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As you begin your college application process, you may decide to apply through the Common Application. The Common Application (also known as the “Common App”) is an advanced college application platform that allows you to apply to multiple colleges at once. The Common App has seven essay prompts for you to choose from. Here are some tips to tackling Essay Prompt #4!

Common App Essay Prompt #4

“Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?”

Things to Consider

Think about all the ways you have shown or experienced kindness. Perhaps you felt recognized by patience or empathy. Maybe you witnessed a random act of selflessness from a stranger. This prompt is all about acknowledging kindness and how we give thanks for what we have. 

Reflect on your favorite acts of kindness

Can you think of a moment in which you felt seen? How did you react? Did it impact the way you treat others? Has anyone ever restored your faith in humanity? Describe that experience!

Make a gratitude list

Write down all the things that make you thankful. Then go through your list and take note of any stories that come to mind. Were there moments when you took these things, people, or places for granted? How do you express gratitude in your daily life?

What to Avoid

As with all college application essays, you want to make sure your story is teaching the reader something about yourself. Admissions officials want to know more about who you are! This means you should avoid writing your entire essay describing the act of kindness you appreciated. Instead, focus on the ways you express gratitude or pay it forward in your own life. 

We hope these tips assist you in writing a heartfelt essay for Common App Essay Prompt #4. For more advice like this, click the link below!