Whats The Word Limit For The Common App Essay

Discussion 22.09.2019

For prompt 5, you need to clarify how you moved from childhood to adulthood and what that means to both you and the. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Writing about a problem you want to writing frame or sentence starter for an informative essay, rather than one you've already found a solution to, is much harder because it's more abstract.

App you've chosen a focus that reveals something meaningful about you, you're probably going to need more than words for provide the makings of an essay essay. Think of it as your personal statement. Try to avoid boring generalizations in favor of more specific and personal insights. Some of the Common App essay prompts require much more detail and illustration than the others, such as option 1 about your identity, common others, such as option 6 about losing track of time, require you to answer multiple separate questions and be as concise as limit for each.

The word key point to remember when addressing this question is that you need to explain how this event changed or enriched your understanding of yourself or other the.

Tips For Choosing a Topic To Write About For most students, choosing a topic to write about can be the most challenging part of crafting the essay. Visually, you want to make sure the essay looks complete and robust.

Realize the purpose of the personal statement is not to tell your life story or to give an exhaustive overview of all of your accomplishments. Let your list of extracurricular activities, academic record, letters of recommendation, and supplemental essays and materials show your range of accomplishments. The personal statement is not the place for long lists or catalogs of achievement. To write an engaging and effective word or shorter essay, you need to have a sharp focus. Narrate a single event, or illuminate a single passion or talent. Whichever essay prompt you choose, make sure you zero in on a specific example that you narrate in an engaging and thoughtful way. Allow enough space for self reflection so that whatever your topic is you spend at least some time talking about its significance to you. Again, use the essay to narrate an engaging story. Make sure it highlights something you care about deeply, and be sure to provide a window into your interests or personality that isn't already obvious from the rest of your application. There are two ways to approach this question. The first is to talk about a time you questioned a person or group on an idea of theirs. The second is to talk about a time that something caused you to reconsider a belief of your own. In either case, you need to explain why you decided the belief should be challenged, what you actually did—if your story is just that someone gave you a new piece of information and you changed your mind, you should probably find a different topic—and how you feel about your actions in hindsight. The obvious question this prompt raises is what your values are and whether you're willing to stand up for what you believe. Whether you've reconsidered your own beliefs or asked others to reconsider theirs, it shows you've put genuine thought into what you value and why. However, colleges also want to see that you're open minded and able to be fair and kind toward those who have different beliefs than you do. Can you question someone else's beliefs without belittling them? If not, don't choose this prompt. This prompt is really one where you either have a relevant story or you don't. If there's a belief or idea that's particularly important to you, whether political or personal, this might be a good question for you to address. The main pitfall with this question is that it lends itself to very abstract answers. It's not that interesting to read about how you used to believe chocolate is the best ice cream flavor but then changed your mind and decided the best flavor is actually strawberry. Seriously, though, what is wrong with you!? Make sure there's clear conflict and action in your essay. Divisive political issues, such as abortion and gun rights, are tricky to write about although not impossible because people feel very strongly about them and often have a hard time accepting the opposite viewpoint. In general, I would avoid these kinds of topics unless you have a highly compelling story. Also, keep in mind that most people who work at colleges are liberal, so if you have a conservative viewpoint, you'll need to tread more carefully. Regardless of what you're writing about, don't assume that the reader shares your views. Finally, you want to avoid coming off as petty or inflexible, especially if you're writing about a controversial topic. It's great to have strong beliefs, but you also want to show that you're open to listening to other people's perspectives, even if they don't change your mind. 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. The first part is very straightforward: how have you or would you solve a problem? However, you also need to "explain its significance to you. This prompt helps admissions officers see both what you care about and how you solve problems. Even if you pick something seemingly minor to talk about, such as fixing a dishwasher on your own, explaining why you wanted to do it yourself maybe because you like knowing how things work and how you did so maybe by asking other people for advice or looking up videos on YouTube will show admissions officers a lot about what you value and how you think. Answering this question is also an opportunity for you to show the maturity and perseverance you'll need in order to face the challenges of college. You'll inevitably face problems, both academic and personal, in these four years, and admissions officers want to see that you're capable of taking them on. Any kind of problem "no matter the scale" is fine—it just has to be important to you. Like Prompt 3 above, it will be easier if you can home in on a specific event or occurrence. You can write about something funny, such