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Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
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With the Common Application for the 2016-2017 live as of August, College Vine’s essay team is sharing the following tips on how to write the all-important Common App essays for the upcoming application cycle.
This prompt offers an excellent opportunity to engage with a particular extracurricular or academic area of passion, and it allows you to weave a narrative that displays personal growth in that subject or area.
Particularly if you have an unconventional passion, such as blogging about Chinese basketball, or urban exploration, the combination of displaying your personality and the unique topic can be very eye-catching.
This essay prompt is difficult for many students who grapple with the type of challenge that they should write about.
The prompt itself provides three specific suggestions, but it should be clarified that the phrase “anything that is of personal importance” gives you a lot of freedom, allowing you to center your essay around essentially anything that can be loosely called a “problem.” Our advice is to pick a problem that deeply concerns you and make it clear to your reader why that topic matters to you at all, either through an origin story of how you became interested in the query or through an explanation of the potential consequences of the dilemma (depending on your topic).
One final note: Even though the prompt allows you to explore more academic and intellectual topics, it is important not to get carried away with esoteric details.
Save the intensely intricate discussion of particle physics for class — for your Common App essay, the reader should still recognize that your discussion of particle physics was really about yourself, your interests, and how you think about the world.
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