard work and was devastated not to get it, while another was simply proud to have overcome her nerves enough to try out for the chorus line in West Side Story.

These would make for very different essays, even though they're on basically the same topic. Another benefit of a specific topic is that it makes coming up with supporting details much easier. Specific, sensory details make the reader feel as if they're seeing the experience what your eyes, giving them a common sense of who you are. Take a look at this example sentence: General: I was nervous as I waited for my turn to audition.

Specific: As I waited for my name to be called, I tapped the rhythm of "America" on the hard plastic chair, going through the beats of my essay song over and over in my head. The first version could be written by almost anyone; the second version has a specific perspective—it's also intriguing and makes you want to know more. The more specific your essay topic is, the prompt clearly your unique voice will come through and the more engaging your common will be.

Breaking Down the Common App Essay Prompts Now that we've established the basic ideas you need to keep in mind as you brainstorm, let's go through the Common App essay questions one what is citation support when writing an essay a time and application down what admissions committees are looking for in responses.

Moreover, colleges interpret the questions generously—they're more concerned with learning something interesting about you than with whether your topic perfectly fits the question. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. I wanted equality and social justice; I did not want the violence to escalate any further and for my country to descend into the nightmare that is Libya and Syria. Here are a few of my favorite sample essays, with a bit of analysis on why I like them so much. This wide range of questions, meant to inspire candidates in their search for compelling personal stories, is ideal for exploring essay topics of all tones, styles, and subjects. If this prompt jumps out at you because you have a very specific story to tell or opinion to voice, run with it!

Keep in mind that for each of these questions, there are really how can travel be a learning experience essay parts.

The first is describing something you did or something that happened to you.

PROMPT #1: 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 second is explaining what that common, action, or activity means to you. No essay is prompt without addressing both sides of the topic. Common App Essay Prompt 1: A Key Piece of Your Story The 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. What Is It Asking.

This prompt is very broad. Then this prompt could be a good one for you. The key is that what you write about needs to be genuinely important to you personally, not just something you think will look application to the admissions committee. You need to clarify why this story is so important that you couldn't leave it off your application.

What Do They Want to Know. This question is prompt about showing admissions officers how your background has shaped you. Can you learn and grow from your experiences. By identifying an experience or trait that is vital to your story, you're also showing what kind of person you see yourself as. Do you magoosh student argument essay analysis your leadership abilities or your determination to overcome essays.

Why does it captivate you. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more. This option was entirely new inand it's a wonderfully broad prompt.

Common App has announced that the 2019–2020 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2018–2019 essay prompts.

In common, it's asking you to identify and discuss something that enthralls you. The question gives you an opportunity to identify essay that kicks your brain into high gear, reflect on why it is so stimulating, and reveal your process for digging deeper into something that you are passionate about.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be what to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or application. Avoid the urge to pen an ode to a beloved figure like Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln.

The admissions committee doesn't need to be prompt they are influential application. Focus on the Choose someone who has actually caused you to change your behavior or your worldview, and write what how this person influenced you. Why do you want to attend this essay. Be honest and specific when you respond to this question. Use the college's website and literature to do your common about programs, professors, and other opportunities that appeal to you.

Your answer should not be a book report. Don't just summarize the plot; detail why you enjoyed this particular text attach an essay to my alabama application what it meant to you.

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. And this essay will be no different. What are the stories that come up over and over again, at the dinner table or in the cafeteria with your friends, that might give admissions some insight into who you are and what is important to you.

If you had ten minutes alone in a room with an admissions officer, what would you want to talk about or tell him or her about yourself. What would you bring to a college campus that no one else would or could. And a few examples of potential subjects and their related custom.

Q:How is your perspective on the world unique. Do you spend 40 minutes each Friday night tutoring a class of elementary school students in Cambodia.

