Common college essay prompts - essays on citizenship









common college essay prompts

common college essay promptsCommon college essay prompts -Do remember, though, that the most important thing about the essay is that it should be something only you could write!Nearly 700 colleges accept the The Common Application, which makes it easy to apply to multiple schools with just one form.These sometimes have an off-putting "look how great I am" tone and very little self-evaluation.Essay Prompt Five: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.That’s why the last piece of this prompt is essential.The admissions folks want to discover your character, passions and abilities in the essay; they want more than a political lecture. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.Wondering what essay prompts you might see on your college applications?The obstacle you write about can be large or small, but you must show the admissions committee how your perspective changed as a result.You'll see that they paint a vivid and personal picture of the writer.Essay Prompt One: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it.The college essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are apart from your grades and test scores (and to distinguish yourself from the rest of a very talented applicant pool).Realize that this question defines "diversity" in broad terms. Sometimes you have a story to share that doesn't quite fit into any of the options above.Also be sure to check out these 5 Application Essay Tips. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. You aren't just describing something; the best essays will explore the complexity of the issue.Your response to any college-essay prompt should be entirely personal and one that only you could write; these examples are just to get your essay juices flowing!You're trying to show colleges your best self, so it might seem counterintuitive to willingly acknowledge a time you struggled.• Have you submitted your writing, art, or lab results to a professional journal for publication, and received your first rejection letter?• Have you tailored your bedroom to reflect your personality and suit your every need so it’s the one place where you can be the essential you?It's not specifically about race or ethnicity (although it can be). However, the first five topics are broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them.College advisor Alice Kleeman joins us today in our ongoing series on the changes to the Common Application with some excellent guidance for students and how to think about the new essay prompts and an entertaining look back on some of the essays that have been favorites in her twenty years advising students.From The Common Application to individual school applications, we’ve got you covered.common college essay prompts• Did you seek a summer internship in an academic area you thought you’d like to explore more deeply, and find that you weren’t engaged in the way you wished?As I noted earlier, your response to any college-essay prompt should be entirely personal.Important Note for 2016-17 Applicants: The Common Application changed on August 1st, 2013!• Is your dedication to a particular academic area shaped by your life experiences (for example, has your interest in medicine stemmed from growing up with a sibling with chronic illness? EXTRACURRICULAR: • Is your identity entirely tied up in the music you’ve been composing and playing since you were five?• Did you make an effort to reach out to people you hoped would become your friends, only to find they didn’t welcome you?• Did you dream of continuing your horseback riding or sailing when your family moved, but find there were no opportunities available or your parents could no longer cover the costs?• Have your parents felt you couldn’t handle a new passion on top of your other commitments, leading you to seek ways to manage your time so you could prove your ability to balance your busy schedule?EXTRACURRICULAR: • When you learned that certain students were being bullied or excluded from an activity at your school, did you tackle the inequity?Alice Kleeman has served as the college advisor for 18 years in the College and Career Center of Menlo- Atherton High School, a public high school of 2,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area.• Were you ever told by a coach or activity director that you would not be successful in a particular activity, yet you chose to pursue it?How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?• Do you love spending time in a place where another language is spoken or another culture celebrated?Your love of superheroes, baking chops, or family history are all fair game if you can tie it back to who you are or what you believe in.Your answer to this question could focus on a time you stood up to others or an experience when your own preconceived view was challenged.• Do you come from a single-parent family where you play a role as the man/woman of the house, with all its attendant responsibilities?Your readers have probably seen a lot of essays talking about what a great role model Mom or Dad or Sis is.• Was there a school rule or policy relating to your academic path through your high school that you challenged, because you believed it did not serve you or others well?Key Words: “background,” “story,” “identity,” “incomplete without” Possible topics: ACADEMIC: • Have you moved from one school to another in order to pursue greater academic opportunities?Here are some of the most memorable essays I have read in over twenty years as a college advisor.Also realize that the "influence" of this person doesn't need to be positive. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. common college essay prompts When you examine the "impact on you," you need to show the depth of your critical thinking abilities.Of course, these are just suggestions, designed to jumpstart your thinking, provide a gentle nudge if you feel stumped, and to help you decide which prompt might provide the best opportunity for you to show the admission office who you are.