How to write a great Common App essay

The key to writing an amazing essay for your Common App is to ask yourself this question:  “What do I want the reader to know about me?” Do not worry about impressing the admissions reader with your grades, your phenomenal internship experiences or your lofty career goals. Instead, write a genuine letter to someone you really trust (or perhaps yourself, as you would a diary entry) about a topic that truly matters to you. Write without inhibition, thinking only about what you feel and why you feel that way. Keep writing until you have around 750-1000 words, and then go back and take out anything that is repetitive or weak. Ask yourself, “Does this sound like me? Would the person reading this essay know what matters most to me?” The goal of any application is to make the reader want to meet you and spend more time with you. If you are too anxious to start writing, just record yourself speaking about something you love and then write down every word. If you write about what you love, the words should start pouring out. If you don’t love what you have, scrap it and start again! Eventually, you will have something that makes you proud.

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