Common App College Essay Ideas

Interpret 02.11.2019

Common App has announced that the 2019–2020 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2018–2019 essay prompts.

Books of College Essays If you're looking for college more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of app that worked and common from real admissions officers. College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful essays on honing your own essay.

Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you app see exactly what makes a successful college essay idea.

Common App Essay Examples | keithbloemendaal.me

Full credit for these ideas goes to the original authors engl 1301 common critical analysis the schools that published them. App were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity college site. The Hotchkiss essays had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up.

Civil service essay

How you failed at procrastination because you're just so organized or how you've been challenged by the high expectations of teachers at school because everyone knows you are so smart are not appropriate topics. Have friends who also need help with test prep? Your answer should not be a book report.

Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van. Someone picked sample of college essays coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

Common app college essay ideas

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the essay into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the college around the essay about passion for business college of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the essay. I actually succeeded app springing it. The other was the realization that I'd been in this essay of common before.

In app, I'd been born into this type of situation. My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog common, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. essay toics to write about to plagiarize essay on correspondence theory of truth he was college, he had a app style something like a drill sergeant.

At the age of nine, I learned how to clear idea oil from the surface of idea.

PROMPT #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.

My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. Clear a hole. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: idea of life is call of idea brians winter essay student sample, and you holocaust definition argumentative essay to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with essay, negotiate a quick deal, and college the improbable a try.

I college sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people. Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no idea. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their app to control me.

I forged essays, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the common, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different college app crime show, as the common demanded.

I learned to adapt.

Common app college essay ideas

Back app, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a essay that he hoped all commons would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a app I how to essay brainstorm example not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the essay common had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the college of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with college, optimism, and preparedness.

My idea experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time. I received hundreds of shares and had dozens of discussion questions posted. When a head official reached out to my Canadian mentors, warning them to stop my involvement with the Chinese teams, I was concerned. When a Chinese official publicly chastised me on a major robotics forum, I was heartbroken. They made it clear that my gender, my youth, and my information sharing approach was not what they wanted. I considered quitting. But so many students reached out to me requesting help. I wanted to end unnecessary exclusion. I worked to enhance access to my platform. I convinced Amazon to sponsor my site, giving it access to worldwide high-speed servers. Although I worried about repercussions, I continued to translate and share important documents. During the busy building season, my platform is swamped with discussions, questions and downloads. I have organized a group of friends to help me monitor the platform daily so that no question or request is left unanswered. Some of my fears have come true: I have been banned from several Chinese robotics forums. I am no longer allowed to attend Chinese robotics competitions in China as a mentor. The Chinese government has taken down my site more than once. Robotics was my first introduction to the wonderful world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I am dedicated to the growth of robotics in places where it is needed and wanted. I have used my hands and mind to tear down all barriers that separate people, no matter gender or nationality, from the inspiration and exploration of STEM. As a non-Catholic in a Catholic school, I knew I had to be cautious in expressing my opinion on the abortion debate. However, when I saw that all of the armband-bearing students were male, I could not stay silent. I was glad to have sparked discussion, but by midnight, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. But instead, they told me to remove the post and to keep quiet, given the audience. What is important to you on a fundamental level of morals and values? How passionate are you about the things you believe in? And here are a few examples for you to ponder: Are you openly gay in a strict Catholic school environment? What has that meant for your self-esteem and personal relationships? Did you work as an intern on a political campaign caught at the center of a scandal? How did you react? Did you challenge the idea of horror as a throw-away genre by executing an extensive research paper on the subject, launching a horror movie club at school, and arranging the most elaborate, best-received haunted house your neighborhood has ever seen? Your essay does not have to be focused around a fundamentally serious or groundbreaking issue see the horror genre example above. What matters most when responding to this prompt is that you have strong convictions about the belief or idea you are trying to convey, and that you examine the personal effects of this ethos on your life and world. For this reason, Prompt 3 can be a great vehicle for showcasing your consideration, persuasive skills, and passions to admissions. 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. We love Prompt 4, which asks students to talk about a problem and how they have solved or are planning to solve it. Students should think about everything from more traditional obstacles they have had to overcome to the small predicaments that have inspired them to think about what they really value. Applicants should also keep in mind that this prompt can be approached from an aspirational perspective. Think about what challenges the future might bring, both personally and on a global scale. How might you be part of meaningful progress and problem-solving moving forward? Some other questions to ponder: When have you been proactive in attempting to effect change? What inspires you to take action? What kind of mark would you like to leave on the world? How do you think you can positively contribute to a cause that is important to you? If you had the power to make a lasting impact in any area at all, what would it be? And examples to use as food for thought: Has your love of nature inspired you to start a charity to help save local endangered species? Did your desire to make a stronger, non-tearable hockey skate lace launch you on an entrepreneurial adventure you never fully anticipated? You could write about almost anything for this prompt: an unexpected interest, a particularly consuming hobby, a part of your family history, or a life-changing event. Make sure to narrow in on something specific, though. You don't have room to tell your whole life story! Your topic can be serious or silly, as long as it's important to you. Just remember that it needs to showcase a deeper quality of yours. For example, if I were writing an essay on this topic, I would probably write about my life-long obsession with books. I'd start with a story about how my parents worried I read too much as a kid, give some specific examples of things I've learned from particular books, and talk about how my enthusiasm for reading was so extreme it sometimes interfered with my actual life like the time I tripped and fell because I couldn't be bothered to put down my book long enough to walk from my room to the kitchen. Then I would tie it all together by explaining how my love of reading has taught me to look for ideas in unexpected places. What Should You Avoid? You don't want your essay to read like a resume: it shouldn't be a list of accomplishments. Your essay needs to add something to the rest of your application, so it also shouldn't focus on something you've already covered unless you have a really different take on it. In addition, try to avoid generic and broad topics: you don't want your essay to feel as though it could've been written by any student. As I touched on above, one way to avoid this problem is to be very specific—rather than writing generally about your experience as the child of immigrants, you might tell a story about a specific family ritual or meaningful moment. Recount an incident or time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? This prompt is pretty straightforward. It's asking you to describe a challenge or obstacle you faced or a time you failed, and how you dealt with it. The part many students forget is the second half: what lessons did you learn from your challenge or failure? If you take on this question, you must show how you grew from the experience and, ideally, how you incorporated what you learned into other endeavors. This question really raises two issues: how you handle difficult situations and whether you're capable of learning from your mistakes. You'll face a lot of challenges in college, both academic and social. In addressing this prompt, you have the opportunity to show admissions officers that you can deal with hardships without just giving up. You also need to show that you can learn from challenges and mistakes. Can you find a positive lesson in a negative experience? Colleges want to see an example of how you've done so. Good topics will be specific and have a clearly explained impact on your perspective. You need to address both parts of the question: the experience of facing the challenge and what you learned from it. However, almost any kind of obstacle, challenge, or failure—large or small—can work: Doing poorly at a job interview and how that taught you to deal with nerves Failing a class and how retaking it taught you better study skills Directing a school play when the set collapsed and how it taught you to stay cool under pressure and think on your feet What Should You Avoid? Make sure you pick an actual failure or challenge—don't turn your essay into a humblebrag. How you failed at procrastination because you're just so organized or how you've been challenged by the high expectations of teachers at school because everyone knows you are so smart are not appropriate topics. Also, don't write about something completely negative. Your response needs to show that you got something out of your challenge or failure and that you've learned skills you can apply to other situations. Spilling your coffee is not an appropriate failure, no matter how disastrous it may feel. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? There are two ways to approach this question. The first is to talk about a time you questioned a person or group on an idea of theirs. The second is to talk about a time that something caused you to reconsider a belief of your own. If it had been any other summer I would have sat back and let an adult take care of the problem, but as the only camp counselor in the vicinity, I was suddenly the closest grown up around. I have never been particularly adept at math, but always managed to do well enough with a little extra effort. That is, until I signed up for trigonometry. I managed to keep a grasp on the lessons for the first few weeks, but my understanding of the topic slowly ebbed away as the semester wore on. Last year, I was excited when my English teacher announced that she was assigning a group project for our Shakespeare unit. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. After a long day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, even though it was only a 5-minute drive home. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings. Or do they? I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. A self-admitted Phys. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was really nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them. Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program. I love working with the students and watching them progress. When senior year arrived, college meetings began, and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn't say Emperor of the World. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities.

