Essential Tips on Writing a College Essay Prompt

essay prompt

Oftentimes future college applicants are stuck. The dreaded essays come to fruition at a special time of year. Oftentimes these essays, be it an application essay or compare and contrast essay, in their process of growing into worthy prize chickens, are fed by the desire to get into college, but also a sincere insincerity and resignation to the prompt of choice. On those rare occasions in which applicants find a prompt that speaks to them, this insincerity and resignation wither away, and a beautiful essay grows in their place.

Essay Prompt writing advice

With the right prompt, students can actually show their passion and personality. A prompt shouldn’t only contain an outline in APA or MLA style, be only simple, easy to understand, and follow the correct writing format, but also something that can produce many responses from students of many different backgrounds and interests. So, the question presents itself: what is the college essay prompt students should get? What is the optimal question to ask to get students to show who they are and what they are passionate about? This question is simple: What are you passionate about and why?

With one fell swoop, students get a question that requires them to think about what they love and how much they have been able to follow their passions. A college is a place that should help students explore their passions and be able to have a career doing whatever makes the student passionate. This question leads students to think about the path they want to take, what college may provide this better than another, and ultimately, what makes them feel good to do.

The failure or success of a college essay prompt is dependent on each individual student’s motivations and drives. Which is precisely the reason that this prompt will not fail students. This question caters to everyone’s individual wants. If a student does not have a clear passion, this question can still work. Passion comes in many different forms and this question gives students an opportunity to show what form it comes in for them. Maybe someone’s passion is family or even video games. For the person who cares about their family and wants to go to college, this question requires them to think about how they can incorporate that passion into a career.

This person could be a family therapist, adoption counsellor, or genealogist. For the person who cares about video games, they could be a video game designer, animator or anything else that contains their favourite aspects of video games. Sometimes the rush and chaos of everyday life can rise to the top of the pot like soup scum, and it can be unclear to some of these young people who are applying to college for whatever reason they want to go, why they are doing it. This prompt requires them to think about this and clear away the soup scum.

This prompt is also beneficial to the students who already know what their passion is.

For many people, communicating passion is often a difficult thing to do, so while this question has the outward appearance of being easy, thought and care are just as important to put in as ever. It is easy to say: “I am passionate about history because I am good at it.” or “I am passionate about math because I like patterns.” To truly master this prompt, students need to break out of these simplistic ways of describing their passions, and truly think about the little idiosyncrasies of their passion and the big picture of their pursuit of this passion.

The student who likes a subject because it is easy needs to challenge themselves to think of why they want to do something easy for their whole life. The student who likes math and patterns needs to explain the beauty of patterns, and what makes patterns something extraordinary.

There is a special beauty of passion. It has as many forms as love and is just as powerful. There is no right or wrong way to have it, and as a result, there is no absolutely right or wrong way to do this essay prompt either. This is how college essay prompts should be.