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The 10 Most Important Tips for Writing the Perfect Common App Essay

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WRITE WITH EMOTION

To have an impact on your reader, write with feeling.  Don’t just share what you’ve done; also articulate why it moves you. When a student named Andreas was applying to film school to study animation, he wrote a passionate chronicle of his lifelong devotion to art and animation.  For his closing, he wrote straight from his heart:

“I love animation because it is the ultimate form of storytelling. As I move through streets, what I see makes me think and get ideas for what I might next want to create, model, and move. I want nothing more from life than to wake up every day to do this work, collaborate with likeminded obsessive devotees, and contribute all I can. I hope always to be surrounded by artists who are better, smarter, faster, and wiser, so I am forever learning.

My greatest aim is to make movies that are thought-provoking, stimulate viewers’ imaginations, and pose the question, ‘Imagine if….’ To animate means to bring to life. When I make characters come to life, and every time I learn something new, I too come alive.”

Topics: Life
Tags: personal statements, common app, applying to college, college admission essays, sparknotes college, college 101, crushing the common app, common app essay, common app essay prompts

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About the Author
Chelsea Dagger

Since 2010, Chelsea Dagger (known in real life as Chelsea Aaron) has been SparkLife's sweatiest editor. She's currently working on a how-to-kiss guide for teens, and when she's not conducting smooch-related research on her life-size Joseph Gordon-Levitt cardboard cutout, she's eating pancakes, stocking up on industrial-strength deodorant, and destroying everyone at Harry Potter trivia. (EXPECTO PATRONUM!)

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.