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How to Write Essays on Prompts from the Coalition Application

December 19, 2019

Before we start to talk about the exact subject of writing essays on these specific prompts which are set by the Coalition Application, let’s find out some details. Why do you need to write them at all, what is this Coalition Application, and why many students have to refer to the essay prompts from this resource?

It is a huge online platform that helps the school graduates to apply to colleges. As students apply online now, they can fill all necessary forms and upload documents to this platform to save. Thus, they won’t need to re-enter the information for each new school application. All data are already there saved online.

Coalition Application is not a pioneer in this sphere. It is a “young rival” of a famous Common Application, and though it is not so popular as the leader so far, it is well-known. More than 100 colleges and universities in the USA support this platform.

A school graduate willing to enroll in a college needs to present some basic data: personal details, tests score, GPA, etc. Additionally, a student has to write one or several essays. The themes of essays depend on the requirements of a definite school and the online platform you use to keep and submit applications. Most of the colleges and universities of the USA accept applications from both these main online platforms. However, they have different formats for the documents and different prompts for essays.

These essays are great information sources for the college admissions committees. It is not enough to show good grades and sports achievements because the colleges want to learn more about the personalities of the candidates. Personal essays are an excellent means for colleges to compile some images of future students. At the same time, it is a great option for students to present themselves and make the committees interested.

Check the requirements of the school which you want to apply concerning the essay prompts they offer. If a college or a university supports the Coalition Application, then you will need to write your essay on one of the default prompts. Other schools may also demand that you base your essay on these prompts too, as they are quite universal.

Tips on writing essays based on prompts from Coalition Application

The college application essays are not very large – the size differs depending on the college. Yet, it is usually from 400 to 600 words. It might not be easy to put everything you want to tell in such a limited volume.

It is crucial to understand the essence of the prompt you choose. Though the prompts let you be creative and free in self-expression, each of them has its pitfalls. Let’s explore them.

“Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it”

  • Goal: prove that you are a good and interesting personality.
  • Pitfall: many students tell only about their many merits in general. , and it looks that each one deserves a Nobel Prize at the least. So, the admission committees tend to be rather skeptical about such self-praising.
  • Hint: concentrate on a definite story that can show your virtues instead of describing yourself.

You don’t have to tell about heroic deeds, though it is good if you have a couple of them under your belt. Think about some story which can demonstrate how you collaborate with colleagues and interact with friends. This way you can express yourself as a team player which helps other people. Besides, tell about your principles in this story, to express your individuality.

Be as specific, as possible, and don’t give some abstract vague descriptions. Mention details that will make your story catchy – you need to grasp the attention of your audience, which is the admission committee. They should learn you with the help of this story and want to learn more in person.

“Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution”

  • Goal: express the best sides of your personality.
  • Pitfall: writing in general about praiseworthy activities and showing them in a banal way.
  • Hint: find some specific story that can combine a high nature with simple but efficient deeds.

One of the most common topics which students refer to is volunteering. You can’t impress the future teachers by telling them about this activity in general. Here, like in all other cases you need to be specific and show sincerity. The aim is to show that this activity is not just a “fashion”, but is a thing which really matters for you.

It is better to tell about smaller deeds which produced positive impacts than to paint some large but unclear pictures. Find a story from your past which touches you, and do your best to express your emotions in your writing. Write about other people supporting you and how important that was for you. Write about the knowledge and skills you obtained thanks to that activity.

“Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?”

  • Goal: show yourself as an open-minded person.
  • Pitfall: it is a controversial question. One can hardly question own long-time beliefs because of some one-time challenge.
  • Hint: think about the gradual change of your convictions under the weight of the logic and real-life facts.

In fact, this is one of the most interesting prompts which gives more opportunities. It encourages you to combine specific stories with thoughts about the things which are important for you. Here you can also offer your vision about the nature of personal convictions and how they are tried by modern living conditions. That story about the challenge you met can be a “hook” for the audience and then you can even let yourself be philosophical.

Another tip is that you don’t need to show how you changed or did not change your opinion on some important social issues. It is much more important to show that you can explore such complex issues and write about them. Similar tasks will be common in college. You will write loads of essays on controversial topics, and take part in debates. Thus, it will be useful if you illustrate that you are ready to do this at once.

“What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?”

  • Goal: show that you understand the historical context and the current trends in culture and society.
  • Pitfall: it is one prompt, but it covers three different aspects, and you have to offer your vision on them all and combine them into one story.
  • Hint: concentrate on the most up-to-date factors which influence teenagers’ life. They can be the latest innovations in technologies or new opportunities for self-development.

Think of both positive and negative factors. You may refer to your personal experience and compare the current possibilities or threats with those burning a couple of years ago. If you choose this prompt, you may also talk to your parents of elder friends and siblings – ask them to share some memories.

Here you need to show that you are well aware of the modern challenges, but you value the opportunities. Also, you need to prove that you care about the younger ones.

“Wildcard” topic for an essay

This is a freeform essay prompt where you can write anything you want. The best advice for you here is to write about the things you know and love. Such essays should do the same – be a presentation of your personality and merits. If you have thorough knowledge on some topics and can talk about it enthusiastically – use this opportunity to make other people interested too.

Useful tip: you can use another ready essay. If you have composed an essay for the Common Application platform or for some school that offers own essay prompts, you can use this essay. It is your work, and it is worth showing it to other people.

No matter which prompt you will choose for your essay, note the two key requirements:

  • Be specific.
  • Be sincere.

Your goal when you write this essay is to depict your personality. You have to tell about your character, your ethics, your moral principles, and convictions. You will also share your thoughts about some important things of society. All together this should tell enough about you to the members of the admission committees to evaluate you as their potential student. It is a serious and important task.

At the same time, essay prompts from the Coalition Application are popular because they really let you present yourself on several levels. If you do this job properly, you can learn yourself better too. And, of course, you can impress the future tutors to make them invite you on campus.

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