” It will be much harder to remember “the girl who practiced the trapeze, and was also good at riding bikes, and who got an A on every test and who generally worked very hard,” or “the girl who really loved her late grandfather and who feels like she embodies a lot of his core characteristics.” Focus your story.
When you finish writing your first draft, do a branding test- try to label yourself based on your essay and see what you come up with.
Parents and students often ask us for our most valuable Common Application essay tips, so our savvy team of advisors compiled a list of simple, effective tricks to use as guidelines while you navigate the tricky waters of college essay writing. Now ask yourself- are any of these stories representative of my larger, most valuable qualities?
Think small: When writing the Common Application essay, too many students feel compelled to try and squeeze their entire life story into 650 words. Have you read something recently that blew your mind?
Many students have a tendency to skew generic in the telling of their personal stories.
What makes an essay memorable is often the sum of the little things.Some students achieve entertainment value by being controversial. Some are able to describe events in such detail that a reader simply must get to the end of the essay.No matter what tactics you end up using, your goal should be effortless and compelling readability. Brand yourself: In order for your essay to be truly effective, a reader should be able to summarize your subject in a simple sentence.Don’t edit yourself before you allow your creativity to warm up and pour onto the page.Never judge your writing until you have a few paragraphs written down first. We’re content and grammar snobs, so we find clichés to be extra unappealing, but we also have enough confidence in your creativity to know that you can do better. It’s all in the details: What is the difference between these two sentences? My favorite activities included fishing and cooking my daily catch. My friends and I woke up early every morning to catch bass on Lake Michigan, cooking our spoils with herbs picked from a local farm.If you can’t easily narrow it down to a punchy description, you probably need to alter or simplify your essay.We huddled in the alley, in the rain, by the emergency exit of The Comet.You can always cut what doesn’t work and it is much easier to work with an overabundance of words and ideas than nothing at all. Admissions essay readers know it too, and expect you to . In the first sentence, we understand that you enjoyed certain activities.In the second, yes, we know you like fishing but we also understand your commitment to an activity you engaged in every day and recognize that your fishing trips are a social effort.You accomplish this self-branding by choosing a creative topic (or a creative twist on a common topic), and writing about it with enough detail to burn an image of yourself in the reader’s brain.When it comes down to you and another similarly qualified candidate, you want an admissions officer to be able to stand up with your application in his/her hand and say, “I like the girl who performed trapeze in the circus,” or “How about the girl who saved her grandfather’s life?