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How to Write the Common Application Essays

Common Application Essays: Writing the Perfect Essay

❶It's possible to mention any experiences you've had when growing up whether it be interacting with your family or your brother or sister. Upon hitting the water in this kayak, you went out of your way and out of your comfort zone to realise that you need to try new things and open your mind to other experiences in the future.

As a professional writing coach, I help students, parents, counselors, teachers and others from around the world on these dreaded essays! Learn about my in-person and online tutoring, editing, workshops, books, and online courses, My on-demand, fast-and-easy online e-course: But it will make more sense once you get logged on and explore the site. Nine Hot Tips to Format Your Common Application Essay If you do need to submit a core Common App essay you pick from one of 7 prompts; words , here are some tips on how to format your common application essay: Compose your draft in either a Word file or Google docs.

Do not craft it directly in the Common Application text box You could lose your work! If you use Word or Google docs, you can use their word count and, most importantly, the spell check feature. If you want to use this feature, you might want to get a Gmail account that you use exclusively for these essays.

You can also copy and paste your Word or Google doc directly into the Common App text box. The Common Application essay text box does not allow tabbing. So make your paragraphs with block formatting have a space in between each paragraph instead of an indentation. You can format this way in your Word or Google doc, but make sure it translates after you either upload your Google doc, or copy and paste from the Word or Google doc.

I would format your essay along MLA guidelines using italics for things like book titles, foreign words, those types of copyediting rules. If you lose the italics, use the Common App italics formatting to add them inside the text box. I see no reason to use either Bold or Underlining in your essays. Even though I think a snappy title can enhance an essay, I see no way to format it at the top of the Common App essay that would center it, and think it could be more of a distraction.

If you really love your title, feel free to give it a try, but I think it will only stick on the far left of the first line. Do NOT include the prompt at the top of your essay. That only eats up precious words. With your Common App essay, you simply check the box that your essay lines up with the best. Supplemental shorter essays have similar formatting options. Use the same rules as above for these. Some do not provide a text box and require you to upload from Google docs or attach a Word file converting it to a PDF.

Double check word counts. The Common App text box and text boxes for the supplemental essays show the minimum and maximum word counts, which is very helpful. You can go back and make edits after you have submitted your essays. General rules for formatting drafts in Word or Google docs: I hope this helps you format your Common Application essay, and not sweat it.

This prompt allows you to choose between three different ideas and gives you quite a broad scope to play with because you can talk about anything as long as it is of importance to you personally. There are many ways that you could approach this prompt. Along with a description of the problem needs to come an explanation of the experience that led you to realise that it was personally important. Why was this a grave problem?

So how do you want to solve the problem after identifying a solution? This is the real showcase of your problem-solving abilities. Evaluate what you could have done better or perhaps your solution was just one of many?

Maybe your problem was just a small piece of an even bigger problem that society should try and solve, for example, if you were trying to help your friend through their chronic drug addiction, maybe this raises other issues for other ordinary members of society. Perhaps tackling one case of drug addiction is just a part of an epidemic of drug addiction in the country and you can talk about some of the solutions for this.

This is a great way to use your imagination, but think carefully about choosing a topic that will give you enough to talk about tangible solutions. Avoid any cliche problems, e. Try to avoid any problems that require vague solutions, e. Much like the prompt on problem-solving, there is a really broad array of things to choose from and discuss.

So what kind of things could you choose? Do any formal or informal events come to mind? As a brainstorming exercise, consider any moments in your life describing a transgression and note them down — pick which had the most profound change and think about why it was so profound.

Perhaps you have a simple event that really caused you to change your ways of thinking or inspired you in a unique way. Upon hitting the water in this kayak, you went out of your way and out of your comfort zone to realise that you need to try new things and open your mind to other experiences in the future.

Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Here you can expand upon a small idea or concept in a large and profound way, giving you lots to write about. One idea is to think about your passions and interests — narrow down from these and try and think of the most striking thing about one of your passions. Or perhaps when you read the prompt, an idea came to you instantly. When brainstorming what to write about, put an idea under scrutiny and think about what engaging qualities it may have in order to engage with this idea on a deeper level.

If you find many things to discuss, it could prove to be the idea for you to use. Perhaps you find it so captivating because of the vast differences in languages over the world, from Asian characters, to the multitude of tenses in western languages.

You can expand on your topic by finding areas within it that are of particular interest to you and then expanding on them. If it captivates you, it must be intriguing, so explain why it is. Similarly, your topic could have a narrower focus, but you could really expand on it in a detailed way.

Following on, you could progress on to reveal your passion for the complexity of cycling, all the physics and mechanics of various parts — why do certain bolts and chain-rings trump others? Show off your geeky side and intelligence.

There are many things that you could show off your personality and flare. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Wow, a topic of your choice! This prompt actually advocates that you can write your own question, which is a great bonus. If you already have a strong arsenal of previous essays, then you could easily drag one out to help inspire you. Two words need to be considered: How is your topic going to impress and why is it a worthy topic?

Your writing style will need to be on point here, so that you can showcase a strong personality and voice. The essay needs to make a long-lasting impression.

As previously mentioned, also avoid cliche topics that have been done time and time again, such as your travel journal or a dream sequence. It will be difficult to write about such essay topics whilst also conveying a positive message. So there you have it. Plenty of great examples and advice to get your CA essay on the move. Meredith Lombardi, the Associate Director of the Common Application programme herself, has mentioned that the CA essay prompts are there to give all applicants the opportunity to share their ideas and voice with colleges all over, telling their unique story and helping bring it to life.

You should take these words on board. In the same way, this is not the place to list excuses for your failing grades and any mishaps in your high school career! Write with style and finesse, whilst also putting your identity, personality, interests, character, and aspirations out on display for all recipients to see.

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Why the Common Application Essay Prompts Make Your Job Easier. Some years, students go into the essays blind. The prompts are new and untested. Sometimes the format or length even changes. This can be a daunting prospect. In years when the prompts remain the same, though, you have some examples to work from.

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In February of this year, the Common App organization announced that the essay prompts would remain unchanged from Before listing the essay prompts for the Class of , let’s review the most important part of the App’s essay section; the instructions.

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The Common Application has announced that the personal essay writing prompts will be the same as the seven essay conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as applicants, parents, and counselors, about the effectiveness of the essay prompts. With the announcement of the essay . The Common Application Announces Essay Prompts We are pleased to share the Common Application essay prompts with you. The changes you see below reflect the feedback of Common App member colleges and more than 5, other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors.

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The Common Application announces essay prompts for and looks to the future. Common App Essay Prompts: They really understand the process of admissions and will help you through every step, from essay editing to helpful tips for interviews. They really enjoy the work that they put into helping every student trying to. With the application cycle soon underway, the CollegeVine essay team wanted to share our best strategies on how to write the all-important and often-intimidating Common App essays. This year, The Common App announced that prompts will remain unchanged from the cycle.