College Application Essays: How to Answer Prompt 3 of the Common App

Generally, the facts given to you in an essay question present a close question asto which, how and/or whether the rule will apply. Therefore, once you have decided what rules are relevant, you then need to ask yourself how this rule should be applied in this new context. Thus, your application of rule to facts means explaining your thought process in a logical way (which means that your thoughts need to be logical, which means you need to organize and synthesize your rules so they make sense). Again, you need to be specific in your answer by creating analogies or distinctions, demonstrating to the professors that under the examination facts, the rule would apply because the examination facts are analogous to the facts of the rule. On the other hand, you might conclude and explain that the examination facts are sufficiently distinct so that they were not intended to be covered under the established rule. The idea is for you to create the analogies/distinctions so that the professor understands why you are reaching those conclusions.

Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail
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As the summer rolls on, we're starting to get a lot of questions from prospective applicants about what essay questions will be on our application this year. Although our application does not go live for another few weeks, I know many of you are eager to start thinking about how you'll answer these questions.


Tips For Answering Common Application Essay Prompts

Tips For Answering Common Application Essay Prompts.
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There are many do's and don'ts regarding the college application essay. A particularly critical "do" is to make sure that your essay stays on point. Applicants will sometimes digress, then fall in love with their digression and not be willing to cut it. Five hundred or less words isn't much, so be sure that the essay remains focused on fully answering all aspects of the prompt, as they are asked. One "don't" that I think is particularly important is to resist the urge to sell yourself. Essays that state, "No one could possibly be better qualified for your program than me," or some variation of that, risk a backlash from Admissions Directors. "Oh, really? Well, I'll be the judge of that." Instead, illustrate why you are so well qualified and let readers come to that conclusion themselves.