When the time for college application comes, then all students are seeking detailed information about this task. A common app essay is a part of the documents you need to prepare to apply for education establishment. Students should prepare great papers to get more benefits from other applicants. So if you want to study at college or university, you need your common application essay.
Nowadays this type of application task is used at The Common Application system. Among such education, establishments are all Ivy League colleges, Stanford, etc. Of course, there are a lot of schools which propose potential students to write papers according to their own systems. But in any case, you have to prepare your application essay according to current rules.
Reasons to Pay So Much Attention to Common App Essay
Thanks to such paper the admission committee will be able to know more about you as a potential student. Professors from the committee will take a look at your SAT results, the courses you have visited, and other documents. But exactly the common app essay will give them a whole picture of your personality. It allows getting acquainted with an applicant without personal conversation.
That’s why the future student has to do his best and prepare the best common app essay. Explain the admission committee why you are a unique person and why exactly you deserve to become a part of this educational establishment.
In addition, not every university requires ACT or SAT results or the list of your previous courses. In such a situation your app essay will mean much more than you can imagine. The admission committee aspires to know a student as a human with his or her beliefs, fears, plans, and achievements. As a result, your personal statements will be much valuable than scores and tests.
If you wonder how personal essay influences the result of your application, you should know the following fact. In general, scores and tests are important, but exactly the essay makes a final impression. Notice, that you can prepare one common app essay and send it to several colleges. Just make it once perfectly and expect to be a student soon. Remember, that you need to use one essay for one or closed specializations.
Here Are 2 Types of Your App Essay:
- A personal statement. It is approximately 650 words essay for school which uses the Common App system. You can impress the admission committee mostly with your writings;
- Supplemental essays. This is the general title for all papers the education establishment can make you write. Usually, students get topics on their interviews and must share their thoughts about it.
The personal statement would be a synonym for a common app essay. So keep reading this guide to know more about your important task.
How to Write a Good App Essay
Your essay is only 650 words long, but you need to place so many facts in it. That’s why to use the following step-by-step instruction and prepare the best common app essay you can. Remember, that your future depends on this task, so don’t underrate this essay.
In general, you have to go through 3 main steps: brainstorming, the organization, and writing.
Step #1. Brainstorm
You need your own ideas for your common essay. Of course, there are numerous prompts on the Web, but your topics may bring you more advantages. Thanks to brainstorming you can get unique ideas for your paper and impress the admission committee. Usually, this stage takes 2-3 weeks, but if you can find the topic faster, then it would be great.
Brainstorm means developing their own ideas to use them in the text. You can use the following questions to provoke the birth of unique topics:
- Who am I? This question is concerned with your character and will bring you interesting features to share with your readers;
- What I am doing here? You may think about your personal journey and reasons to study at the exact university;
- What unique traits I have? Students with great self-confidence can use such questions to share something original about themselves that definitely differ themselves from other applicants;
- What is most important for me? You can find out and share things that matter for you a real treasure and show the admission committee your deep soul.
Remember, that there are no wrong topics or answers. All your ideas are right if you can use them in a proper manner. Just feel comfortable to use your creativity and find out the most impressive topic for your common essay.
Step #2. Organization
The common app essay is much different from other academic papers. There are no strict rules to follow or mistakes to avoid. All advice and tips with this task are based on the experience of other people. Maybe someone can’t write a great paper about own fears, but you can do it unbelievably good. So give it a try.
But such creativity and freewriting don’t mean you should forget about the organization. Use the next 3-4 weeks to prepare for writing your common essay. Here are the main things you need to do:
- Buy a textbook to write down your ideas and tasks;
- Spend at least 30 minutes to work on your personal statements every day;
- Make the first draft, but do not show it to anybody.
Your organization’s speed totally depends on the time you have left before sending your common app essay to the admission committee. It could be 6 or 3 months or even less time. Besides, several students have to write such important papers in a few days, if they have forgotten this task or were too lazy to take any action. You understand, that the quality of such a common essay will be very poor. So try to plan your writing process beforehand.
Step #3. Writing
If you have spent 2 previous stages efficiently, then you will be great at writing. Now you have a topic, concept, outline, notes, and additional materials. Experts recommend starting writing at the end of July or at the beginning of August.
Here is advice for your writing process:
- You need to demonstrate your personality, but not explain. Make sure that your readers can imagine you while reading;
- Be specific and explain real facts. Don’t try to add as more water as possible, because such an approach will split you on;
- Prefer using active voice in the text. It is much powerful and engaging than passive voice with its complex sentences;
- Try to avoid cliché. Professors in the admission committee have already read so many common app essays. They know trivial tips and hooks which students use to impress them, so easily find such simple papers.
When you write a common essay, you need to keep grammar rules. You are quite an adult now and can’t be ashamed of silly mistakes and misprints in your paper. So always leave several days to make comprehensive proofreading. If there are any weak sentences, it’s better to improve it than consider it’s good enough and be mistaken.
The general prompts for students
Here are actual and new ideas for your common app essay. Note, that these examples are really broad, but with proper writing, you can make them exciting and personal. These are the 7 interesting ideas for students:
1. If there is a part of your life which determines you, then use it in your essay. It could be your hobby, talent, etc.
2. Lessons of our lives influence our personality. You can remember a time you have faced with the real challenge of your life and explain its meaning for your current personality.
3. There are controversial problems which have 2 or more sides. Share such topic and explain own attitude in your paper.
4. There are so many problems in the world. Try to share the issue that bothers you the most and prepare several options to solve it.
5. Your personal experience is the best way to show your positive sides. Explain the problem you have faced with and the best ways how you had already solved it.
6. Take a look at the interesting world and local news. You can choose one event and discuss it in your paper.
7. Choose an interesting topic that made you have no sleep. Explain why it is so important for you and why you want to know more about it.
Please remember, that your common app essay must be really unique. You shouldn’t use it to repeat information from your resume. Make sure that your essay is interesting to read because the boring paper is an immediate reason for the admission committee to cross you off from the list of potential students in the exact college.
The essential part of your common essay is your personality. This is the biggest value of this task for you and the admission committee. So try to prepare the essay using your real interests, fears, expectations. With this advice and tips, you will have all the chances to impress your readers and get a desirable place in the college of your dream!