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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Common Application Essay Tips?

Hey, I'm starting to work on my Common App essay, and I'm a bit overwhelmed. Can anyone share some tips or advice on how to make it stand out and impress the admissions officers? Thanks in advance!

7 months ago

Sure, here are a few tips to help you craft a memorable Common App essay:

1. Be genuine: Authenticity is key in making your essay stand out. Admissions officers can tell when you're trying to impress them with grand language or an exaggerated story. Express your true self and use your own voice throughout your essay.

2. Choose a unique topic: To distinguish yourself from other applicants, select a topic that's unique to your experiences or perspective. This will help ensure a fresh and memorable essay. Avoid cliché topics like sports injuries, international travel experiences, and generic volunteer stories.

3. Focus on a specific moment or experience: Instead of covering a vast period of time or a wide range of experiences, concentrate on one specific moment, story, or relationship that showcases your growth and personal development.

4. Engage the reader from the start: Capture the reader's attention with a strong opening paragraph. You can use an interesting quote, a compelling anecdote, or a thought-provoking question to draw them into your story.

5. Show, don't tell: Use vivid language and descriptive details to paint a picture of your experiences for the reader. Instead of simply stating that you learned something important, demonstrate this with specific examples and stories.

6. Reflect on your growth: A strong essay isn't just about telling a story—it's about demonstrating the insights and personal growth you gained from your experiences. Make sure to connect the dots and tie your story back to the larger theme or message you want to convey.

7. Edit and revise: A polished essay is essential for making a good impression. Review your work multiple times and ask for feedback from teachers, friends, or family members. Don't be afraid to revise extensively to make your essay the best it can be.

8. Stay within the word limit: The Common App essay has a word limit of 650 words, so make sure to stay within that range. Concise writing shows that you can effectively communicate your ideas and demonstrates respect for the application guidelines.

9. Proofread: Avoid submitting an essay with grammatical errors or typos, as it gives the impression that you didn't put enough time and effort into your work. Proofread multiple times and, if possible, have someone else review it to catch any mistakes you may have missed.

7 months ago

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