October 21, 2013 by Martha Mastrianni
- Read the essay choices on the Common App website. Pick the one that makes the most sense for you. This will be different for everyone.
- MAKE AN OUTLINE! I cannot stress how important this is. Make sure every part of the question is on the outline.
- Write your first draft. If you feel you write best on paper, don’t type your first draft.
- Write it again. Don’t just edit it, completely re-write it, even if you typed it.
- Bring it to your English teacher and ask him/her to help you with it.
- Stay after school with your teacher and discuss his/her edits.
- Kill your babies. As your essay evolves, you will have to get rid of sentences or paragraphs that you liked. Cut out things that no longer make sense.
- Have a second reader, but not a third. Have someone you trust (i.e. old teacher, friend who’s good at English) read your essay, and ask for their feedback. A second opinion is a wonderful thing, but too many opinions can get confusing.
- Read it out loud. You’ll notice things you didn’t notice before.
- Paste it onto the Common App at least a week before the deadline. That way, you won’t panic if there are any glitches in the new Common App system. Proofread it there. Submit it.