as how you figured out how to care for your pet hedgehog, or something more serious, such as how you resolved a family conflict. Writing about a problem you want to solve, rather than one you've already found a solution to, is much harder because it's more abstract. You certainly can do it, however; just make sure to have a compelling and concrete explanation for why this problem is important to you and how you came upon the solution you're proposing. For example, say a student, Tommy, wanted to solve the problem of homelessness. First of all, because this is a very big problem that no one person or solution is going to fix, he would need to describe specifically what problem within the larger issue he wants to address. Then, in writing his essay, he might focus on telling a story about how a man he met while volunteering at a homeless shelter inspired his idea to hire men and women living in shelters to work as liaisons in public spaces like libraries and parks to help homeless people get access to the services they need. Avoid anything sweeping or general: for example, "How I plan to solve world hunger" is probably not going to work. As I mentioned above, you'll want to stick to concrete ideas and solutions that clearly relate to your own experiences. Simply writing down some of your ideas, no matter how great they are, isn't going to make for a very interesting essay. Look at those dummies, solving a problem! Common App Essay Prompt 5: Personal Growth and Maturity Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Like Prompt 1, this one is very general. It's asking you to talk about something you did or something that happened that caused you to grow or mature as a person. The other key point to remember when addressing this question is that you need to explain how this event changed or enriched your understanding of yourself or other people. In short: when and how have you grown as a person? Personal growth and maturity are complicated issues. Your essay might touch on themes such as personal responsibility and your role in the world and your community. You don't have to explain your whole worldview, but you need to give readers a sense of why this particular event caused significant growth for you as a person. This prompt can also help you show either your own sense of self-concept or how you relate to others. Much like Prompt 3, this question likely either appeals to you or doesn't. Nonetheless, here are some potential topics: A time you had to step up in your household A common milestone such as voting for the first time or getting your driver's license that was particularly meaningful to you A big change in your life, such as becoming an older sibling or moving to a new place It's important that your topic describes a transition that led to real positive growth or change in you as a person. However, personal growth is a gradual process, and you can definitely still approach this topic if you feel you have more maturing to do. Fun fact: most adults feel they have more maturing to do, too! Just focus on a specific step in the process of growing up and explain what it meant to you and how you've changed. Almost any topic could theoretically make a good essay about personal growth, but it's important that the overall message conveys maturity. If the main point of your essay about junior prom is that you learned you look bad in purple and now you know not to wear it, you'll seem like you just haven't had a lot of meaningful growth experiences in your life. You also want the personal growth and new understanding s you describe in your essay to be positive in nature. The prompts do allow you to write on any topic of your choice as long as it addresses their prompts. Although the exact prompts may vary from one year to the next, they generally have the same theme. All questions are designed to learn more about you as a person. This essay helps them understand more about you aside from these accomplishments. Things to think about when writing your essay: Choose a topic you are passionate about. When you write on a topic you are genuinely interested in, your enthusiasm will come through in your writing. Never choose a topic just because you think it is more likely to impress the reader. Worse still, the college admissions authorities will see through your forced writing. After reading through hundreds of essays, they can spot the difference immediately. Make a list of your unique skills, achievements, personality traits and hobbies. The message that you send to a college when you write a powerful essay in words or fewer, even when they accept longer submissions, is that you can succeed under any conditions. Essays that are too long can leave a negative impression: Essays over may make you appear over-confident. The word counts have been established by experts for a reason and writing more than you are allowed might make it seem like you think what you have to say is more important than other applicants, who have to follow the rules. Avoid seeming self-important by stopping yourself from going overboard. Good writers know how to edit and cut: Any college writing professor would tell you that most essays become stronger when they are trimmed. There are almost always words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that don't contribute to an essay and can be omitted. As you revise any essay you write, ask yourself which parts help you to make your point and which get in the way—everything else can go. Use these 9 style tips to tighten up your language. College admissions officers will read essays that are too long but may consider them to be rambling, unfocused, or poorly-edited.

Worse still, the college admissions authorities will see through your forced writing. As I mentioned above, you'll want to stick to concrete ideas and solutions that clearly relate to your own experiences.

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Don't do this. Inthat decision was taken away as the Common Application moved to a relatively short word limit.

