Mentor Essays for The Common App
And Other College Application Essays
If you are one of those students who understands how important these college admissions essays can be to landing in the school of your dreams, the New York Times just published a dream article just for you. The newspaper publishes a blog, called The Choice, that posts articles exclusively about the college admissions process. Last month, they published this massive article about how teachers can help students use the newspaper to find inspiration for their Common App essays. It’s like your own private, free, college essay tutor from the most respected publication in the world! It’s literally packed with great advice, instruction and sample essays.
Here are the “mentor essays” the newspaper shared to help with the new Common App prompts:
* Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- It’s O.K. to Put Yourself First: An essay in which a writer meditates on the impact of a serious illness on her life and family.
- My Son and the City: A woman moves to New York City with her son, who has serious medical challenges and developmental disabilities–and, she writes, “in a place famous for its anonymous crowds, [he] has been learning about people.”
* Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
- A Rat’s Tale: A writer discusses her failure to be the sister her brother wanted and what she learned.
- Pancake Chronicles: An entertaining account of a disastrous first job.
- A Heartbroken Temp at Brides.com: After a groom changes his mind, his would-be bride, with “no money, no apartment, no job” takes a position at a wedding Web site.
* Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
- From Tehran to the B Train: A young woman stands up to a mugger on the subway.
- Winning Essay: Win a Trip Contest: An essay about fighting injustice all around the world.
- I Found My Biological Parents, and Wish I Hadn’t: “I’d expected to find more common ground,” writes the author of this essay.
* Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
- Yes, I’m in a Clique: A Student from Columbine High School discusses the comfort of a clique.
- My Manhattan; A Lifetime of Memories and Magic: A meditation on Central Park
- My Home in Africa: An American feels at home in the Republic of Benin.
* Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
- A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One: An essay about young love and loss of innocence.
- Forbidden Nofruit: A reflection on junk food, family, and rebellion.
- Bitter Sweets : A young man who has “a hard time” with his Chinese-American identity looks for an apartment with his white girlfriend.