MLA 5 paragraph essay

Respond to one of these prompts from the UC common application

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma–anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or would take to identify a solution.
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
  • OR Research your preferred (or dream) university’s prompt and respond to that.


  1. Please paste the prompt to which you’re responding at the top of your post.
  2. Your personal statement should be five paragraphs long, organized, grammatically correct, personable, and rhetorically compelling.
  3. Organize it just as you would a regular essay, though of course this is a personal essay.
    • Use a thesis sentence at the end of your introduction (it should respond to the prompt), use topic sentences at the start of each body paragraph, and provide supporting details.
  4. I recommend that your conclusion paragraph describe exactly how your experiences, background, and interests translate directly into academic success at a university.
    • Your work ethic, determination, scholastic preparation, and academic skills can be showcased throughout your statement, of course!
  5. Sell us, the admissions office, on your brain, study habits, experience, talents, leadership, discipline, grit and determination, or other qualities that make you desirable.

2 hours ago

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