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Common Application Essay Prompts (2020-2021) With Examples

Common application essay prompts serve as a single submission accessed by many colleges. Basically, students who intend to join higher learning institutions use common application essays to get the desired education, which remains applicable in different colleges. Also, these papers allow learners to fill specific details relating to their past experiences and future academic goals. Then, admission committees rely on grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities to offer applicants a place. In this case, application essays help strengthen such details and enable admission officers to identify the most outstanding learners. Moreover, common application essay prompts enable the admission committee to select learners who can make significant contributions to their communities. Prudent students ensure that they prepare compelling papers to increase their chances of securing an admission. In turn, application essays should contain compelling details about learner’s unique potentials. Moreover, applicants should use facts to write essays and convince the admission committee that they deserve admissions. As a result, one should engage in inadequate preparation to write compelling essays.

General Guidelines on Common Application Essay Prompts (2020-2021)

Common application essay prompts serve as a single application used by many colleges. Basically, aspiring students can use a common application essay to complete a submission to different colleges of interest. Moreover, these types of essays allow learners to fill specific details, like their names, demographics, and co-curricular activities, among others. For example, applicants fill these details once for every college that uses common application essay prompts. In most cases, admission committees search for grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities to offer the applicant a place. However, such requirements are less useful in identifying the most outstanding learner’s qualities. Besides, essays help to merge this gap and reveal scholars who stand out among all other applicants.

2020 2021 common application essay prompts

Convincing a Committee

Common application essay prompts allow students to convince admission committees that they can benefit more after obtaining admission than their colleagues. In this case, common application essays are essential since colleges that one applies can view them. In this case, universal applications are the most extended essays that a college applicant writes. Moreover, students can craft narratives that express personalities, feelings, and perspectives. Then, seniors can use these application essays to improve the chances of obtaining admission. Also, quality college admission essays allow selection committees to appreciate the applicant’s personalities. In turn, one should use this composition to tell different colleges why he or she is unique than other candidates. Besides, one should express ideas that matter in leading a successful education and career.

Choosing a Topic

Quality common application essay prompts reveal personal connections with topics. For instance, one should delve into personal feelings and thoughts about a situation or specific problems. Besides, one should express unique problem-solving approaches. In practice, students should avoid cliché approaches when writing common application essays. Moreover, admission committees look for compositions that reveal a unique understanding of the topic and those that appear unique. In turn, successful applicants ensure that their application essays meet the required quality by reducing spelling and grammar mistakes.

Definition of a Common Application Essay Prompt

Common application essay prompts serve as a test used by many colleges. For instance, colleges that receive written documents from students can view their application essays. In this case, learners complete application essay prompts on specific topics issued in each academic year. Then, the common application essay’s quality allows the admission committee to identify the most outstanding student who must receive the admission. In practice, admission committees in various colleges use application essays to identify visionary and outstanding scholars. Hence, common application essay prompts refer to a composition written by a student and accessed by a large number of colleges.

Increasing the Chances

Students write application essays to increase their college admission chances. For example, a large number of students apply for college education each year. In this case, student selection becomes a competitive exercise where the admission committee must identify the most outstanding individuals. Moreover, the admission committee uses different scores to identify the right students. In turn, common app essays play a significant role in narrowing down selections to ensure that only the most outstanding applicants receive intended admissions. Hence, aspiring learners write common app essays to increase their chances of receiving college admission.

Applying for College

Students require common app essays when applying for many colleges. For example, young individuals identify several colleges and universities that can help them achieve academic goals. In this case, they complete common application essay prompts that can communicate their unique traits to the relevant admission committee. Also, one must select the right topic from those given in a specific academic year. Then, students must identify if selected colleges accept application essays. Besides, such considerations allow individuals to understand requirements in preparing essays. Hence, learners write common application essays when making college submissions needed for such qualifications.

Importance of Writing Common Application Essay Prompts

Aspiring college students should care about common application essay prompts because they increase their chances of receiving a college admission. For example, many higher learning institutions require new students to pass various tests and submit outstanding personal statements. In this case, a personal statement serves as the most vocal qualitative element of a college application. Moreover, it supports the grades required to meet admission qualifications. In practice, outstanding statements reveal the student’s uniqueness when compared to other applicants. Then, quality application essays determine those who must receive the admission and those who fail to meet the qualities of being successful scholars who can transform their societies for the better. Hence, one should consider writing a common application essay because it increases the chances of receiving college admission.

