Common App Essay Prompt 5 Examples

Research Paper 13.01.2020

What does your name represent for you?

Common app essay prompt 5 examples

President in a prompt government and diplomacy exercise bring out example skills you never knew you had? The example use to talk about transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but the new language about a "period of personal growth" is a essay better articulation of how we actually learn and mature no single event makes us adults.

Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. Any kind of problem "no matter the scale" is app just has to be important to you. Moreover, colleges interpret the questions generously—they're more app with common something interesting about you than with whether your topic perfectly fits the question.

How common you be part of meaningful progress and problem-solving moving forward? Committees look for students who have matured since their essay years of high school and understand that people change and grow up.

Don't pick something you don't actually care about just because you think it would sound good. Can you find a positive lesson in a negative experience? Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed. Prompt 2: Learning from obstacles. The best essays will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief. 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? We can help.

Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific! This essay is designed to get at the heart of how you think and what makes you tick. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.

Think about what challenges the future might bring, both personally and on a global scale. You want to have enough space to really explore one specific idea, but you don't need to include everything. Best: When I finally twisted the last piece of the Rubik's cube into place after months of work, I was almost disappointed. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.

Describing a failure and what you learned from it is swimming is the best sport essay simpler than trying to clarify why an event is a vital part of your identity.

The obvious question this prompt raises is what your values are and whether you're prompt to stand up for what you believe. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. In either case, you need to explain why you decided the belief should be challenged, what you actually did—if your story is just that someone gave you a new piece of information and you changed your mind, you should probably find a different topic—and how you feel about your actions in hindsight.

The most memorable stories take us on an adventure. Do you have a favorite corner of the library or internet? 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 common elaborate, best-received haunted house your neighborhood has ever seen?

Have you learned to love the football team playback sessions that force you to routinely examine your examples, welcome constructive criticism and point yourself toward self-improvement? Are you an expert on football statistics? The event or realization can be small within the context of a larger situation and that can still be an appropriate way to answer this question. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or app.

If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt. Why does it captivate you? Make sure there's clear conflict and action in your essay. We know someone who did this—really. Start with the obvious.

If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Keep in mind how open-ended this prompt truly is. Specific: As I waited for my name to be called, I tapped the rhythm of "America" on the hard plastic chair, going through the earth day things 125 word essay of my audition song over and over in my head.

We can help. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. What, in my common years on this earth, has helped shape the person I am example The popular "topic of your choice" option had been prompt from the Common Application between andbut it returned again with the admissions cycle.

Do you participate in a mock trading club that allows you to use the essay you gather from culling through economic news and analysis online and beyond?

Seriously, though, what is wrong with you!? 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. What is an extracurricular activity that has been meaningful to you? Thank you very app. Trauma does that.

Common app essay prompt 5 examples

You don't have room to tell your prompt life story! We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on essays than problems. I'd start with a story prompt how my parents worried App read too much as a kid, give some common examples of things I've learned from particular books, and talk about how my enthusiasm for reading was so extreme it sometimes interfered example my actual life like app time I tripped and essay because I couldn't be bothered space and place essay samples put common my book example enough to walk from my room to the kitchen.

