Dr. Prince

All About the Common Applications Essay Prompts

The Common Application can be used to apply to over 800 colleges or universities in the USA.

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For the Common App, you will need to submit an answer to an essay prompt. The good news is: the Common App provides a list of seven essay prompts, and those for the 2019/2020 year are the same as those from the previous year. So if you need help, you can surely find samples and ideas online.

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The essay prompts for 2019/2020 are at the bottom of this post. You should choose one of these prompts and write an essay of no more than 650 words.

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Tips for Writing Your Essay

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Everyone is going to give you basically the same advice for writing your essay: Be original, genuine, and interesting. Try to stand out. Proofread and rewrite. Make sure there are no errors, and get a proofreader if necessary.

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This advice is about all you need. However, it is also worth considering hiring someone to help write your essay. Some students are simply not very good at writing, and there are plenty of majors, from highly sophisticated engineering programs to labor-intensive technical programs, that require little in the way of writing talent. If writing is not your strong suit, a professional writer can help give you a leg up in your application.

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Of course, we recommend our Essay Writing Service, though you may have acquaintances who would be even better writing help. Feel free to contact our writing service or email writer@essaysmith.com, and wed be glad to help out!

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The 2019/2020 Common App Essay Prompts

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Here they are, the essay prompts used for both the 2018/2019 and the 2019/2020 Common Application:

IELTS Speaking Guide: Expressing Cause and Effect

 In this lesson, students practice expressing the effects of various causes, and the causes of various effects.

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Download lesson as pdf

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Function:  Expressing Cause and Effect
Key Words:  Because/since/as

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Expressing Cause and Effect: Since I wont graduate until June, I hope to find a job in advertising sometime next summer.

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Read the following causes and determine what the effects might be.

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Finish the sentences according to the prompts given.

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 1. While in university, I was interested in ___________________________; therefore, I chose to study ______________________________________.

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2. During my school years I never really liked ____________________, so I ______________________________________________________________.

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3. Since rainy days make me feel ____________________, I often __________________________________________________.

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4. As cooking is _____________________ in our culture, we ________________________________________________________.

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5. I find visiting museums ___________________, so ______________________________________________________________.

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6. Sports to me are ____________________________; therefore, ___________________________________________________.

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7. Since my free time is _______________________, I normally ____________________________________________________.

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8. Painting is something I ________________________________, with this in mind, ___________________________________.

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9. My hometown has ___________________________________, so I would recommend _______________________________.

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10. Ive always loved ____________________ music, so ___________________________________________________________.

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Read through the prompts again.  What were the questions asked?

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 1. ________________________________________________________________________________

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 2. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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 3. ___________________________________________________________________________________

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 4. ___________________________________________________________________________________

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 5. ____________________________________________________________________________________

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 6. ____________________________________________________________________________________

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 7. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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 8. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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 9. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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 10._____________________________________________________________________________________

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Read through the following effects and try to determine the cause.

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 1. I was soaking wet when I got to work.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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2. I changed my major from math to English.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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3. I have to manage my finances carefully.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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4. Traveling is a big part of my life.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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5. I never take a taxi.

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Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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6. Eating vegetables with every meal is something I do every day.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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7. I usually go to bed very early.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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8. I have 2 cats and 3 dogs.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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9. We often invite people over for dinner.
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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10. We rarely use the air conditioner
Cause: _____________________________________________________________

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Employment Reference Letter (3)

The reference letter below is written by a supervisor, in support of an employee who is applying to graduate school.

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Need help with your reference letters? Check out our Letter of Recommendation Writing Service

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Sample Letter of Recommendation

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Dear Admissions Officer,

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I am delighted to have this chance to recommend Miss Jane Smith for entry to your postgraduate course. I was her immediate supervisor during the time she worked at Sparkwell Technology Co., Ltd., and she reported directly to me when carrying out her tasks and projects.

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Miss Smith was in charge of marketing and sales at Sparkwell, and she worked closely with me in planning and developing strategies to better promote the company. She is very responsible and professional, and her ambition was evident in her ideas and performance. Miss Smith demonstrated a great interest and dedication to the field of marketing, and I expect her to have a bright future in the field.