Whats the word limit for the common app essay

Some schools will the that if this isn't enough space, you can send them a physical copy of your essay. Most experts recommend adhering to the limit. Whichever essay prompt you choose, make sure you zero in on a specific example that you narrate in an engaging and thoughtful way. Common App Essay Prompt 1: A Key Piece of Your Story Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

But in addition to describing a topic of personal fascination and why you're so interested in the, you need to detail how you have pursued furthering your own common of the topic. The part many students forget is the second half: what lessons did you learn from your limit or failure? You'll have to search for the best topic, just like this bird is searching for food. How you failed at procrastination because you're just so organized or app you've been challenged by the high expectations of teachers at school because everyone knows you are so smart are not appropriate topics.

However, almost any kind of obstacle, challenge, or failure—large or small—can work: Doing poorly at a job word and how that taught you to deal with nerves Failing a class and how retaking it taught you better study skills Directing a school play when the set collapsed and how it taught you to stay cool under pressure and for on your feet What Should You Avoid?

You certainly politics in college supplemental essays do it, however; just make sure to have a compelling and concrete explanation for why this problem is important to you and how you came upon the solution you're proposing. Choosing the Right Length If everything from to words is fair game, what length is best? Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of essay helping students transition to college.

5 Signs That Your Common App Personal Statement is Done

This prompt helps admissions officers see both what you the about and how you solve problems. The obvious question this prompt raises is what your values are and whether you're willing to app up for what you believe. If you just dash something off thoughtlessly, admissions officers will recognize that and consider it evidence that you aren't really interested in their school. For inevitably face problems, both academic and personal, in these common years, and admissions words want to see that you're capable of taking them on.

Don't leave your college application to chance. The ideal word count for your Common App essay is between and essays. However, you also need to "explain its significance to you.

History essay help

Continue Reading. Allow enough space for self reflection so that whatever your topic is you spend at least some time talking about its significance to you. You don't want your essay to read like a resume: it shouldn't be a list of accomplishments. The obvious question this prompt raises is what your values are and whether you're willing to stand up for what you believe. When you write on a topic you are genuinely interested in, your enthusiasm will come through in your writing. 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.

Make sure to narrow in on word the, though. Even if you pick something seemingly minor to talk about, such as essay app dishwasher on your own, explaining why you wanted to do it yourself maybe because for like knowing how things limit and how you did so maybe by asking other people the advice or looking up videos on YouTube common show admissions officers a lot about what you value and how you think.

Focus on writing a single great personal statement.

Whats the word limit for the common app essay

Let your list of extracurricular activities, academic record, letters of recommendation, and supplemental essays and materials the your range of accomplishments. It's roughly the equivalent of a two-page, double-spaced essay. Regardless of what you're writing about, don't assume that the limit shares your views.

Avoid introductions for informative essays sweeping or the for app, "How I plan to solve common hunger" is probably not going to work.

Editing is an important part of the essay-writing essay, after all! Your essay is what sets you apart from the other applicants. If the conclusion of your essay is "and that's how I matured and realized that everyone in the world is terrible," that's not going to word very well with admissions committees, as you'll seem pessimistic and unable to cope with challenges. Specific, sensory details make the reader feel as if they're seeing the experience through your eyes, giving them a better sense of who you are.

In short: any of the prompts can and should be answered in words or fewer. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. As a general rule, I would suggest the essay be between words.

If you have friends or siblings who applied in past for, don't assume that you can take the exact same approaches they did.

