Common app essay

How to write a common app essay.

common app essayAnnotation

            The 2015-2016 application season at colleges has already begun and every applicant has a chance to represent himself or herself with a common application essay. Each of us has a story, a background, something we achieved and are proud of or just a little something, some small victories and a set of peculiarities of our own. This is what a common application essay stands for.


            Now think carefully what it is so special about you that makes you different from others and worth writing about. It might take you three minutes as if your life is some sort of a short advertisement we see every day on television or a couple of hours as if your life is a book, a good book, which is required to read. Make sure it is dynamic characterizing you, speaks out who you are but not some other person you would want to resemble. Does watching Miracle on 34th Street every year on Christmas night or before the holidays has any impact on how you see the holiday and Christmas family traditions? Does your pierced face and dyed-pink hair define who you are? Did a famous Scott Schuman`s photo blog inspire you on creating a blog of your own where you would post photos while traveling all over the world commenting on what made you take one or another picture putting it together eventually into a book of the best photo shoots at some point? What are you crazy about and why are you crazy about it? How would you describe yourself and what impacts and impulses in your life have led you on the way you keep following today? Is there a funny story you tell your family and friend time after time and why in your opinion it comes up so often? In what way these prompts define who you are?

Chapter 1 commonappessay

            You should forget about your weak spots while writing a common application essay. Focus on your individual success, which came out of the possible failure formerly. How do you cope with difficulties? Do you belong to people who tend to think that any kind of experience is actually a good thing because it gives us a lesson? The story you are about to choose and use should be positive, the more positive about it the better. Keep in mind that it is not about losing something but about overcoming hindrances.

Chapter 2

            Common application essay is about your personal beliefs and views, which can be hard to tell especially when it comes to ideological or political moments of your life. For example, perhaps you were a participant of the street demonstration standing for a policy of some political figure or you belonged to a specific subculture, let us say, gothic subculture. How did it influence your life and environment you live in? What made you be that sort of person who is up for fighting for what you believe in? What is of a primarily importance for you? This is what you need to point out in your common application essay.

Chapter 3

            It is normal to be not sure how the story we are going to tell will fit in. A topic you select will pretty much give an idea about who you are. For instance, if you like painting, tell what exactly do you like about it. The stage on which you enjoy the process most of all is your favorite place. This place tells a story of its own, a story about you and the way you take the journey of life meaning if you enjoy the beginning, when you just take a pencil or a brush into your hand in anticipation of joy from working on your painting is as if you enjoy and look forward to what is ahead of you on your life path. Alternatively, you might enjoy the process itself, which means you love to be in the center of what is happening with you here and now or you might like the result, which means you may relax only when something is completed and you breathe freely.

Chapter 4

            Look back and try to figure out what were those moments in your life, which have changed you. When was the time you felt yourself an adult, more responsible and able to actually do something on your own. To cut it short, it has this element of transformation, something what made you get it and see the life without rose-colored glasses. Be specific, descriptive and make sure the place is linked to the general meaning in your personal life experience.


  • The choice of topics for an essay vary. Do not be in a hurry while making your choice. The topic you choose should portray you the best. Some topic, though, are overused and you can write on them only if you happen to do it from exceptionally different point of view. For example, when it comes to politics, religion, death, divorce, sports, travel, and brief experiences in volunteering.
  • If you chose an achievement or risk you have taken, pay attention to how precisely you analyze and critic both the situation and its influence on you. If that is some issue you select to discuss, its focus should be on how important it is for you.
  • As has already been told, make sure it is specific and concerning you personally.
  • Avoid unnecessary words, cliches, poorly made ideas and repetitions.
  • Speaking about format, there should be 250 words minimum and 650 words maximum instead of 500 as it was before in your common application essay.
  • Do not have much of a trust in computer`s spell check program. It might cost you a poor choice of words and rather poor grammar.
  • There is no need to rehash your resume in your common application essay.
  • Avoid using big dictionary words. As long as not that many students use fanciful words in their everyday life, the essay, which is full of such words in each paragraph might seem to belong to someone else but not written by you.
  • A common application essay is not about boasting around.
  • Proofreading is highly important. Give someone you trust to look it through with a fresh eye.
  • An outline would be a good start for your essay. Divide it into paragraphs and do not forget about closing section.
  • Make sure there is enough of background information given.
  • In addition, you need to do a research upon the college you are going to enter and write an essay for. Every school or a college is like a person with its identity and number of things, which are important for it starting from a slogan some have.
  • Pay a special attention to your introduction. It has to be strong enough as far as it is the first thing the admissions people are to see opening it up.
  • Value your time. It is better to start writing beforehand and have some time for checking on errors afterwards.

common-app-essayAs admissions at Wellesley say -“An essay about some small, even insignificant-seeming thing can be more powerful than the ‘How I’ll save the world’ essay.” In addition, there are admissions at Yale, who advise, “It doesn’t matter which topics you choose, as long as they are meaningful to you. Your perspective—the lens through which you view your topic—is far more important than the specific topic itself.”

Make it fun, in a form of a narrative essay or a journal entry with a free form of structure. As Shakespeare said – “To thine own self be true”. You do not have to try to be original because what you are going to write about will be original by default because it is very unlikely to happen to someone else too and no one else will tell it with your point of view on what happened. Keep in mind your audience, what message you want to convey to them. Open up yourself and let yourself flow in your essay!