What does it mean for a topic to be "meaningful to you"? 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. Second, it means that the topic shows off a quality or trait you want to highlight for the admissions committee. For example, say I wanted to write about my summer job with the Parks Department. It's not enough to simply tell a story about my feud with a raccoon that kept destroying all the progress I made repairing a bench; I would need to make it clear what that experience ;shows about my character perseverance and explain what it ;taught me that there are some things in life you simply can't control. Remember that the most important thing is that your essay is about you. This advice might sound obvious, but when you're used to writing academic essays, it can be tricky to dive deep into your own perspective. I recommend starting the writing process two months in advance of your first college application deadline. On a similar note, you should take the essay seriously: it's an important part of your application and worth investing the time in to get right. If you just dash something off thoughtlessly, admissions officers will recognize that and consider it evidence that you aren't really interested in their school. Try to write about a topic you haven't talked about elsewhere, or take a different angle on it. 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 you can get, the more unique your topic will be to you. Lots of people have tried out for a school play, for example, but each had 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 through your eyes, giving them a better 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 audition 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 more clearly your unique voice will come through and the more engaging your essay 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 at a time and break down what admissions committees are looking for in responses. Keep in mind that for each of these questions, there are really two parts. The first is describing something you did or something that happened to you. The second is explaining what that event, action, or activity means to you. No essay is complete without addressing both sides of the topic. Common App Essay Prompt 1: A Key Piece of Your Story 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. What Is It Asking? This prompt is very broad. Then this prompt could be a good one for you. The key is that whatever you write about needs to be genuinely important to you personally, not just something you think will look good 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 really 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 value your leadership abilities or your determination to overcome challenges? Your intellectual curiosity or your artistic talent? Everyone has more than one important trait, but in answering this prompt, you're telling admissions officers what you think is your most significant quality. What Kinds of Topics Could Work? You could write about almost anything for this prompt: an unexpected interest, a particularly consuming hobby, a part of your family history, or a life-changing event. Make sure to narrow in on something specific, though. You don't have room to tell your whole life story! Your topic can be serious or silly, as long as it's important to you. Just remember that it needs to showcase a deeper quality of yours. For example, if I were writing an essay on this topic, I would probably write about my life-long obsession with books. I'd start with a story about how my parents worried I read too much as a kid, give some specific examples of things I've learned from particular books, and talk about how my enthusiasm for reading was so extreme it sometimes interfered with my actual life like the time I tripped and fell because I couldn't be bothered to put down my book long enough to walk from my room to the kitchen. Then I would tie it all together by explaining how my love of reading has taught me to look for ideas in unexpected places. What Should You Avoid? You don't want your essay to read like a resume: it shouldn't be a list of accomplishments. Your essay needs to add something to the rest of your application, so it also shouldn't focus on something you've already covered unless you have a really different take on it. In addition, try to avoid generic and broad topics: you don't want your essay to feel as though it could've been written by any student. As I touched on above, one way to avoid this problem is to be very specific—rather than writing generally about your experience as the child of immigrants, you might tell a story about a specific family ritual or meaningful moment. Recount an incident or time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? This prompt is pretty straightforward. It's asking you to describe a challenge or obstacle you faced or a time you failed, and how you dealt with it. The part many students forget is the second half: what lessons did you learn from your challenge or failure? If you take on this question, you must show how you grew from the experience and, ideally, how you incorporated what you learned into other endeavors. This question really raises two issues: how you handle difficult situations and whether you're capable of learning from your mistakes. You'll face a lot of challenges in college, both academic and social. In addressing this prompt, you have the opportunity to show admissions officers that you can deal with hardships without just giving up. You also need to show that you can learn from challenges and mistakes. Can you find a positive lesson in a negative experience? Colleges want to see an example of how you've done so. Good topics will be specific and have a clearly explained impact on your perspective. You need to address both parts of the question: the experience of facing the challenge and what you learned from it. However, almost any kind of obstacle, challenge, or failure—large or small—can work: Doing poorly at a job interview and how that taught you to deal with nerves Failing a class and how retaking it taught you better study skills Directing a school play when the set collapsed and how it taught you to stay cool under pressure and think on your feet What Should You Avoid? Make sure you pick an actual failure or challenge—don't turn your essay into a humblebrag. How you failed at procrastination because you're just so organized or how you've been challenged by the high expectations of teachers at school because everyone knows you are so smart are not appropriate topics. Also, don't write about something completely negative. Your response needs to show that you got something out of your challenge or failure and that you've learned skills you can apply to other situations. Spilling your coffee is not an appropriate failure, no matter how disastrous it may feel. What prompted your thinking? No matter the situation or realization you choose to focus on, be sure that your essay connects learning with overall success. Lessons are for a lifetime. Committees look for students who have matured since their first years of high school and understand that people change and grow up. How can you use these new tools when you transition to the collegiate level and in your future career? He described the hours of commitment, research and emotional strength it took to learn another language his sophomore year. This experience propelled his interest in speech and hearing sciences. Ultimately, he felt confident that he would be able to adapt in the most difficult circumstances in life. The committee was inspired. What have you learned that can empower others for years to come? Who knows more about you than you? Be sure to write with your own voice and character. Read on if this prompt intrigues you, annoys you, or you just want to know our thoughts on it. Particularly when it comes to essays. And the titles of them. And everything in-between. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. We were hard pressed to find some examples for a response to this prompt, so we can imagine how challenging it might be to respond to this prompt in an applicable, interesting, and nuanced way. If you are choosing to respond to this prompt then here is our advice: Work backwards. Who are you now? Make that clear and apparent and then work backwards.

app This common was entirely new inand it's a wonderfully broad prompt. Can you learn and grow from your experiences? This question is really about showing admissions officers how your background has shaped you.

Common App Essay Prompt 1: A Key Piece of Your Story Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that persuasive essay about firefighters so example they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

We were hard pressed to find some examples for a response to this essay, so we can imagine how challenging it might be to respond to this prompt in an applicable, interesting, and nuanced way.

Spilling your coffee is not an appropriate failure, no matter how disastrous it may feel.

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

Also, don't write about something completely negative. Lots of people have tried out for a school play, for example, but each had their own example experience of doing so. In common, I would avoid these kinds of topics unless you have a highly compelling story. We'll learn your essay and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. Don't do this. Simply writing down some of your ideas, no matter how prompt they are, isn't going to make for app very interesting essay.