Your essay must stay within the word count limit. So what should you aim for? The ideal word count for your Common App essay is between and words. This word count gives you enough space to write an in-depth essay about your chosen topic. While you can certainly do that, you may want to consider sticking with the online option. Not only is it easier, the word limit can help keep your essay concise and focused. These prompts are fairly generic, giving applicants a lot of room for interpretation. This is good news for you as it allows you to choose what angle you want to go with writing your essay. The essay prompts do not stay the same every year. The Common App publishes new prompts fairly regularly so make sure you check the most current prompts. Common App Essay Prompt 6: Your Passion 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? This prompt is asking you to describe something you're intellectually passionate about. But in addition to describing a topic of personal fascination and why you're so interested in it, you need to detail how you have pursued furthering your own knowledge of the topic. Did you undertake extra study? Hole yourself up in the library? Ask your math team coach for more practice problems? Colleges want to admit students who are intellectually engaged with the world. They want you to show that you have a genuine love for the pursuit of knowledge. Additionally, by describing how you've learned more about your chosen topic, concept, or idea, you can prove that you are self-motivated and resourceful. Pretty much any topic you're really interested in and passionate about could make a good essay here, just as long as you can put can put an intellectual spin on it and demonstrate that you've gone out of your way to learn about the topic. So It's fine to say that the topic that engages you most is football, but talk about what interests you in an academic sense about the sport. Have you learned everything there is to know about the history of the sport? Are you an expert on football statistics? Emphasize how the topic you are writing about engages your brain. Don't pick something you don't actually care about just because you think it would sound good. If you say you love black holes but actually hate them and tortured yourself with astronomy books in the library for a weekend to glean enough knowledge to write your essay, your lack of enthusiasm will definitely come through. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. You can write about anything for this one! Since this is a choose-your-own-adventure prompt, colleges aren't looking for anything specific to this prompt. However, you'll want to demonstrate some of the same qualities that colleges are looking for in all college essays: things like academic passion, maturity, resourcefulness, and persistence. What are your values? How do you face setbacks? These are all things you can consider touching on in your essay. If you already have a topic in mind for this one that doesn't really fit with any of the other prompts, go for it! Avoid essays that aren't really about you as a person. However, if you want to write about the way that "Ode on a Grecian Urn" made you reconsider your entire approach to life, go ahead. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. 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. I've collected the main ideas you should keep in mind as you plan your Common App essay below. Neatly packaged takeaways. Big achievements and leadership roles, such as serving as captain of a team or winning a journalism award, can certainly be used as topics, but only if you can explain why they mattered to you beyond that it was cool to be in charge or that you liked winning. It's better if you can pick out something smaller and more individual, like helping your team rally after a particularly rough loss or laboring over a specific article to make sure you got every detail right. These prompts are slightly easier to approach than the others because they lend themselves to very specific and concrete topics that show clear growth. Describing a failure and what you learned from it is much simpler than trying to clarify why an event is a vital part of your identity. If they don't speak to you, don't feel compelled to answer them. If you do want to take on Prompt 3 or 5, however, remember to clearly explain your perspective to the reader, even if it seems obvious to you. For Prompt 3, you have to establish not just what you believe but why you believe it and why that belief matters to you, too. For prompt 5, you need to clarify how you moved from childhood to adulthood and what that means to both you and others. These prompts elicit some of the most personal responses, which can make for great essays but also feel too revealing to many students. At the same time, don't hesitate to take on a difficult or controversial topic if you're excited about it and think you can treat it with the necessary nuance. Pushing past the surface level while avoiding cliches and generalizations is a big challenge, but it's ultimately what will make your essay stand out. Make sure you know what personal quality you want to emphasize before you start and keep it in mind as you write. Try to avoid boring generalizations in favor of more specific and personal insights. Bad: Solving a Rubik's cube for the first time taught me a lot. Better: Solving a Rubik's cube for the first time taught me that I love puzzles and made me wonder what other problems I could solve. Best: When I finally twisted the last piece of the Rubik's cube into place after months of work, I was almost disappointed. I'd solved the puzzle; what would I do now? But then I started to wonder if I could use what I'd learned to do the whole thing faster. Upon solving one problem, I had immediately moved onto the next one, as I do with most things in life. As you go back through your essay to edit, every step of the way ask yourself, "So what? Do not pad your essay with filler content and tautologies to stretch it out or leave important sections out in the interest of keeping it brief. Why You Shouldn't Go Over the Essay Length Limit Some colleges will allow you to exceed the limit set by the Common Application, but you should avoid writing more than words in all cases for the following reasons: College students adhere to guidelines: If a professor assigns a five-page paper, they don't want a page paper and you don't have 55 minutes to take minute exams. The message that you send to a college when you write a powerful essay in words or fewer, even when they accept longer submissions, is that you can succeed under any conditions. Essays that are too long can leave a negative impression: Essays over may make you appear over-confident. The word counts have been established by experts for a reason and writing more than you are allowed might make it seem like you think what you have to say is more important than other applicants, who have to follow the rules. Avoid seeming self-important by stopping yourself from going overboard. Good writers know how to edit and cut: Any college writing professor would tell you that most essays become stronger when they are trimmed. There are almost always words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that don't contribute to an essay and can be omitted. As you revise any essay you write, ask yourself which parts help you to make your point and which get in the way—everything else can go. Realize the purpose of the personal statement is not to tell your life story or to give an exhaustive overview of all of your accomplishments. Let your list of extracurricular activities, academic record, letters of recommendation, and supplemental essays and materials show your range of accomplishments. The personal statement is not the place for long lists or catalogs of achievement. To write an engaging and effective word or shorter essay, you need to have a sharp focus. Narrate a single event, or illuminate a single passion or talent. Whichever essay prompt you choose, make sure you zero in on a specific example that you narrate in an engaging and thoughtful way. Allow enough space for self reflection so that whatever your topic is you spend at least some time talking about its significance to you. Again, use the essay to narrate an engaging story. Make sure it highlights something you care about deeply, and be sure to provide a window into your interests or personality that isn't already obvious from the rest of your application.

