More than a million high school students submit their college applications each year.
Through the Common App essay, colleges have the opportunity to discover more about you as a person and what is important to you. You should take advantage of this opportunity to tell your story and highlight the various aspects of your personality.
Writing the Common App essay can be daunting for some students. The numerous, open-ended topic alternatives may appeal to students who love creative writing or already have an idea for a story; for others, such freedom may be stressful.
15 Tips for Writing Common Application Essays
Are you in search of tips for writing common application essays? Have a look at them below:
1. Begin Modestly
Too frequently, students believe that the 650-word Common Application essay tests their ability to fit their entire life into that much text. In general, it is advisable to begin modestly. Find a story or an event that had a significant impact on your life. Have you ever been the winner of a contest?
Have you read anything recently that completely blew you away? Was there a five-day vacation when your family’s power was cut off? Which of these stories best represents my best qualities?
The best essay topics highlight your personality, passions, and aspirations rather than trying to cover too much ground at once.
2. Create a Draft, then Edit it
We are frequently our own worst critics when it comes to writing. Many students want to produce works of absolute genius on their first try. They also want to do so while applying for jobs.
But this rarely happens with good essay writing for career goals. Since writing in the present produces interesting information, the best writing is typically found during those activities.
Before letting your creativity pour onto the page, avoid editing yourself. Never revise your writing before a few paragraphs have been written. It is much simpler to work with too many words and ideas than not enough, and you can always cut what doesn’t work.
3. Mention Proper Details
When presenting their personal experiences, many students tend to sound generic. An essay’s accumulation of small facts is frequently what makes it memorable. Your chances of generating an impact are up if you provide your reader with a clear picture by giving specifics.
Ensure the accuracy of your information so the reader can visualize it quickly. Make the scene seem as accurate to the reader as if it were happening at the specified time and place. Details enhance and add value to your work as a result.
4. Focus the Narrative on a Specific Period
Focusing on only one particular facet of a tale, which is almost always extensive, may help you better understand its meaning. Instead of talking broadly about playing percussion in the orchestra, concentrate on the enormous cymbal crash that announces the composition’s conclusion.
Alternatively, explain waking up in a freezing tent with a dusting of snow on it instead of attempting to condense that two-week trekking expedition into a few pages. The detail of the story encourages more profound reflection on what it means to you and aids in concentration for the reader.
5. Consider the Reader’s Viewpoint
If writing your essay feels tedious to you and you are bored with what you are saying, try to imagine how the reader will feel. The chances are great if the reader feels he got to know you well. Write about something you are passionate about, excited about, or have given a lot of thought to.
6. Express Your Emotions
Including feelings in your articles may be much more effective than listing your accomplishments. It makes it easier for reviewers to identify with you and understand your motivations and personality.
Be very receptive to showing weakness. Nobody expects you to be perfect, and it shows maturity and self-awareness to express when you’ve been scared or anxious.
7. Entertain Your Reader
No matter what subject you choose, your essay should be written to make the reader laugh. There are a lot of requirements that must be met for this to cohabit peacefully.
You will need a captivating plot, a topic that readers will be interested in, perfect language, and a writing style they will like. Imagine being asked to read college essays by a prestigious university.
For a few weeks, one of your responsibilities would be reading dozens of essays daily. It makes sense that you would want yours to be distinctive and stick out. Occasionally laughing may also be beneficial to your health.
8. Describe Your Accomplishments
The premise of the short story is that everything will eventually change. Have you ever gone through one of those situations? What was it? As you would with a short story, write it out. Have there ever been circumstances where everything just clicked? As you recount the events leading up to that discovery, create the scene.
Include each image and the participants. What intangible quality or life experience are you most proud of besides honours, victories, or grades? Describe what happened on that particular day. It will engage your reader well.
9. Be Specific and Focused
The topic of the essay should be related to a particular incident, tale, or narrative. An essay written well will have a distinct introduction, body, and conclusion. Where have you felt compelled to talk about a particular event, story, anecdote, or historical period?
Consider whether your offered issue has a character, a setting, a beginning, a middle, and an end as an option. You can begin writing now that you have the three elements of an essay – a character, a setting, and a storyline.
10. Include a Broader Context and Lesson
Have you chosen a viable topic for your essay? Your essay doesn’t need to demonstrate that you underwent a significant transformation or reached enlightenment as a child or adolescent. Pick something you can carry with you moving forward.
Or, to put it another way, your essay investigates how your past has influenced your present and thought patterns. It will give a meaningful touch to your content and enhance its value.
11. Use Your Authentic Voice
You must present your identity rather than analyze a work of literature or a historical occurrence. To avoid sounding like an English professor or a thesaurus, your language should sound natural.
Students are accustomed to writing formal essays using formal language and formal-sounding jargon to impress. The best essays don’t have a stuffy, academic voice; they have a conversational tone.
12. Add a Personal Touch
Information that you typically keep private for yourself or your closest friends and family is referred to as personal information.
Therefore, conversing and gathering information could be difficult, if not unpleasant. You have a better chance of connecting with your reader when you are forthright and honest about your emotions, particularly in response to a trying situation.
Don’t brush off the incidents or situations that made you feel uneasy, nervous, or embarrassed. When you talk about difficult memories, you appear as modest, approachable, likeable, and mature, which is weirdly beneficial in achieving the goals of a college application essay. You most likely also included an intriguing and amusing little story.
13. Represent Yourself
A sneaky thing could happen as you start writing your essay. Instead of remaining true to who you are and expressing your authentic self, you might find yourself guessing what the college admissions committee is looking for and attempting to meet that fictitious criterion despite your desire to communicate your thoughts as clearly as possible.
Fight the need to minimize the qualities that make you unique. Describe your priorities honestly. Think about how your prior experiences have shaped who you are today. Being a genius is being yourself. And have faith that the college of your dreams will recognize your true qualities.
14. Never Follow the Common Essay Prompts
The truth is that admissions committee members hardly ever pay attention to or even care about the prompt you are answering. They are interested in learning more about your personality, convictions, and the sources of your decisions.
Even the most persuasive writers might be constrained by precisely classifying their narratives. The essay finally loses its unique voice. Pick a prompt once you have written freely. Avoid spoilers and stay focused on impressively presenting yourself.
15. Proofread Your Common App Essay
Present your common app essay to someone who will edit, proofread, and offer feedback before submitting it. Although nothing is flawless, your admissions essay should include perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Read your essay after writing it, then go back and read it again later. Have a friend or teacher read it as well; they may find errors that your eyes were too tired to see.
Tips for Writing Common App Essays
It would help if you focus on producing a quality, meaningful, and insightful common app essay. You will find it simple and easy to produce the common application essay using the guidelines mentioned below:
- Begin modestly.
- Create a draft, then edit it.
- Mention proper details.
- Focus the narrative on a specific period.
- Consider the reader’s viewpoint.
- Express your emotions.
- Entertain your reader.
- Describe your accomplishments.
- Be specific and focused.
- Include a broader context and lesson.
- Use your authentic voice.
- Add a personal touch.
- Represent yourself.
- Never follow the common essay prompts.
- Proofread your common app essay.
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