A College Essay

Even for Common App schools, you may need to write a supplemental essay or provide short answers to questions.

Before you get started, you should know exactly what essays you need to write.

In order to make sure you have plenty of time to brainstorm, write, and edit your essay (or essays), I recommend starting at least two months before your first deadline.

The last thing you want is to end up with a low-quality essay you aren't proud of because you ran out of time and had to submit something unfinished.

Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

For one week at the end of January, Reed students upend the traditional classroom hierarchy and teach classes about any topic they love, academic or otherwise.Having this information allows you to plan the best approach to each essay and helps you cut down on work by determining whether you can use an essay for more than one prompt.Writing good college essays involves a lot of work: you need dozens of hours to get just one personal statement properly polished, and that's before you even start to consider any supplemental essays.As I touched on above, each college has its own essay requirements, so you'll need to go through and determine what exactly you need to submit for each school.This process is simple if you're only using the Common App, since you can easily view the requirements for each school under the "My Colleges" tab.If a college asks you to write about why you're excited to go there, admissions officers want to see evidence that you're genuinely interested.Reusing an essay about another school and swapping out the names is the fastest way to prove you aren't.That way you'll be able to see exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it by.If you have one essay that's due earlier than the others, start there.Watch out, though, because some schools have a dedicated "Writing Supplement" section, while others (even those that want a full essay) will put their prompts in the "Questions" section.It gets trickier if you're applying to any schools that aren't on the Common App.

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