have you used internet resources to teach yourself about an academic subject that is not offered as a class at your school? Have you become so absorbed in its study that you have introduced yourself to people whose career involves that subject? have you felt a special spark when youve discovered interdisciplinary connections between readings, assignments, lectures, or other learning in classes that, in theory, are not closely related? How have you pursued those links? Extracurricular: Are you an activist, dedicated to an issue that calls your name, no matter what else you happen to be doing, to the point that you simply must spend time and energy every day devoted to that cause? have you taken your participation on a team, in a club, or in an activity to the next step, seeking outlets beyond those provided so you can continue to indulge your passion and reach higher levels of skill and commitment? have you developed your own unique time-management strategies that allow you to balance your normal family and school responsibilities with an enormous time and energy commitment to something that is deeply meaningful to you?
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has one of your activities taken you essay out of your own community, so you learned to travel and cope with new situations on your own? did manager you come up with the funding for your most meaningful activity on your own, so youve assumed a heightened level of responsibility and appreciated the activity all the more for your assertiveness in making it happen? Personal: does your family rely on you for responsibilities such as childcare for siblings, translation, transportation, or housework? Have your responsibilities led to a heightened understanding of the adults in your life? have you taken on financial responsibilities to help support your family? did you experience a religious or cultural rite of passage that led to your personal growth? Essay prompt Six: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Key words: topic/idea/concept, engaging, captivate, learn more possible topics: If you choose this prompt, know that it lends itself best to an academic (intellectual) response. Academic: When you finished a lab in your science class, did you find that you couldnt wait to replicate the lab at home, then seek more in-depth information about the principles of the lab, then create another lab to extend your learning?
Did that milestone connect your academic education with your day-to-day life? have you taken a class on a college campus and lived the life of a college student during that time? Or did you participate in an internship reviews during which you worked as an equal with a group of adults and so matured yourself? did you become. Citizen and experience studying for and taking the test, and then participate in the ceremony that goes along with that milestone? Did your growth through that experience change you as a member of your community? 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?
do your future goals include encouraging others to participate in an activity that has been a passion for you? How would you make that happen? Personal: have you ever initiated a change within your own family? For example, if theres an issue thats always a source of conflict, did you decide to tackle it? Are there stereotypes of teens in your neighborhood? Have you made an effort to change them? Is there a challenge in your life— perhaps a physical or learning disability or an illness —for which you hope to advance a cure in your career? Essay prompt five: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Key words: sparked, personal growth, understanding, yourself or others Possible topics: academic: did you make your government and economics education come alive by registering to vote on your 18th birthday?
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Personal: have you begun to question the precepts of your religious or cultural upbringing? Are you resisting the pressure in your community to do it all—and do it all perfectly—and instead are seeking balance in your life? have you ever made a well-thought-out effort to convince your parents to give you more independence and freedom? Essay prompt four: Describe a problem youve solved or a problem youd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Key words: problem solved, problem youd like to solve, intellectual, research, ethical dilemma, of personal importance, no matter the scale, steps you took or could be taken, solution Possible topics: academic: did you ever leave a classroom entirely intrigued by a question posed by your.
have you ever created a technological or communication solution to a common problem? Or do you have career goals essay that would lead you toward solving a world problem through technology or communication? have you had a job or internship in which you worked alongside others to solve challenging intellectual, scientific, or creative problems? Did working as a team make a difference in your problem-solving abilities? Extracurricular: have you ever taken the initiative within one of your clubs, sports, or activities to create change and make the organization more equitable or accessible for others? In your pursuit of your extracurricular passion, have you encountered financial obstacles to participation, and have you found creative ways to solve them?
More on leadership Roles here. Personal: did you challenge yourself to a resolution, goal, or personal promise, and find you werent able to stick with it? did you make an effort to reach out to people you hoped would become your friends, only to find they didnt welcome you? 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? The college Essay: Why weird Topics Are beautiful.
Essay prompt Three: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Key words: challenged, belief or idea, prompted thinking, outcome possible topics: academic: did you decide to offer a different-from-the-accepted and possibly unpopular perspective in your English or history class? was there a school rule or policy relating to your academic path through high school that you challenged because you believed it did not serve you or others well? have you pursued an academic interest that is not often followed by people of your gender or background? Extracurricular: When you learned that certain students were being bullied or excluded from an activity at your school, did you tackle the inequity? 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? have your parents felt you couldnt 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?
did you seek a summer internship in an academic area essay you thought youd like to explore more deeply, and find that you werent engaged in the way you wished? have you submitted your writing, art, or lab results to a professional journal for publication, and received your first rejection letter? Or have you received what seemed to be negative feedback from a teacher and had to approach the subject in a new way? Extracurricular: did you believe that the serious injury you experienced in your sophomore year would derail your athletic career? Or did you fail to make the team in your sport of choice? (Beware of common warming athletic clichés There is no i in team, i learned that winning isnt everything, etc.). Did you decide to try participating in an extracurricular activity, only to discover your family obligations kept you from being a full participant? did it seem like a great idea for you to follow in the footsteps of an older sibling and participate in his or her activities of choice, but you found it didnt work out so well for you?
have you grown up in a family that has been challenged by poverty, illness, or another obstacle? How has this influenced your identity? have your extended familys values been transmitted to you in a unique and particularly powerful way over the years? Essay prompt Two: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can summary be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Key words: lessons, obstacles, later success, challenge, setback, failure, affect you, learn. If you choose this prompt, after describing the challenge, setback, or failure, be sure to focus on the positive changes that emerged from the situation! Possible topics: academic: did you challenge yourself in an academic area that is not usually your forte, and find that it didnt go the way you hoped it might?
the reverse: has your familys path through higher education influenced your own? has your dedication to a particular academic area been shaped by your life experiences (for example, has your interest in medicine stemmed from growing up with a sibling with a chronic illness?)? Extracurricular: Is your identity entirely tied up in the music youve been composing and playing since you were five? has your ethnic background led you to participate deeply and fully in the dance, spiritual, or culinary traditions of your culture? do you spend free time participating in activities through a cultural organization related to your family background? Personal: do you come from a bi-cultural family? How would the person you are today be different if you did not have those influences?
My latest videos, the seven prompts that will appear on the common Application should work for nearly any topic you choose. Below, each prompt is broken down into possible academic, extracurricular, and personal topics that might fit neatly into a response. Of course, these are just suggestions, designed to student jump-start your thinking, provide a gentle nudge if you feel stumped, and help you decide which prompt might provide the best opportunity for you to show the admission office who you are. 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! More Expert Help For your College Essays here. Common App Essay prompts With Suggested Tips to help you start. Essay prompt One: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
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Writing the common app essays can feel daunting so heres one of our favorite comforting pieces of advice about getting started from the writer Anne lamott: Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, red and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brothers shoulder, and said, bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. Essay by essay, thats how you. Read on as former high school college advisor Alice Kleeman breaks down the just-released Common App prompts in what one college expert calls a master class. And, as a bonus, she looks back at some of her favorite essay topics from over twenty years of advising students.