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

If you’re signing up to one or more or two colleges, there is a good chance you’ll need to use the Common Application, and that means you’ll probably need to write a standard App essay.

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

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

This will be your complete starting guide for Common App essays. At the end of looking over this, you ought to have plenty of ideas for your own essays and directions to publish a truly strong statement that is personal.

Basic Info regarding the App that is common Essay

Before we dig into the gritty that is nitty of individual prompts, why don’t we quickly look at the logistics associated with Common App essay and some general tips to keep in mind.

Most — but Not All — Schools Require the Essay

While not every school in the US requires an essay as part of their application, the normal Application has traditionally required you to submit a blanket personal statement. That policy changed recently, and the essay has become optional for a few 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, as well as the University of Idaho. Some of them require an writing that is additional instead.

If you’re applying to more than one or two schools in the Common App, you’ll almost certainly have to write a reply into the Common App prompts. As a result, i recommend sending your essay to schools whether or not they do not explicitly require it. You’re writing it anyways plus it’s the best way for the school to get to know you as a person.

It is also worth noting that due to the way this method is initiated, you can theoretically send a essay that is different each school. However, performing this is not a good usage of your time: if schools need to know something more specific about you they’ll require a supplement. Concentrate on writing just one great personal statement.

Focus on the expressed word Limit

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

Some schools will declare that if this is not enough space, you can send them a physical copy of your essay. Don’t do this. In spite of how tempting it could be, adhere to the expressed 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 enough space to really explore one specific idea, you don’t need to include everything. Editing is an part that is important of essay writing process.

The phrase limit is like this wire that is barbed you should not cross it, in spite of how tempted you might be.

Do not Stress Too Much About the Question

As you’ll see, the typical App prompts are very general and then leave a complete lot of room for interpretation. Moreover, colleges interpret the questions generously — they are more worried about 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 write about most situations while making 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 want to approach the essay.

Make certain you Look at This Year’s Prompts

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

This guide will go on the details of most seven current prompts, but first let’s talk about some overall advice.

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4 Methods For Finding Your Best Essay Topic

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

You need to search for the best topic, the same as this bird is trying to find food.

Allow It To Be Personal

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

So what does it mean for an interest to be «meaningful for you»? First, this means that you genuinely care about this issue and would like to write your college essay onto it — no one ever wrote an excellent essay on an interest which they felt they had to publish about.

Second, it means that the topic shows off a trait or quality you wish to highlight for the admissions committee. For example, say i desired to publish about my summer job aided by the Parks Department. It isn’t enough to simply tell a tale about a raccoon to my feud that kept destroying most of the progress I made repairing a bench; i might need to make it clear what that experience shows about my character (perseverance) and explain what it taught me (there are some things in life you merely can’t control).

Keep in mind that the absolute most thing that is important that your essay is all about you. These tips may sound obvious, but once you are used to writing essays that are academic may be tricky to dive deep into your own perspective.

Take Your Time

Give yourself enough 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 suggest starting the writing process 2 months in advance of very first deadline.

On a note that is similar you really need to take the essay seriously: it is a significant part of one’s application and worth investing the 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 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 is the best opportunity to exhibit off your specific personality to admissions committees. Pick your topic accordingly.

Get Specific

The greatest topics are usually the narrowest ones: essays centered on an individual interaction, a single phrase, or a object that is single. The more specific you may get, the more unique your topic will be for you. Many individuals have tried out for a school play, for example, but each had their own experience that is particular of so. One student saw testing out when it comes to role of Hamlet because the culmination of many many years of study and time and effort and was devastated to not ever get it, while another was simply proud to own overcome her nerves enough to experience for the chorus line in West Side Story. These will make completely different essays, even though they truly are on essentially the same topic.

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