How to Choose a Topic for the Common App Essay

What should your common app essay tell your readers? Think about the most important points that it should contain. Yale Admissions says that there is almost no matter what issue you will describe in your essay, as far more important is your opinion on this subject, and the way you express it on paper.


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The common app essay topics of current interest for 2015-2016:

  • Share your thoughts on an issue that you care about, and offer a solution. It can be any problem that matters for you personally – from the ethical dilemmas to policy issues. Explain why it is important for you, and what steps do you propose to remedy the situation.
  • Often, the situations in which we have experienced failure are valuable lessons for us in the future and lead to great success. Remember and describe the time or the event, which was unfortunate for you, but was a valuable experience. Tell your readers how it affected you or changed your attitude to something. This kind of common app essays often motivates readers to act.
  • Tell about the period or event in your life when you had to challenge your belief or idea. What prompted you to action? Did you abide your beliefs or change your mind? Why? Would you take the same decision again?
  • Many students have hobbies, interests and talents, which are so important to them, what they consider obligatorily to talk about it in their application. If you are also interested in something unusual, special and unique, please share your story. If you are unsure how describe it better, look through some common app essay examples.
  • Share memories about the events of your life that you remember as the end of your childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Describe why you remember it so vividly, and what exactly has changed in you.

There are many common app essay prompts. How to choose the best topic for your paper? Take some time to think, what kind of personal experience comes to mind to share it in your essay and to attract readers. Write down all the items that can come up, and then revise your list.

Remember, that the events and experiences that are very meaningful to you, that you remember very vividly and with bright emotions can make brilliant topics for the application essay. Wellesley Admissions advises to write essays about small things that may seem insignificant to others, but that have a big meaning for the writer. They are often more powerful that “How I would stop the wars” essays.

Before choosing one topic for your essay try to experiment with some of them. This way you can better understand what you like to write about, and at the same time, you will have more practice in writing papers. Keep in mind that many topics are chosen for the essays too often, so they should be avoided. Take the time to select the most colorful and original theme for the application essay. At the head of the list of the overused topics, there are travel, religion, politics, sport, death, divorce.

There are a lot of common app essay questions, and there is a variety of tips how to write a brilliant application essay.

One of the most important points is to heed the word count limit. Usually, the maximum word count is 650 words, but this does not mean that your essay may not be briefer. To tell the truth, the skill to get your message across in fewer words is more powerful. However, do not forget that the essay has to consist of 250 words minimum.