EducationUSA Mentorship Program

3 Types of Common Application Essays

During the specific EducationUSA workshop, we will assign one of the following essays for you to draft.


There are 3 common application essays.


The “Describe yourself” question


The college is trying to get to know you better. Write a one-page draft of personal statement.


Advice on how to approach it: This type of question can be intimidating because it’s so open-ended. The key is to find a way, or a story to show who you are and what’s important to you. Try to keep your answer focused. You don’t have to say everything about you. Instead, discuss one or two subjects that reveal your best qualities.


The “Explain why you want to attend our college” question


We talk about this in another post. With this type of question, admission officers want to find out about your goals. They also want to know how serious you are about attending their school.


Advice on how to approach it: You have to demonstrate mainly two things: 1) why you chose a certain path, or career. and 2) can you demonstrate you know something about the college, perhaps some of the professors teaching the subject you are interested in. It’s a pretty straightforward question, but be sure you know your subject well.


The Discuss an Issue question


Advice on how to approach it: You need to demonstrate logic and also some original thinking. Here’s an example from Denison University: “Do you believe there’s a generation gap? Describe the differences between your generation and others.” Offer your point of view but don’t go too far with the creativity. First think, and then try to answer the question to a friend. Finally, put some of your thoughts on paper, an edit, edit, edit.

September 17, 2015

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