Tagged: essay prompts

WOW Your Essay Reader With These Tips

Its time for rising seniors to begin to think about the application essays, a critical piece of the application puzzle.  Your courses, GPA, activities and leadership are set in stone.  The essay is the one piece over which you still have total control.

The Common App essays have been published.  Even though you don’t know what other prompts will be you can plan your strategy now.   Let’s make it an enviable piece of writing.

 

  1. What do you want the admissions counselor to know about you that isn’t on your application already.  Write about something that moves you or about which you are passionate.    When you decide what you want the reader to know, choose appropriate anecdotes.
  2. Your topic should not cover anything else on the application.  Hard working student?  They can see that from your courses and grades.  Love sports?  On the activities list.  If you can’t think of anything, ask 5 people to describe you.  Kind?  OK, find a story that illustrates that.   Funny?  Tell a good story about what makes you laugh or how you entertain your friends.  Maybe talk about a book or movie that you find hilarious-and why.
  3. Tell a story.  Why do you like looking at the stars from your bedroom window?  What do you and your mom talk about over Sunday morning pancakes?  Why did you and your best friend part ways and how did it make you feel?
  4. Do you have a situation or event that has put roadblocks in your path?  Maybe you repeated a grade and can talk about why that happened or how that impacted your social life.  If you are writing about a challenge the focus should be on what you’ve done to overcome the obstacle and how your efforts have changed you.
  5. Have plans for the future?  A recent client, Sam, who was shy in high school, wanted to learn to tolerate uncomfortable group events and be more social in college.  Sam described his plan and the changes he expected to take place.
  6. Whatever you write about make it personal.   Your subject doesn’t need to be earth shaking; its a means to revealing who you are to someone who doesn’t know you.  Make your essay  memorable for its honesty, not its Pultizer worthiness.

There you have it in a nutshell.  Write from the heart, not from the head.    Let me help you design your personal statement with the admissions office in mind.  Stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

Common App Essay Prompts 2016


The folks at Common App have released the prompts for the coming application season along with some interesting  stats on frequency of use.

Among the more than 800,000 unique applicants who have submitted a Common App so far during the 2015-2016 application cycle, 47 percent have chosen to write about their background, identity, interest, or talent – making it the most frequently selected prompt; 22 percent have chosen to write about an accomplishment, 17 percent about a lesson or failure, 10 percent about a problem solved, and four percent about an idea challenged.

 

Essay Draft 9
Essay Draft 9far during the 2015-2016 application cycle, 47 percent have chosen to write about their background, identity, interest, or talent – making it the most frequently selected prompt; 22 percent have chosen to write about an accomplishment, 17 percent about a lesson or failure, 10 percent about a problem solved, and four percent about an idea challenged.

2016-2017 Essay Prompts
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.

2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d 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.

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

The Common App goes live on August 1, 2016.

If you are a junior reading this post, your prompts will be different from these.  The last changes saw  2 prompts change entirely and the others were modified.  You can find prompts for other applications and private colleges on line.  The University of Chicago always has head-scratching topics to write about.

To write essays that stand out from the crowd, get individual help from Stephanie.           610-212-6679 or stephanie@accessguidance.com.  A great English essay may not be a good application essay.

Unusual College Essay Questions

I’m not much of a collector but I do love to read and save some of the more unusual essay prompts colleges offer applicants.

Read the attached article in the DC Examiner and think about how you would answer some of them.

http://www.examiner.com/list/12-uncommon-common-application-questions?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Enjoy the brain teasers!