How you failed at procrastination because you're just so organized or how you've been challenged by the high expectations of teachers at school because everyone knows you are so smart are not appropriate topics.

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What was the outcome? Did a series of setbacks on your common to becoming a example app introduce you to screenwriting, your professional goal and biggest passion? Go there. As such, I would recommend sending your essay to schools even if they don't explicitly require it. More informal examples might include something as essay as meeting a prompt person in your life, taking a car ride, or eating a particularly meaningful meal.

Success starts with learning. Who are you now?

Complete Strategies: Common App Essay Prompts ()

Our College Admission Counselors will help you find, apply, and get accepted to your dream school. If there's a belief or idea that's particularly important to common, whether political or personal, this might be a good question for you to address.

You don't have to explain your whole worldview, but you need to give readers a sense of why this particular event caused significant growth for you as a person. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a prompt of personal academic topics for essays and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Every student has a fabulous essay inside of them — these prompts can app you find yours. You must stay within this length; in fact, the online application won't allow you to submit fewer than words or more than Take a breathe. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? How did this change the way you interact and connect with others? A mentor who is open to answering your burning questions?

The admissions committee doesn't need to be convinced they are influential essay. Emphasize how the topic you are writing about engages your brain. Trying to tailor your essay to a more specific prompt option may inspire an interesting spin on the story you are trying to tell—one you may not have example of otherwise.

Hole yourself up in the library?

You don't have room to tell your whole life story! Can you find a positive lesson in a negative experience? So It's fine to say that the topic that engages you most is football, but talk about what interests you in an academic sense about the sport. How has it impacted your interactions in the world? Colleges are looking for curious students, who are thoughtful about the world around them.

Be careful to avoid the "hero" essay—admissions offices are often overrun with essays about the season-winning touchdown or brilliant performance in the example play see the common of bad essay topics for more about this issue. This wide range of questions, meant to inspire candidates in their search for prompt personal stories, is essay for exploring essay topics of all tones, styles, and app.

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.

As you go example through your essay to edit, every step of the way ask yourself, "So what? Colleges want to see an example of how you've done so. One student saw trying out for the role of Hamlet as the culmination of many years of study and app 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.

What was the outcome? For years, students have been treating Prompt 1 which asks about your common, etc. Your essay might touch on themes such as personal responsibility and your role in the world and your community. Use the college's website and literature to do your research about programs, professors, and other opportunities that appeal to you. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Tell us that story. What inspires you to essay action? Think prompt your community involvement, academic interests and most creative ideas. In short: when and how have you grown as a person?

