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The Common Application Announces 2016-2017 Essay …

Essay is not afour-letter word—though you may feel like using a few of your own when it comestime to write one. Most students would rather swim in a vat full of sharkswhile singing the national anthem (sharks + singing = Shmoop's worst nightmare)than sit down and write an application essay. And hey, we get it. It's easy toshrug off brainstorming, outlining, and agonizing over essay prompts for aSaturday afternoon snooze or four back-to-back episodes of The Walking Dead. But we also know that, sometimes, all you need toget started is a gentle little Shmoop. (Hint: It means to move things forward abit.

2017-18 Common Application Essay Prompts: Tips, …

Approach: What are some of your favorite subjects in school? Do you feign a stomachache before math class so you can skip class? Similar to the other three previous essays, think about what characteristics are not yet portrayed through other essays or parts of your application. The admissions committee wants to know that you have a mind that's always hungry for more knowledge.

Common Application Personal Essay - Tips and Samples

Guide to the 2017-18 Common Application Essay Prompts

The Gist: This prompt will ask you why you want to spend the next four years of your life at one particular college. Strategically, this essay accomplishes two things: it shows your interest in the school (which is important, because schools want to maintain high matriculation rates), and it shows that you are a good fit for the school.

Approach: Think about what your interests are. What do you do in your free time? If you could spend a day doing something, what would you do? Maybe answering watching TV or playing video games isn’t the best idea, unless you happen to run a TV station or have released your own iPhone apps. Think about why it’s your favorite activity and what about it gets you excited and just write. A good way to get material for a first draft is to write like you’re trying to convince someone how great lacrosse or competitive speed-eating or stamp collections really are. Just remember what you’re trying to get across to the people reading your essay: that you truly feel passionate about that activity, and that it brings something out of you that most people can’t match up to.

2017-18 Common Application Essay Prompts: A Guide

Looking for help with the 2017-18 Common Application Essay

Gist: College = freedom at last. True, but let's not forget; you're also in school to study. You'll have to choose something to major in, and most schools will want to know what you like to learn in your free time. An example of this kind of question comes from Stanford's Supplemental Essay questions: Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

Gist: The answer to this prompt can range from competitive math to basketball to debate to a collection of vintage Superman comics. It can also be used for your personal statement as well. The point of this essay is to demonstrate your passion, have a deep intellectual understanding of something, and notice the details that 99.9% of others wouldn’t notice—anything that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Common Application Essays · Tufts Admissions
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Top 41 Common App Admissions Essays - Study Notes

The people reading your essays are regular human beings, which means you should write with that in mind. A good way to check your tone is to read your essays out loud. No, not in your head, out loud. Read them to a friend, parent, sibling, whatever, and if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable by the style, then you should change it. This doesn’t mean you should add in colloquial filler words like like, um, and uh, but it means that the essay should flow smoothly enough that you feel comfortable reading it out loud in front of someone you don’t know very well (don’t actually do that, but you should feel good enough to).

Top 41 Successful Common App Essays

Approach: When choosing a topic for this kind of essay, you should select an experience or activity that played an important—even central—role in your life, but one that isn’t covered by the rest of your application. For instance, if most of the awards you won were from mock trial, you had a letter of rec from your mock trial coach, and mock trial filled up half a page on your resume, it might be better to write an essay about something else, unless you provide a story about an intense mock trial that required you to persist under pressure. Remember, the point of the essays is to show the admissions officers something that they can’t garner from the rest of your application.

6 Tips For Writing the Common Application Essay

The point of college essays in general is to show a side of you that the admissions committee can’t see just by looking at your transcript, letters of rec, resume, and whatnot. The point of personal statement essays in particular is to communicate something you do or did in the past—whatever, really—that defines who you are.

My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common …

The Gist: There are a lot of essay prompts that can be considered personal statements; these will range from “Tell us about yourself” to “Tell us about an experience that defines who you are.” An excellent example is the first essay topic choice from the 2013-2014 Common App:

Application questionnaires, essays and other materials …

On Thursday, Aug. 24, first-year students moved into their residence halls at Connecticut College. I’ll bet if you had asked them where they were last year at the same time, they’d say: where you are now. And if you asked how it was to write the essay, they’d say it was one of the most challenging parts of the application.

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