Common Application


Thanks, but no thanks: Why you should skip the New York Times’ “Best College Essays”

The New York Times publishes excellent college admission essays every year. We’re not disagreeing on their quality, but we are saying not to use them as a model for your essays.

Your Complete Guide to writing the Common App

How to write a strong Common App personal statement, Covid-19 response, Activities List, and get good recommendations. What colleges want. Mistakes to avoid.

The 5-part strategy for great college supplements | 2022-23

How to write supplemental college admissions essays, including Why Us, Why Major, Describe an activity. What admissions officers look for in short essays.

The 5 Traits Colleges Look for in Applicants

Colleges require essays so they can assess whether you'll be successful in college and beyond. To prove you'll be successful, you must describe experiences you've had that showcase the 5 traits.

Purpose of College Essays

The purpose of college essays is to prove you'll be successful in college and beyond.

The Secret to a Winning Common App Activities List

How to write a strong Common App Activities List. What admissions officers are looking for; how to avoid common mistakes; how to write succinctly.

What the Prompt Is Really Asking

Before beginning to outline your essay in response to a prompt, you must figure out what the prompt is really asking. Follow these tips to writing success.

Mastering the Art of Brainstorming

Here are four of the most popular methods of brainstorming that should help you hone in on your topic and devise your supporting points.

Understanding Yourself

Before embarking on your college application, you should reflect. Understanding yourself will help shape the character of your application.

The Myth of the Well-Rounded Applicant

The myth that colleges seek only well-rounded students leads to millions of rejections every year. Prompt explains how to overcome this myth and be spikey!

Writing Your Introduction

The introduction is the most important part of your college admissions essay. Your reader’s first impression can either make or break your application.

These 7 Application Essay Topics Equal Rejection

These 7 Application Essay Topics Equal Rejection

These outlines will make your college essays stronger (and save you so much time)

Outlining is important to writing college application essays efficiently and compellingly. The two best structures are the Journey and Theme outlines, for which this article gives step-by-step instructions.

How and when to write the COVID-19 Question | Common App, 2022

What's the first step to writing the new COVID-19 Essay in the Common App? Read our guide from Prompt's CEO Brad Schiller to find out more.