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The College ESSAY! "They" don't tell you it is nothing like any essay you've ever written. Find out what you need to do. See our articles below:

Help Looking at the Common Application college Essay Prompts

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All college essays are personal essays. Of course, colleges want you to write an essay so they can assess your writing ability. However, there is another very important goal colleges have in asking applicants to write a personal essay, and that goal is to learn about you above and beyond all the data you have submitted on the rest of your college application: grades, coursework, recommendations, test scores, honors and awards, etc. They want to understand who you are and how you might fit in their college community.

There are five college essay prompts offered for your choice on the Common Application. Each has a 650 word limit. You must select one to write to. How? They may seem all alike, one big jumble. So let’s look at each one and at how to go about approaching each. Then, maybe, your decision to choose the right one for you will be easier!


A Winning College Application Essay Takes Planning and Thought

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The college application essay is a way to demonstrate what kind of person you are. It is not about what you do; it's about who you are. Colleges are interested in your achievements as a student; they are also interested in how you will fit into their environment. Both will indicate your success on their campus.

There are many mistakes writers of college essays make, mostly because they do not know how to think about writing the essay and do not plan carefully from the beginning.

Here are some basic tips for planning the college essay in a thoughtful way.


Help Getting Started on the College Essay

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Start Early!!

These words can not be said enough or emphasized enough. Really! An essay should grow. It needs time to form in your mind. You need to practice using words to get what's in your head on paper. You will want to let the words cool on the paper and then revisit them, and you will want to edit and revise the essay. All of that takes time, and we're talking about only one essay.


Writing the College Essay Isn't Easy 'Til Now

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Here's how to go about writing your college application essay, in a few easy steps.


Seven Ways to Make your College Essay Stand Out

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Because the college essay is not the same kind of essay that you write for your high school English teacher, it does not have to have the typical essay introduction, which provides a thesis statement.


The College Essay Editing Checklist

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There are really 4 steps to writing the college essay. The first is thinking about how to answer the application essay prompt, the second is writing the first draft, the third is the editing stage, and the fourth is polishing your last draft.


The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make in their College Essays

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Like filling out a job application, completing a college application requires that you put your best foot forward, and that means not handing in writing that is riddled with grammatical errors.


Other Mistakes Writers Make in their College Essays

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Below are listed other common mistakes writers make in thier college applpication essays.


Example of a College Essay that Needs Revision

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Below is a college application essay prompt to which a student porvided a sample draft.  He went to a college consultant for revision suggestions which are included.  You may also want to use an English teacher, a guidance counselor, or a knowledgeable adult to help you revise. A friend or parent will probably not give you the honest feed back you need.


Revising Your College Essay Can Make a Real Difference

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Below is a revised college application essay from a first draft written to a prompt from the Common Application. (To see the first draft, visit "Example of a College Essay that Needs Revision.")


What Makes This A Good Sample Essay; Tell Me Please!

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You can go to many sites and read many books about applying to college. They all suggest good game plans, and they even will give you some ideas to get you thinking. Another thing these sources do is give you sample essays that illustrate the best college applications essays or the winning college application essays.


Should I Use Essay Editing Services Like EssayEdge.com?

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Once your college application essay is finished, it’s good to pause before putting it in an envelope, breathing a sigh of relief, and sending it off with your application. Any college essay must be edited—with attention to detail.


Making Your Activity Essay Come Alive

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The activity essay may be the most difficult essay you write.  Although it is no longer required as part of the Common App, it still may appear as a college specific essay. It is usually short, so you must choose your points and budget your words carefully; it must engage the reader quickly; and it must tell a part of your “story” succinctly.  Here are a few pointers to give life and uniqueness to this essay

1. There was probably an “aha” moment in your life that led to your interest in this activity.  Look back into your childhood for a significant event that led you to pursue it.  A wonderfully descriptive narrative of the event that appeals to the reader’s senses should comprise your opening paragraph.  Perhaps you encountered a homeless person as a child, and it led you to volunteering at a food pantry or shelter; perhaps you had a frightening experience in the water that led you to swimming lessons and, ultimately, competitive swimming; maybe you saw a movie or a television show that sparked your interest in a political or social movement.  Telling this story in a short but vivid paragraph will immediately capture your “audience.” 


Dos and Do Nots for the Short Activity Essay

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If you're using the Common Application, you have met the short activity essay. Aside from the main essay, or the personal essay, the Common Application requires you to write the short activity essay. You may also have to write a similar essay required on an individual school's application in supplemental materials.


Why I-Want-to-Go-to-This-College Essay

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You will find many college applications ask you to write a short essay on why you want to go to their college. The typical prompt is just that: Why do you want to attend this college?

Supplemental Essay Sample

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See a sample supplemental essay that provides additional information for the college admissions committee to consider in their review of an application.

An applicant may always attach supplemental, or unrequired, information to his or her application. Some college application forms even have a space for “Additional Information,” which is where you would supply any added information about YOU. One way to supply that extra information is to attach an additional essay. An essay may be attached even if there is not such a space.


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