University of Chicago, Chicago Illinois
Please write two essays of 250 – 500 words. Choose from the topics below.
This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as person and student, apart
from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your
ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.
NOTE: Your Common Application essays should be the same for all colleges. Do not
customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized
application essays will ask for them on a supplement form.
1_ Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical
dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
REMEMBER YOUR REFLECTIVE ESSAY……………..
2_ Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its
importance to you.
REMEMBER YOUR SOAPBOXES, & “DO YOU GIVE A DAMN” QUESTION?...
3_ Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that
REMEMBER YOUR DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY AND ARTS……………..
4_ Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music,
science etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
REMEMBER YOUR RESEARCH POWERPOINTS & OUTLINE…………..
5_ A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much
to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that
illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter
that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
REMEMBER YOUR CRITICAL THINKING & DEBATE UNIT & L.A. ………
6_ Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences
in the space below.
YOUR EXPERIENCE AS AN ARTIST AND YOUR PART IN THE ARTISTIC
ACADEMIC CULTURE WOULD FIT NICELY HERE.
7 _ Topic of your choice.
University of California-Berkley, Berkley, California
DO NOT CHOOSE THESE PROMPTS—THEY ARE HERE TO ALLOW YOU
TO SEE THAT UC HAS INCORPORATED SEVERAL PROMPTS ACROSS AN
ARRAY OF SCHOOLS
Prompt for all applicants: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment,
contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or
accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
This is very similar to # 7 of UC.
Freshman applicant prompt: Describe the world you come from — for example,
your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your
dreams and aspirations. This is very similar to # 5 of UC.
UC Tips and Techniques
Your personal statement should be exactly that -- personal. This is your opportunity to
tell us about yourself -- your hopes, ambitions, life experiences, inspirations. We
encourage you to take your time on this assignment. Be open. Be reflective. Find your
individual voice and express it honestly.
As you respond to the essay prompts, think about the admissions and scholarship officers
who will read your statement and what you want them to understand about you. While
your personal statement is only one of many factors we consider when making our
admission decision, it helps provide context for the rest of your application.
Allow time for reflection, thoughtful preparation and revision.
Choose a topic for both essays.
Look critically at the information in your application: your grades, awards, activities and
work experience, family and income. Anticipate questions an admissions evaluator will
have after reading your application. The personal statement is your opportunity to answer
Compose your personal statement in a word-processing program.
Don't type it directly into the application. This way, you will have the opportunity to print
copies for review.
Present your information and ideas in a focused, deliberate and meaningful manner.
Provide specific, concrete examples to support your point. A personal statement that is
simply a list of qualities or accomplishments usually is not persuasive.
In addition to checking your spelling, be sure your grammar is correct and your essays
Your personal statement should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but
others — family, teachers and friends — can offer valuable suggestions. Ask advice of
whomever you like, but do not plagiarize from sources in print or online and do not use
anyone's published words but your own.
This is one of many pieces of information we consider in reviewing your application. An
admission decision will not be based on your personal statement alone.