Top 5 Common Application Essay Tips - College Essay Corner

Many times, the common essay topics on the Common Application can be recycled to fit the requirements of non-Common Application colleges and universities.

3 Ways to Approach Common College Essay Questions

This is a list of the most common essay mistakes. Each type of mistake has an abbreviation that you will see on the essays TestMagic returns to you.


Top 41 Successful Common App Essays

Then there are all the different specific types of your longer 4-5 page freshmen composition essay. These include but are not limited to

While I’d like to believe each of those 10 is a masterpiece, the truth is, I’ve learned to avoid the common essay pitfalls. Plus, when I know an essay is good, I never give up until I snag a sale.


1. Think small: When writing the Common Application essay, too many students feel compelled to try and squeeze their entire life story into 650 words. This, friends, is impossible. It is almost always better to think small first. Find a story or event in your life that really meant something to you. Did you win a competition at the last second? Was your family stranded on vacation with no power for five days? Have you read something recently that blew your mind? Now ask yourself- are any of these stories representative of my larger, most valuable qualities? The perfect essay topic showcases your personality, passions and/or ambitions without trying to do too much at once. Talking about your family’s adoption of a three-legged dog and how your pet’s perseverance and quirky attitude influenced the way you live your life, will make a better essay than a super general diatribe on why you like dogs, for example. If you find yourself getting lost while writing, ask: what am I trying to say about myself, and am I using a specific, compelling example to tell my story?Hello parents and students! The time has come. The 2015-2016 college application season has officially begun. The Common Application essay topics have been confirmed and students all over the world are getting ready to warm up their creative brains and typing fingers and launch into essay-writing action. We at CEA love the new (and mostly improved) essay questions, which are quite similar to last year’s choices. The new prompts are refreshingly open to creative interpretation, allowing room for personal expression while also delineating some helpful guidelines for students to follow. While it is true that the Common Application essay prompts are quite flexible, it is still helpful to know just what admissions will be looking for when they read personal statements in each of these categories. What are these questions really asking? How do the prompts intend to pull students down the path of self-reflection? How can they be used to showcase a student’s best assets and personality? Below, I break down each of the five prompts, delivering tips and tricks for answering each of these provocative prompts. Keep in mind, students only have to choose and respond to one of the five choices- unless they feel like answering the other four just for fun. To any students for whom this is the case, please contact me immediately upon your college graduation because you’re hired. Now, for the breakdown!