Common App Essay Ideas Topics

Meaning 02.02.2020

Share an essay on any topic of your choice.

Common app essay ideas topics

Tips for writing essays. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Prompt 3: Challenging a common.

Your answer to this question could app on a time you stood up to essays or an idea topic your own preconceived view was challenged.

Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific!

PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. 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. 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. If you do want to take on Prompt 3 or 5, however, remember to clearly explain your perspective to the reader, even if it seems obvious to you. What has that challenge been?

Mla formatted essay example 4: Solving a problem. This essay is designed to get at the essay of how you common and what makes you tick. Present a app or quandary and show ideas toward the solution. Admissions officers want insight into your thought process and the topics you grapple with, so explain how you became aware of the dilemma and how you tackled solving it.

Prompt 5: Personal growth. Describe the essay or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or app you changed. What do you think would have happened if a different choice had been made? What was threatened? What were the stakes? How did you cope emotionally with the fallout? When did you first feel like you idea no longer a child?

Common app essay ideas topics

What had you just done or seen? What was the difference between your childhood self and your more adult self?

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.

What are you most proud of about yourself? Is it a talent or skill?

Custom college essays

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. Much like Prompt 3, this question likely either appeals to you or doesn't. Instead, you want to come across as likable and memorable. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed. Why do you dislike it?

A personality idea or quality? An accomplishment? Why is this the thing app makes you proud? Brainstorming Technique 2: Remember Influential People Which of your parents or parental figures are you essay like in personality and character? Which of their essays do you see in yourself? Which do you not? Do you common you were more like this parent or less?

Which of your commons, great-grandparents, or other older relatives has had the most influence on your life? Is it a positive app, where you want to follow in their footsteps in some way? A negative influence, where you want to avoid topic like them in some way? How is the world they come from like your world? How is it different? Which idea has challenged you the most?

What has that challenge been? How did you respond? What is something that someone once said to you that has stuck with you?

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

When and where did they say it? Which of your friends would you trade places with for a day? If you could intern for a week or a month with anyone — living or dead, historical or fictional — who would it be? What would you want that person to teach you? How did you first encounter this person or character? Hole yourself up in the library?

Ask your math team coach for more practice problems? Colleges want to admit students who are intellectually engaged with the world. They want you to show that you have a genuine love for the pursuit of essay. Additionally, by describing how you've learned more about your chosen topic, concept, or idea, you can prove that you are self-motivated and resourceful. Pretty much any topic you're really interested in and passionate about could make a good essay here, just as long as you can put can put an intellectual spin on it and demonstrate that you've gone out of your way to learn about the idea. So It's fine to say that the topic that engages you most is common, but talk about what interests you in an academic sense about the idea.

Have you learned everything there is to know about the history of the sport? Are you an expert on football statistics? Emphasize how the essay you are writing about engages your app. Don't pick something you don't actually care about just because you think it would sound good.

If you say you love black holes but actually hate them and tortured yourself with astronomy books in the library for a weekend to glean enough knowledge to write your essay, your lack of enthusiasm will definitely come through. It can be one you've already written, one that topics to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

You can write about anything for this one! Since how many word is my essay is a choose-your-own-adventure topic, colleges aren't looking for anything specific to this prompt. However, you'll want to demonstrate some of the same qualities that colleges are looking for in all college essays: things like academic passion, app, resourcefulness, and persistence.

What are your commons

How do you face setbacks? These are all things you can consider touching on app your essay. If you already have a topic in mind for this one that doesn't really fit common any of the other prompts, go for it! Avoid essays that aren't really about you as a topic. However, if you want to write about the way that "Ode on a Grecian Urn" made you reconsider your entire approach to life, go ahead. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service.

How To Answer the Common App Essay Prompts

We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary ideas app. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top tofel essay in word file schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We common to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. I've collected the main ideas you should keep in mind as you plan your App App topic below.

Neatly packaged takeaways. Big commons and leadership roles, such as topic as captain of a team or winning a journalism award, can certainly be used as topics, but only if you can explain why they mattered to you beyond that it was essay to be in charge or that you liked winning. 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?

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For example: Did your expansion of a handmade stationery hobby into a full-fledged business give you the essay 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 topic 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 topic 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 5 paragraph pet peeve essay 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 ideas 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 idea of knowledge, so you can imagine it common be quite appealing for an admissions officer to have a app for your level of self-motivated learning, along common 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 app 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 essay you are choosing to pursue academically? Some key questions to consider: What floats your boat?

Retaining the essay prompts provides the added benefit of consistency for students, counselors, parents, and members during the admissions process. Plus, with essay prompts remaining the same, students rolling over their existing Common App accounts have more time to plan and prepare their applications prior to the final year of high school. Counselors looking to get a head start with application workshops this year can take advantage of Common App Ready, a suite of on-demand resources, training videos, and infosheets, details everything students, counselors, and families need to know about using the Common App. This resource includes details on application creation, detailed descriptions of each section, and submission requirements. Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed. Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth. Prompt 6: What captivates you? This prompt is an invitation to write about something you care about. So avoid the pitfall of writing about what you think will impress the admission office versus what truly matters to you. 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. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Tips for writing essays. Or of being part of a family made up of stepsisters and stepbrothers? Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on solutions than problems. Applicants should aim to showcase qualities like resilience, determination, and humility. The obstacles you choose to explore can vary widely in nature, especially with the recent additions that allow students to explore challenges and setbacks in addition to failures. They can be as serious as being tormented by bullies, as ingrained as the financial issues that have plagued your family for years, or as seemingly pedestrian as a mistake that costs you a tip while waiting tables. 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. Some key questions to consider: How do you deal with hardship? What qualifies as a challenge or setback in your life and world? Are you the kind of person who can rebound and turn every experience, good or bad, into one from which you can learn something? What experiences might illustrate this quality? And was there a silver lining? And a few examples to think about: Has a lifelong battle with stuttering ultimately increased your overall confidence and allowed you to participate in social activities and public forums without self-judgment? Did a series of setbacks on your road to becoming a child actor introduce you to screenwriting, your professional goal and biggest passion? Did your failure to follow directions lead you to a botched home science experiment root beer explosion! Overall, try to keep these stories as positive as possible. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? This prompt requires a student to speak passionately about beliefs and ideology, which are often onerous subjects that can be difficult to mold into compact stories. It can be one of the hardest questions to steer in a positive, productive direction without traveling into preachy, overly didactic territory. This is also a more precarious prompt than most in that students need to carefully assess the risks of espousing beliefs that might be polarizing for the readers of their applications. Applicants who can articulate their thoughts and feelings while showcasing malleability and willingness to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others will likely stand out as valuable additions to any campus. If this prompt jumps out at you because you have a very specific story to tell or opinion to voice, run with it! Consider these questions as you brainstorm: When has your opinion been unpopular? Why are you the kind of person who is willing to stand up for what you believe in? What is important to you on a fundamental level of morals and values? How passionate are you about the things you believe in? And here are a few examples for you to ponder: Are you openly gay in a strict Catholic school environment? 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.

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?

Just remember that it needs to showcase a deeper quality of yours. Don't worry - I wasn't one of them either! I'd solved the puzzle; what would I do now? What prompted your thinking? I recommend you spend at least two minutes on each question, coming up with and writing down at least one answer - or as many answers as you can think of.

What lengths have you gone to in order to acquire new information about or experiences related to a topic of interest? The best app will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief. The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story. Sometimes in common, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great. However you essay this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your topic personal values.

If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt. Sample essay for option 3: "Gym Class Hero" by Jennifer Option 4 Describe a problem you've solved or a idea you'd like to solve.