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)

Making My College Essay Pop: Any Unique Tips?

I want to write a college essay that really jumps out to the committee. Anyone have strategies or tips on how to make an essay stand out and not just be another cookie-cutter submission?

8 months ago

Making your college essay distinctive is a fantastic goal! It's great that you're seeking a way to showcase your individuality. Here’s a tip that often makes a significant difference: start with a 'hook.' The first sentence of your essay is crucial because it’s your chance to grab the reader’s attention. An anecdote, a surprising fact, or a thought-provoking question all make great hooks. Think of something unconventional or deeply personal that relates to the essay prompt and reflects something meaningful about you.

Another strategy is to focus on specific, vivid details. General statements can make essays fade into the background. If you can include unique details that only you would know – an insight into your family’s traditions, a particular moment that changed your perspective, or a challenge you've faced that shaped you – these elements can really bring your story to life. For example, describe the texture of the heirloom quilt you helped sew, rather than just stating you value family traditions.

The key is to balance creativity with clarity – your essay should be engaging but also easy to follow and insightful. Good luck!

8 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.