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Popular College Application Essay Topics (and How to Answer Them)

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5 College Application Essay Topics That Always Work

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts
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Once there, though, I was relieved to realize that Albuquerque still brings me closer to my father. Even though he is no longer there to "guide," the author's love for the place itself remains. In this type of pivot, you use the experience you've described to demonstrate its importance in developing or zooming in on one key attribute.

Here are some ways to think about making this transition: My true reward of having Stanley is that he opened the door to the world of botany. I would never have invested so much time learning about the molecular structure or chemical balance of plants if not for taking care of him. Michaela '19 for Johns Hopkins University. Without having to "take care of him," Michaela "would never have invested so much time learning" about plant biology. By leaving me free to make mistakes and chase wild dreams, my father was always able to help ground me back in reality.

Olivia Rabbitt '16 for Connecticut College. In Olivia's essay about her father's role in her life, the pivot discusses his importance by explaining his deep impact on her values. Olivia has spent the story part of her essay describing her father's background and their relationship.

PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. 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. A great pivot is like great parkour—sharp, fast, and coming on a slightly unexpected curve. A blue seventh place athletic ribbon hangs from my mantel. Every day, as I walk into my living room, the award mockingly congratulates me as I smile. Ironically, the blue seventh place ribbon resembles the first place ribbon in color; so, if I just cover up the tip of the seven, I may convince myself that I championed the fourth heat.

But, I never dare to wipe away the memory of my seventh place swim; I need that daily reminder of my imperfection. I need that seventh place. Two years ago, I joined the no-cut swim team. That winter, my coach unexpectedly assigned me to swim the freestyle. After stressing for hours about swimming 20 laps in a competition, I mounted the blocks, took my mark, and swam. Around lap 14, I looked around at the other lanes and did not see anyone.

However, as I finally completed my race and lifted my arms up in victory to the eager applause of the fans, I looked up at the score board. I had finished my race in last place. In fact, I left the pool two minutes after the second-to-last competitor, who now stood with her friends, wearing all her clothes. It dangles information just out of reach, making the reader want to know more: Why does this definitively non-winning ribbon hang in such a prominent place of pride?

In the intro, we get physical actions: We basically get a sports commentary play-by-play here. Even though we already know the conclusion—Meghan came in 7th—she still builds suspense by narrating the race from her point of view as she was swimming it. She's nervous for a while, and then she starts the race. This essay uses the time expansion method of pivoting: The rest of the essay explores what it means for Meghan to constantly see this reminder of failure and to transform it into a sense of acceptance of her imperfections.

Notice also that in this essay, the pivot comes before the main story, helping us "hear" the narrative in the way she wants us to.

Everyone is too lazy to take out a dictionary or even their phones to look it up, so we just hash it out. And then, I am crowned the victor, a true success in the Merchant household. Words and communicating have always been of tremendous importance in my life: With the first sentence, we are immediately thrust into the middle of the action —into an exciting part of an argument about whether "biogeochemical" is really a word.

We're also immediately challenged. Is this a word? Have I ever heard it before? Does a scientific neologism count as a word? Since the whole essay is going to be about words, it makes sense for Shaan to demonstrate his comfort with all different kinds of language: This essay uses the value-extraction style of pivot: The danger of this kind of pivot sentence is slipping into vague, uninformative statements, such as "I love words.

But the essay stops short of giving so many examples that the reader drowns. I'd say three to five examples is a good range—as long as they're all different kinds of the same thing. Several keys offer a good chance of unlocking a door; a giant pile of keys is its own unsolvable maze.

The college essay introduction should hook your reader and make her want to know more and read more. You can t hen work on your first sentence and your pivot. Wondering what to make of the Common Application essay prompts? Thinking of applying to the University of California system? Working on the rest of your college application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying. We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score.

Download it for free now:. Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education. You should definitely follow us on social media.

You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:. 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? Writing the college application essay can be one of the most daunting parts of applying to college. For access to free sample successful admissions essays, visit EssayEdge.

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: Hi Caroline Ridmen , we hope they will help you as well!

Let me share with you more information on College Applications to support your search. Here's an excellent free college application essay example to help inspire you while working on your college and university application essays: Did you know almost every admissions counselor agrees that a memorable essay does have an impact on the overall application?

Looking for more college application essay help? We have tons— tons— here , including lots of real-world examples! What did you end up writing your college application essay about? Leave a comment or get in touch here. Get to know your prompt Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. Then, read them one more time. Is this essay prompt asking you to inform? These pieces rarely showcase who you are as an applicant.

Brainstorm Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question. You have years to draw from, so set aside time to mentally collect relevant experiences or events that serve as strong, specific examples.

This is also time for self-reflection. Choose three concepts you think fit the college application essay prompt best and weigh the potential of each. Which idea can you develop further and not lose the reader? Which captures more of who you really are? You should have enough supporting details to rely on this as an excellent demonstration of your abilities, achievements, perseverance, or beliefs.

Shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this natural progression will make your essay coherent and easy to read. How are you going to open your essay? Try to identify what the tone of your essay is going to be based on your ideas. Stick to your writing style and voice. Put the words in your own voice. A Step-by-Step Example 4. Write the essay Once you are satisfied with your essay in outline format, begin writing!

Start with your main idea, and follow it from beginning to end. Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear. Use humor if appropriate. Try to only include the information that is absolutely necessary.

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A college essay is an important piece of a college application and an opportunity for students to show an admission committee what makes them a good candidate. College Application Essay – Facilitating the Application Process | Education Professionals – The College Board. How to Start a College Essay Perfectly. Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 4, let's discuss the role of the introduction. Just as your college essay is your chance to introduce yourself to the admissions office of your target college, Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar.

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