Common App Essay Prompt #4 Thoughts

This prompt suited my D21 well and she wrote a beautiful essay about her passion project (which was limited to remain in the idea stage due to covid and the hospital restrictions that followed and remain in place to date). She much prefers this essay over the more direct personal statement essay her English teacher had her write, however before she actually uses it I wanted to see what the opinions are here. By and large, the books and blogs about essays and the many examples available are more of the self reflective style that fits the majority of the other prompts. Is an essay essentially about an “idea” going to be as competitive as one that shows more awareness of personal growth? Thank you!

{Prompt Four: Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.}

All the prompts have the same goal: to illustrate the kid’s personality. One isn’t better than the other, or they wouldn’t provide so many options.

I work with kids on their essays professionally. I can tell you that I NEVER use the prompts, because one of them is topic of your choice. They write the essay and decide which prompt it fits.

Your child should write about whatever she feels is the best way to tell them something they should know about her.

I agree the prompts aren’t critical. But bear in mind, this isn’t like hs writing, it’s for an application review. You want the traits the college targets value to come through. It’s not so much reflective (nor expository) as illustrating, often via a nice narrative. “Show, not just tell.”

This is really more about her, as a potential member of the college community, not an idea. Try reading it with an eye to: what does this show them about her?

Hi! This is Lillian from Prompt. I agree with the above comments, the prompt isn’t the most important part of the essay. Instead, you want to show admissions readers that your daughter will succeed in college and beyond.

This is can be done by describing what they learned from an experience and how they were able to apply those lessons to other areas of your life.

Your daughter can definitely achieve this with an essay style focused on her passion project. The key is to reveal personal details about herself so the reader gets a clear picture of who she is and what she would bring to campus.