Focusing on Quality

Aspiring college students should consider writing quality common application essays since they reveal the campus community’s potential members. For example, receiving a college admission is a competitive process that requires students to prove their qualifications. Moreover, the large number of applicants who apply for college admissions encourages relevant committees to find alternative methods to identify outstanding students. In this case, the admission committee must pick the brightest and motivated learners. Then, common application essay prompts play a crucial role in revealing such traits. Also, one should express talents and unique traits through writing. In turn, quality papers allow the admission committee to use essays to figure out the type of learner who must join their community. As a result, the essay’s quality plays a significant role in selecting students who must become members of specific higher learning institutions.

Making It Seriously

Aspiring college students should take common application essay prompts seriously because they influence admission decisions. For example, many college admission committees rely on various factors to decide on those who must join their institution. Basically, one must take common application essay prompts seriously. In this case, the renewed attitude leads to enhanced quality of essays to please the selection panel. Then, one must use appropriate language structure to ensure that the selection panel makes a favorable decision. In turn, combining a quality common application essay with good AP, IB, ACT, or SAT scores increases the chances of receiving the college admission. Therefore, aspiring students must consider writing quality essays to increase the chances of receiving desires goals.

Reviewing

Prudent learners take common application essay prompts seriously because most colleges view them. For example, common application essays paint a unique portrait of the student to the selection panel. In this case, one should consider essays as the most appropriate tools for showcasing the most outstanding skills and abilities to different colleges. Moreover, outstanding essays may compel selection panels to consider a specific student better than others. As a rule, one should personalize a narrative essay provided in a document. Also, this approach makes the essay exciting and compelling to the admission committee from different institutions. Hence, one should consider writing common application essays well since most colleges view them.

Grading of Common Application Essay Prompts

The grading of common application essay prompts depends on their quality. For instance, college admission committees consider the grammatical and structural qualities of these essays. Basically, applicants must ensure that narratives meet the bright grammatical quality. In this case, quality papers do not contain spelling and other mechanical flaws. Also, the structure of sentences should enhance the essay’s readability. In turn, flawless papers allow students to score higher grades in their statements. Therefore, the grading of common application essay prompts depends on the quality of the work and its impact on readability.

Level of Personal Engagement

The grading of the common app essays depends on the level of personal engagement. Basically, students should relate topics to personal experiences. In this case, the approach shows the admission committee that learners have a better understanding of their essay topics. Moreover, common essays that relate to one’s life reveal a high creativity level. In most cases, students relate various issues to their past experiences and future goals. Then, the selection panel focuses on identifying learners who can make significant contributions in developing public life. For example, personal engagement shows that students understand the intended career path and its significance. In other instances, the approach shows the prospect of a learner’s ability to solve various challenges. Hence, essays that portray these traits receive higher grades and increases the chances of receiving the intended college admission.

Theme

Grades allocated to common application essay prompts depend on themes. For instance, students should avoid including overdone themes when developing their essays. Basically, one should be selective when developing essay topics for college to avoid being tedious. In this case, including unique themes throughout essays attracts the reader’s attention. Besides, the strategy allows the selection panel to evaluate the creativity level of the student. In practice, applications that demonstrate high originality in their work stand better chances of scoring better grades. Therefore, the essay’s themes influence grades that students can score in their common application essays.

Being Original

Learners should follow the given guide to increasing grades scored in common application essay prompts. For instance, college essay topics issued every academic year may vary. Basically, one must use up-to-date information regarding the topics issued for a specific academic year. In this case, one should avoid writing about irrelevant topics. Moreover, students should avoid addressing subjects done by many applicants. For example, a prudent student takes time to gather adequate details about the topic before embarking on the actual writing process. In particular, this strategy can help to identify ideas overdone by applicants of past years. Besides, learners have the mandate to prepare unique and outstanding essays. In turn, they must use original evidence and ideas when preparing common application essay prompts. Also, using such strategies enhances the overall quality of essays. As a result, following guidelines and making papers original helps students increase their common application essay’s grades.

Being Unique

Unique common application essays gain more marks. Basically, young individuals should rely on adequate preparation to ensure that they make their work unique. For example, practical preparation steps involve gathering relevant ideas and organizing them to enhance the flow of points discussed in papers. In this case, one should begin the entire process by identifying the most appropriate topic and brainstorming for relevant ideas. Moreover, this stage plays a crucial part in ensuring that students raise adequate facts and ideas about the topic. Then, a prudent applicant should prepare several drafts to enhance the overall quality of the work. In turn, transitioning from one draft to another helps learners to add or remove some facts to improve the paper’s overall quality. However, the most important concept that one must consider is enhancing the originality of ideas used throughout the body of essays. Hence, aspiring college students should ensure that their common application essays stand out.

