College Application Essay Tip #1: Write Powerful Essays

College Application Essay Tip #1: Write Powerful Essays

Tip 1: Now is the time for seniors to get started on writing their college application essays.  The Common Application is up and ready for you to complete. It has one long required essay. The prompts are exactly the same as last year but have a recommended 500 word limit for the long essay. You upload the essay so you can go over the word limit, but only do so if your story is so unique and visual you need just a little more room.

Here are the Common Application Essay Prompts. Have fun. Tell a story no one else can. And make sure to start in the middle of your essay with  a story that grabs our attention.

  • Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  • Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
  • Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  • Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  • A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix.  Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
  • Topic of your choice.

As you look at these prompts, realize that you can write about almost anything. So take great care to think of a story that reveals a great message about you. Also make sure to tell a story that is specific and engages the application reader from the first sentence. Good luck.

About Rebecca

Dr. Rebecca Joseph is the developer of this unique integrated website and mobile application that provides all college application requirements for more than 750 major universities in the US and Canada. She has a PhD from UCLA and is a national expert on writing powerful college application essays.

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