new common application prompt 6

Common App Prompt 6


In a previous post, I warned about the possible pitfalls of writing about the new Common Application prompt 6.

My main concern was that in writing about one of your passions — a “topic, idea or concept — you will need to make sure to craft a personal essay that is mainly about YOU!

As opposed to one that is only about the “topic, idea or concept” that you pick to write about.

Read about how to write an essay about the new Common Application prompt 6 that is engaging and personal, instead of academic and dull, in this post:  Common Application Prompt 6: Be Warned.

Then come back to learn three other hot tips on how to write about this tricky prompt.

The New Common Application Prompt 6

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? 

Tip One for new Common Application Prompt 6: FOCUS

When deciding what to write about for the new Common Application prompt 6, first select ONE specific topic, idea or concept.

Don’t be tempted to expand your essay into writing about one idea and one concept. That will only make it more general. And generic essays can be boring.

The key is to be specific about the topic or idea or concept you are passionate about.

Do not try to cram in all your favorite ideas or concepts. That would be a disaster!

In fact, once you pick one of the these, see if you can make your essay topic even more specific.

For example, if you decide to write about your passion for the idea of social media.

Wow, that’s a cool topic, but sooooo big.

You will need to narrow it down. Pick one part of social media that captivates you, and then try to narrow it again.

Maybe you are obsessed with the idea of lucid dreaming, which is when you can control your dreams.

Again, find something specific about this idea to give your essay a stronger focus.

One way to focus or zero in on any broad “topic, idea of concept” is to find a personal experience you have had with it.

Also, the more specific your topic, idea or concept, the better you can expand upon how it affected you, related experiences and what you think and learned about it.


new common application prompt 6

Tip Two for new Common Application Prompt 6: Don’t Impress

To write a killer essay for the new Common Application Prompt 6, you do not need to pick a topic, idea or concept that is impressive in nature, such as quantum physics or artificial intelligence or genetic mapping.

Of course, you can pick one of those, but it’s not necessary to craft an effective essay.

In fact, often the more everyday “mundane” topics, ideas or concepts end up being more interesting and powerful.

The trick to an awesome essay about the new Common Application Prompt 6 is not always your topic (idea of concept), but what you say about it.

An idea could be some business you started in high school, or a simple concept such as being a “lifelong learner” or “healthy eating” or “what causes the northern lights?”

Look for topics, ideas or concepts that are in your everyday life.

The closer they are to your normal activities, the better chance the topic, idea or concept will be more personal to you.

And that’s exactly what you want!

new common application prompt 6

Tip Three for new Common Application Essay prompt 6: Answer the ENTIRE prompt

Most of your essay about the new Common Application essay prompt 6 will be about why you are so “captivated” by it, or why you are so passionate about it.

However, note the last question in the prompt: What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? 

Make sure to address this and explain somewhere in the essay how you learned more about the “topic, idea or concept” you are writing about.

Was there someone who first introduced you to your topic, idea or concept?

Did you research your topic, idea or concept on the Internet, or go to the library to find books, or attend a lecture?

Simply include at least a sentence or two to show the colleges how you handle your curiosity about whatever topic, idea or concept you write about to answer the new Common Application prompt 6.

So that’s it. Good luck!