Find your story and then find prompt that fits. Follow a simple structure. Identify the difficulty or challenge you faced (conflict), the work or choices to overcome it, the end result or outcome. Cut your darlings—remove superfluous words. Make your story compelling from the opening lines ( a hook) and keep them engaged throughout the story.
How can you make your essay stand out?
One way is to choose a less frequently answered prompt.
According to their website, in 2015/16 the Common App site processed 800,000 + applicants.
• 47 wrote about their background/identity/interest/talent
• 22 percent wrote about an accomplishment
• 17 percent wrote about a lesson or failure
• 10 percent wrote about a problem solved
• 4 percent about an idea challenged
What are some things that make an essay bad?
• Cliché • Your frenemy, the thesaurus • Bragging/narcissistic outlook • Failing to see the bigger picture
The essay is about you but it’s about your place in your family, community, the world.