Essay writing is one of the most critical aspects of learning and yet one that many students struggle to tackle. It is an opportunity for your teacher to evaluate your critical thinking skills and learning progress. On the other hand, you also have a chance to hone your communication and research skills. Most colleges use prompts for the papers they require and this is where things start getting tough for students.
If you always have a hard time interpreting and answering essay prompts, this guide is for you. You will find the most popular prompts used in college, tips on how to write an essay with prompts and much more. Read on.
Most Common Essay Prompts
- Discuss any aspect of your life that defines you
- Explain one time you failed at something and what lessons you learned
- Discuss one incidence that best demonstrates your open-mindedness. (This is a personal statement and it is advisable to pick on a real-life experience to answer this prompt)
- Explain what drives you in life and how you expect this quality to shape your future growth
- What problem would you like to resolve in your community or discipline?
- Discuss that important moment when you realized the transition from childhood to adulthood was setting in.
- Discuss a favorite work of art; a movie, book, play that has influenced you greatly in life (This is one of the most common essay topics).
- Describe one thing you are very passionate about.
- Discuss something you have done in life that sparked important personal growth
- Write about one embarrassing moment in life and what you learned from it.
- Write a paper about that one person you would like to meet whether they are dead or still alive and what you would like to know from them.
- You’ve received an invite to give a TED talk. Write about the topic you would address and give reasons for the same
How to Answer Different Essay Prompts
Every prompt requires a unique answer in the form of a unique essay. However, some general tips apply to all forms of writing. Take a look at some of these helpful tips:
- Look out for the keywords and phrases to determine the kind of writing: For instance, words such as “explain” or “describe” in an essay prompt hint to whether this is a narrative, expository, persuasive or any other type of paper.
- Brainstorm on ideas of your paper: Look for essay examples with similar prompts to the one you have and start noting ideas you could use for your paper.
- Write a thesis statement: Once you have found an idea for your paper, create a statement of purpose that will guide your writing. In essence, ask yourself what you want to achieve with the paper before you start.
- Create an outline for your paper: This is a roadmap for your paper and you should identify which ideas will go where in the essay.
- Make sure you refer to the prompt when writing and make sure every idea is relevant to the prompt.
If stuck with your essay prompt, go online and find a professional essay writer or use a common app essay tool to get ideas.