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A Strong College Application essay Will make you stand out from the crowd.

❶You know what you meant to say, but is it clear to someone else reading your work? As person of African heritage who grew up in Jamaica, and is now planning to embark on my university studies in the United States, I see this commitment to diversity as an essential element

2018-19 Common App Essays

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1. Get to know your prompt
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Make sure to keep copies of what you sent to which schools and when—and follow up on them! Be certain the college or university you are applying to received your essay.

Looking for more college application essay help? We have tons— tons— here , including lots of real-world examples! What did you end up writing your college application essay about? Leave a comment or get in touch here. Get to know your prompt Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. Then, read them one more time. Is this essay prompt asking you to inform?

These pieces rarely showcase who you are as an applicant. Brainstorm Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question.

You have years to draw from, so set aside time to mentally collect relevant experiences or events that serve as strong, specific examples. This is also time for self-reflection. Choose three concepts you think fit the college application essay prompt best and weigh the potential of each. Which idea can you develop further and not lose the reader? Which captures more of who you really are? You should have enough supporting details to rely on this as an excellent demonstration of your abilities, achievements, perseverance, or beliefs.

Shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this natural progression will make your essay coherent and easy to read. How are you going to open your essay? Try to identify what the tone of your essay is going to be based on your ideas. Stick to your writing style and voice. Put the words in your own voice. A Step-by-Step Example 4. Write the essay Once you are satisfied with your essay in outline format, begin writing!

Start with your main idea, and follow it from beginning to end. Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear. Don't just summarize the plot; detail why you enjoyed this particular text and what it meant to you. What does your favorite book reveal about you? How do you identify with it, and how has it become personal to you? Again, be honest in answering this question—don't choose a classic from your literature class or a piece of philosophy just because you think it will make you seem smarter.

Writing fluently and passionately about a book close to you is always better than writing shakily or generally about a book that doesn't inspire you. Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow. Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable.

As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: Get one-on-one help from former Ivy League and top tier admission officers.

Our College Admission Counselors will help you find, apply, and get accepted to your dream school. Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you. We know that great scores take work. That's why we design our courses to be efficient, targeted and strategic so you make the most of every minute you spend prepping.

Our experts know how to design lessons based on how you're learning. We love our teachers, and so will you. Teach or Tutor for Us. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. Privacy Terms of Use Site Map. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.

How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? What prompted your thinking? What tone will you tell it with? Sketch out a detailed outline so that you can start filling in the pieces as we work through how to write the introductory sections. The former builds expectations and evokes curiosity, and the latter stimulates the imagination and creates a connection with the author. In both cases, you hit your goal of greater reader engagement.

The experience of coming out is raw and emotional, and the issue of LGBTQ rights is an important facet of modern life.

This three-word sentence immediately sums up an enormous background of the personal and political. Wolf, my fourth-grade band teacher, as he lifted the heavy tuba and put it into my arms. This sentence conjures up a funny image—we can immediately picture the larger adult standing next to a little kid holding a giant tuba.

It also does a little play on words: I live alone—I always have since elementary school. Kevin Zevallos '16 for Connecticut College. This opener definitely makes us want to know more. Why was he alone? Where were the protective grown-ups who surround most kids?

How on earth could a little kid of years old survive on his own? I have old hands. What are "old" hands? How has having these hands affected the author? There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre. Who wanted to go for a walk? And why was this person being prevented from going? Look at how much specificity this sentence packs in less than 20 words.

Each noun and adjective is chosen for its ability to convey yet another detail. Maybe it's because I live in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, where Brett Favre draws more of a crowd on Sunday than any religious service, cheese is a staple food, it's sub-zero during global warming, current "fashions" come three years after they've hit it big with the rest of the world, and where all children by the age of ten can use a gauge like it's their job.

Riley Smith '12 for Hamilton College. This sentence manages to hit every stereotype about Wisconsin held by outsiders—football, cheese, polar winters, backwardness, and guns—and this piling on gives us a good sense of place while also creating enough hyperbole to be funny.

At the same time, the sentence raises the tantalizing question: High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of , two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of miles per hour.

David Lodge, Changing Places. To avoid falling into generalities with this one, make sure you're really creating an argument or debate with your counterintuitive sentence. If string theory is really true, then the entire world is made up of strings, and I cannot tie a single one. This sentence hints that the rest of the essay will continue playing with linked, albeit not typically connected, concepts.

In just six words, this sentence upends everything we think we know about what happens to human beings. Is this person about to declare herself to be totally selfish and uncaring about the less fortunate? We want to know the story that would lead someone to this kind of conclusion. So many amazing details here. Why is the Colonel being executed? What does "discovering" ice entail? How does he go from ice-discoverer to military commander of some sort to someone condemned to capital punishment?

To work well, your question should be especially specific, come out of left field, or pose a surprising hypothetical. How does an agnostic Jew living in the Diaspora connect to Israel?

This is a thorny opening, raising questions about the difference between being an ethnic Jew and practicing the religion of Judaism, and the obligations of Jews who live outside of Israel to those who live in Israel and vice versa. There's a lot of meat to this question, setting up a philosophically interesting, politically important, and personally meaningful essay. While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe?

The lesson you learned should be slightly surprising not necessarily intuitive and something that someone else might disagree with. Perhaps it wasn't wise to chew and swallow a handful of sand the day I was given my first sandbox, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The reader wants to know more. All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.

Did he draw the right conclusion here? How did he come to this realization? And let your first sentences soar like the Wright Brothers' first airplane! This is the place in your essay where you go from small to big—from the life experience you describe in detail to the bigger point this experience illustrates about your world and yourself. Typically, the pivot sentence will come at the end of your introductory section, about halfway through the essay. I say sentence, but this section could be more than one sentence though ideally no longer than two or three.

So how do you make the turn? This is called signposting, and it's a great way to keep readers updated on where they are in the flow of the essay and your argument. Here are three ways to do this, with real-life examples from college essays published by colleges.

In this pivot, you gesture out from the specific experience you describe to the overarching realization you had during it. Think of helper phrases such as "that was the moment I realized" and "never again would I. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked.

One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it. Stephen '19 for Johns Hopkins University. This is a pretty great pivot, neatly connecting the story Stephen's been telling about having to break into a car on a volunteering trip and his general reliance on his own resourcefulness and ability to roll with whatever life throws at him. It's a double bonus that he accomplishes the pivot with a play on the word "click," which here means both the literal clicking of the car door latch and the figurative clicking his brain does.

But in that moment I realized that the self-deprecating jokes were there for a reason. When attempting to climb the mountain of comedic success, I didn't just fall and then continue on my journey, but I fell so many times that I befriended the ground and realized that the middle of the metaphorical mountain made for a better campsite.

Not because I had let my failures get the best of me, but because I had learned to make the best of my failures. Rachel Schwartzbaum '19 for Connecticut College. This pivot similarly focuses on a "that moment" of illuminated clarity.

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A college essay is an important piece of a college application and an opportunity for students to show an admission committee what makes them a good candidate. College Application Essay – Facilitating the Application Process | Education Professionals – The College Board. How to Start a College Essay Perfectly. Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 4, let's discuss the role of the introduction. Just as your college essay is your chance to introduce yourself to the admissions office of your target college, Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar.

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personal statement, admission essay, application essay. We offer custom writing and editing services to assist in developing your personal statement for college, graduate school, law, and medical school. Check out these sample college application essays to see what a successful college application essay looks like and stimulate your own creativity. How can you separate yourself from the competition successfully? By crafting an excellent application essay.