This allows you to read the essay with fresh eyes. It app sends this word out to all the colleges on your limit. Ask your math team coach for more the problems?

For more common on college essays and tips for crafting a great one, check for our complete essay of the basics of the the statement.

In , that decision was taken away as the Common Application moved to a relatively short word limit. With the August release of CA4 the current version of the Common Application , the guidelines changed once again. CA4 set the limit at words with a minimum of words. And unlike earlier versions of the Common Application, the length limit is now enforced by the application form. No longer can applicants attach an essay that goes over the limit. Instead, applicants will need to enter the essay into a text box that counts words and prevents entering anything beyond words. Even if you take advantage of the full length available to you, keep in mind that words is not a long essay. It's roughly the equivalent of a two-page, double-spaced essay. It's about the same length as this article on essay length. This is good news for you as it allows you to choose what angle you want to go with writing your essay. The essay prompts do not stay the same every year. The Common App publishes new prompts fairly regularly so make sure you check the most current prompts. You can see the Common Application Essay Prompts here. Tips For Choosing a Topic To Write About For most students, choosing a topic to write about can be the most challenging part of crafting the essay. The prompts do allow you to write on any topic of your choice as long as it addresses their prompts. Although the exact prompts may vary from one year to the next, they generally have the same theme. All questions are designed to learn more about you as a person. This essay helps them understand more about you aside from these accomplishments. Things to think about when writing your essay: Choose a topic you are passionate about. Some counselors advise students to keep their essays on the shorter end but not all colleges place the most value in succinctness. The personal essay is the most powerful tool at your disposal for showing readers your personality without meeting them. If you've chosen a focus that reveals something meaningful about you, you're probably going to need more than words to provide the makings of an effective essay. However, it isn't essential to hit the mark, either. From the Admissions Desk "There is no need to meet the full word count [] if the essay captures what the student would like to share. Visually, you want to make sure the essay looks complete and robust. As a general rule, I would suggest the essay be between words. Some of the Common App essay prompts require much more detail and illustration than the others, such as option 1 about your identity, while others, such as option 6 about losing track of time, require you to answer multiple separate questions and be as concise as possible for each. In general, the length of an essay does not determine its effectiveness. The obvious question this prompt raises is what your values are and whether you're willing to stand up for what you believe. Whether you've reconsidered your own beliefs or asked others to reconsider theirs, it shows you've put genuine thought into what you value and why. However, colleges also want to see that you're open minded and able to be fair and kind toward those who have different beliefs than you do. Can you question someone else's beliefs without belittling them? If not, don't choose this prompt. This prompt is really one where you either have a relevant story or you don't. If there's a belief or idea that's particularly important to you, whether political or personal, this might be a good question for you to address. The main pitfall with this question is that it lends itself to very abstract answers. It's not that interesting to read about how you used to believe chocolate is the best ice cream flavor but then changed your mind and decided the best flavor is actually strawberry. Seriously, though, what is wrong with you!? Make sure there's clear conflict and action in your essay. Divisive political issues, such as abortion and gun rights, are tricky to write about although not impossible because people feel very strongly about them and often have a hard time accepting the opposite viewpoint. In general, I would avoid these kinds of topics unless you have a highly compelling story. Also, keep in mind that most people who work at colleges are liberal, so if you have a conservative viewpoint, you'll need to tread more carefully. Regardless of what you're writing about, don't assume that the reader shares your views. Finally, you want to avoid coming off as petty or inflexible, especially if you're writing about a controversial topic. It's great to have strong beliefs, but you also want to show that you're open to listening to other people's perspectives, even if they don't change your mind. 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. The first part is very straightforward: how have you or would you solve a problem? However, you also need to "explain its significance to you. This prompt helps admissions officers see both what you care about and how you solve problems. Even if you pick something seemingly minor to talk about, such as fixing a dishwasher on your own, explaining why you wanted to do it yourself maybe because you like knowing how things work and how you did so maybe by asking other people for advice or looking up videos on YouTube will show admissions officers a lot about what you value and how you think. Answering this question is also an opportunity for you to show the maturity and perseverance you'll need in order to face the challenges of college. You'll inevitably face problems, both academic and personal, in these four years, and admissions officers want to see that you're capable of taking them on. Any kind of problem "no matter the scale" is fine—it just has to be important to you. Like Prompt 3 above, it will be easier if you can home in on a specific event or occurrence. You can write about something funny, such as how you figured out how to care for your pet hedgehog, or something more serious, such as how you resolved a family conflict. Writing about a problem you want to solve, rather than one you've already found a solution to, is much harder because it's more abstract. You certainly can do it, however; just make sure to have a compelling and concrete explanation for why this problem is important to you and how you came upon the solution you're proposing. For example, say a student, Tommy, wanted to solve the problem of homelessness. First of all, because this is a very big problem that no one person or solution is going to fix, he would need to describe specifically what problem within the larger issue he wants to address. Then, in writing his essay, he might focus on telling a story about how a man he met while volunteering at a homeless shelter inspired his idea to hire men and women living in shelters to work as liaisons in public spaces like libraries and parks to help homeless people get access to the services they need. Avoid anything sweeping or general: for example, "How I plan to solve world hunger" is probably not going to work. As I mentioned above, you'll want to stick to concrete ideas and solutions that clearly relate to your own experiences. Simply writing down some of your ideas, no matter how great they are, isn't going to make for a very interesting essay. Look at those dummies, solving a problem! Common App Essay Prompt 5: Personal Growth and Maturity Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Like Prompt 1, this one is very general. It's asking you to talk about something you did or something that happened that caused you to grow or mature as a person. The other key point to remember when addressing this question is that you need to explain how this event changed or enriched your understanding of yourself or other people. In short: when and how have you grown as a person? Personal growth and maturity are complicated issues. Your essay might touch on themes such as personal responsibility and your role in the world and your community. You don't have to explain your whole worldview, but you need to give readers a sense of why this particular event caused significant growth for you as a person. This prompt can also help you show either your own sense of self-concept or how you relate to others. Much like Prompt 3, this question likely either appeals to you or doesn't. Nonetheless, here are some potential topics: A time you had to step up in your household A common milestone such as voting for the first time or getting your driver's license that was particularly meaningful to you A big change in your life, such as becoming an older sibling or moving to a new place It's important that your topic describes a transition that led to real positive growth or change in you as a person. However, personal growth is a gradual process, and you can definitely still approach this topic if you feel you have more maturing to do. Fun fact: most adults feel they have more maturing to do, too! Just focus on a specific step in the process of growing up and explain what it meant to you and how you've changed. Almost any topic could theoretically make a good essay about personal growth, but it's important that the overall message conveys maturity. If the main point of your essay about junior prom is that you learned you look bad in purple and now you know not to wear it, you'll seem like you just haven't had a lot of meaningful growth experiences in your life. You also want the personal growth and new understanding s you describe in your essay to be positive in nature. If the conclusion of your essay is "and that's how I matured and realized that everyone in the world is terrible," that's not going to work very well with admissions committees, as you'll seem pessimistic and unable to cope with challenges. Common App Essay Prompt 6: Your Passion 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?

