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Education Blog

Final Thoughts On Essay Writing

Williams Educational has focused February's blogs on advising students starting their application season by first focusing on the Common Application Prompts. Rumor has it that the Common Application will keep the 2022-2023 essay prompts the same for the Class of 2024! In the past, the Common Application released the new prompts in January, but they still need to update their website with this information and send it out to counselors across the world.


Therefore, I will believe all the TalkLists I am on and hope that the rumor is true!


March is a great time to begin brainstorming and drafting ideas so that in April and May, essays may come to life on paper. So how does one begin?


Remember the advice from previous blogs below:

  1. Create your resume.

  2. Discover your love language

  3. Think outside the box.

  4. Prepare your mindset.

Now, knowing what not to write about in your college essay is imperative. Staying away from the topics below will help you focus on finding a more substantial essay that focuses on passion and should authentically show your voice and character.

  1. Risky topics about your school experience or problem with a teacher or school authority.

  2. Anything that involves lying.

  3. Your wealthy background, luck, or privilege.

  4. Avoid writing about topics that don't include your high school years.

  5. Politics or religion.

  6. Extreme tragedies

  7. Highly personal topics.

  8. Therapy experiences

  9. Sports or Mission Trips

  10. Trouble with the law or school administration.

I can't escape this blog without speaking about AI and college essays. AI is a severe issue for college applications. The future will be different by adding a video, timed article, or even going back to focusing on SAT/ACT with writing. But we aren't there yet! Still, students can open their computer, pull up the AI program and ask for a topic article to generate an essay. Rick Clark recently stated in his article in Times Higher Education, "Ask most admission counselors what they're looking for in an application essay, and you will get some version of: "We just want to hear the student's voice." I really hope that students will stay away from AI and write an essay that comes from their heart. Writing can be a very therapeutic process that gives students an opportunity to learn, grow and share appropriately.

Meanwhile, here is what you all have been waiting for - 2023-2024 essay prompts:

Below is the full set of Common App essay prompts for 2023-2024.

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their Application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Common Application will also retain the optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section.


Williams Educational has experienced educational consultants to help you with the process. It is our joy and pleasure to help you choose wisely and guide students during their application stage for admissions.









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