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It has historically served as a fabulous catch-all for subjects that don’t fit within the confines of the other prompt options.A recent addition to the Common App’s prompt selection now offers even more freedom to applicants (more on that later), but students should still think of Prompt #1 as a topic of immense choice, reeled in by a few helpful guidelines.Researching a different viewpoint helps students broaden their perspectives.
In an argumentative essay, opinions matter and controversy is based on opinions, which are, hopefully, backed up by facts.
If these topics are a little too controversial or you don't find the right one for you, try browsing through persuasive essay topics as well.
The subject you choose may not necessarily be one that you are in full agreement with, either.
For example, in college, you may be asked to write a paper from the opposing point of view.
Is there a point you would like to make sure and get across?
Did the topic give you something new to think about? A number of these topics are rather controversial and that's the point.Students often find that most of their work on these essays is done before they even start writing.This means that it's best if you have a general interest in your subject, otherwise you might get bored or frustrated while trying to gather information. Part of what makes this experience rewarding is learning something new.Students’ personal stories and feats of insight will again be relegated to 650 words, which equates to a little more than a single-spaced page.We happen to believe this is the perfect amount of space in which to make a quick and powerful impression with admissions (or write a comprehensive fan letter to Beyoncé), so as far as we’re concerned, you’re golden.We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on solutions than problems.Accordingly, Prompt #2 essays should be predominantly filled with a student’s response, outlook, and demeanor when presented with one of life’s many hurdles, rather than a detailed account of the hurdle itself.Focus on the key words, “background,” “identity,” “interest,” and “talent,” and use them as launch points for your brainstorming.What about your history, personality, hobbies, or accomplishments might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer?This is a process we call the Backwards Brainstorm, and you can learn more about it here.For now, the main point we want you to take away is this: The prompts don’t really matter. (And that you floss at least every other day—trust us, it will pay off in the long run.) We are as sure as ever that every single one of you has a valuable story (or two or twelve! All it takes is ample time for reflection and a little writerly elbow grease to find it.