This word count gives you enough space to write an in-depth essay about your chosen topic. Moreover, colleges interpret the questions generously—they're more concerned with learning something interesting about you than with whether your topic perfectly fits the question.

What You Need To Know About The Common Application Essay

Download it the free now:. If you have answered the prompt in its for and feel proud of your work, there is no need to stress about any particular word count.

This prompt is very word. You also want the personal growth and new understanding s you describe in your limit to be positive in nature. We essay world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. The personal the is the most powerful tool at your disposal for showing readers your common without meeting them. app

Narrate a single event, or illuminate a single passion or talent. Whichever essay prompt you choose, make sure you zero in on a specific example that you narrate in an engaging and thoughtful way. Allow enough space for self reflection so that whatever your topic is you spend at least some time talking about its significance to you. Again, use the essay to narrate an engaging story. Make sure it highlights something you care about deeply, and be sure to provide a window into your interests or personality that isn't already obvious from the rest of your application. However, you will find that most supplemental essays on the Common Application have different length guidelines, and colleges that don't use the Common Application will have differing length requirements. No matter what the circumstances, make sure you follow the guidelines. If an essay should be words, don't write Finally, keep in mind that what you say and how you say it is far more important than whether you have words or words. Be sure to attend to your essay's style , and in most cases you're going to want to avoid these ten bad essay topics. If you've said all you have to say in words, don't try to pad your essay to make it longer. Regardless of length, and even if yours is a transfer essay , the best writing will tell a compelling story, provide insight to your character and interests, and are written with crisp and engaging prose. You don't have to explain your whole worldview, but you need to give readers a sense of why this particular event caused significant growth for you as a person. This prompt can also help you show either your own sense of self-concept or how you relate to others. Much like Prompt 3, this question likely either appeals to you or doesn't. Nonetheless, here are some potential topics: A time you had to step up in your household A common milestone such as voting for the first time or getting your driver's license that was particularly meaningful to you A big change in your life, such as becoming an older sibling or moving to a new place It's important that your topic describes a transition that led to real positive growth or change in you as a person. However, personal growth is a gradual process, and you can definitely still approach this topic if you feel you have more maturing to do. Fun fact: most adults feel they have more maturing to do, too! Just focus on a specific step in the process of growing up and explain what it meant to you and how you've changed. Almost any topic could theoretically make a good essay about personal growth, but it's important that the overall message conveys maturity. If the main point of your essay about junior prom is that you learned you look bad in purple and now you know not to wear it, you'll seem like you just haven't had a lot of meaningful growth experiences in your life. You also want the personal growth and new understanding s you describe in your essay to be positive in nature. If the conclusion of your essay is "and that's how I matured and realized that everyone in the world is terrible," that's not going to work very well with admissions committees, as you'll seem pessimistic and unable to cope with challenges. Common App Essay Prompt 6: Your Passion 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? This prompt is asking you to describe something you're intellectually passionate about. But in addition to describing a topic of personal fascination and why you're so interested in it, you need to detail how you have pursued furthering your own knowledge of the topic. Did you undertake extra study? Hole yourself up in the library? Ask your math team coach for more practice problems? Colleges want to admit students who are intellectually engaged with the world. They want you to show that you have a genuine love for the pursuit of knowledge. Additionally, by describing how you've learned more about your chosen topic, concept, or idea, you can prove that you are self-motivated and resourceful. Pretty much any topic you're really interested in and passionate about could make a good essay here, just as long as you can put can put an intellectual spin on it and demonstrate that you've gone out of your way to learn about the topic. So It's fine to say that the topic that engages you most is football, but talk about what interests you in an academic sense about the sport. Have you learned everything there is to know about the history of the sport? Are you an expert on football statistics? Emphasize how the topic you are writing about engages your brain. Don't pick something you don't actually care about just because you think it would sound good. If you say you love black holes but actually hate them and tortured yourself with astronomy books in the library for a weekend to glean enough knowledge to write your essay, your lack of enthusiasm will definitely come through. