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Can You Use the Same Essay for Different College Applications?

It will walk you through the application from start to finish. “You’re going to have to fight the urge to ‘impress’ your admissions reader with the big words you’ve learned from your SAT practice,” he writes. In terms of structure, Benedict advises approaching the Common App essay one step at a time. “Break down the topic to the smallest pieces you can and write a paragraph about each,” she said. Lisa Mortini, assistant director of admissions at New York University Abu Dhabi, asks students to think about what version of themselves they want to present to schools and to trust their instincts. Choosing the right Common App essay topic can be tricky, but it’s extremely important.

The publisher or author could take down an essay that has been shared without permission. This will take away from the credibility of the writer and their work. It may affect future employment opportunities for the writer.

It’s supposed to be about you, which will help admissions officers get a sense of who you are. Don’t use a thesaurus to inject a bunch of fancy words because it will come off as unnatural if you typically don’t use them. The Common App essay prompts provide an amazing opportunity for you to tell colleges and universities about who you are and how you can contribute to your future campus experience. Friends and family are a good resource to check for authenticity.

If you want to ensure that your essay falls into the large pile of essay topics they’ve seen before, include a cliché or two while you’re trying too hard to impress. Lots of competitive universities require the Common App essay in addition to supplemental essays and/or short answers. If you have other essays to submit, don’t spend all your time working on the Common App essay.

She has taught writing at Princeton, Columbia, MIT, Swarthmore, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her clients are regularly admitted to top universities and their first-choice colleges. “At the most selective colleges and universities, there are usually supplemental essays as well, and those are part of the overall package, and they are very important,” Benedict said. The Common App essay is a key part of your college application.

Here, we’ve highlighted some of the schools that saw a particularly noteworthy drop in their admission rates. In case you haven’t finished the rest of the application process, take a look at our guides to asking for recommendations, writing about extracurriculars, and researching colleges. Now that you know how to write a college essay, we have a lot more specific resources for you to excel. Give yourself credit for what you’ve done well, but don’t hesitate to change things that aren’t working. It can be tempting to hang on to what you’ve already written—you took the time and thought to craft it in the first place, so it can be hard to let it go. Taking this approach is doing yourself a disservice, however.

Maybe you feel more comfortable sitting down and writing the whole draft from beginning to end in one go. Maybe you jump around, writing a little bit here and a little there. It’s okay to have sections you know won’t work or to skip over things you think you’ll need to include later. The key to writing your first draft is not to worry about whether it’s any good—just get something on paper and go from there. You will have to rewrite, so trying to get everything perfect is both frustrating and futile. Finish by explaining that although she wasn’t able to get the story , she learned that sometimes the emotional angle can be just as interesting as the investigative one.

Also keep in mind that, at this point in the process, the goal is just to get your ideas down. Wonky phrasings and misplaced commas can easily be fixed when you edit, so don’t worry about them as you write. Instead, focus on including lots of specific details and emphasizing how your topic has affected you, since these aspects are vital how many words is 4500 characters to a compelling essay. However you structure your essay, you want to make sure that it clearly lays out both the events or ideas you’re describing and establishes the stakes (i.e. what it all means for you). Many students become so focused on telling a story or recounting details that they forget to explain what it all meant to them.

Be thoughtful, make sure your essays are written to best reflect who you are, be sincere and genuine, and make sure they are grammatically correct. Responding effectively to college essay prompts is quite different from other essay writing. With a wide variety of prompts used by each school, alongside the Common App essays, it can be overwhelming to write strong, memorable essays. Give the person you ask as much information as possible about where you’re applying and what programs you’re applying to; that will help them write an even better letter. Keep Your Momentum Up Senior Year Once your application is in and your transcripts are submitted, it might be tempting to take a little break from your hard work and start slacking off in school.

As such, the words you use should sound like they actually come from you — not a thesaurus or an English teacher. Of the seven prompts, some will no doubt work better for you than others. This statement gives you the chance to delve deeper into your interests, experiences, passions, and strengths. You can discuss almost anything you want, provided your topic addresses the prompt you’ve chosen.