A Brief Guide to the Common App: Ten Successful Essays Analyzed
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A Brief Guide to the Common App: Ten Successful Essays Analyzed

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Writing a personal essay like the ones college applications demand is objectively really challenging.

Each year on August 1, the Common App releases that year’s application. And every other year, its seven essay prompts are reviewed and updated, though they tend to remain fairly similar from one season to the next. One option is always available that allows you to write on any topic you choose, so that ensures you have a lot of flexibility. The other prompts typically ask you to write about one of the following:

  • A talent, interest, identity, or personal history that is deeply important to you
  • An obstacle you’ve faced
  • A time when you’ve questioned a personal belief
  • An accomplishment
  • Something you’re grateful for
  • An idea or concept that excites you

In this guide, we offer you ten successful essays and our expert commentary on the strengths (and sometimes weaknesses!) of each one. The sample essays and guidance in A Brief Guide to the Common App: Ten Successful Essays Analyzed will help you find the best approach for sharing your strongest stories with collegesand position yourself for success!