Skip Nav

SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Choose Your Test

❶Want to build the best possible college application?

Logging out…

College Essay One
Why Do Colleges Ask For an Essay?
Don't have an Account?

I made a mistake.. I submitted my application today and after looking back through my pieces of writing, I realized that I accidentally wrote a word twice in my personal statement and forgot a period, and I also failed to include a small word in my topic sentence for my activities essay on the common app. Apparently, I was far too excited to hit submit. I would hate to have my admission chances suffer because of this.

Hi Hannah, thank you for checking in on this. Emailing your admissions counselor is absolutely the right course of action, and I am sure they will handle it from here. And thanks for your enthusiasm about Vanderbilt! Start to get more and more worried each day, seems like now i know what to do.

Be thoughtful, but not fretful. As a senior, most of the accomplishments that will make up the bulk of your application — academic performance, test scores, and extracurricular involvement — are said and done. In a sense, the only part of the application over which you have complete control right now is the essay.

The Common Application presents six different prompts for you to choose from when writing your essay. If you ask a hundred different admissions counselors what their favorite kind of essay is, you will likely get a hundred different answers. Trying to figure out what topic will get us most excited is like trying to guess which outfits the judges of Project Runway are going to like the most — no matter how many times we watch, Heidi always manages to confound.

Instead of trying to game the system, focus on the things that get you excited. If nothing else, I promise that passion will show through. If your creativity is what sets you apart from your peers, let that innovation guide the structure and content of the essay.

Figure out what your personal strengths are, and stick with them. We know that there is more to you than just test scores and leadership roles, so tell us more! I even loved the electric feeling of anxiety as I waited for the results. Most of all, though, I loved the pursuit of science itself.

Before I knew it, I was well into the seventh week and had completed my first long-term research experiment. In the end, although the days were long and hard, my work that summer filled me with pride.

That pride has confirmed and reinvigorated my love for science. I felt more alive, more engaged, in that lab than I have anywhere else, and I am committed to returning. I have always dreamed of science but since that summer, since my experiment, I have dreamed only of the future.

To me, medical science is the future and through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion. After all, to follow your passion is, literally, a dream come true. In addition to its use of clear, demonstrative language, there is one thing that makes this an effective essay: Indeed, notice that, although the question is broad, the answer is narrow. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much.

This emphasis gives the reader the opportunity to learn who the writer is on his terms and makes it a truly compelling application essay. The winter of my seventh grade year, my alcoholic mother entered a psychiatric unit for an attempted suicide. Mom survived, but I would never forget visiting her at the ward or the complete confusion I felt about her attempt to end her life.

Today I realize that this experience greatly influenced my professional ambition as well as my personal identity. While early on my professional ambitions were aimed towards the mental health field, later experiences have redirected me towards a career in academia. I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson.

Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Neither of my parents attended college.

Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out. Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through.

Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U. The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society. While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world.

During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology. In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic.

Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow.

My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits. In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science.

The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science.

Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr. I started out in Brazil, but at the age of four I moved to Colombia. Colombia was definitely my least-enjoyed "stop.

Colombia was also my first real experience with prejudice. In Colombia, I had a good friend named Sameer, who was Arab; people outside of my family looked down on me, as if he were a bad person just because of his ethnicity and as if I were a bad person for being his friend.

I did not understand why it mattered where someone was from, considering that you are not defined by where you were born or what your heritage is, but rather the person you are and the way you choose to live your life. Given this experience and others like it, I was not sad to leave Colombia after two years. We then moved to Spain. Living in Madrid was probably one of the most culture-filled experiences of my life.

I still remember most of my three years there quite clearly. Although Spain was safe, it was still not the ideal place to live. My best friend, Pablo, was of African descent and again, people would look down upon our friendship as if it were a sin.

I used to take road trips across Spain with my family to learn about ancient civilizations and how much of an issue slavery was in the olden days, and it was clear that for many, the olden days still lingered. Each of those trips was like a new chapter of a history book I wanted to devour. After Spain, at the age of nine, I moved to Miami. Miami is definitely the most culturally diverse city I have ever lived in, but somehow, people still manage to judge.

During my first year here, the kids used to make fun of me for having a British accent because of my studies in a British school in Madrid. I even got made fun of for my Spanish accent when I spoke Spanish because of the lisp the Spanish have when they speak compared to many of the local Cubans.

In the other countries, I was judged for the people I spent my time with. But in the United States, I was the source, and it felt different. After all my travels, the only place I truly feel happy and unbothered is Brazil. Maybe it is the comfort my family provides me or perhaps I have not been around to see that racism is present there as well.

Whatever it is, I wish I could spread that into every country I have lived in and show people that, at the root, everybody actually is the same. The final draft is easier and more interesting to follow. The "message" of the essay is clear from the start, but it doesn't read like the thesis in a five paragraph essay for English class.

The final draft reads like a story he would be telling you and is more clearly a reflection of this student's world view, based on the people he's met and the specific experiences he's had. One thing seems to naturally flow from the next.

The final draft really allows us to peek into his world and the depths of his experiences. His world view not to mention his essay is more believable after he's shared with us where he comes from, philosophically and literally. The essay works because he really lets us into his world by lifting the veil on the rich details of his beliefs and his life experiences. Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website. To score an acceptance letter, experts say the essay must stand out from the crowd.

Personal Essay Tips and Tricks The main college essay should be personal and tell some story about the applicant, Norman says.

Sample Personal Essay Draft 1 Below is the first draft and a final draft of a student's college essay, with Norman's comments below. Sample Personal Essay Final Before I was 10 years old, I had already lived in four different countries, allowing me to learn about many different cultures and make many observations about people and places, more generally.

Manafort plea deal includes 'broad' cooperation with Mueller. Kavanaugh denies high school assault allegation.

Ready to build a strong resume?

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Is there a specific place to write the essay and is there a prompt, the common app doesn’t have a location to attach a personal essay. Jay Watson. September 6th, Thank you for your question. The Common Application gives students the option to choose one of five essay prompts.

Privacy FAQs

Essays That Worked Connecticut College posts a list of college essays “that worked.” More Essays that Worked Hamilton College provides access to some of their favorite application essays. Other Resources for College Essay Writing. Writing the Personal Statement The Purdue Online Writing lab offers a guide to writing all kinds of personal .

About Our Ads

College Essay One Prompt: Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen State University and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). State University and I possess a common vision. When it comes to applying to a college or university, many students fear the personal essay above all. Get college application and admissions tips for your college essay from expert Bari Norman and read a sample of a student's .

Cookie Info

Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to full essays and essay excerpts, this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay! Learn how to write a successful college application essay using the three-step process for writing your personal college admissions essay.   Gaining entrance to just about any college or university continues to get harder as more and more applicants are applying for a limited number of spaces.