college essay writing prompts

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College essay writing prompts essay write

College essay writing prompts

What do you consider to be the best advice you ever received? Who gave you that advice and did you follow that advice or not? What do you consider to be the most important political or social movement of the 20th century?

Devise a question that is not on this college admission form and provide a complete, thoughtful answer to it. Choose one quotation that defines who you are and explain why that quotation describes you so well. Imagine that you have written a page autobiography of your life to this point.

What would page of that autobiography say? Choose the invention that you think has had the most negative impact on our world and explain why you chose that invention. If you had the ability to read other people's minds a. Describe the most embarrassing moment of your life and explain what you learned from that experience and how it has made you a better or stronger person today. The 25 creative college essay prompts listed above should give you a starting point to write your own personal statement.

The personal statement is used by most colleges to help them evaluate the type of person you are, which can help differentiate yourself from other applicants who have similar academic backgrounds to yours. By considering the 25 creative college essay prompts above, you can be more prepared to write an engaging personal statement that will let your personality shine through and will help you to be accepted into the college of your choice.

In case that colleges don't provide creative college essay prompts we've listed 25 creative college essay prompt to help you write your best possible personal statement: 1. Describe an experience that forever changed your life and your outlook on life. Why have you chosen to spend the next four years of your life in college? What do you plan on doing after you graduate from college? As of right now, what do you see as your long-term goals in life?

If you could be any animal in recorded history, what animal would you choose? How has the neighborhood you've grown up in molded you into the person you are today? 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. We love Prompt 4, which asks students to talk about a time when they felt gratitude. So many of the Common App prompts set students up to talk about what they do for others. Just as important, however, is how applicants react and respond when they are the recipients of something meaningful themselves.

Gratitude is quickly becoming a quality individuals are encouraged to connect to and reflect on regularly, hence the popularity of gratitude journals and exercises. Brainstorming method alert! Students should think about times when they have felt acknowledged, heard, and seen.

Moments when they have felt that swelling in their chest, as their heart grows three sizes. Think creatively about what you appreciate in your life. It can be a physical gift, an action, or even just a set of feelings projected in your direction. You can be intimately familiar with the person who has inspired your gratitude, or reflect on the actions of a near stranger or even a public figure who has impacted your life for the better.

Just remember that this essay needs to focus on how you process, appreciate and draw inspiration from the action of others, so make sure your response is focused on YOU. Ultimately, admissions wants to know more about how you relate to others in the world, and how you repurpose good intentions.

The whole purpose of this exercise is to reveal something valuable about yourself to admissions, so be sure to link the act of kindness you highlight to your passions, actions, or aspirations. There are a few things to note when unpacking this prompt. A formal event or accomplishment might include anything from obvious landmarks like birthdays or weddings to achievements like earning an award or receiving a promotion.

More informal examples might include something as simple as meeting a special person in your life, taking a car ride, or eating a particularly meaningful meal. We have often found that smaller, less formal events make for more surprising and memorable essays; but as with any of the other prompts, as long as you can answer with originality and put a unique twist on your subject matter, all ideas are fair game. The most important things to keep in mind when searching for these moments are the elements of growth, understanding, and transformation.

The event, accomplishment, or realization you discuss should be something that helped you understand the world around you through a different, more mature lens. One could argue that college is largely about the pursuit of knowledge, so you can imagine it would be quite appealing for an admissions officer to have a meter for your level of self-motivated learning, along with a better understanding of how and why you choose to pay attention to the things that intrigue you.

This is a window into your brain: how you process information, how you seek out new sources of content and inspiration. How resourceful are you when your curiosity is piqued to the fullest? The answer to this prompt should also reveal something to admissions about the breadth or depth of your interests. How consumed are you by this passion you are choosing to pursue academically?

Show your feathers. Let your freak flag fly within reason, obvs. This prompt is about the pursuit of knowledge and your desire to proactively challenge yourself. Whether you are devouring the classics on your Kindle or nerding out over the perfect cheese for calzone-making, your attachment to a subject may inspire admissions to want to learn more about it…and you.

