Common App Essay Prompts
Admission Cycle 2018-2019: Essay Prompts
It doesn’t matter who you are: a fresher, a sophomore, or a junior, you must have a look at the essay prompts for the year 2018-2019 admission cycle announced last week! Before scrolling the article about the good college essay topics and prompts, look through the hints provided below. You will unequivocally find something handy!
- The common app essay prompts remained unchanged for the juniors. They do not need to question, “Where to find common application essay prompts?” since seven prompts allow them to devise a writing piece on almost any topic.
- As for younger generation, they need to take into account that this year admission officers and counselors are evaluating the effectiveness of the prompts. Beware; the changes are coming in 2020!
- Despite the fact that junior students in some high schools are assigned to write an essay draft, they should bear in mind that this piece of writing has to be compiled during the busiest weeks of studying. Under the pressure of time, it is difficult to write something worthy.
- The college essay prompt should not take your undivided attention. My piece of advice is to concentrate on the topic, not on the prompt. The reason for this is that I have never met a person, whose topic did not match with the prompt. The explanation is plausible and obvious: the seventh prompt gives you a free choice of the topic!
- Are you puzzled with writing the common app essay? Do not be in a hurry! Find the list on the Common App site and check out whether your college requires an essay.
- If the college states that writing an application essay is optional, do not hesitate to devise one. Frankly speaking, you will have higher chances to be admitted just because you have dedicated some time to writing.
- How to write the common app essay? It is not the question that should overwhelm your mind. What does matter is the word count. The best application essays I have ever met were of 600-650 words. If you are under this range, make sure your topic is fully covered.
- Do not surf the Internet in the faint hope to find college essay topic ideas. Instead, come up with your own ideas and jot them down. Your topic is of the same magnitude as the essay itself.
- Some colleges have an additional requirement to provide short answers to the questions or create another (additional) essay. Imprint on your memory not to start completing this assignment earlier than the first of August. The prompts are changed on August, 1 annually, so make sure you have taken yours but not from the previous year.
- The Common App provides an opportunity for college students to create an account. Anyone can take the advantage of the possibility to create a personal college list and to learn more about various application sections.
Common app essay examples are of no use. What does matter is a list of prompts. Do you know what exactly you are asked to write?
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PROMPT 1. If you believe that your application essay is incomplete without mentioning your talents, views, identity, or background, you are strongly encouraged to write about these things.
This prompt is not a new one and actually has been among common app prompts for ages. What is more, it kindles the spark of interest in everyone as far as it encourages applicants to share some personal achievements, hobbies, and stories from life. Nonetheless, on what should you concentrate to kindle the same spark of interest in admission officers? The choice is barely yours yet mind to evolve your app essay in a dynamic manner, showing its value for you and no one else.
PROMPT 2. The obstacles and ordeals shape us as personalities and are vital for the future success. Share a story of the challenge you encountered and state the way it affected you. Was this first-hand experience helpful?
There are no insurmountable obstacles yet onerous burdens happen here and there in the everyday life. The secret to overcoming them lies in focusing on the solutions rather than on the problems themselves. Writing prompts apps presumes to present your thoughts, demeanors, and endeavors, as well as character traits, namely, determination, perseverance, and humility. Remember not to choose for your essay some trivial things, for instance, struggling to achieve an A grade on the course or to book some tickets.
PROMPT 3. With the flow of time, we tend to reconsider our attitude towards the fundamental ideas or beliefs. Did you challenge an idea and what brought about such thoughts? How did it all resolve?
Despite being one of the most complicated prompts, this task became friendlier a tad due to the allowance to describe the time when you questioned an idea. This burdensome task requires you not only be passionate about some idea, ideology, or perspective but also speculate in a clear, coherent manner so that you will not compile an immensely didactic piece of writing. Furthermore, the applicant must be very careful not to offend, for sure unintentionally, or to contradict admission officers’ points of view. The piece of advice to bear in mind is to present your standpoint firmly in a tolerant manner showing willingness to consider other existing ideas even though they contradict yours.
PROMPT 4. Is there an ethical dilemma, a research query, or something that holds its value, you would like to solve? Have you already solved one? State its importance for you and describe the actions taken to handle this problem.
This prompt is akin to prompt #2 in case it aims at teasing out problem-solving skills and getting an understanding of a student’s train of thought in handling problems. The wide choice of problems allows applicants to use their creativity while devising an essay. You can pick from commonplace ordeals to deadlocks, which raise the question of your own values and sense. You are free to put things into perspective and see the challenges the future will bring.
PROMPT 5. Describe the special occurrence, be it an event, accomplishment, or understanding, which helped you either to understand yourself better or grow as a personality.
This prompt bears a slight resemblance with the prompt from 2016, where applicants were asked to describe their maturing, namely, the transition from the adolescents to the adults. Nevertheless, it differs a bit from the previous task as far as applicants are allowed to describe the moment of “realization” but not only reflect on “attainment” or “occurrence.” It means that students are allowed to speculate more on the understanding rather than on a concrete marker, which changed the understanding. Needless to say, such words as “event” and “accomplishment” assume both formal and informal situations, starting from self-evident landmarks like weddings, birthdays, meeting a crucially important person, or getting a driving license to attainments like winning a promotion. Interestingly, the most memorable and riveting essays are about less formal occasions. Be original and unique while opting for the fresh idea for an essay!
PROMPT 6. Is there something that grabs your rapt attention and you lose the track of time? What makes it so engaging for you?
This is another prompt from the 2017-2019 admission cycle that was included in the list of this year’s prompts and, for sure, it was the right choice! With this task, each and every student can present to admission officers his or her passion and inner nerd. One might question the reason for devising such an assignment since college or other educational institutions are about obtaining knowledge. Nonetheless, it is also about broadening your horizons. The answer to the question “How much motivated are you when your curiosity and determination are used to the fullest?” will help admission officers. It would be easier for them to make a decision based on understanding how self-motivated you are, how you pursue your dreams, and what things intrigue you.
PROMPT 7. Opt for your own topic. It might be an essay you have already compiled, an essay you have devised for another reason/ prompt, or an essay on the topic of your choice.
You may use the above-mentioned prompts to come up with your own topic. Do not be afraid to have too many ideas or too few at the very beginning of the writing process. You may narrow down your idea and find out that it is somehow similar to the other prompts. Give an unexpected twist and voila! – an outstanding topic for your essay is here.
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Frankly speaking, the question “How many common app essays do you write?” does not matter. What does matter is how you write them. Good luck in your endeavors!