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Where to Find Essay Prompts

Essay prompts are essay topics. They tell you what to write in the essay and how to do it, whether you have to explain, describe, analyze, narrate, criticize, argue, or compare. Academic requirements determine essay prompts and their levels of complexity.

The Application essay has typical prompts that usually revolve around your personality, your experiences, and academic or career plans. Pages like those of Scholar have lists of questions for such essays. While colleges could differ in the prompts they ask, the usual prompts would be similar to one another.

Some institutions have their specific focus when they test a candidate[s potential. Take for example, University of Chicago, known for their provocative essay questions (The University of Chicago Admissions and Financial Aid). Many students prefer to know the diverse range of tropics they could be asked for, and such sites help you be prepared.

The personal statement is another matter. You are required to be focused completely on what you want, how you want it, and why you want it thus. To write this statement that could make or break your future, you need to know what to expect. Sample prompts on the University of California site or other such sites give you an idea of what to expect. Such samples are often also accompanied by useful statement writing tips.

Narrative prompts require a different focus from you. You want to know what to narrate and how to narrate. Narrative essays use a lot of verbs, adjectives, and dialog. So read your narrative prompt carefully and gauge the type of writing and language required of you. The narrative prompt presents a situation and requires you to write a narrative account based on it. As you search for such prompts, look for pages that give you examples as well as writing tips. Sites such as or have lists of elaborate prompts.

The Expository essay basically means explaining something: an idea, a concept, a machine, a process, or a characteristic, or anything else that could be explained. Expository essay topics are written in language that reflects the essay’s purpose. Expository_essay_prompts.htm and other such sites usually have lists of such topics that give you a fair idea of what to expect in and how to read a prompt. These essays usually carry words such as explain, how and why.

The Literature prompt needs careful reading too. You want to be sure about the text/s referred to, what you need to do with the text/s, which aspects you have to focus on, and how you are supposed to write about them. Traci’s lists of ten  provide 10 literature prompts with some explanation on each prompt. Look out for other such sites that focus solely on literature.

Essay prompts are typical of the subject they deal with and the type of essay needed. Reading the fine print is the first step before embarking on the project of writing the essay. The prompt is your guide to the essay.

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