Common App Essay Prompts (Ace Your Application!!!)

Prompt One for the Common Application is basically the Culture/Identity Essay. Which I love, I can’t lie. But you want to stay away from the basic "Who am I?" Biography essay. Stay tuned for tips on how to add nuance and depth that will impress the admission officers. Thank you for joining me on my channel. For the best college essay advice, subscribe, and hit the bell to be notified when I post a new video every Tuesday. This college essay encourages students to take stock in their life and who they are socially and academically, intellectually, personally. However, beware of that cliché, "My family is crazy, but I love them anyways," type idea. By the end of this video, you’ll have two key types, with examples to how to make this work.

Hi, I’m Dr. Josie with Write Your Acceptance. As a college essay expert and university faculty member, I know how to make them remember you, and root for you. Now, it’s your turn. Very popular scenes in this essay are: family dinners, holiday parties, cultural traditions, funny sayings. They’re great, because they add a bunch of voices and different characters into the narrative. It’s not only you, in a vacuum, speaking directly to the admission officers. It’s almost as if they have more to root for, because you’re bringing … It’s like a family affair.

You’re bringing a lot more people to the mix. Tip Number One: Open up the topic. Consider that this essay doesn’t have to be only about who you are culturally, or your heritage. It could be something that you were teased about all your life, or your ultra-competitive streak, or your role as a soccer player, or how even you love ’80s movies. They could be random aspects, dimensions of "Culture," with a capital-C, that you can show your relationship with. Tip Two: Once you’ve expanded the idea of culture, now pick a topic or a theme that works for you. You can either do how you love ’80s movies, super-random. Or your relationship to Colombian-American Spanglish, let’s say, and how you think in Spanish and speak in English. That idea of culture as practiced and lived. Are you stuck trying to figure out how to think through the theme or topic of your essay?

Comment below, and we’ll start figuring it out together. Okay. Here are two examples. Number One: The ’80s movies. Let’s say I start with a key scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Out, or whatever random ’80s movies you want to pick. Then you talk about how you value this ode to a slower-paced lifestyle. Nobody was glued to their phones. There’s the HEA, although there’s some adventure, there’s always a happily-ever-after, happy ending-type idea. A resolution. That you value that.

You’ll open with an anecdote of the movie, and then philosophize why its important to you. Then you’ll bring in a memory, a story, an anecdote from your life, and how you’ve brought in those lessons into 2019. Now that you’re working and emulating within values that you find important, you are bringing the ’80s to you today.

It’s not necessarily like a nostalgia thing. It’s more like shaping your character and values in today’s world. Boom. Example Numero Dos: Let’s say we’re doing the Colombian-American Spanglish. This could be any multi-cultural blend, any language, really. But we would start with a phrase or two phrases, and maybe you contextually translate that. Maybe its an anecdote where you’re talking to a grandparent. Someone that generationally has been a major player in you inheriting this culture and this language. You start with that. Then, you go into how you’ve learned that true fluency and communication is not about losing an accent, but about meeting someone and authentically connecting with them, and allowing the other person to be seen and heard on their own terms.

Ooh, that is pretty. All of a sudden, you’re talking about way more than just how you code-switch in languages. You’re talking about communication. You’re talking about empathy, compassion. You’re philosophizing what communication means to you, and that is nice, nice, nice. This essay is part learn something/teach something, part quirky. If you want to learn more, I have a college essay guide for free to download in the description below.

It’ll advise you on where you should put what information to maximize engagement. If you found this video useful, please comment, boom, below. Give us a like. Subscribe and share with your fellow college-bound friends. We’ll see you soon. Thank you. much.