Prompt Essay

This question is similar to Prompt #2 in that it is meant to tease out a student’s problem-solving skills and provide a glimpse into an applicant’s frame of mind when dealing with challenges.It also provides a few bonus opportunities for creative expression, leaving both the scale and the time frame for setting up a problem/solution wide open.

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Applicants who can articulate their thoughts and feelings while showcasing malleability and willingness to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others will likely stand out as valuable additions to any campus.

If this prompt jumps out at you because you have a very specific story to tell or opinion to voice, run with it!

Focus on the key words, “background,” “identity,” “interest,” and “talent,” and use them as launch points for your brainstorming.

What about your history, personality, hobbies, or accomplishments might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer?

Hello, students and parents of the future class of 2024! The Common App essay prompts for 2019-20 have been released and—spoiler alert—they’re exactly the same as last year’s!

In 2017 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!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 problem and how they have solved or are planning to solve it.) So 2019-20 college applicants, like those who came before them in 2017--19, will have seven (that’s right, seven) essay prompts to choose from.This wide range of questions, meant to inspire candidates in their search for compelling personal stories, is ideal for exploring essay topics of all tones, styles, and subjects.The most important thing to consider for this prompt is that your subject and/or perspective is dynamic and specific to you and who you are and no one else.Some questions to ask yourself as you brainstorm: Overall, this prompt is what we at College Essay Advisors call a “choose-your-own-adventure” prompt.We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on solutions than problems.Accordingly, Prompt #2 essays should be predominantly filled with a student’s response, outlook, and demeanor when presented with one of life’s many hurdles, rather than a detailed account of the hurdle itself.This is a process we call the Backwards Brainstorm, and you can learn more about it here.For now, the main point we want you to take away is this: The prompts don’t really matter. (And that you floss at least every other day—trust us, it will pay off in the long run.) We are as sure as ever that every single one of you has a valuable story (or two or twelve! All it takes is ample time for reflection and a little writerly elbow grease to find it.

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