Common App Essay: 6 Effective Tips
Students and their parents are usually petrified by the necessity to write common app essay since they realize that it can either strengthen or weaken the application. Our experienced team believes that several simple but handy tips, which we have prepared for you, will assist with overcoming the fear of challenging creative process. Read them carefully and let them serve your needs.
- Do not be too ambitious. In order to demonstrate all aspect of their versatile personalities, applicants frequently try to tell about every tiny part of their lives in word-limited common app essays. Believe it or not, it is beyond the bounds of possibility. Usually, it is much better to be specific about one of your experiences than generally discuss everything. Think of the event of your life that tremendously influenced you. Perhaps, it was a journey with numerous adventures and difficulties that you surmounted. Or, was it a victory in a marathon to which you were preparing for years? Finally, maybe you just read the book, which turned your world upside down. Write about one of these events but not everything at once. Just choose either a strength or a feature of your character that you want to demonstrate and recall the moment when it was formed or proved to be valuable. Then, take a piece of paper and start jotting down all thoughts that cross your mind. That will eventually result in a perfect common app essay.
- Edit after, not while writing. Remember the no masterpiece was created at the first attempt. Your common app essay will not be an exception since it always takes much time and effort to produce something worthy. So, do not expect to write an unparalleled artwork at once. You will need to edit and proofread a lot, but never do these while writing. Once your creativity found its place on the paper and resulted in a few paragraphs, take a small pause. Reread the assignment only being cool-minded otherwise you risk finding your essay to be a complete disaster. Besides, being in a rush to edit, you might strike out the ideas that are decent enough to keep.
- Be original. Common app essay examples that you usually find on the Internet swarm with overused phrases. The sentences like “In the modern world it is extremely important to be yourself and remember that everything is possible if you just set your mind to this” are full of clichés. The only essay that can be worse than that with clichés is the one where they are used grammatically wrong. Do not forget that schools expect creativity from you and choose only those who stand out. Instead of making your piece of writing deep, such phrases simply drive the admission essay readers crazy and diminish the chances of your application to be memorable. Please, cross out the worn and torn sentences from your paper and do not be scared to be different.
Create a lasting image. One thought almost always can be expressed in multiple ways. Let’s check how the choice of “way” may influence the perception of your essay:
I am fond of winter kinds of sport, especially skating.
When winter came, my father and I were making a simple backyard skating rink that was the place of my failures and advances resulting from hours of practicing.
Both sentences are about skating, but the first one simply informs that a person takes pleasure in the activity. The second, on the other hand, illustrates not only love but also dedication to the sport as well as determination and ambitions to achieve success. Such vivid elements, which other common app essay prompts may call unnecessary, create a bright and realistic image that is likely to be spotted and noted down. Small details make a big difference.
- Make it fun. Common app essay questions are usually quite serious and do not leave the room for humor or anecdotes, but an entertaining style is still acceptable. Think of poor admission officers who unluckily work at the institutions, which are immensely popular with the applicants. Imagine how many mostly dreary and dull essays pass through their hands and remain unnoticed. Obviously, you do not want your paper to be one of those. So, pick an amusing subject, create an intrigue, add uncommon details or surprise by a sudden turn of events. Choose any of the strategies and ensure that reading your essay is a completely pleasing and enjoyable process. Captivate officers’ attention and make them unable to put down your work.
- Become notable. Regardless common app essay topics you are writing on, your essay should be truly catchy if you want to achieve desired effect. To check if your paper is like that, test it. Try to summarize whom the whole piece is about in one sentence. How would it sound? Would it be the essay about “the boy who loves playing football” or “the boy who, in spite of bad leg injury, scored the goal during last minutes and won the match for his team?” If it is like the second one, then you are probably going to be a conspicuous applicant and might stick in the memory of admission essay reader. If it is the first one, you should still work on the essay, concentrate on one aspect only, add details, and paint a vivid picture that will make you a special candidate. Try to stand out from the crowd.