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Looking for our College Application Essay Lab? to dig right in.

You already know how to write an academic essay: you start with an introduction, throw in a thesis statement, find about three paragraphs’ worth of evidence, and wrap it all up with a tidy conclusion…

Now forget all that, because a successful college application essay is totally different.

How Can I Brainstorm Essay Topics? - College

Look at common themes in the prompts: Before you begin brainstorming, know what essay questions you’re facing. Are you using The Common App or schools’ individual applications?

College 101: Brainstorming and Outlining Your Essay

How to Brainstorm for IELTS Essay Ideas Resume Template Essay Sample Free Essay Sample Free

“As I was working on applications, I found certain themes that would continually crop up in various essay questions,” says Nathan Kiehn, a senior at North Central College in Illinois. “I found a lot of applications asked about who I was, what I was interested in.”

Two college students shared their tips on what helped them with their essay topics and how current applicants can identify essay topics that are best for them.

How to brainstorm for college application essay …

P.S. What did you end up writing your college application essay about? We wanna know! Leave a comment or get in touch .

Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question.

Believe it or not, the brainstorming stage may be more tedious than writing the actual application essay. The purpose is to flesh out all of your possible ideas so when you begin writing, you know and understand where you are going with the topic.

The alternate introduction is designed to offer you ideas for a different approach-one you can use as a springboard for an entirely distinctive essay.
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students get with their college application essays?

Architects use a blue print. A webpage is comprised of code. Cooks rely on recipes. What do they have in common? They have a plan. The rules for writing a good essay are no different. After you brainstorm, you’ll know what you want to say, but you must decide how you’re going to say it. Create an outline that breaks down the essay into sections.

College Application Essay Brainstorming

Okay, time for a break. You're goingabout this the wrong way. Your essay isn't just going to magically spring outof your fingertips (at least, we hope not, because that would be painful). First,before you do anything, you need an idea. And where do ideas come from?Brainstorms.

College application essays are ..

College essay questions often suggest one or two main ideas or topics of focus. These can vary from personal to trivial, but all seek to challenge you and spark your creativity and insight.

College Admission Essay Brainstorming

2. Write down what comes into your head. Usea piece of paper and a pen or your laptop, we don't care. The ideas will comethick and fast, and your job is to jot everything – everything – down. Don'tsecond-guess yourself. Don't censor. This is a brainstorm: the forecast iscalling for heavy showers of ideas, and you gotta catch 'em all. (Wait, that'sPokémon.)

7 Proven Tips for Successful College Application Essays

4. Revisitwhat you wrote down. Some of your ideas are going to leap out at you becausethey are beautiful and fabulous and essay gold. Hold them close: you'vesurvived the brainstorm.

Brainstorming for college application essays

Start by breaking your essay down into four or fiveparts: an intro, two to three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. But don'tworry—no one will be checking for thesis statements or asking for an annotatedbibliography. This is just an easy way to organize your ideas, and to keep youressay at a length that will meet the Common App word limit requirements.

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