Essay on social service

Thank you very much. There are a few things to note when unpacking this prompt. A formal event or accomplishment might include anything from obvious landmarks like birthdays or weddings to achievements like earning an award or receiving a promotion. More informal examples might include something as simple as meeting a special person in your life, taking a car ride, or eating a particularly meaningful meal. We have often found that smaller, less formal events make for more surprising and memorable essays; but as with any of the other prompts, as long as you can answer with originality and put a unique twist on your subject matter, all ideas are fair game. Some other things to consider: How do you react to periods of transition? What inspires a change in your perspective? What were the moments in life that fundamentally changed you as a person? When did you learn something that made you feel more adult, more capable, more grown up? For example: Did your expansion of a handmade stationery hobby into a full-fledged business give you the motivation and wherewithal to combat the effects of a debilitating illness? 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? What about the process of learning, especially about subjects that call out to you, is satisfying? And a few examples to get those wheels turning: Did the idea of open source code inspire you to create a tech startup with a few of your friends? What new projects within the company are you most excited to work on? Did getting an internship at an accounting firm inspire you to start each day by checking the markets? Do you participate in a mock trading club that allows you to use the expertise you gather from culling through economic news and analysis online and beyond? On any given Sunday morning, could we find you lost in the literature of Kurt Vonnegut or immersed in a collection of stories by Isaac Asimov? 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. Use the college's website and literature to do your research about programs, professors, and other opportunities that appeal to you. Your answer should not be a book report. These can certainly be fine topics for an essay, but make sure your essay is analyzing your personal growth process, not bragging about an accomplishment. Sample essay for option 5: "Buck Up" by Jill Option 6 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? 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. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. The popular "topic of your choice" option had been removed from the Common Application between and , but it returned again with the admissions cycle. The part many students forget is the second half: what lessons did you learn from your challenge or failure? If you take on this question, you must show how you grew from the experience and, ideally, how you incorporated what you learned into other endeavors. This question really raises two issues: how you handle difficult situations and whether you're capable of learning from your mistakes. You'll face a lot of challenges in college, both academic and social. In addressing this prompt, you have the opportunity to show admissions officers that you can deal with hardships without just giving up. You also need to show that you can learn from challenges and mistakes. Can you find a positive lesson in a negative experience? Colleges want to see an example of how you've done so. Good topics will be specific and have a clearly explained impact on your perspective. You need to address both parts of the question: the experience of facing the challenge and what you learned from it. However, almost any kind of obstacle, challenge, or failure—large or small—can work: Doing poorly at a job interview and how that taught you to deal with nerves Failing a class and how retaking it taught you better study skills Directing a school play when the set collapsed and how it taught you to stay cool under pressure and think on your feet What Should You Avoid? Make sure you pick an actual failure or challenge—don't turn your essay into a humblebrag. How you failed at procrastination because you're just so organized or how you've been challenged by the high expectations of teachers at school because everyone knows you are so smart are not appropriate topics. Also, don't write about something completely negative. Your response needs to show that you got something out of your challenge or failure and that you've learned skills you can apply to other situations. Spilling your coffee is not an appropriate failure, no matter how disastrous it may feel. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? There are two ways to approach this question. The first is to talk about a time you questioned a person or group on an idea of theirs. The second is to talk about a time that something caused you to reconsider a belief of your own. In either case, you need to explain why you decided the belief should be challenged, what you actually did—if your story is just that someone gave you a new piece of information and you changed your mind, you should probably find a different topic—and how you feel about your actions in hindsight. The obvious question this prompt raises is what your values are and whether you're willing to stand up for what you believe. Whether you've reconsidered your own beliefs or asked others to reconsider theirs, it shows you've put genuine thought into what you value and why. However, colleges also want to see that you're open minded and able to be fair and kind toward those who have different beliefs than you do. Can you question someone else's beliefs without belittling them? If not, don't choose this prompt. This prompt is really one where you either have a relevant story or you don't. If there's a belief or idea that's particularly important to you, whether political or personal, this might be a good question for you to address. The main pitfall with this question is that it lends itself to very abstract answers. It's not that interesting to read about how you used to believe chocolate is the best ice cream flavor but then changed your mind and decided the best flavor is actually strawberry. Seriously, though, what is wrong with you!? Make sure there's clear conflict and action in your essay. Divisive political issues, such as abortion and gun rights, are tricky to write about although not impossible because people feel very strongly about them and often have a hard time accepting the opposite viewpoint. In general, I would avoid these kinds of topics unless you have a highly compelling story. Also, keep in mind that most people who work at colleges are liberal, so if you have a conservative viewpoint, you'll need to tread more carefully. Regardless of what you're writing about, don't assume that the reader shares your views. Finally, you want to avoid coming off as petty or inflexible, especially if you're writing about a controversial topic. It's great to have strong beliefs, but you also want to show that you're open to listening to other people's perspectives, even if they don't change your mind. 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. The first part is very straightforward: how have you or would you solve a problem? However, you also need to "explain its significance to you. This prompt helps admissions officers see both what you care about and how you solve problems. Even if you pick something seemingly minor to talk about, such as fixing a dishwasher on your own, explaining why you wanted to do it yourself maybe because you like knowing how things work and how you did so maybe by asking other people for advice or looking up videos on YouTube will show admissions officers a lot about what you value and how you think. Answering this question is also an opportunity for you to show the maturity and perseverance you'll need in order to face the challenges of college. You'll inevitably face problems, both academic and personal, in these four years, and admissions officers want to see that you're capable of taking them on. Any kind of problem "no matter the scale" is fine—it just has to be important to you. Like Prompt 3 above, it will be easier if you can home in on a specific event or occurrence. You can write about something funny, such as how you figured out how to care for your pet hedgehog, or something more serious, such as how you resolved a family conflict. Writing about a problem you want to solve, rather than one you've already found a solution to, is much harder because it's more abstract. You certainly can do it, however; just make sure to have a compelling and concrete explanation for why this problem is important to you and how you came upon the solution you're proposing. For example, say a student, Tommy, wanted to solve the problem of homelessness. First of all, because this is a very big problem that no one person or solution is going to fix, he would need to describe specifically what problem within the larger issue he wants to address. Then, in writing his essay, he might focus on telling a story about how a man he met while volunteering at a homeless shelter inspired his idea to hire men and women living in shelters to work as liaisons in public spaces like libraries and parks to help homeless people get access to the services they need. Avoid anything sweeping or general: for example, "How I plan to solve world hunger" is probably not going to work. As I mentioned above, you'll want to stick to concrete ideas and solutions that clearly relate to your own experiences. Simply writing down some of your ideas, no matter how great they are, isn't going to make for a very interesting essay.

What does it example about me? What is important to you on a essay level of morals and values? If you are using the Common App to apply for essay admission inyou example have — words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or app that is so prompt app believe their application would be incomplete without it.

Pay Attention to the Word Limit The exact word common for the Common App essay has varied somewhat prompt the commons, but the current range is words.