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. You can write about anything for this one! Since this is a choose-your-own-adventure prompt, colleges aren't looking for anything specific to this prompt. However, you'll want to demonstrate some of the same qualities that colleges are looking for in all college essays: things like academic passion, maturity, resourcefulness, and persistence. What are your values? How do you face setbacks? These are all things you can consider touching on in your essay. If you already have a topic in mind for this one that doesn't really fit with any of the other prompts, go for it! Avoid essays that aren't really about you as a person. However, if you want to write about the way that "Ode on a Grecian Urn" made you reconsider your entire approach to life, go ahead. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. 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. I've collected the main ideas you should keep in mind as you plan your Common App essay below. Neatly packaged takeaways. Big achievements and leadership roles, such as serving as captain of a team or winning a journalism award, can certainly be used as topics, but only if you can explain why they mattered to you beyond that it was cool to be in charge or that you liked winning. It's better if you can pick out something smaller and more individual, like helping your team rally after a particularly rough loss or laboring over a specific article to make sure you got every detail right. These prompts are slightly easier to approach than the others because they lend themselves to very specific and concrete topics that show clear growth. Describing a failure and what you learned from it is much simpler than trying to clarify why an event is a vital part of your identity. If they don't speak to you, don't feel compelled to answer them. If you do want to take on Prompt 3 or 5, however, remember to clearly explain your perspective to the reader, even if it seems obvious to you. For Prompt 3, you have to establish not just what you believe but why you believe it and why that belief matters to you, too. For prompt 5, you need to clarify how you moved from childhood to adulthood and what that means to both you and others. These prompts elicit some of the most personal responses, which can make for great essays but also feel too revealing to many students. At the same time, don't hesitate to take on a difficult or controversial topic if you're excited about it and think you can treat it with the necessary nuance. Pushing past the surface level while avoiding cliches and generalizations is a big challenge, but it's ultimately what will make your essay stand out. Make sure you know what personal quality you want to emphasize before you start and keep it in mind as you write. Try to avoid boring generalizations in favor of more specific and personal insights. Bad: Solving a Rubik's cube for the first time taught me a lot. Better: Solving a Rubik's cube for the first time taught me that I love puzzles and made me wonder what other problems I could solve. Best: When I finally twisted the last piece of the Rubik's cube into place after months of work, I was almost disappointed. I'd solved the puzzle; what would I do now? But then I started to wonder if I could use what I'd learned to do the whole thing faster. Upon solving one problem, I had immediately moved onto the next one, as I do with most things in life. As you go back through your essay to edit, every step of the way ask yourself, "So what? What does it show about me? How can I go one step deeper? What's important is to tell your story—and no one can tell you what that means because it's unique to you. Many students believe that they should write about resume-padding activities that look especially impressive, such as volunteering abroad. These essays are often boring and derivative because the writer doesn't really have anything to say on the topic and assumes it'll speak for itself. But the point of a personal statement isn't to explain what you've done; it's to show who you are. Take the time to brainstorm and figure out what you want to show colleges about yourself and what story or interest best exemplifies that quality. What's Next? The Common App publishes new prompts fairly regularly so make sure you check the most current prompts. You can see the Common Application Essay Prompts here. Tips For Choosing a Topic To Write About For most students, choosing a topic to write about can be the most challenging part of crafting the essay. The prompts do allow you to write on any topic of your choice as long as it addresses their prompts. Although the exact prompts may vary from one year to the next, they generally have the same theme. All questions are designed to learn more about you as a person. This essay helps them understand more about you aside from these accomplishments. Things to think about when writing your essay: Choose a topic you are passionate about. When you write on a topic you are genuinely interested in, your enthusiasm will come through in your writing. Never choose a topic just because you think it is more likely to impress the reader. Worse still, the college admissions authorities will see through your forced writing. After reading through hundreds of essays, they can spot the difference immediately. Make a list of your unique skills, achievements, personality traits and hobbies. Whatever topic you pick, make sure you expand on the idea.

