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

Milos Tonchevski

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BRAINSTORM IDEAS

As you brainstorm possible essay topics, examine all the meaningful experiences you’ve had during the high school years that have challenged you and changed the way you think, feel, and live. Maybe you can write about a specific experience on a sports team, in student government, writing for the school paper, playing in the marching band, working at an afterschool job, volunteering in your community, taking a trip, caring for a family member, doing a research project, etc.

In any case, though you might be writing about your experience in sports or government or an afterschool job, your essay is not ultimately about sports or government or your job; it is about you and how you rise to meet challenges, face obstacles, sometimes falter, rededicate yourself, innovate, and ultimately learn and grow.

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!)

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