• Have you made the chemistry lab your home away from home?PERSONAL: • Does your family rely on you for adult responsibilities such as childcare for siblings, translation, transportation, or housework?It was simple and straightforward; I knew him well by the time I finished reading the essay.Or did you fail to make the team in your sport of choice?• Has one of your activities taken you out of your own community, so you learned to travel and cope with new situations on your own?• Does your family have a rickety old cabin out by the lake where you can be yourself during summer visits, or do you have a favorite hiking trail up to a bench where you can see for miles?• Do you feel your strongest sense of ownership at work, whether it’s the ice-cream parlor, hardware store, or coffee shop?• Have you taken a class on a college campus, and lived the life of a college student during that time, or taken an internship where you’ve worked as an equal with a group of adults? EXTRACURRICULAR: • Has your talent allowed you to participate at such a high level that your teammates, band-mates, or co-workers are all adults, and they treat you as such?• Have you taken on financial responsibilities to help support your family?Essay Prompt Two: Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.PERSONAL: • Have you begun to question the precepts of your religious or cultural upbringing?And finally, who could resist an essay (about a student’s family forays into intellectual curiosity and experimentation) that began, “The baking sheet slides into the oven, pushed by my mother’s careful hands—and on it rest a dozen wadded-up balls of Kleenex, half fresh, half used.” All of the above essays could fit neatly into one or another of the Common App prompts!Here as in #3, be careful of that word "describe." You should really be "analyzing" this character or creative work. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.• Does the elementary school classroom where you perform your community service give you the greatest sense of belonging?• Do you spend your free time participating in activities through a cultural organization related to your family background? Who are you today that you would not be without those different influences?If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission in 2017, you will have 250–650 words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: Answer this prompt by reflecting on a hobby, facet of your personality, or experience that is genuinely meaningful and unique to you.Key words: “accomplishment/event,” “formal/informal,” “transition to adulthood,” “culture, community, family” Possible topics: ACADEMIC: • Did you make your government and economics education come alive by registering to vote on your 18 birthday? citizen and experience studying for and taking the test, and the ceremony that goes along with that milestone?Another great essay began with, “It is strange to be grateful for a fractured skull.” Don’t you want to read on? A lover of art history who volunteered at the Rodin Sculpture Garden began her essay, “If I’m not at school or at home, I’m likely to be found working behind the gates of hell.” A student of Thai and Jewish heritage focused on his “food-centric background” in both cultures. common college essay prompts Key words: “incident,” “failure,” “effect on you,” “lessons learned” If you choose this prompt, after describing the “failure,” be sure to show the positive changes that emerged from the situation!Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in.PERSONAL: • Did you challenge yourself to a resolution, goal, or personal promise, and find you weren’t able to stick with it?Possible topics: ACADEMIC: • Did you challenge yourself in an academic area that is not usually your forte, and find that it didn’t go the way you hoped it might?If this sounds like you, then please share your story.• Has your ethnic background led you to participate deeply and fully in the dance, spiritual, or culinary traditions of your culture?But overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance!Avoid a rehash of the accomplishments on your high school resume and choose something that the admissions committee will not discover when reading the rest of your application.EXTRACURRICULAR: • Did you believe that the serious injury you experienced in your sophomore year would derail your athletic career?• Have you pursued an academic interest that is not generally followed by people of your gender or background?EXTRACURRICULAR: • Is the badminton court, robotics workshop, or practice hall for your youth orchestra the place where you feel most in your element?Below is a discussion of the six essay options from the Common Application.• Have you ever made a well-thought-out effort to convince your parents to give you more independence and freedom?• Have you ever taken a close look at your character traits and personal qualities and hoped to make fundamental changes, but then realized those traits and qualities were inextricably tied to who you are? Key words: “challenged,” “belief or idea,” “prompted,” “same decision” Possible topics: ACADEMIC: • Did you decide to offer a different-from-the-accepted and possibly unpopular perspective in your English or history class?I'm not a fan of this prompt because of the wording: "describe that influence." A good essay on this topic does more than "describe." Dig deep and "analyze." And handle a "hero" essay with care.My all-time favorite college essay was a student’s account of his work at the local hardware store, and what it meant to him to take care of people’s basic home-and-garden needs.But sometimes it's helpful to hear about other essays that students have submitted.It's easy to get off track with this essay topic and start ranting about global warming, Darfur, or abortion.Essays written for this prompt still need to have substance and tell your reader something about you.The five prompts that will appear on the “new” Common Application should allow for nearly any topic you might choose. common college essay prompts These sometimes have an off-putting "look how great I am" tone and very little self-evaluation. common college essay prompts

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