First, it means that you genuinely how many paragraphs is a 200 word essay for the topic and want to write your college essay on it—no one ever wrote a essay essay on a topic that they felt they had to write about. You want to have enough space to really explore the specific idea, but you don't need to include everything.

So what should you aim for? You must stay within this length; in fact, the online application won't allow you to submit fewer than words or more than We can help. Your essay common touch on themes such as personal responsibility and your role in the world and your community. Big achievements and leadership roles, such as serving as captain of a team or winning a journalism award, can certainly be used as topics, but only if you can explain why they mattered to you beyond that it was cool to be in charge or that you liked winning.

In general, I would avoid these kinds of topics unless you have a highly compelling story. This prompt is pretty straightforward. As you revise any essay you write, ask yourself which parts app you to make your point and which get in the way—everything else can go.

Specific: As I waited for my word to be called, I tapped the rhythm of "America" on the hard plastic chair, going through the beats of my audition song over and over in my head. Remember that the most important thing is that your essay is about you. Writing an essay that stands out from the competition takes time.

Like Prompt 3 above, it will be easier if you can home in on a specific event or occurrence. Just remember the it needs to showcase a deeper quality of yours. However, colleges also want to see that you're open minded and able to be fair and kind toward those who have different beliefs than you do. However, personal growth is a gradual process, and you can definitely still approach this topic if you feel you have more maturing to do.

Spilling your coffee is not an appropriate failure, no matter how disastrous it may limit. But the point of a personal statement isn't to explain what you've done; it's to show who you are.

After reading through hundreds of essays, they can spot the difference immediately. Realize the purpose of the personal statement is not to tell your life story or to give an exhaustive overview of all of your accomplishments. Pushing past the surface level while avoiding cliches and generalizations is a big challenge, but it's ultimately what will make your essay stand out.

Whats the word limit for the common app essay

When you write on a topic you are genuinely interested in, your enthusiasm will come through in your writing.