What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Best ways to create a great Common App essay?

Hey there! I'm starting to draft my Common App essay, and I want to make sure it's really strong. What makes a great Common App essay? Are there any tips or resources you'd recommend for writing an impressive essay?

7 months ago

Hey! Crafting a stellar Common App essay is definitely an important part of the application process. Here are some tips to help you create a great essay:

1. Choose a unique topic that showcases your personality, values, and experiences. Try to avoid cliché subjects like sports victories, moving schools, service trips, or learning a new language.

2. Focus on a specific moment, experience, or realization rather than providing a broad summary of your life. This allows for deeper, more personal storytelling.

3. Show, don't tell. Use vivid, descriptive language and anecdotes to engage the reader and illustrate your points. The reader should feel like they are in your shoes, not observing the scene from the outside.

4. Be authentic and true to yourself. Write in your own voice and allow your personality to shine through. This means it's okay to include some humor or more informal language if it sounds natural to you.

5. Edit and revise. A polished essay free of grammatical errors and typos can make a big difference.

As for resources, CollegeVine offers a peer essay review tool that allows you to get feedback on your essay from fellow students. They also have essay guides and an essay prompt database which can be helpful for brainstorming and understanding what colleges are looking for in their essays. Best of luck with your Common App essay!

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.