Grammar and Sentence Structure

Using the correct grammar and sentence structures plays a significant role in improving grades scored in common application essay prompts. Basically, college admission committees focus on finding the most outstanding essays. In this case, they pay close attention to the quality of the grammar used throughout essays. Moreover, flawless papers that enhance the reading process can achieve higher grades. Then, prudent applicants rely on available tools to enhance their grammar and spelling. For example, some popular tools include dictionaries, thesaurus, and essay writing guides that give different directions for preparing quality essays. Also, outstanding papers contain varied word choice and sentence structure. In particular, applicants should avoid unnecessary repetitions and wordy sentences when preparing their essays. Besides, learners should use a consistent tone or writing style when preparing essays. Hence, students must use the correct grammar and sentence structure to ensure that their essays meet the right quality.

Direct Meaning

Essays with direct meaning gain better grades than those that have a complex language. For example, applicants should focus on using simple language when writing common essays. In this case, students should read essays several times to ensure that papers have a unique flow of ideas and concepts. Besides, individuals must rely on synonyms to replace complex words that may make entire papers to look complicated. On the other hand, the selection committee may not have adequate time to look up for the meaning of complex terms during the assessment due to the many essays reviewed. Logically, students should use straightforward language to ensure that examiners have an easy time reading their works. In turn, successful applicants take their time to consider their audience’s nature and focus on achieving desired outcomes. Therefore, students should ensure that readers and target audience understand the intended meaning throughout essays.

10 Examples of Common App Essay Prompts

Common application essay prompts guide students on topics that they must write. Basically, such prompts may appear for different academic years, making it easy to predict and take the necessary preparation steps. In this case, applicants must always remember that common application essay prompts supplement other papers submitted for college submission. Moreover, they should rely on past topics with a higher likelihood of appearing in the coming years. Hence, 10 examples of common application essay prompts that college students may come across in 2020 and 2021 are:

Common Application Essay Prompt 1

  • Some scholars have a contextual, identity, interest, or talent that is so expressive that they believe their application would be incomplete. For example, if you feel that you have a similar experience, share your story kindly. In this case, common application essay prompts require applicants to share a gripping account of their life that makes outstanding support to the college application. Also, students should consider a narrative that makes the application stand out to the selection panel. In turn, common essay prompts require applicants to personalize the account innovatively. As a result, examiners intend to understand the applicants’ personality and how it aligns with future career and academic goals. 

Common Application Essay Prompt 2

  • Lessons we take from stumbling blocks can be essential to later success in life. In this case, describe a time when you faced an encounter, obstruction, or disappointment. How did the challenge affect you, and what were the lessons that you gained from the unique experience? – This common application essay prompt requires the applicant to give a real-life experience and the transformations involved. In turn, selection panels intend to determine how applicants address real-life challenges, which is a crucial aspect for potential employees. Moreover, students must recount past experiences that required them to make crucial decisions regarding their life. In turn, the essay must include lessons drawn from such past experiences and their significance in one’s future life. Hence, this prompt requires one to use innovativeness when preparing the paper to score higher grades.

Common Application Essay Prompt 3

  • Lessons we learn from failure can influence future success or career. In this case, recount an incident or time when you experienced disappointment. How did the failure transform you, and what were the main lessons obtained from such studies? – This common application essay prompt focuses on gathering more information on how one overcomes various challenges. Also, individuals face different challenges in their lives. In practice, life-challenges should not discourage people from making substantial progress in their lives. Hence, college applicants must provide a clear description that reveals the ability to deal with various encounters and draw essential life lessons. In turn, college admission committees intend to understand how students benefited from challenges by gaining new insights and skills. 

Common Application Essay Prompt 4

  • Reflect on a time when you examined or challenged a conviction or idea. What instigated your thinking? What was the result? – This common application essay prompt examines one’s ability to rely on critical thinking in a real-life situation. For example, modern education systems focus on ensuring that learners gain critical thinking skills in solving different life challenges. In this case, many colleges intend to admit students who can promote changes in the existing beliefs and behaviors that affect ordinary lives. Also, learners must express a unique interest in changing existing notions that remain significant in their communities or cultures. In particular, an outstanding essay should reveal reasons that prompted the college applicant to challenge the existing notion. Besides, some of the reasons that may appeal to the admission committee include personal interests, existing social and cultural challenges, and the need to establish unique solutions.

