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Topics to Avoid in a College Admission Essay

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❶Prompt 2 Common App:

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts

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Get help writing your college application essays. The college essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are apart from your grades and test scores and to distinguish yourself from the rest of a very talented applicant pool. If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission in , you will have — words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in.

Your love of superheroes, baking chops, or family history are all fair game if you can tie it back to who you are or what you believe in.

Avoid a rehash of the accomplishments on your high school resume and choose something that the admissions committee will not discover when reading the rest of your application.

But overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance! The obstacle you write about can be large or small, but you must show the admissions committee how your perspective changed as a result.

Your answer to this question could focus on a time you stood up to others or an experience when your own preconceived view was challenged. Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific! This essay is designed to get at the heart of how you think and what makes you tick. Present a situation or quandary and show steps toward the solution. Admissions officers want insight into your thought process and the issues you grapple with, so explain how you became aware of the dilemma and how you tackled solving it.

Describe the event or ccomplishment 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. 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. Test Your College Knowledge! You can even write your own question! Whatever topic you land on, the essentials of a standout college essay still stand: Show the admissions committee who you are beyond grades and test scores and 2. Dig into your topic by asking yourself how and why. Individual schools sometimes require supplemental essays.

Here are a few popular application essay topics and some tips for how to approach them:. Avoid the urge to pen an ode to a beloved figure like Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln. Choose someone who has actually caused you to change your behavior or your worldview, and write about how this person influenced you. Notice how the student who shares the most intense personal stories gets the strongest response. These admissions officers, who are from various backgrounds and ages, are instantly in his camp.

Well, so have most of the rest of us, at least at some point in our lives, so we can relate and then want to cheer you on. Make sure your essay is personal. That means that you write about yourself, and your background and feelings, even if they are not impressive. No one will think you are whining or complaining.

Often, in order to understand your accomplishments and achievements so far, we need to understand any hardships that got in the way to fully appreciate them. I talk a lot on this site about including problems in your essays , and why they work so beautifully. Now I hope you have seen for yourself the power of opening up , and getting personal. These college application essays, especially the Common Application prompts, are called personal statements for a reason.

Your email address will not be published. As a professional writing coach, I help students, parents, counselors, teachers and others from around the world on these dreaded essays!

Learn about my in-person and online tutoring, editing, workshops, books, and online courses, My on-demand, fast-and-easy online e-course: In the process, they share snippets of essays and and discuss the merits of various applicants.

See when they react and seem moved by some of the information in the essays.

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Top College Officials Share Notes on Great Application Essays Top College Officials Share Notes on Great Application Essays Video: Creating a College Short List. Video Library / College Admissions Videos; Follow these guidelines and tips to help write a strong college essay. Find out why simple instructions, such as following the directions properly.