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2018-19 Common App Essays

❶Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

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Mastering the 2017-2018 Common App Essay
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Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts

Too often students craft answers that they think colleges want to hear, and these answers do not present an accurate depiction of the candidate. These two new prompts are meant to encourage students to reflect on what they truly love and speak candidly.

A strong college application essay is not one that presents an ideal version of the applicant. Rather, a strong college application is one that shows a human being: So if you or your child intends to apply for college in the Fall, consider answering one of the new essay prompts in the Common App.

Write about your love for the Oxford comma, your interest in animal hibernation patterns, or your passion for debating the place sports has in politics.

If you write about something you legitimately enjoy, you offer colleges the chance to know the real you.

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Think about your work differently, organize it successfully and accomplish your goals. Great news for you college-bound juniors who are just starting to think about your college application essays. If you need to write your personal statement essay for The Common Application , they just made it a lot easier. To bring you up to speed on these new Common Application Prompts, last year they had 5 prompts to pick from to write your main essay for The Common Application.

Now they changed some of the previous prompts just minor tweaks , and added 2 news ones you can pick from as well. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Remember, you are looking for a topic you can write about that will help you differentiate sets you apart yourself from the other applicants.

Topic, Idea, or Concept. Then, if you want, go back and read the prompts to see if any match up with what you wrote about; if not, go with Prompt 7. Either way, you want a topic that will help you write an essay that is interesting to read especially at the start to grab their attention!

This blog is packed with advice and tips on exactly how to pull this off—without losing your mind. At the same time, you can use their ideas as a springboard for finding your topic. I like how they have tweaked the old prompts and made them even more thought-provoking and inspirational. If you want to start from scratch to brainstorm your perfect topic, start with my post How to Write a College Application Essay in 3 Steps.

I also recommend my short and easy writing guide, Escape Essay Hell , that is a step guide to finding that perfect topic and cranking out an effective personal statement essay—perfect for The Common Application. Here are some other posts that can help you get started under my Jumpstart Your Essay tab.

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. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 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. 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? I will be updating those and writing more advice on how to approach the all-new prompt 6 in coming weeks. Your email address will not be published.


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We are pleased to share the Common Application essay prompts with you. The changes you see below reflect the feedback of Common App member colleges and more than 5, other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors.

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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 effectiveness of the essay prompts.

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The Common App undergoes some changes every year, and the essay prompts have recently been announced. In the past, the Common App released its essay prompts in August, which gave aspiring graduates only . In the Common App added two new prompts to the pile, one of which was a return to the much-beloved “topic of your choice.” (Cue the confetti!) So college applicants, like those who came before them in , will have seven (that’s right, seven) essay prompts to choose from.

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Everything you need to know about the Common Application Essay prompts from our college essay experts. What changed this year & why does it matter? Be on the lookout for our comprehensive Guide to the Common App Essay Prompts, which will be released as soon as we can get our little elves to write it for us (luckily . Wondering about the new essay prompts for the Common Application? Our Common App expert, Elyse Krantz, has you covered! Read on. Mastering the Common App Essay. Fewer than 4% of applicants elected to write about this prompt in Is that because high school students are rarely presented with .