2 years ago
Admissions Advice

What kinds of things should I include in my college essay to make sure it stands out?

I am in 11th grade and I will be applying to Colleges next year. I'm curious as to whether anyone has advice as to what would make an essay stand out?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

Honestly, the worst thing you can do is ask someone else for advise to make your essay stand out. Why? Because no one here knows you. No one knows your story. No one knows your personality, your talents, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your challenges, your identity (well we know you like Star Wars but so do a lot of people).

What's going to make your essay stand out has to come from your deep inside your soul, your place of being, your voice. Why am I telling you this? It's because the common app main essay is not a formulaic process like doing a chemistry lab. It's your single opportunity (as well as the supplemental's) to choose your own words, structure your own sentences, curate your own flow, narrate your own story, and inform the admissions officer something unique about yourself, what you think, how you think, what you care about, something special that makes you different than the other 50,000 or 100,000 applicants applying to the same school.

Some people tell a story that happened to them. Other people take artistic liberties and write prose about themselves. Other people talk about some challenge, obstacle, or life changing event. Everyone has at least 1 good story, some 50 or more.

So read the prompt 10 times, and make some notes about what you want to write about and start writing. Some excellent writers can get to near perfect essay in 5-10 drafts and others need 25. There is no singular method that works. A key thing is to have impartial feedback from either super smart people you in your circle of friends or family or opt in to pay for an essay review from CollegeVine professional.

If you write in a certain style, don't change how your write or express yourself because you think you need to impress someone with big words, or complicated sentences. Write in your own voice and use your own words. Nothing is worse than reading an essay where you can circle all the words you know the author stubbed in to sound intelligent but are out of place with the rest of the essay.

If you have doubt about what you are writing, read the prompt yet again and make sure you are answering the prompt. There are rules so stick to them. Stick to the word count. Don't write 400 or 800 words if the essay asks for 650.

Good luck.

2 years ago

the best essays are ones that come from the heart, don't focus on having the most interesting essay, instead focus on making it about something that interests you. colleges can tell when someone is interested in what they're writting about. and they like those essays more than essays where the person is just trying to impress the college, and doesn't really care about the subject.

2 years ago

Hi welcome to the community, to be honest there is no such particular answer to this question. But i can assure you that think about yourself by taking time. Indeed writing college essays is the most important as well as hardest part of your teenage, still try to enjoy it, look for things what make you genuinely happy and relaxed , if u look more of these experiences in college as well. Reveal the friendliest part of yourself, talk about some hardest moments of life when you were unsure of going ahead. Hone into the best version of yourself and certainly with relevant stories, express yourself. If you are honest with your essays surely the college with best match shall find you.

Best of luck

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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