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Popular College Application Essay Topics (and How to Answer Them)

2018-19 Common App Essays

❶If you are on the ball, you might be ready to apply to specific colleges and universities and need to submit your core Common Application essay, as well as other shorter essays required by certain schools often called Supplemental Essays.

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Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts
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What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

I had never broken into a car before. In just eight words, we get: Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight? Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop.

Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: The humor also feels relaxed. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

I have always loved riding in cars. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire.

I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in.

It made perfect sense! I was like a ten-year-old FDR. I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles.

Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was really nervous. Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program.

I love working with the students and watching them progress. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do. I smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper.

My childhood self would appreciate that. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging.

The essay is arranged chronologically. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time:. I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. For example, some schools will ask you to write about an extracurricular activity in words or so under the College Questions section, under one of the drop down tabs, such the Activities or Essay Questions tab.

I like to advise my students to collect all the supplemental essays by prompt and word count in one place such as a Word or Google doc file. That way they know what they will need to write about at the start, and also be able to see which ones are the same or similar.

Of course, the most important essay you will write is the core Common Application essay, although some schools do not require it—and you can determine which ones do as you read through the application site. Even if you only have one of your target schools that requires the main Common App essays, you will need to write one—and learn how to format your common application essay. If you do need to submit a core Common App essay you pick from one of 7 prompts; words , here are some tips on how to format your common application essay:.

If you are still working on finding a hot topic for your essay, read my Five Top Tips on Finding Topics. If you have more questions on how to format your common application essay, let me know in the Comments box below. Should I add extra spaces between paragaphs to make my essay easier to read? Your email address will not be published. As a professional writing coach, I help students, parents, counselors, teachers and others from around the world on these dreaded essays!

Learn about my in-person and online tutoring, editing, workshops, books, and online courses, My on-demand, fast-and-easy online e-course: But it will make more sense once you get logged on and explore the site. Nine Hot Tips to Format Your Common Application Essay If you do need to submit a core Common App essay you pick from one of 7 prompts; words , here are some tips on how to format your common application essay: Compose your draft in either a Word file or Google docs.

Do not craft it directly in the Common Application text box You could lose your work! If you use Word or Google docs, you can use their word count and, most importantly, the spell check feature. If you want to use this feature, you might want to get a Gmail account that you use exclusively for these essays. She took a deep breath and told herself that she was not going down without a fight. On January 23rd at 7: During school that day , I had been was squirming all over my chair.

Four college coaches would be attending my game that night: It was the biggest game of the season. When the buzzer went off, I had no idea that I was walking into the jungle of East Africa. A s soon as I touched the ball, three burgundy shirts came sprinting towards me. Their one goal was to shut me down. When I was able to break free, I had just enough time to pass the ball to one of my petrified teammates, which resulted in a quick turnover.


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We are pleased to share the Common Application essay prompts with you. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Selects The Common Application for College Scholarship Program; Change to Criminal History Question for Application Year; The Common App Launches New Transfer Application to Improve College .

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Popular College Application Essay Topics (and How to Answer Them) Get help writing your college application essays. Find this year's Common App writing prompts and popular essay questions used by individual colleges.

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The Common Application has announced that the personal statement essay prompts will be the same as the prompts. By conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as students, parents, and counselors, about the. On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams. The tips below will help you win big with your essay. Also be sure to check out these tips for the seven personal essay options on the Common Application, this advice for improving your essay's style, and the sample.

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With the help of the University of Michigan, I will be successful after college and be able to make a name and place for myself in our society. The Critique Admission officials consider how you write your essay, not just what you write about. 3 Ways to Approach Common College Essay Questions Sample College Application Essay 1 You Be . Need help with the Common App Essay prompts and questions? College Essay Advisors' founder Stacey Brook breaks down all you need to know about this year’s prompts. Common Application Essay Prompts: A Guide.