The Common Application personal statement is a 650-word essay where students have the freedom to write about any topic they choose. This open-ended prompt allows students to showcase their personality, background, interests, and what matters most to them.
An effective personal statement will have:
- A clear narrative and theme
- Vivid details and descriptions
- Insight into the student’s character and values
- Correct grammar and engaging writing style
When writing AI prompts to generate ideas or passages for the personal statement essay, it is important to provide enough context and details so the AI can produce high-quality content.
Elements of an Effective AI Prompt
Effective AI prompts include:
- The purpose and tone of the desired output (e.g. “Write a draft passage for a college essay with an optimistic tone”)
- Any key themes or topics to address
- Relevant details about the student’s background and interests
- The expected length or word count
- Examples of well-written passages
AI Prompt Examples
Here are some examples of effective AI prompts for generating ideas and passages for a Common Application personal statement essay:
Brainstorming Essay Topics
Please suggest 3 potential topics for a personal statement essay that would allow a high school student named Sarah to showcase her academic interests, leadership experience, and passion for environmental activism. Ensure the topics are specific enough for Sarah to write a compelling narrative.
Developing a Theme and Angle
Sarah wants to write her personal statement about how her experience growing up in a military family and having to frequently move shaped her into a more adaptable, empathetic person. Please suggest 2-3 potential angles Sarah could take in her essay to showcase these themes of adaptability and empathy.
Describing Impactful Experiences
Sarah wants to write about her experience founding an environmental club at her high school. Please write a 150-200 word passage describing how this experience allowed Sarah to discover her passion for environmental activism and develop leadership skills as she recruited members and organized events. Use vivid imagery and an optimistic tone.
Conveying Personality and Values
Sarah has a cheerful, friendly personality and deeply cares about social justice and protecting the environment. Please write a 100-150 word passage that conveys these key aspects of Sarah's personality and values through a relevant anecdote or example. Use casual language and an upbeat tone.
Additional Tips for Crafting AI Prompts
- Always provide context about the student’s background, interests, and essay purpose
- Include expected length or word count for generated passages
- Give examples of well-written passages with the desired tone
- Specify the angle, theme, or topic to address
- Request vivid details and imagery to make passages compelling
With practice crafting effective prompts, AI can become a useful brainstorming and drafting tool for crafting an outstanding Common Application essay. The key is providing enough guidance so that the AI understands the purpose and can generate high-quality content tailored to the individual student.