Feared by some, coveted by others, and legendary in its existence; regardless of where you stand on the issue, this was a newsworthy addition to the Common App prompt choices. For years, students have been treating Prompt 1 which asks about your background, etc. Applicants around the world likely let out a big exhale when they saw they could still serve up a big scoop of Prompt 7 to admissions in previous seasons. And this year will be no different.

If that is the case, fear not! Use some of the other prompts as starting points for your brainstorming and free writing journeys. Begin keeping a diary now! Now that you have read our handy-dandy prompt guide and understand what admissions is looking for from these prompts, you could very well have a notebook filled with ideas that are ripe for expansion by the time you sit down to write.

Trying to tailor your essay to a more specific prompt option may inspire an interesting spin on the story you are trying to tell—one you may not have thought of otherwise. Form influences content. If, after careful consideration, your magic essay topic does not work within the confines of Prompts , you are in luck. The glorious, all-encompassing Prompt 7 will be here to catch you.

With some brainstorming and hard work, every student can uncover a story worth telling in response to one of these prompts.

WRITING A SCIENTIFIC ESSAY

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The new prompt is inspired by scientific research on gratitude and kindness , specifically the benefits of writing about the positive influence of other people in our lives. And we can do it explicitly. In crafting the new option, we relied on the expertise of counselors and admission officers on our Outreach and Application Advisory Committees, along with input from psychology and gratitude researchers. Together, these educators understand the ingredients of a successful essay prompt.

The final language they helped to shape balances flexibility with direction. They believe the new choice will generate stories that students are inspired to write and that colleges are excited to read. We hope students see the new prompt for what it is intended to be: an invitation to bring some joy into their application experience.

During these difficult times, it will be encouraging for students and those reviewing these essay responses to be reminded of the joy and hope that generosity and gratitude can foster. We will retire the seldom used option about solving a problem and replace it with the following: Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way.

Below is the full set of essay prompts for 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. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can 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? Write a story where that isn't true. Write about the secret lives of ghosts. This particular ghost seems to be going on an epic quest to Look, fiction can be whatever you want it to be. Write about a group of people adults or children who commit a heist for something of seemingly little monetary value. Write a story about the adventure you embark upon. Write about characters on a road trip together.

Write a short story that follows this format. Choose one or more and write a story where a character learns something using that one or more method. You know what you did. Explain and justify yourself. Write about what happens next. Touching a goat: Kids-tested. There's no wrong way to use a creative writing prompt unless it's to harass and hurt someone —the point of them is to get you writing and your imagination flowing.

To help you get the most out of these writing prompts, however, we've come up with the six tips below. Try them out! Unless you're writing for a particular assignment, there's no reason everything you write in response to a writing prompt has to be prose fiction.

Instead of writing your response to a prompt as a story, try writing a poem, nonfiction essay, play, screenplay, or some other format entirely. The purposes of writing prompts is to get you writing, typos and weird grammar and all. Editing comes later, once you've finished writing and have some space from it to come back to what you wrote.

It's OK to fix things that will make it difficult to read what you've written e. You also can always insert asterisks or a short note as you're writing to remind yourself to go back to fix something for instance, if as you're writing it seems like you want to move around the order of your paragraphs or insert something earlier.

The point of using a writing prompt is not to write something that best exemplifies the prompt, but something that sparks your own creativity. Again, unless you're writing in response to an assignment with specific directions, feel free to interpret writing prompts as broadly or as narrowly as you want. For instance, if your prompt is to write a story that begins with "The stage was set," you could write about anything from someone preparing to put a plan into motion to a literal theatre stage constructed out of pieces of old sets or something else entirely.

If you're using a writing prompt, it doesn't have to be the first sentence of your story or poem, either; you can also use the prompt as a goal to work towards in your writing. If it's a possibility for you, see if you write differently in different media. Do you write the same kind of stories by hand as you would typing at a computer?

What about if you dictate a story and then transcribe it? Or text it to a friend? Varying the method you use to write can affect the stories you're able to tell. For example, you may find that it's easier for you to tell stories about your life to a voice recorder than to try to write out a personal essay. Or maybe you have trouble writing poetry, but can easily text yourself or a friend a poem. You might even find you like a writing method you've not tried before better than what you've been doing!

