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

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

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

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

  • What is the relevant question asking?
  • What do college admissions officers like to hear away from you?
  • What topics could you write on effectively?
  • What should you avoid no matter what?

This is your complete starting guide for Common App essays. At the end of looking over this, you ought to have lots of ideas on your own essays and directions to publish an extremely strong personal statement.

Basic Info in the Common App Essay

Before we dig to the nitty gritty of the individual prompts, why don’t we quickly go over the logistics of this Common App essay and some general ideas to keep in mind.

Most — but Not All — Schools Require the Essay

But not every school in the usa requires an essay included in their application, the normal Application has traditionally required you to definitely submit a blanket personal statement. That policy changed recently, and the essay is now optional for a few schools.

However, this policy happens to be adopted by only a few schools, including DePaul University, Georgia State University, Hampshire College, Old Dominion University, This new School, additionally the University of Idaho. A lot of them require an writing that is additional instead.

If you’re applying to one or more or two schools in the App that is common’ll almost certainly have to write an answer to your Common App prompts. As a result, i would suggest sending your essay to schools even if they don’t explicitly require it. You’re writing it anyways and it’s the best way for the school to make it to know you as a person.

Additionally it is worth noting that because of the way this technique is set up, you can theoretically send a essay that is different each school. However, doing this is not a good use of your time: if schools wish to know something more specific about you they’ll require a supplement. Focus on writing a single great personal statement.

Pay Attention to the Word Limit

The word that is exact for the Common App essay has varied somewhat over time, nevertheless the current range is 250-650 words. You have to stay within this length; in fact, the online application won’t enable you to submit fewer than 250 words or higher than 650.

Some schools will state that if this is not enough room, you can send them a physical copy of one’s essay. Don’t do that. Regardless of how tempting it may possibly be, stay glued to the word limit. Otherwise, you risk seeming self-indulgent.

Generally speaking, i recommend shooting for an essay between 500 and 650 words long. You want to have room enough to really explore one specific idea, but you don’t need to include everything. Editing is an important area of the essay writing process.

The term limit is similar to this barbed wire — you mustn’t cross it, regardless of how tempted you may be.

Do not Stress Way Too Much In Regards To The Question

As you’ll see, the Common App prompts are very general and then 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 ” feel the prompts must certanly be left available to broad interpretation.”

You can come up with almost anything and then make it work, so that it doesn’t fit neatly into one of these categories stop you if you have an idea, don’t let the fact. Treat these breakdowns as jumping off points to help you start brainstorming, not the final word in the manner in which you have to approach the essay.

Make certain you Understand This Year’s Prompts

The Common App change to the prompts fairly frequently, so make sure you’re familiar with probably the 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 will go the details over of most seven current prompts, but first let’s talk about some overall advice.

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4 Methods For Finding Your essay that is best Topic

As you’re preparing and brainstorming to write your essay, it is in addition crucial to keep these guidelines in mind.

You’ll have to search for the topic that is best, similar to this bird is looking for food.

Allow It To Be Personal

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

So what does it mean for a topic to be “meaningful to you”? First, it indicates that you genuinely care about this issue and want to write your college essay on it — no one ever wrote a fantastic essay on a topic that they felt they had to publish about.

Second, it means that the topic shows off a trait or quality you wish to highlight when it comes to admissions committee. For instance, say I wanted to write about my summer job because of the Parks Department. It isn’t adequate to simply tell an account 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 there are several things in life you merely can not control).

Understand that the absolute most important thing is that your essay is mostly about you. These tips may sound obvious, nevertheless when you’re used to writing essays that are academic may be tricky to dive deep into the own perspective.

Spend Some Time

Give yourself the required 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 would recommend starting the writing process 2 months prior to very first deadline.

On a similar note, you really need to use the essay seriously: it really is a significant part of one’s application and worth investing the full time directly into get right. That you aren’t really interested in their school if you just dash something off thoughtlessly, admissions officers will recognize that and consider it evidence.

Avoid Repetition

Your essay should illustrate something in regards to you beyond what exactly is into the rest of your application. Try to talk about an interest you haven’t talked about elsewhere, and take a unique angle on it.

A college essay is not a resume — it’s the best opportunity to demonstrate off your specific personality to admissions committees. Pick your topic accordingly.

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Get Specific

The most effective topics are usually the narrowest ones: essays focused on just one interaction, a single phrase, or a object that is single. The more specific you can get, the greater amount of unique your topic shall be for you. A lot of people have tried out for a school play, as an example, but each had their particular experience that is particular of so. One student saw testing out when it comes to role of Hamlet once the culmination of many years of study and time and effort and was devastated never to have it, while another was simply proud to have overcome her nerves enough to experience for the chorus line in West Side Story. These will make very different essays, and even though they truly are on basically the topic that is same.

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