Great Common Application Essays - College Confidential

In addition to the Common Application's personal statement (you can choose one of five essay prompts), we ask you to submit no more than 250 words in response to Swarthmore's following short-answer prompt: "Please write about why you are interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore." Your "why Swarthmore" essay adds more context to your application (and might help us learn things like how you solve problems, what drives your curiosity, or where you see yourself in five years).

or the personal essay, the Common Application requires you to write the short activity essay.
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Towards the end of every reading season, we gather to talk about which essay questions elicited great responses, which ones could be tweaked to be better, and which essays we'd like to retire. We often pull students into our discussions to get their perspectives. Conversations we have at Days on the Lawn and other admitted student events sometimes come into play as well. Some essays work year after year and others need tweaking. This year, we've made

You'll write one general essay for the Common App and then you'll write two short responses on the UVA screen. . Here's what you'll see on the UVA part of the application...

It's about how to come up with great ideas about which to write.

Feb 8, 2017 - Sample Short Answer Response on Soccer -- Gwen writes about soccer for the Common Application. Read the essay and a critique.
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Prior to the 2013 Common Application, all students using the Common Application had to write a short answer essay related to an activity outside of the classroom. While no longer required, the short answer was popular with many schools, and you'll find that many colleges still include at least one short answer essay in the school-specific supplement to the Common Application. The actual essay prompt will vary from school to school, but it will typically state something like this: "Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences."