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Freshman Advice Essay Topics

Included with the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Georgia Tech questions is one long essay and two short answer essays. The purpose of the essays is to assess your writing ability and, more importantly, to learn more about you as an individual. This portion of the application helps us get to know you, assess mutual fit and better understand what you could contribute to Georgia Tech.

2018 Essay Prompts

Common Application Personal Essay

2018 freshman applicants will choose from one of seven prompts.

Coalition Application Personal Essay

2018 freshman applicants will choose from one of five prompts.

Georgia Tech Short Answer Questions

Additionally, you will be asked to respond to the prompts below. 

  1. Beyond rankings, location, and athletics, why are you interested in attending Georgia Tech? (max 150 words)
  2. Please choose ONE of the following questions and provide an answer in 150 words or less.
    • Tech’s motto is Progress and Service. We find that students who ultimately have a broad impact first had a significant one at home. What is your role in your immediate or extended family? And how have you seen evidence of your impact on them?  
    • Georgia Tech is always looking for innovative undergraduates. Have you had any experience as an entrepreneur? What would you like Georgia Tech to provide to further your entrepreneurial interests?
    • We challenge our students to "be comfortable being uncomfortable". Tell us about a time in high school that you felt outside of your comfort zone and the resolution.
What We Are Looking For

Essays are evaluated for both content and writing/grammatical skills. So, before submitting your application, you should take the time to edit and review your essay thoroughly. The traits of a strong essay include ones that:

  • Demonstrate authenticity
  • Brings you to life on paper
  • Are excellent in topic, style, and grammar
  • Demonstrate thoughtfulness

Our advice for completing this portion of the application

  • Get started early. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your essays!
  • Write and edit your essay in a document editor. Once you have the final draft, you can cut and paste it into your online application.
  • Don’t overthink it. It may not be easy to write about yourself, but just write what you feel most comfortable with.
  • Don’t write what you think we want to read. Write what you want to say!
  • Don’t blow off the essay! We wouldn’t ask you to write it if we didn’t find it to be an important way to get to know you, and what you have to bring to Georgia Tech.

After you have a topic idea, what's next? You have to develop information that you will put into your essay and decide on your audience and purpose. Then you will need to decide the point of view, tone, and style of writing you will use. Sound confusing? Don't worry. Just answer the following questions to get ready to write. You can open up a word processing program, copy these questions, and then answer them, or do it the old-fashioned way with paper and pen.

  1. Topic idea: ______________________________________________. (Write yours out.)
  2. What kind of expository essay is this? (How to? How does it work? Definition? Fact? Cause? History of?)

Gathering Ideas:

  1. List or cluster different aspects or parts of your topic.
  2. Circle the aspects which are most interesting to you. Cluster those.

Topic Evaluation:

  1. Do you have enough to say or too much? Do you need to narrow your topic or expand it?
  2. What sources can you use? Where can you find them?

Audience Evaluation

  1. What are some things your audience would be familiar with which you can compare your topic with?
  2. What do they already know?
  3. What would they be interested in knowing?
  4. What kind of tone would be best for this audience? (informational, satiric, humorous, folksy, professional?)
  5. Considering your audience, which point of view would be the most effective one to write in? Would it be better to write in the first person ("I" or "we"), second person ("you"), or third person (impersonal)?

Write Your Thesis

  1. Your purpose (What do you want audience to think, do, or know after reading? This will be related to what your audience doesn't know.)
  2. Turn your topic into a question: ___________________________________________
  3. Answer that question: __________________________________________________
  4. Make a thesis statement: _______________________________________________
  5. Essay map—sentence(s) which list main sub-topics: ______________________________________________________________ (These can be headers for sections of the paper.)

Essay Organization

  1. Which sort of organization would work best for you? Examples: chronological (in time), spatial (in space and time), process (step-by-step), topical (part-by-part), cause/effect, historical overview, comparison and contrast, or reverse expectations.
  2. Write a brief outline for how you will structure the body of the paper.

Intro and Conclusion

  1. Which of these introduction and conclusion ideas could you use? Reverse expectation, expectation fulfilled, scenario (imagined typical story, also called a case study), personal story, frame story, vivid description, conversation, definition, comparison and contrast, analogy, startling statistic or fact, quotation, story from book or movie.
  2. Choose the best one(s) for your essay and explain what you will do.

Tone, Voice, and Style

  1. Which person will you write in for your essay? (1st “I,” 2nd “you,” or 3rd “he, she, it.”) Why?
  2. What sort of tone will you have? Why? (Example: serious and informative, humorous, sarcastic, enthusiastic.)

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