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For the 2019-20 application cycle, the Common Application essay prompts remain unchanged from the 2018-19 cycle.With the inclusion of the popular "Topic of Your Choice" option, you have the opportunity to write about anything you want to share with the folks in the admissions office.This prompt may seem to go against everything that you've learned on your path to college.
The essay prompts are designed to encourage reflection and introspection.
If your essay doesn't include some self-analysis, you haven't fully succeeded in responding to the prompt.
The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event.
Analysis, not description, will reveal the critical thinking skills that are the hallmark of a promising college student.
The current prompts are the result of much discussion and debate from the member institutions who use the Common Application.
The essay length limit stands at 650 words (the minimum is 250 words), and students will need to choose from the seven options below.Introspection and honesty are key with this prompt. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your own, someone else's, or that of a group.The best essays will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief.According to the folks at the Common Application, in the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Option #7 (topic of your choice) was the most popular and was used by 24.1% of applicants.Second most popular was Option #5 (discuss an accomplishment) with 23.7% of applicants.With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important.Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future.Your essay is an important tool for presenting something you find important that may not come across elsewhere in your application.Make sure your essay presents you as the type of person a college will want to invite to join their community.However you approach this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your core personal values.If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt.