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How to Write the Common Application Essays

Common Application Essays: Writing the Perfect Essay

❶Perhaps you find it so captivating because of the vast differences in languages over the world, from Asian characters, to the multitude of tenses in western languages.

Rather than act as a set of constraints, the prompts serve more as a guide to the development of an essay that will introduce you as a person to admissions officials. Your essay provides a sample of your writing ability, which is a factor in admissions, but this is a secondary purpose. Take this question seriously. The prompts were released early not so you could start writing immediately, but to begin your thought process. You should be considering ideas that will enable you to reveal yourself within a suitable story framework.

You have plenty of time to identify characteristics and experiences that will allow you to be fully responsive to one of the prompts. Many schools, especially among the more highly selective institutions, require that applicants submit supplemental essays in response to their own set of prompts. These essays, together with the Common App essay, often represent the critical difference between the acceptance and rejection of an applicant.

As a college admissions consulting firm specializing in elite institutions, IvySelect is proficient in guiding high-ability students to craft essays that improve competitiveness in admissions. IvySelect helps you brainstorm a range of essay ideas. We employ a multi-stage essay development methodology that elevates the quality of your writing.

And we make sure that the core message of your essay is integrated into all other components of your admissions campaign. IvySelect is one of the best college counseling firms in the world.

We are a boutique admissions consultancy based in Los Angeles, specializing in helping high-achieving students seeking admission to Ivy League universities and other top-tier colleges in the U. Blog You are here: Below are the Common App essay prompts: 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. 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. What solutions worked and what solutions would be better? How could you fix things here? If well written, your thought processes should soon become apparent to the reader, highlighting your critical thinking and reasoning faculties. Working on tackling obstacles is a way to talk about your approach to controversial issues, or even your understanding of ethics.

This powerful and thought-provoking prompt could put you in the running in the application process. What prompted your thinking?

What was the outcome? Instead of challenging a belief in this sense, you could focus on a time when you took a different stance on some social conventions and questioned some societal norms. In doing so, perhaps you raised some salient points? Perhaps you felt strongly about some situation and this piqued your curiosity, sparking your train of thought?

Whatever you choose to write about, the most important thing is not to lose sight of the essay at hand. In a piece of reflective writing, you want to take the reader on a journey to explore your cognitive processes that lead to making decisions.

The more you explain and justify your solutions to the problem, the better your response can be. This could be a great prompt to showcase your morals and critical faculties. In describing the outcome, you could talk about why that outcome came about and what you could have done better. There is plenty of room for analysis and an intriguing essay here.

It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. This prompt allows you to choose between three different ideas and gives you quite a broad scope to play with because you can talk about anything as long as it is of importance to you personally.

There are many ways that you could approach this prompt. Along with a description of the problem needs to come an explanation of the experience that led you to realise that it was personally important. Why was this a grave problem? So how do you want to solve the problem after identifying a solution?

This is the real showcase of your problem-solving abilities. Evaluate what you could have done better or perhaps your solution was just one of many?

Maybe your problem was just a small piece of an even bigger problem that society should try and solve, for example, if you were trying to help your friend through their chronic drug addiction, maybe this raises other issues for other ordinary members of society.

Perhaps tackling one case of drug addiction is just a part of an epidemic of drug addiction in the country and you can talk about some of the solutions for this.

This is a great way to use your imagination, but think carefully about choosing a topic that will give you enough to talk about tangible solutions. Avoid any cliche problems, e. Try to avoid any problems that require vague solutions, e. Much like the prompt on problem-solving, there is a really broad array of things to choose from and discuss.

So what kind of things could you choose? Do any formal or informal events come to mind? As a brainstorming exercise, consider any moments in your life describing a transgression and note them down — pick which had the most profound change and think about why it was so profound.

Perhaps you have a simple event that really caused you to change your ways of thinking or inspired you in a unique way. Upon hitting the water in this kayak, you went out of your way and out of your comfort zone to realise that you need to try new things and open your mind to other experiences in the future.

Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Here you can expand upon a small idea or concept in a large and profound way, giving you lots to write about. One idea is to think about your passions and interests — narrow down from these and try and think of the most striking thing about one of your passions. Or perhaps when you read the prompt, an idea came to you instantly.

When brainstorming what to write about, put an idea under scrutiny and think about what engaging qualities it may have in order to engage with this idea on a deeper level. If you find many things to discuss, it could prove to be the idea for you to use.

Perhaps you find it so captivating because of the vast differences in languages over the world, from Asian characters, to the multitude of tenses in western languages. You can expand on your topic by finding areas within it that are of particular interest to you and then expanding on them. If it captivates you, it must be intriguing, so explain why it is. Similarly, your topic could have a narrower focus, but you could really expand on it in a detailed way.

Following on, you could progress on to reveal your passion for the complexity of cycling, all the physics and mechanics of various parts — why do certain bolts and chain-rings trump others? Show off your geeky side and intelligence. There are many things that you could show off your personality and flare. Wow, a topic of your choice! This prompt actually advocates that you can write your own question, which is a great bonus.

If you already have a strong arsenal of previous essays, then you could easily drag one out to help inspire you. Two words need to be considered: How is your topic going to impress and why is it a worthy topic? Your writing style will need to be on point here, so that you can showcase a strong personality and voice. The essay needs to make a long-lasting impression.

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Why the Common Application Essay Prompts Make Your Job Easier. Some years, students go into the essays blind. The prompts are new and untested. Sometimes the format or length even changes. This can be a daunting prospect. In years when the prompts remain the same, though, you have some examples to work from.

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In February of this year, the Common App organization announced that the essay prompts would remain unchanged from Before listing the essay prompts for the Class of , let’s review the most important part of the App’s essay section; the instructions.

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The Common Application has announced that the personal essay writing prompts will be the same as the seven essay conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as applicants, parents, and counselors, about the effectiveness of the essay prompts. With the announcement of the essay . The Common Application Announces Essay Prompts We are pleased to share the Common Application essay prompts with you. The changes you see below reflect the feedback of Common App member colleges and more than 5, other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors.

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With the application cycle soon underway, the CollegeVine essay team wanted to share our best strategies on how to write the all-important and often-intimidating Common App essays. This year, The Common App announced that prompts will remain unchanged from the cycle. The Common Application announces essay prompts for and looks to the future. Common App Essay Prompts: They really understand the process of admissions and will help you through every step, from essay editing to helpful tips for interviews. They really enjoy the work that they put into helping every student trying to.