Common Application Essay Prompt 5

  • Describe a problem that you solved or a problem you would like to establish an explanation. Basically, the identified problem can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, or an ethical dilemma. In this case, you should focus on identifying anything that has personal importance, irrespective of the scale. Also, explain the significance that the issue had to you, and the steps you took or other people could take to establish a unique solution. Then, this common application essay prompt examines the student’s ability to establish a unique solution to real-life challenges. On the other side, college admission panels intend to understand how various life challenges transform students and equip them with innovative skills. Moreover, people who succeed and make essential contributions in their societies face various encounters and focus on establishing the necessary solutions. In particular, applicants must focus on expressing unique skills in addressing various significant issues. In turn, other elements that selection panels consider are one’s ability to suggest workable solutions that other people can implement. Besides, learners must suggest innovative and practical solutions to the challenges identified. As a result, one must ensure that the essay stands out by expressing the need to establish feasible and unique explanations.

Common Application Essay Prompt 6

  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or comprehension that ignited a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Basically, this common application essay prompt requires students to express a unique contribution made in their lives. For example, modern higher learning institutions take an active role in promoting personal growth and nurturing responsible citizens. In practice, applicants must ensure that common essays communicate such unique abilities. Moreover, one should identify a momentous event that promoted a change in attitude or ways of thinking. Hence, narratives must give a detailed explanation of the new understanding obtained.

Common Application Essay Prompt 7

  • Describe a theme, notion, or concept you find so appealing that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it fascinate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? – This common application essay prompt intends to reveal a student’s ability to imagine various concepts in life. In this case, learners must show the ability to identify exciting concepts in life. For instance, many higher learning institutions focus on supporting people who can take an active role in establishing unique solutions to global challenges. Besides, selection panels intend to use this prompt to identify the applicant’s passion for gathering new evidence required to understand existing problems or interests. In this case, applicants must express enthusiasm and interest in consulting the right people when dealing with various challenges.

Common Application Essay Prompt 8

  • Share an essay on any subject of choice. It can be one you wrote about before, one that reacts to a different prompt, or one of your designs – This common application essay prompt gives students the freedom to select a topic. In this case, one should select a subject that relates to personal experience. For example, many college applicants make mistakes when responding to an open-ended question by choosing overwritten topics. Besides, successful students must avoid such strategies since they undermine the ability to write an outstanding composition. In turn, the most effective way to prepare an outstanding common application essay is to select a motivating topic that expresses personal interests and future academic and career plans.

Common Application Essay Prompt 9

  • Discuss a triumph or event, formal or informal, which marked your changeover from juvenile to maturity within your culture, community, or family – This common application essay prompt focuses on social impacts that influence people’s lives. For instance, communities play a significant role in shaping beliefs and attitudes towards life. In this case, important cultural events take an active role in shaping character. Moreover, applicants should focus on important life events that led to essential transitions from childhood to adulthood. Hence, one should consider using actual occurrences and factual arguments to prepare the essay.

Common Application Essay Prompt 10

  • Describe a past community experience that promoted you to create unique networks with other people. What are the lessons that you gained from the process? Did you succeed in establishing an effective solution through networking? – This common application essay prompt requires college applicants to express how they rely on networking strategies to establish practical solutions to various life challenges. For instance, networking is an essential skill in the twenty-first century since it allows individuals to collaborate in establishing unique solutions. Moreover, networking allows people to combine thoughts and address complex issues that may affect community members’ overall wellbeing. In this case, common essays should include personal experiences that involved collaborations. Besides, applicants should make compositions interesting to readers.

Steps on Writing Common Application Essay Prompts

Aspiring college students must prepare quality common application essay prompts. Basically, quality papers communicate more about students and convince scholars why individuals must grant their admissions. In this case, college applicants must follow the right steps in ensuring that their essays meet the right standards to score higher grades. Hence, some of the steps that can improve common application essay grades are:

Step 1: Giving Personal Accounts

Common application essay prompts relate to the student’s personal life. For example, learners must relate topics to their personal lives. Basically, quality essays should provide precise details on personal traits that make an applicant different from others. In this case, one should consider the most compelling personal accounts that can appeal to admission panels. Then, creativity plays a crucial role in ensuring that applicants include compelling details. Moreover, selection panels identify the most exciting compositions since they express the unique applicant’s potentials. Hence, one must include exciting personal life experiences in common application essays to ensure that they meet the desired quality.

Step 2: Critical Thinking

College admission committees focus on identifying learners who portray unique critical thinking skills. Basically, the majority of common application essay prompts focus on identifying one’s ability to solve different issues related to one’s real-life. In this case, students should give clear and detailed accounts of the ability to solve various challenges in life. Besides, such accounts must be related to a real-life situation where applicants participated in establishing viable solutions to various life encounters. Then, giving viable suggestions that readers can utilize to address similar encounters demonstrates a high-level ingenuity. For example, many colleges and universities focus on transforming learners into responsible citizens who can take an active part in establishing sustainable solutions to emerging and dynamic life challenges. Hence, students should demonstrate the ability to use critical thinking skills to solve various life challenges.

