About App Essay and Common App Essay Examples

App essay for a university is a student’s essay, usually in the range from 500 to 1,500 words designed to convince the admission committee that the author of the essay is ready to study on the chosen program.

Usually, in an essay, a student determines his or her career goals, tells about strong qualities, and describes how the program for which they are applying will help them realize their career and life goals.

How to Write an App Essay to a University?

This plan is based on common app essay examples and uses the materials of universities and interviews of representatives of admission commissions of different colleges.

  • Read the requirements. If the requirements are not listed on the program’s website, register online in the university’s application sending system and find a description of the requirements there. Pay attention to the required number of words or characters and the questions that you should cover.
  • Determine the structure, what sections and paragraphs will be included in your essay, and how these sections will be linked together. Do not forget to include the introduction and conclusion. Think about it and, perhaps, present it for yourself, about what you will write in each of the sections.
  • Define your career goals and describe them. Most universities include questions about the future career of a student. The older the student or the higher the level of education, the more concrete and thoughtful should be the description of the career plan. Try to define your career goals for the next 2–4 years for the undergraduate and 5–7 years for the MBA.
  • If you don’t have a career plan, it is worth describing the area in which you see yourself and inform the admissions committee that by studying at their university you are hoping to make a more detailed career plan.
  • Tell about your qualities, knowledge, and achievements.
  • Put all the sections together. Following the structure, compile the first version of your essay and finalize it, making sure that all parts are logically related to each other.
  • Check and edit the essay. Your thoughts need to be stated simply and clearly. This is easily achieved if you limit the length of the sentence to 12–20 words. Avoid both overly familiar and overly formal tone. Write in a way that is easy to understand. Make sure that each sentence contains important information, and not a repetition of what has already been said.

If you look through some common app essay examples, you will see that some of them begin with catchy citations, jokes, or have a non-standard structure. Sometimes it works, but it can have the opposite effect. Members of the admissions committee may not share your sense of humor and views, so be careful when trying to make your essay too unusual.

Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The essay with errors creates a negative impression of the skills and efforts.

The Simplest Structure of the App Essay

  • Opening
  • Career objectives for admission to the program
  • Career plan
  • Which of the qualities, skills, and knowledge required for the described career plan, do you have, and what do you need to develop?
  • How will the program you are applying to help you develop the relevant qualities, skills, and knowledge and achieve the career goals outlined above?
  • How can you be interesting/useful to a college and fellow students?
  • Conclusion

Things to Consider When Writing about Your Qualities

Many students are stumped by the fact how and what they can tell about themselves. However, this task can be greatly facilitated if you proceed to it using the following steps:

  • Determine what special qualities and knowledge are needed for success on the chosen program and in your future profession, and which of these qualities do you have. Describe these qualities, giving examples from study, work, and life.
  • Determine what kind of common human dignity, available to you, will help you succeed on the chosen path. Describe these merits, giving examples from your academic, professional, public, or sports life.
  • If you have interesting hobbies or you participated in activities that can be useful in your studies or help you become an interesting participant in the life of the university, briefly describe them.
  • Inform about what qualities and knowledge necessary for successful progress of your career you would like to develop while on the program.
  • Do not praise or demean yourself, but describe yourself with maximum objectivity, citing facts, relying on the opinions of others and, if possible, citing them.

Study the brochures and website of the selected university, look through the most common app essay examples, and you will find all the information you need. Most often, colleges openly announce what qualities students should have and what criteria then need to meet.

How Important Is the App Essay?

Many universities consider the app essay of the key importance, while other colleges might give it less importance. Since it is not known with what kind of attitude to the importance of motivational essay your application will be considered, it is better to carefully approach the writing process.

The app essay is especially important in the following cases:

  • To enter a top-tier university or a competitive program
  • For students whose average score is lower than the requirements of the university
  • For students changing the subject specialization

According to the admissions committee, when selecting candidates for programs with a high competition, comparing essays helps identify the most prepared and suitable candidates for the program.

If the student’s academic performance is lower than the requirements of the college, the admissions committee usually studies the student’s essay to determine if he or she has interests, experience, and skills that will help them successfully learn the course, despite the lower academic performance.

In most cases, applicants do not have the interview when entering colleges, and therefore the essay often becomes the only opportunity to provide the admissions committee with additional arguments in your favor proving that you deserve a place in their educational institution.

Perhaps, your essay to the college will be the only document you personally created that will be received by the representative of the admissions committee before deciding on your enrollment. Try to compose it as best as you can.

Topics You Need to Avoid When Writing App Essay

Before choosing the topic, you will write your app essay about, it is useful to know which topics should be avoided and why. According to common app essay examples, here are some of the most popular topics you need to stay away from.

  • Story about a voluntary project. Many applicants decide to write about their participation in the volunteer project or involvement in the activities of the church. This is a wonderful experience that has undoubtedly affected your personal development. The only problem is that wherever you go, the conclusion is always the same – you like to help people. And it’s great, but, unfortunately, this experience will not help you stand out among other applicants.
  • Profession of your family. There is nothing wrong with being proud that your family is also associated with the profession you choose, but the this won’t help you to sell yourself to the admissions committee.
  • Overcoming sports injury. Applicants of most American universities come from different classes of society. Many promising candidates had to go through such difficulties as poverty, a difficult family situation, or a serious illness. The essay on the topic of a sports injury demonstrates only the fact that you do not realize how lucky you are. If you bring the inability to play football for one semester as the greatest difficulty in your life, then you simply do not realize what challenges some of your peers have to face.
  • Description of a national disaster. Usually, American universities ask you to write an essay to learn more about you, but this information can get lost if in the center of the narrative is tragic events from the history of your country. Retelling what happened to you and your family during the hurricane, you’re not achieving your cherished goal, because this information did not say anything about your personality.
  • Story about the trip that helped you understand the difficulties the youth faces. Quite often, there are essays that describe the experience of helping poor countries. But the whole value of such an experience comes to naught as soon as people start writing about how this project helped them understand the situation in which the inhabitants of the poor areas of American cities are living, or feel a special emotional connection with the people of the United States in distress.

Members of the admissions office of the university, who read your essay, want to hear your story in your own account. Think about what’s special about your story and tell it honestly and sincerely.

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