Below are some tips for writing your Common App Essay.
- Breathe. This essay is a chance for others to get to know you. Just relax and be yourself.
- Be specific. Don’t try to write about your whole life, choose one story to tell and stick to that topic.
- Start writing. Sometimes taking the first step of getting words down on a piece of paper is the most difficult. Start writing and perfect it later.
- Share with only 1 or 2 honest people. You do want feedback but you don’t want ALL of the feedback. Choose 1-2 people you trust to give you honest feedback and to ask you pointed questions to shape your essay.
- Be yourself. I know this was in tip 1, but it can’t be said frequently enough. The goal is for the college admissions counselors to hear your voice in your writing and to get to know you. Don’t try to guess what other people want to hear, you need to share your unique story. If a college doesn’t admit you for being you, then it wasn’t a great fit.
- Edit, edit, once more – edit. Over several weeks, you will edit your essay many times. Be ready to revisit, answer tough questions, narrow down, expand, explain, and change any aspects to improve it. Also, make sure you are the one to make those changes so they are still in your voice and you are happy with the results.
- Be proud. Once you and your trusted editors decide the essay is finished, it is time to be proud of it, leave it alone, and move on. You have plenty to stay busy during senior year, don’t keep revisiting something once it’s done.