Step 3: Focus

A college application essay prompt should focus on fewer details about one’s life. For example, many learners make mistakes of including most life details in common application essay prompts. Basically, such approaches undermine the quality of essays by making papers to become vague. In this case, one should take time to understand the essay prompt before embarking on the actual writing process. In turn, a better comprehension of the question allows a student to focus on the most substantial facts that support the essay. Therefore, one must ensure that the common application essay remains clear and focused on the topic.

Step 4: Brainstorming

Brainstorming is the step in writing a common application essay prompt, which plays a crucial role in enhancing the grades obtained. for instance, college students should brainstorm for ideas that relate to the topic of the study. Moreover, they think about possible ideas that support the topic and write about it. Then, one must identify as many ideas as possible to develop quality essays. At this juncture, applicants should include both string and weak points supporting essay prompts. Besides, the approach helps learners to select the most compelling facts to support the topics. For instance, prudent learners brainstorm for all the topics presented, which contributes to choosing the most appropriate one. Hence, one must rely on brainstorming to identify the most compelling facts about the topic.

Step 5: Analysis

Brainstorming allows college applicants to analyze topics and identify specific requirements. For instance, one should identify key parts included in the common application essay prompt. Basically, the process helps scholars to identify multiple tasks that they must complete scoring the required grades. Moreover, aspiring college students should think about the admission officer’s intentions. In turn, this approach helps one to understand what admission officers intend to know from the essay. Then, another benefit of analyzing common prompts is to identify the best question to address throughout the application essay. As a result, students identify analyzed prompts that they can answer exhaustively.

Step 6: Drafting the Essay

Writing different essay drafts helps scholars to improve the quality of common application essay prompts. For instance, various drafts help students to include essential details and exclude irrelevant points. In this case, first drafts should include most of the details identified during the brainstorming stage. Moreover, applicants should review first drafts to exclude facts that hinder the readability of essays. Besides, one should add more details to improve the overall quality of papers. In turn, revising each draft plays an instrumental role in ensuring that the paper meets the necessary quality. Hence, one must consider drafting as an essential step in writing a common application essay prompt.

Step 7: Editing

Compelling common application essay prompts contain minimal grammatical errors and follow the correct structure. For example, aspiring college students must edit the essay’s final draft to ensure that it meets the intended quality. In this case, learners should focus on grammar, sentence structure, and the order of ideas. Practically, students should eliminate all grammatical errors and ensure that their papers meet the right quality. Then, tools like dictionaries play a crucial role in ensuring that individuals learn to attain the right grammar and spelling. Besides, sentence structures used in essays should enhance overall readability levels. In particular, students should use short sentences that enhance the clarity of ideas communicated. Further on, compelling papers have a unique flow of ideas. For instance, learners should include a single idea in each paragraph and use adequate supporting evidence. Besides, authors should include adequate transitioning words and conjunctions to enhance the flow of ideas. Therefore, outstanding papers should contain minimal mistakes that may hinder the overall readability of ideas.

Summing Up on Common Application Essay Prompts

Common application essay prompts serve as a single application accessed by many colleges. Basically, aspiring students can use a common application essay prompt to complete a submission, which remains necessary for different colleges. For example, these essays enable learners to fill specific details, like their names, demographics, and co-curricular activities. Moreover, admission committees rely on grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities to offer applicants to study. However, such criteria are less useful in identifying the most outstanding learner’s qualities. In turn, conventional application assays help to merge this gap and reveal scholars who stand out among all other applicants. Also, prudent students ensure that they prepare compelling papers to increase their chances of securing an admission.

Tips

  • The common application essay prompt should contain compelling details about the learner’s unique potentials.
  • Learners should use facts to write their essays and convince admission committees that they deserve admissions.
  • Students should engage in inadequate preparation to write compelling essays.
  • Brainstorming allows applicants to identify the most suitable ideas to write about in common essay prompts.
  • Application essays should not contain common grammatical errors. In this case, individuals should follow the right strategies and preparations to ensure that their essays meet the right quality.
  • Common application essays should contain a proper flow of ideas. Basically, learners should revise and edit drafts to ensure that readers can understand intended messages.
  •  An aspiring college student should consider the common application essay as a prime opportunity to show the ingenuity and skills that colleges look for in their learners.
  • Tools like dictionaries play a crucial role in ensuring that students learn to attain the right grammar and spelling.