Writing Your Common Application Essay

Noodle Pros share tips, techniques, and sample essays for the 2017-2018 Common Application essay prompts.

President’s Day vs. Presidents’ Day: A Brief and Timely Lesson on the Apostrophe
15 February, 2019
Presidents’ Day? President’s Day? Presidents Day? You’ve probably seen all of them on various calendars and ads for seasonal sales. Which one is right? Actually, each can be considered grammatically correct, but each iteration conveys a slight difference in meaning. Is it any wonder then that students struggle with the apostrophe on the ACT and SAT? The good news is both tests limit the scope of apostrophes to possession on nouns and contractions on pronouns. That doesn’t mean apostrophes are e
Engaging Ways To Open Your Personal Statement
10 July, 2018
Summer is in full swing, and rising high school seniors have college applications on their minds. The Common Application essays have not changed from last application cycle; therefore, savvy students are using their summer breaks to get a head start on writing the personal statement. But are you staring at a blank screen and wondering where to begin? Here are some tips for choosing a topic and writing a strong essay opening. Choosing a Personal Statement Topic Your essay, or personal statement,
#AdmissionsPros: Staying Grounded With Franca Rawitz Of ReadySetCollege
02 May, 2018
Welcome to #AdmissionsPros [https://www.noodlepros.com/blog/category/admissionspros/]! In this series, admissions advisors and educational consultants offer their advice and insight on the big picture of elementary, secondary, and graduate school admissions — from extracurriculars, to essays, to, (of course) standardized tests. Franca Rawitz founded ReadySetCollege [http://www.readysetcollege.nyc/] to give students and parents some expert guidance through the college admissions process. With he
"The Essays Were Amongst The Best Our Sons' Teachers Ever Read."
31 January, 2018
As an experienced tutor for 11th and 12th grade students, Marguerita Merrick [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/ZDNmYzM4ZmVlMWRmNGY] is well versed in the dos and don’ts of college essay writing. She has helped countless students gain admissions to their schools of choice, and always seeks to make the college application process more enjoyable for her students. For one family, Marguerita’s touch made all the difference when it came to getting in to their dream schools. “We hired Margueri
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 8 Of 8
15 September, 2017
In the last installment of our series, Noodle Pro Jamie Berger discusses Prompt 7 of the Common App essay: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Jamie has been a test prep, writing, and academic coach for 32 years. He has a BA from Columbia University, an MA from City College of New York, and an MFA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. *** Is the “Topic of your Choice” the Top
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 7 of 8
30 August, 2017
This week, Noodle Pro Travis Chamberlain [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/M2VhNmQ5MjNmYjRmYjE] discusses Prompt 6 of the Common App essay: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Travis has been an SAT, ACT, and writing tutor for 15 years. He has a BA from UC Irvine, a Master of Science from LSE, and is working on a PhD at UC San Diego. *** Pro
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 6 Of 8
23 August, 2017
This week, Noodle Pro Lisa Cornelio [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/NThiY2JmNDE4NmI0YzE]discusses Prompt 5 of the Common App essay: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Lisa has been an essay editing and writing tutor for 26 years. She has a BA in English Literature from Princeton University. *** Almost any essay you write for the Common App will demonstrate some kind of personal gro
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 5 Of 8
16 August, 2017
This week, Noodle Pro Jennifer Rosen [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/OTdkOGMxNWJiNDIyNDF] discusses Prompt 4 of the Common App essay: Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Jennifer has been an SAT, ACT, and writing tutor for
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 4 Of 8
09 August, 2017
This week, Noodle Pro Kate Fisher [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/ZTc5NTI0ZTFhOTFkYzJ] discusses Prompt 3 of the Common App essay: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Kate explains how students can amplify small, everyday moments in their lives to showcase something unique and strong about their character. Kate Fisher [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/ZTc5NTI0ZTFhOTFkYzJ] is has been tutoring
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 3 Of 8
01 August, 2017
This week, Noodle Pro Jamie Berger [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/ZTIxZTViNmViNjY0NmV] discusses Prompt 2 of the Common App essay, which he (affectionately) calls “the failure prompt”: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Jamie [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/ZTIxZTViNmViNjY0NmV] has been a test p
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 2 Of 8
26 July, 2017
This week, Noodle Pro Amanda Strader [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/YTllMDg1MDYwODBiNzk] tackles Prompt 1 of the Common App essay: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Amanda has been an SAT, ACT, and writing tutor for 10 years. She has a BA from Berkeley and a Master of Music from New York University. Amanda says: “W
How To Write Your Common App Essay - Part 1 Of 8
18 July, 2017
First stop, the Common Application, which is accepted by most colleges and requires you to write a 650-word personal essay. You have six prompts to choose from and a wide open white space to fill up. Yes, whitespace is intimidating, but we are here to help. *** I’m Cara Sheffler [https://www.noodlepros.com/tutor/profile/YzI3NTBjN2I4ZjZlZjZ] , and I’ve been tutoring and working with students preparing for college for 12 years, after graduating from Princeton University in 2004. Here in New York