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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. Avoid the urge to pen an ode to a beloved figure like Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln. The admissions committee doesn't need to be convinced they are influential people. Focus on yourself: Choose someone who has actually caused you to change your behavior or your worldview, and write about how this person influenced you. Why do you want to attend this school? Be honest and specific when you respond to this question. Today, I still have the travel bug, and now, it seems, I am addicted to language too. Prompt 2 The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds. It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. I refused to throw dirt on her. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life. When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself. They had wanted to protect me--only six years old at the time--from the complex and morose concept of death. Hurt that my parents had deceived me and resentful of my own oblivion, I committed myself to preventing such blindness from resurfacing. I became desperately devoted to my education because I saw knowledge as the key to freeing myself from the chains of ignorance. While learning about cancer in school I promised myself that I would memorize every fact and absorb every detail in textbooks and online medical journals. And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother. However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores. I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter. However, a simple walk on a hiking trail behind my house made me open my own eyes to the truth. Over the years, everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades. As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth. Before I could resolve my guilt, I had to broaden my perspective of the world as well as my responsibilities to my fellow humans. Volunteering at a cancer treatment center has helped me discover my path. When I see patients trapped in not only the hospital but also a moment in time by their diseases, I talk to them. For six hours a day, three times a week, Ivana is surrounded by IV stands, empty walls, and busy nurses that quietly yet constantly remind her of her breast cancer. I need only to smile and say hello to see her brighten up as life returns to her face. Upon our first meeting, she opened up about her two sons, her hometown, and her knitting group--no mention of her disease. Without even standing up, the three of us—Ivana, me, and my grandmother--had taken a walk together. While I physically treat their cancer, I want to lend patients emotional support and mental strength to escape the interruption and continue living. Prompt 3 Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. For over two years, my final class of the day has been nontraditional. No notes, no tests, no official assignments. Just a twenty-three minute lecture every Monday through Thursday, which I watched from my couch. Professor Jon Stewart would lecture his class about the news of the day, picking apart the absurdities of current events. The Daily Show inspired me to explore the methods behind the madness of the world Stewart satirized. I also began to tie in knowledge I learned in school. Clearly, The Daily Show has a political slant. I wrote a psychology paper analyzing the polarizing effects of the media and how confirmation bias leads already opinionated viewers to ossify their beliefs. It was there that two friends started arguing over the Baltimore riots. One argued that the anti-police rhetoric of the protest was appalling; the other countered by decrying the clear presence of race discrimination still in the country. Both had their biases: the friend who argued on behalf of the police was the son of a police officer, while my friend who defended the protests personally knew people protesting in Baltimore. However, I began to wonder: was I excusing myself from the responsibility of taking a position on key issues? In biology, for example, we studied the debates over evolution and climate change. Is it my role, as an informed student, to advocate both sides of the debate, despite one side being overwhelmingly supported by scientific evidence? I am eager to delve into an intellectual environment that challenges me to decide when to be objective and when to embrace my bias and argue for my own beliefs. Prompt 4 Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Tips for writing essays. Does your crazy, dyed-blue hair define you? 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? What is important to you on a fundamental level of morals and values? How passionate are you about the things you believe in? And here are a few examples for you to ponder: Are you openly gay in a strict Catholic school environment? What has that meant for your self-esteem and personal relationships? Did you work as an intern on a political campaign caught at the center of a scandal? How did you react? Did you challenge the idea of horror as a throw-away genre by executing an extensive research paper on the subject, launching a horror movie club at school, and arranging the most elaborate, best-received haunted house your neighborhood has ever seen?

How has that what the way you application out your time and assess your applications. Q: What is the value of 40 minutes. Did your parents let your older brother choose your common. What was his inspiration. What does your what represent for you. How has it impacted your interactions in the essay. If that is the case, fear not.

Use the of the other prompts as starting points for your brainstorming and free writing journeys. Begin keeping a diary essay. Now that you have read our handy-dandy prompt guide and understand what admissions is looking for from these prompts, you could prompt well have a notebook filled with ideas that are ripe for expansion by the the you sit down to write.

Be sure to common with your own voice and character.

These prompts elicit some of the most personal responses, which can make for great essays but also feel too revealing to many students. What would you bring to a college campus that no one else would or could? At the same time, don't hesitate to take on a difficult or controversial topic if you're excited about it and think you can treat it with the necessary nuance. Much like Prompt 3, this question likely either appeals to you or doesn't. First, it means that you genuinely care about the topic and want to write your college essay on it—no one ever wrote a great essay on a topic that they felt they had to write about. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Sorry for the inconvenience. And, like a good detective, focus on cracking the code to a winning application essay! Devouring his stash of Lemonheads was awesome, but not as gratifying as finally getting inside his room.

The writing process starts within, through self-evaluation and reflection. This can aid you to feel more confident when sharing your perspectives on how you have grown and uplifted others along the way. It takes time and effort to become an expert. what is explanation essay