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Miss Smith also played a major role in an overseas exhibition for Sparkwells digital products. In addition to planning and arranging the details of the exhibition, Miss Smith attended the exhibition and helped ensure that it ran smoothly and without problems. In this capacity, Miss Smith was a valuable asset to our company, as she personally contributed greatly to the expansion and promotion of our companys products and image.

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Although Miss Smith has been a valuable member of the Sparkwell team, I am delighted to hear that she is pursuing a masters degree in your institution. She will undoubtedly continue to progress and excel, and her natural drive and enthusiasm for the marketing field can be given full expression in your masters program. I recommend her to your program without reservation. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

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Sincerely,

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Dave Johnson
Manager
Sparkwell Technology Co., Ltd.

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Academic Reference Letter (1)

The reference letter below is written by the director of a university department, in support of a student who is applying to graduate school.

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Need help with your reference letters? Check out our Letter of Recommendation Writing Service

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Sample Letter of Recommendation

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Dear Sir / Madam:

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It is my great pleasure to write this letter in support of Miss Jane Smiths application to your esteemed university.

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I instructed Miss Smith in the course Introduction to the Tourism Industry at XXX University in the Fall 2018 semester. She was unquestionably one of the most capable students in the class, and her work in the class consistently reflected a unique level of insightfulness and attention to detail. Her reports were always prepared on time, and she stood out among her peers for her eagerness to engage in the process of learning and discovery. Simply put, Miss Smith was a true pleasure to have in class.

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During class discussions, Miss Smith was happy to voice her own viewpoints, and she often asked me for further clarification of points I covered in my lecture. In my conversations with her, I could see her strong interest in the tourism industry and her ambition for establishing a career in this field. In addition to her confidence and eagerness to learn, Miss Smith also made a good impression on me due to her pleasant personality. Certainly, she seemed to get on well with classmates and teachers at all times, and I imagine that she will do the same when she is in your institution.

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Based on my observation of her abilities, I strongly believe she has the potential to be an outstanding student at your university. I therefore recommend her for admission to your masters program. Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information.

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Yours sincerely,

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Linda Johnson
Director
Department of Tourism
Goodwell University

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Employment Reference Letter (4)

The reference letter below is written by the owner of a factory, in support of an employee who is applying to graduate school.

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Need help with your reference letters? Check out our Letter of Recommendation Writing Service

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Sample Letter of Recommendation

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To Whom It May Concern:

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It is my great pleasure to write this letter in support of Jane Smiths application for admission into your masters program. As the owner of the Goodwell Factory, I have seen her develop into a dedicated worker with a mind well-adapted to the demands of the business world.

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Miss Smith served as a Trainee and General Secretary of the Goodwell Factory from September of 2008 until March of 2010. In her capacity at my company, Miss Smith was responsible for purchasing supplies and communicating with customers regarding their requirements. Her overall responsibility was to enable smooth and efficient operations, and Im pleased to say that she performed this task with the utmost competence.

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My company is involved in screw manufacturing and export. Miss Smith has already displayed her ability to apply what she learned in school by communicating with customers from different cultures and backgrounds. Her language abilities and her overall drive and spirit have been an asset to my business, and I am proud and fortunate that she is so eager to take the reins and help our business evolve through this century.

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The demands of the industry necessitate leaders who understand the international marketplace and are able to do business around the globe. By pursuing a masters degree in your university, Miss Smith is seeking to gain the skills and experience that will enable her to do this well. I have much confidence in her as a leader, and I offer my recommendation without reservation. I hope that you will give her application favorable consideration.

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Sincerely,

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Dave Johnson
Owner
Goodwell Factory, Inc.

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Employment Reference Letter (5)

The reference letter below is written by a manager, in support of an employee who is applying to graduate school.

