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Writing the college personal essays

jmeZnarjmeZnar Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
Ok so I’ve been drafting some ideas for the college personal essays I don’t know a whole lot about them so I came here for some answers. First off can u send in the same essay for each college and is this what a lot of people do if so? How long should the essay be? What are the best topics that could be used for these essays?

Replies to: Writing the college personal essays

  • peach0v0peach0v0 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Normally, most students apply to colleges through the Common App, and there is a section on there for the personal statement. There will be options for different prompts you can choose, and you select only one to respond to. Yes, you write one personal essay, and it will be sent to each college you apply to. The essay should generally be as long as possible without exceeding the word limit. You only have a limited space to present yourself, after all. Each college may require you to write other supplemental essays unique to each college in addition to the main personal essay. For your reference I have copied below the prompts for the 2019-2020 application cycle from Common App's website. It's good to start thinking about it now:

    "1. 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.

    2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

    3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

    4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

    5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

    6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

    7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

    During the 2018-2019 application year, the most popular topic of choice was: “Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.” (24.1%). The next most popular topics were: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.” (23.7%), followed by “The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?” (21.1%)."

    - https://www.commonapp.org/whats-appening/application-updates/2019-2020-common-app-essay-prompts

    Good Luck!
  • peach0v0peach0v0 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    By the way, the Common App personal essay word limit is from 250-650.
  • jmeZnarjmeZnar Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Wow that is all the information I will be needing for the essays thank you very much
  • peach0v0peach0v0 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    No problem.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,714 Forum Champion
    Google "Hacking the College Essay 2017" and read it.

    Write the Essay No One Else Could Write
    "It boils down to this: the essay that gets you in is the essay that no other applicant could write.
    Is this a trick? The rest of this guide gives you the best strategies to accomplish this single
    most important thing: write the essay no one else could write.
    If someone reading your essay gets the feeling some other applicant could have written it,
    then you’re in trouble.
    Why is this so important? Because most essays sound like they could have been written by
    anyone. Remember that most essays fail to do what they should: replace numbers (SAT/GPA) with the real you.
    Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer. She’s got limited time and a stack of
    applications. Each application is mostly numbers and other stuff that looks the same. Then she picks
    up your essay. Sixty seconds later, what is her impression of you? Will she know something specifically
    about you? Or will you still be indistinguishable from the hundreds of other applicants she has been
    reading about?"
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