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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Can my Common App essay have a creative title or should it be plain text?

Alright, so I've drafted this essay for the Common App that I'm really proud of, and I think a snazzy title could add some personality to it. Do colleges typically expect or appreciate titles on the essays, or is it unusual to include one? Just want to make sure I'm not doing something out of the ordinary.

7 months ago

Greetings! It's fantastic to hear that you've crafted an essay you're proud of — that's certainly the first big step in the application process. To answer your question, most students do not include a title for their Common App essays; it’s typically just the essay text itself that is submitted. The reason being, the Common App essay is meant to be a personal statement, not a traditional academic paper, and the platform simply doesn't provide a separate field for titles.

However, this doesn't mean a title is strictly forbidden. If you feel that your title adds substantial value or is integral to the essay, you could consider including it as part of your opening sentence. Just be sure it feels organic and doesn't take away from the allotted space for your actual story, as there's a strict word count limit. Keep in mind that admissions officers are primarily focused on the content and quality of your writing, rather than formatting choices like titles. If it enhances the reader's experience and fits seamlessly into your essay, go for it — but remember, it's the substance of your essay that will leave the lasting impression. Best of luck!

7 months ago

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