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The Best and Worst Topics for a College Application Essay

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts

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2018-19 Common App Essays

Zelda Fitgerald once wrote that what she missed most about her father after he died was the particular way he tented his fingers when he spoke. That single detail brought all of her emotions — loss, love, the power of memory — to light. What is the one detail or anecdote that can become the focal point for your essay?

It is worth taking the time to think about that before you write. For more thoughts, go to collegeessayexpert. Email will not be published required. When Should You Visit Colleges? Susan Lyon July 10, at 2: Emily Listfield July 9, at 7: Lynn O'Shaughnessy July 9, at 8: Excellent tips on writing a great college essay.

Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Comment Name required Email will not be published required Website. Want more From Lynn? Students prepare for applying to selective colleges by taking rigorous courses , participating in extracurricular activities , studying for standardized tests , and more. All of this preparation, however, can distract attention from one of the most notorious sections of the college application: The essay is both the most and the least visible part of the competitive admissions process.

The point of evaluating all these factors is to enable colleges to holistically build a well-rounded class of specialists.

The essay or essays is a great way to learn more about an applicant, her motivations, life experiences, and how she can contribute to the campus community. The essay is important because it gives students the chance to showcase their writing and tell the college something new.

It also allows admissions officers to learn more about students and gain insight into their experiences that other parts of the application do not provide. Over colleges and universities use the Common Application , which has one required essay, called the personal statement. There are five new prompts to choose from, and this essay can be used for multiple colleges.

Beyond the Common Application essay, many colleges also have supplements that ask additional, university-specific questions which applicants must respond to with shorter-form essays.

While topics vary from supplement to supplement, there are a few standard essay formats that many colleges use:. This is the most common essay and is used for the main Common Application essay.

In this essay, the applicant talks about a meaningful life experience that helped shape who she is today. Many colleges, including Columbia University and Duke University , use the supplement to ask applicants to explain why they have chosen to apply to this particular college. In this essay, students need to be detailed and offer specific examples for wanting to attend this school. Not only does it help students reiterate their passions, it also serves as a gauge for demonstrated interest and a vehicle for students to better articulate how they will contribute to the campus environment.

In this essay, students write about an extracurricular activity or community service project that was especially meaningful to them. This essay was previously on the standard Common Application, but was removed starting in the —15 application season. Instead, some colleges, like Georgetown University , choose to include a variation of this essay among their supplements by asking students to discuss an activity and its significance to their life or course of study.

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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 college essay is your opportunity to let your personality shine on your application. Don’t waste it on the trite or cliché! Consider this approach instead.

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Jul 10,  · 6 College Essay Topics By Lynn O'Shaughnessy on July 9, in Admissions, Applying If you (or your child) is a rising senior, now is a good time to get started on the dreaded college essay. By considering the 25 creative college essay prompts above, you can be more prepared to write an engaging personal statement that will let your personality shine through and will help you to be accepted into the college of your choice.

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25 Creative College Essay Ideas and Prompts Are you stuck selecting a college essay topic? Here are 25 creative college essay prompts to .