3 Must-Have Elements of An Awesome College Essay

Sophie Pertofsky
Oct 1, 2021

Applying for college can be stressful, and for high schoolers trying to sell themselves to a university, writing a personal essay can be the hardest part. So, how do you tell YOUR STORY in unique and compelling way to stand out amongst the thousands of other applicants?

As a student, one of the main things you can benefit from when applying to college is figuring out the WHY behind the story you’re going to tell about yourself in the Common App essay. You can map an arc to your story by answering the following questions. Write down these questions and think about the common app essay question you want to answer or the story you want to tell before you start writing.

1. Start By Mapping Out Your "Why".

Who am I as a person? What do I stand for? What is the intent or purpose of the story I want to tell? What point do I want to make through telling this story?

2. Next, Pick A Curcial Event Or Aspect Of Your Personality That You Can Center Your Story Around

What event can I use to tell this story or relate my personality? What aspects of my personality do I want to be the focus of this story?

3. Figure Out The "So What" Factor Behind Your Story.

You may be a leader in your community, doing something to make your community a better place, perhaps you invented something… but SO WHAT? Why should anyone care about what I’m doing? What does this story/event say about me?

If you take the time to answer these questions at the beginning, even your first draft will be stronger and the message you want to tell about yourself will come through clearly the first time around.

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