If you need more inspiration, feel free to combine multiple prompts but don't overwhelm yourself with too much to write about. You can also try switching genres from what might be suggested in the prompt. For instance, try writing a prompt that seems funny in a serious and sad way, or finding the humor in something that otherwise seems humorless.

The categories we've organized the prompts into are by no means limiters on what you're allowed to write about. For some people, this means writing daily; for others, it means setting aside time to write each weekend or each month. Set yourself an achievable goal write 2x a week, write words a month and stick to it.

You can always start small and then ramp your wordcount or frequency up. If you do better when you have something outside yourself prompting to write, you may also want to try something like morning pages , which encourages you to write at least words every day, in any format story, diary entry, social media postings, etc. Thinking about attending college or grad school for creative writing?

Our articles on whether or not you should major in creative writing and the best creative writing programs are there for you! Plus, if you're a high schooler, you should check out these top writing contests. Creative writing doesn't necessarily have to be fiction. Check out these three examples of narrative writing and our tips for how to write your own narrative stories and essays. Just as writing prompts can help give form to amorphous creative energy, using specific writing structures or devices can be great starting points for your next story.

Read through our discussion of the top 20 poetic devices to know and see if you can work at least one new one into your next writing session. Still looking for more writing ideas? Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers. How to Get a Perfect , by a Perfect Scorer. Score on SAT Math. Score on SAT Reading. Score on SAT Writing. What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

How to Get a Perfect 4. How to Write an Amazing College Essay. A Comprehensive Guide. Choose Your Test.

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The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event. Analysis, not description, will reveal the critical thinking skills that are the hallmark of a promising college student. If your essay doesn't include some self-analysis, you haven't fully succeeded in responding to the prompt.

According to the folks at the Common Application , in the admissions cycle, Option 7 topic of your choice was the most popular and was used by The second most popular was Option 5 discuss an accomplishment with In third place was Option 2 on a setback or failure. The stories and information shared in an essay are what the Admissions Officer will use to advocate for the student in the admissions committee. Always keep in mind why colleges are asking for an essay: they want to get to know you better.

Nearly all selective colleges and universities as well as many that aren't overly selective have holistic admissions, and they consider many factors in addition to numerical measures such as grades and standardized test scores. Your essay is an important tool for presenting something you find important that may not come across elsewhere in your application.

Make sure your essay presents you as the type of person a college will want to invite to join their community. Below are the seven options with some general tips for each:. 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.

What is it that makes you you? The prompt gives you a lot of latitude for answering the question since you can write a story about your "background, identity, interest, or talent. You could write about an event or series of events that had a profound impact on your identity. Your "interest" or "talent" could be a passion that has driven you to become the person you are today.

However you approach the prompt, make sure you are inward looking and explain how and why the story you tell is so meaningful. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can 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?

This prompt may seem to go against everything that you've learned on your path to college. It's far more comfortable in an application to celebrate successes and accomplishments than it is to discuss setbacks and failure. At the same time, you'll impress the college admissions folks greatly if you can show your ability to learn from your failures and mistakes. Be sure to devote significant space to the second half of the question—how did you learn and grow from the experience?

Introspection and honesty are key with this prompt. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Keep in mind how open-ended this prompt truly is. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your own, someone else's, or that of a group. The best essays will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief.

The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story. Sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great. However you approach this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your core personal values. If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt.

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.

Here, again, the Common Application gives you a lot of options for approaching the question. With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important. Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future.

Be careful with that opening word "describe"—you'll want to spend much more time analyzing the problem than describing it. This essay prompt, like all of the options, is asking you to be introspective and share with the admissions folks what it is that you value.

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. This question was reworded in admissions cycle, and the current language is a huge improvement.

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 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 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? Share an essay on any topic of your choice.

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY SUBJECTS

Essay prompts college writing how to write a poetry essay

reading the essays that got me into harvard! + college essay tips and tricks

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Here are Common App's first-year essay prompts for this year. Get tips and best practices for writing your college essays. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you. Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts · Prompt #1: Share your story. · Prompt #2: Learning from obstacles. · Prompt #3: Challenging a belief. · Prompt #4: Solving.