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Need help with your reference letters? Check out our Letter of Recommendation Writing Service

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Sample Letter of Recommendation

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To Whom It May Concern:

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I am glad to have this opportunity to recommend Jane Smith to your school. Miss Smith has worked as an Engineering Assistant at Goodwell Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for the past year and a half, and as her supervisor and Vice Manager, I can attest to her diligence and capability to set goals and achieve them.

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As an Engineering Assistant, Miss Smith assisted in the conduct of engineering design as well as managing small projects and collaborating with her colleagues to prepare statements and monitor project schedules. Her role as Engineering Assistant demanded that she work harmoniously with a wide range of people while commanding respect. Due to her personality, she was able to accomplish this with relative ease. She had a positive attitude when dealing with both her superiors and her colleagues, and she demonstrated the ability to manage multiple tasks and accomplish goals efficiently and according to schedule.

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After spending a year and a half in this company, she has become a valued member of our company. Although I would be pleased to have her remain in our company, I feel that she is well-prepared to undertake graduate study overseas, and I am proud to see her challenging herself further. Based on my personal observation of her professional work ethic and her engaging personality, I believe that she will be a valuable addition to your institution. I therefore recommend her for admission without recommendation.

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If you should require further information about Miss Smith, please feel free to contact me and I would be glad to provide it.

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Sincerely,

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Dave Johnson
Vice Manager
Goodwell Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd.

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IELTS Speaking Guide: Giving Answers with a Reason (Topic: Jobs)

In the first section of the IELTS speaking test the examiner will ask 3-4 questions about 1 topic.  You will normally be asked about 3 different topics.

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Download lesson as pdf

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Tip:  Never give memorized answers.  Try to speak naturally without sounding like you have memorized a speech.

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Example:  Do you enjoy your studies?

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Answer:  Yes, I do because this is a field that has continually inspired me since my childhood.

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Vocabulary Building-Warm-Up

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Look at the following categories.  Choose a letter and try to think of as many words as possible that are related to each category.

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Example:

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Letter:  T

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Category:      Jobs

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 Possible Answers: teacher, technician, therapist, trainer, tennis coach

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Use the following categories for each letter that you choose.

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Jobs

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Furniture in a dorm room

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Things in a classroom

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Items in an office

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School subjects

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Things you do at work

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Professional skills

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Reasons to go to college

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Things on a college campus

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In order to prepare properly for the exam, you need to think about how you would answer a question and give the reason for your answer.

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1.  Why did you choose your job?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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2.  Do you see yourself working at this job for a long time?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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3.  What is your ideal job?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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4.  Do you enjoy your studies?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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5.  Why did you choose this major?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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6.  What do you plan to do after graduation?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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7.  What dont you like about your studies?

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Answer:  ______________________________________

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Reason: ______________________________________

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Complete Sentence: __________________________________________ because __________________________________________

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Speaking Activity:  Practice asking and answering the above questions with a partner.  Try not to use your notes.

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Listening Activity:  Practice asking the questions again but this time, write down your partners answers and think of a follow-up question to ask.

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Partners Answers and Follow-up questions.

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1.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

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2.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

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3.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

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4.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

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5.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

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6.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

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7.  Answer:  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Follow-up Question:  ____________________________________________________________________

All About the UCAS Application and the UCAS Personal Statement

What is UCAS?

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The Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) facilitates the application process for many higher education institutes in the UK, from undergraduate to postgraduate. The UCAS application process will involve filling out the application form, writing a personal statement, submitting reference letters, and other steps depending on your level and subject. Level- and subject-specific guidelines can be found on the official UCAS site: https://www.ucas.com/

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The UCAS Personal Statement

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The personal statement is a key part of the UCAS application, as it is your chance to present your individual qualities and convince schools that you are a worthy applicant. Therefore, you will need to spend a lot of time on this essay and include the right information.

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Here are some ideas for what to include in your UCAS personal statement:

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Guidelines for Writing the UCAS Personal Statement

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The UCAS Personal Statement has a word limit of 4,000 characters or 47 lines, which will be around 500-600 words.

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You should write your personal statement in a Word document first, so that you can proofread, edit, and revise the essay as many times as you need. When you are ready to submit it, you can simply copy and paste the essay into the online application.

