Common application essay questions 2016

The time has come. 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. Because we are committed to getting you the most timely and comprehensive essay advice on the interweb, we have made a guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of all seven prompts.

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Before you dive or cannonball! In fact, in our instructional writing course and private advising , we encourage applicants to root around for their most meaningful stories first and consider the prompts later. 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: What matters is the story you want to tell. 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. So take a peek at what the application has in store for you, absorb what these prompts are really asking, and then forget about them really! What about your history, personality, hobbies, or accomplishments might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer?

It can be something as small as seeing an episode of a television show are you living life in the Upside Down? We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on solutions than problems.

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

Applicants should aim to showcase qualities like resilience, determination, and humility. The obstacles you choose to explore can vary widely in nature, especially with the recent additions that allow students to explore challenges and setbacks in addition to failures. They can be as serious as being tormented by bullies, as ingrained as the financial issues that have plagued your family for years, or as seemingly pedestrian as a mistake that costs you a tip while waiting tables. Still, if you can isolate an incident of trial in your life and illustrate how you learned from it, this can be a rewarding prompt to explore.

Overall, try to keep these stories as positive as possible. This prompt requires a student to speak passionately about beliefs and ideology, which are often onerous subjects that can be difficult to mold into compact stories. It can be one of the hardest questions to steer in a positive, productive direction without traveling into preachy, overly didactic territory.


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  2. Common App College Essay Prompts and Questions for .
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  4. The Common Application Announces Essay Prompts | The Common Application.
  5. UChicago Prompts Out for - Top Tier Admissions.

This is also a more precarious prompt than most in that students need to carefully assess the risks of espousing beliefs that might be polarizing for the readers of their applications. 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! 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 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.

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts

Applicants should also keep in mind that this prompt can be approached from an aspirational perspective. Rather, tell us about its portal.

Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about. Essay Option 5. Vestigiality refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function, but have been retained during the process of evolution. In humans, for instance, the appendix is thought to be a vestigial structure.

Describe something vestigial real or imagined and provide an explanation for its existence. Essay Option 6. In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose your own question or choose one of our past prompts. Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun.

Whether you are writing your Common App essay or going after supplements, keeping admissions officers interested and engaged and letting the know how you think is key. Here are some of our tips for doing so:. Use your summer wisely — start working on your essay s NOW so they can be fine-tuned for submission. Need help now? Your Name required. Name of the Student required.

Essay Prompts | The Common Application

Student's High School Grad Year required. I'm inquiring about the college admissions process for a Your Email required. Your Phone required. Your Message required. How did you hear about us? Pop Quiz!

Sign me up for the Top Tier Admissions Newsletter! Your Message. College student or college graduate? College Graduation Year required. What type of graduate degree program are you targeting? Among the survey highlights:. The Common Application has announced that the essay prompts will remain the same as the essay pro. Skip to main content. What's app ening? We are pleased to share the Essay Prompts with you. 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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.