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Creating an outline for the Common App

Hello everyone! I'm working on my Common App and I'm trying to organize my thoughts and create an outline for the application itself. Anyone have any tips on how to best approach this? Any recommended resources?

6 months ago

Hello! Organizing your thoughts for the Common App can definitely help streamline the process. Here are a few steps to create an outline:

1. Review the entire Common App: Before diving into writing, it's important to familiarize yourself with all sections of the Common App, including the personal information, academic records, extracurricular activities, and the essay questions. This will give you an idea of what information you need to gather and what topics you'll be writing about.

2. Brainstorm essay topics: Reflect on your experiences, passions, and achievements that could contribute to a compelling essay topic. Make a list of potential topics and evaluate which one best highlights your unique qualities and experiences.

3. Plan your main essay: Begin by outlining the main points you want to discuss in your essay, ensuring that it has a clear structure with an engaging introduction, coherent body paragraphs, and a strong conclusion. Focus on a single story or theme that represents your character and experiences.

4. Outline your extracurricular activities: Consider your extracurricular involvement, organized into the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars (https://blog.collegevine.com/breaking-down-the-4-tiers-of-extracurricular-activities). List your activities, noting any leadership positions, achievements, and the time commitment involved. Prioritize your most significant and meaningful activities.

5. Gather academic information: Put together your academic records, including your GPA, class rank (if available), and relevant coursework. Make note of your SAT/ACT scores (if you have them) and any AP or subject test scores.

6. Request letters of recommendation: Identify teachers, coaches, or counselors who can speak to your character and accomplishments. Reach out to them with plenty of time before the deadline and provide a resume or list of achievements to help them write a more personalized recommendation.

7. Edit and refine: Once you have the core elements of your application outlined, review and revise all sections to ensure they are clear, engaging, and accurately represent your experiences and achievements.

As for resources, CollegeVine has a wealth of articles and guides on topics related to the Common App, including essay writing tips and advice on completing each section. You can access these materials at collegevine.com/resources/. Best of luck with your application!

6 months ago

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