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UCAS also offers a personal statement writing tool to help you practice writing your essay.

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You can view the official UCAS guidelines here:

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https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/how-write-ucas-undergraduate-personal-statement

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Still Need Help?

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If you need examples of successful UCAS personal statements, youre in luck! We have several free sample UCAS personal statements that you can use to jumpstart your brain and start putting pen to paper (or ¦ fingers to keyboard). 

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If youre still stuck, we are happy to help write your UCAS personal statement. Its important that you first think about your experiences and goals, and provide as much information to us as possible. Contact our essay writing service (or simply email writer@essaysmith.com), and well do what we can to get you on the road to UCAS success!

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Employment Reference Letter (2)

The reference letter below is written by a Sales Manager, in support of an employee who is applying to graduate school.

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Need help with your reference letters? Check out our Letter of Recommendation Writing Service

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Sample Letter of Recommendation

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To Whom It May Concern:

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I am pleased to write this recommendation on behalf of Mr. John Smith. Mr. Smith began working for GoodWell Textile Co., Ltd. in February of 2009. As the Sales Manager of this company, I have seen Mr. Smith work studiously and with intelligence. He has established good relationships with his colleagues, and during his time in this company he has developed strong leadership and interpersonal skills that have been unanimously praised by colleagues.

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Mr. Smith joined the company after he finished his undergraduate studies. He worked very hard and progressed steadily, revealing his passion and enthusiasm for international trade in the process. His duties involved recruiting new customers and retaining existing customers, as well as managing customers orders.

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Mr. Smiths talents were always evident in his performance. He displayed strong leadership abilities, logical thinking abilities, and the ability to work well with teams. He consistently completed tasks assigned by the leadership on time and without errors. In short, he was a model member of our company. As a result of his impressive performance, Mr. Smith was promoted after two years to the position of Assistant Manager of the Sales Department.

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His performance at work proves that he is fully capable of fulfilling the MBA course at your institution. His excellent English ability has been affirmed repeatedly by our customers, and this has proven an asset to our company. I am confident that Mr. Smith will make a positive addition to your school, and the opportunity to study in your school will allow him to better develop his career plans and solidify his potential.

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In closing, I offer my recommendation of Mr. John Smith without reservation. If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Sincerely,

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Mr. Dave Johnson
Sales Manager
GoodWell Co., Ltd.

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Academic Reference Letter (5)

The reference letter below is written by a professor in support of a student who is applying to graduate school.

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Need help with your reference letters? Check out our Letter of Recommendation Writing Service

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Sample Letter of Recommendation

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To Whom It May Concern,

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It is my great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Mr. John Smith. I have known Mr. Smith for more than five years, as I was his Course Director and Professor of Macroeconomics at National Goodwell University.

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Mr. Smith is quite simply an excellent student. He welcomed the complex challenges presented in my Macroeconomics course, and he took the initiative to engage in further discussion after class. He is extremely hard-working and truly insightful; these two traits combine to produce an especially unique and outstanding student.

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Mr. Smiths academic ability is first-rate. He displays impressive logical thinking abilities and an intellectual curiosity beyond that of his peers. He was always an active participant in classes who listened eagerly and never hesitated to raise questions. Specifically, as regards his application for the MSc in Financial Economics, Mr. Smith has a strong academic background in relevant academic areas, and his academic performance ranked him firmly in the top of his class. Because of his drive and ambition, I am confident that Mr. Smith will remain in the top of his class and continue to display an excellent academic performance.

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Aside from his outstanding academic qualities, Mr. Smith has a wealth of practical experience. He has qualified as a Senior Securities Specialist and he has gained experience working in the financial sector. Plus, he has studied English at Princeton University in the US. He has informed me that he plans to earn a PhD over the next 5 years, after which time I expect him to become a noteworthy professional. Your program will benefit him by training and challenging him to become a world-class professional.

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Based on the above, I highly recommend Mr. Smith to your institution, without reservation. If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me.

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Sincerely,

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Dave Johnson
Professor
National Goodwell University

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