Complete Strategies: Common App Essay Prompts (2018-19)

If you’re applying to more than one or two colleges, there is a chance that is good’ll have to use the typical Application, and therefore means you’ll probably need certainly to write a typical App essay.

In this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to realize about the essay. I’ll break down every single Common App essay prompt by covering:

  • What is the question asking?
  • What do college admissions officers desire to hear away from you?
  • What topics could you come up with effectively?
  • What should you avoid without exceptions?

This is your complete guide that is starting Common App essays. At the conclusion of looking over this, you should have lots of ideas on your own essays and directions to create a very strong statement that is personal.

Basic Info in the Common App Essay

Before we dig into the gritty that is nitty of individual prompts, why don’t we quickly go over the logistics for the Common App essay plus some general suggestions to keep in mind.

Most — but Not All — Schools Require the Essay

Although not every school in america requires an essay included in their application, the most popular Application has traditionally required one to submit a blanket personal statement. That policy changed recently, and the essay is currently optional for many schools.

However, this policy happens to be adopted by only a small number of schools, including DePaul University, Georgia State University, Hampshire College, Old Dominion University, This new School, together with University of Idaho. Some of them require an additional writing supplement instead.

If you’re signing up to more than one or two schools in the Common App, you’ll almost certainly have to write an answer into the Common App prompts. As such, I would recommend sending your essay to schools even though they do not explicitly require it. You’re writing it anyways plus it’s the best way when it comes to school to access know you as an individual.

It is also worth noting that because of the way this technique is set up, you could theoretically send a different essay to each school. However, performing this isn’t a use that is good of time: if schools wish to know something more specific about you they’ll require a supplement. Give attention to writing just one great personal statement.

Look closely at the Word Limit

The word that is exact when it comes to Common App essay has varied somewhat through the years, however the current range is 250-650 words. You have to stay in this particular length; in fact, the application that is onlinen’t enable you to submit less than 250 words or even more than 650.

Some schools will state that if this isn’t enough space, you can easily send them a physical copy of the essay. Do not repeat this. In spite of how tempting it may be, stay glued to the word limit. Otherwise, you risk seeming self-indulgent.

Generally speaking, i would suggest shooting for an essay between 500 and 650 words long. You need to have enough space to really explore one specific idea, however you won’t need to include everything. Editing is an important an element of the essay writing process.

The phrase limit is similar to this barbed wire — you shouldn’t cross it, no matter how tempted you will be.

Don’t Stress Way Too Much About the Question

While you’ll see, the most popular App prompts are very general and leave a lot of room for interpretation. Moreover, colleges interpret the questions generously — they are more concerned with learning something interesting about yourself than with whether your topic fits the question perfectly. Per a standard App survey, 85% of member schools  » have the prompts should always be left open to broad interpretation. »

You are able to talk about just about anything and make it work, so for those who have an idea, don’t let the fact it doesn’t fit neatly into one of these categories stop you. Treat these breakdowns as jumping off points that will help you start brainstorming, not the final word in the method that you have to approach the essay.

Be sure you Look at This Year’s Prompts

The App that is common change the prompts fairly frequently, so make certain you’re familiar with the absolute most up-to-date versions for the Common App essay questions. That you can take the exact same approach they did if you have friends or siblings who applied in past years, don’t assume.

This guide is certainly going throughout the details of all of the seven current prompts, but first let us talk about some overall advice.

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4 Tips For Finding Your Best Essay Topic

While you’re preparing and brainstorming to write your essay, you will want to keep these tips in mind.

You need to look for the best topic, exactly like this bird is looking for food.

Allow It To Be Personal

The purpose of a statement that is personal to, well, make a personal statement, that is to state, tell the reader something about yourself. As such, your topic has to be something meaningful to you personally.

What does it mean for an interest to be « meaningful for you »? First, this means on it— no one ever wrote a great essay on a topic that they felt they had to write about that you genuinely care about the topic and want to write your college essay.

Second, it indicates that the subject shows off a quality or trait you need to highlight when it comes to admissions committee. For instance, say I wanted to publish about the Parks Department to my summer job. It’s not adequate to simply tell a story about my feud with a raccoon that kept destroying all the progress I made repairing a bench; I would personally need to make it clear what that experience shows about my character (perseverance) and explain what it taught me (that we now have several things in life you just can not control).

Understand that the absolute most important things is that your essay is about you. These tips may sound obvious, but once you are familiar with writing essays that are academic may be tricky to dive deep into the own perspective.

Invest Some Time

Give yourself sufficient time to brainstorm and write, you can come up with and sending it right off so you don’t feel rushed into jotting something down about the first thing. I will suggest starting the writing process 2 months in advance of very first deadline.

On a similar note, you ought to take the essay seriously: it really is an essential part of the application and worth investing the full time directly into get right. If you just dash something off thoughtlessly, admissions officers will notice that and ponder over it evidence you aren’t really enthusiastic about their school.

Avoid Repetition

Your essay should illustrate something you haven’t talked about elsewhere, or take a different angle on it about you beyond what’s in the rest of your application. Try to write about a topic.

A college essay just isn’t a resume — it’s the best opportunity to demonstrate off your unique personality to admissions committees. Pick your topic accordingly.

Get Specific

The most effective topics are often the narrowest ones: essays centered on a single interaction, a single phrase, or a single object. The greater amount of specific you can get, the more unique your topic shall be to you personally. A lot of people have tried out for a school play, for instance, but each had their very own particular connection with doing so. One student saw checking out when it comes to role of Hamlet due to the fact culmination of many many years of study and work that is hard was devastated not to obtain it, while another was simply proud to own overcome her nerves enough to experience for the chorus line in West Side Story. These would make very different essays, and even though they are on essentially the topic that is same.

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