The common application essay is a kind of writing, which gives admissions committees an opportunity to learn who you are. SAT results, your grades are just the frame of you, while this essay shows your true and unique identity. It`s a chance for you to show your best sides and features.
You should take into account that this essay will be seen by lots of colleges, so your task is to create it in an appropriate way. You are to stay open and write about an activity you like, whether it`s sport, music, movies. This essay is more like a conversation, not an interview.
Steps to complete the essay
The length of the common application essay is 650 words, it includes not many directions. We distinguish 3 sections here:
Brainstorming is the essential part of a writing procedure. You are to do this before jumping into any prompts. You are to think well on the ideas you`d like to dwell on. The best way to construct an appropriate idea is to use all your passion and love to something and develop it in the way of writing.
You can describe your various features, personality, how you interact with your family and friends. In general, you should start with the following questions:
- “Who Am I?”
- “Why Am I Here?”
- “What is Unique About Me?”
- “What Matters to Me?”
The above-mentioned information will open yourself completely. The first concerns your personality, your main features. The second is about your studying at school, your achievements and progress there. The third one is about something special about you, what makes you different from others. Here you should mention your interests, skills and favorite activities. The fourth should be answered according to your inner word, you should write what you exactly feel. Yes, the answer here may be simple.
Writing the common application essays is not similar to other assignments, as it`s not completed of 5 paragraphs. The structure of an essay is free, you can use your creativity and vivid imagination. Still, you should make it logical and clear. You are to follow the main idea of your essay, sentences should be interconnected.
Pay much attention to grammar and language usage, check the structure of your sentences. Your essay should be written in an appropriate way. Take into account the following tips, which will surely help:
- Don`t forget to show, not to write. This is stressed everywhere. Show your emotions and feelings in writing.
- Be specific, pay attention to the appropriate word choice.
- Active voice is more likely to be used in your essay.
- Avoid clichés, phrases that are known to almost all people, but don`t respond to the topic or context of your essay.
Useful tips on writing the common application essays
- If you have a great passion to some extracurricular activities, then it`s a big plus. If you tell about something special for you, something that makes you a unique personality, readers will attentively read your assignment. You can even write about something familiar, but do this with all your soul. Tell why you do these things, what they give you.
- Have you had an obstacle, which have changed you? Tell about the failure, which changed you, your point of view. There can be times when you feel exhausted and want to give up. But you do your best and move on. It`s good to tell about such experience and what made you more forward. Maybe the way of your thinking has changed or some other changed happened.
- Describe a problem you have solved. Take a problem, which is of great importance for you, tell the reader why it matters to you. Describe your actions and feelings.
- Tell about one event, which changed you for better, which encouraged your personal growth, changed your thoughts.
- Describe something that makes you act, something what encourages you, what gives you strength to get up every morning.
Common application essays should show your true identity, personality. The goal if this assignment is to draw an image of you, including your preferences, character, and values. Follow the word limit and the above-mentioned tips and you`ll get success.
Check an example of an essay here: https://www.studential.com/us/applying-to-college/common-app-guide/common-app-essay/examples