Essay prompts about novels

Avoid slipping into clichés or generalities. Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow. Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable. As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: how you discovered this activity, what drew you to it, and what it's shown you about yourself.

2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts

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. [No change]

2. 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? [Revised]

3. Reflect on a time when you  questioned  or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your  thinking ? What  was the outcome ? [Revised]

4. 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. [No change]

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or  realization  that  sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.  [Revised]

6.  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?  [New]

The popular "topic of your choice" option had been removed from the Common Application between 2013 and 2016, but it's now back again for the 2017-18 admissions cycle. Use this option if you have a story to share that doesn't quite fit into any of the options above. However, the first six topics are extremely broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them. Also, don't equate "topic of your choice" with a license to write a comedy routine or poem (you can submit such things via the "Additional Info" option). Essays written for this prompt still need to have substance and tell your reader something about you. Cleverness is fine, but don't be clever at the expense of meaningful content.

What a semantic freak. These are essays through and through, no ifs or buts about it. An essay is any piece of organized writing with a cohesive theme, purpose, or message. In fact, this very response I’m typing here could very well be called an essay, even if I ended the post right here. It doesn’t matter what the UCs call these essays. “Essay” is a generic term that readily applies here. Trying to discourage people from calling these pieces of writing “essays” is insanity, just like it would be to discourage the use of the word “person” simply because you may prefer a different term, like “human.”

Essay prompts about novels

essay prompts about novels

What a semantic freak. These are essays through and through, no ifs or buts about it. An essay is any piece of organized writing with a cohesive theme, purpose, or message. In fact, this very response I’m typing here could very well be called an essay, even if I ended the post right here. It doesn’t matter what the UCs call these essays. “Essay” is a generic term that readily applies here. Trying to discourage people from calling these pieces of writing “essays” is insanity, just like it would be to discourage the use of the word “person” simply because you may prefer a different term, like “human.”

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