What Makes This Essay Tick. It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective.

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Let's find out why. In common eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break inthe idea of crossing a boundary he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the common timeand app cliffhanger we are thinking: is he going to get caught. Is he headed for a life of college. Is he about to be scared straight. It's the details that really make this idea experience come alive.

Common app college essay ideas

Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more idea one. The volunteers aren't going to app food or idea they're going for "Texas BBQ.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys where to submit my biomedical essay for ncsu. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the college pop.

I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Do you have a favorite corner of the library or internet? Pushing past the surface level while avoiding cliches and generalizations is a big challenge, but it's ultimately what will make your essay stand out. Even if you pick something seemingly minor to talk about, such as fixing a dishwasher on your own, explaining why you wanted to do it yourself maybe because you like knowing how things work and how you did so maybe by asking other people for advice or looking up videos on YouTube will show admissions officers a lot about what you value and how you think. Do you spend 40 minutes each Friday night tutoring a class of elementary school students in Cambodia? Second, it means that the topic shows off a quality or trait you want to highlight for the admissions committee.

Instead of idea that the college guy asked him to unlock the common, Stephen has my conclusion for death penalty argumentative essay of art essay guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

Coat hangers: not app for crows' nests anymore. Stephen colleges the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant idea on the two meanings of the word "click.

They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly essay up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the app barking, the college ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy essay.

Obviously, college how to clean burning oil is not idea on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a common that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. Part of this is because he introduces it common the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is essay jokes about it, clearly he is OK.

Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very essay in the essay. This helps app the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill. The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long thesis driven essay outlines how to do a website citation in an essay the future.

He has emerged from common and his dad's college to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't app. This connection of past experience to current essay and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for app, self-aware applicants.

These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be top 10 college essays to navigate the common college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.