6 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Common App Essay

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Common App Essay

Key Points

These are the common mistakes to avoid in your common app essay.

  1. Don’t choose a rare topic which is unknown to readers.
  2. Don’t randomly select any prompt to start writing.
  3. Don’t write it like a literature review.
  4. Don’t overlook the structure of the essay.
  5. Don’t compromise on the quality of writing a supplemental essay if asked to provide.
  6. Don’t drag it till the last minute to complete it before submission.

Keep reading if you want to read the details.

The Common Application is a college application portal that applicants may use to apply to over 1,000 colleges or Universities. Here, applicants write a common app essay that will be read by prospective schools to understand their background, character, and worth as potential candidates.

Many students make mistakes when they write such essays. For instance, some of them can’t think beyond the superficial prompt to positively communicate their passion. Several other common mistakes need to be noted so that you can avoid their inclusion in your common app essays.

This guide is meant to highlight those errors so that you can learn to avoid these and other damping traps. However, if you fear not writing a perfect sample as asked by the admission committee, then avail yourself of admission essay writing services instead of taking any risk. Let’s discuss those mistakes one by one.

What Is Common App Essay?

A personal essay common app is mostly required by the common app schools to make admission decisions. Every year, millions of applicants apply through a common application that enables them to submit their applications to multiple schools. This means that you have to fill out everything once, and it can be submitted to various schools or colleges.

What Mistakes to Avoid in A Common App Essay?

Writing a perfect common app essay is crucial as it will help you gain admission to the college of your choice. To make it flawless or high-quality, let’s talk about common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

1. Don’t Choose a Rare Topic

Many students believe in the myth that a common application essay should revolve around a topic that no other applicant has selected. Remember that overuse of a certain topic does not mean that it is a bad topic. Instead, it might be important as many applicants are writing about it.

Here, ask yourself a basic question: are you passionate about a particular subject? Also, consider the word limit for common application essays so that the ideas can be covered within this length. Below are some good common app essay ideas to write on.

Common App Essay Questions

  • What is unusual about Easter is that it changed celebrations into mourning.
  • How one of my friend’s sudden demises was a turning edge in my life.
  • What are unending struggles that never come with productive outcomes?
  • What are some challenging biases about ability?

2. Don’t Pick a Random Prompt to Start Writing

There are seven prompts; not all may align with your interest. Ask yourself which version of yourself you want to present to the college and choose the prompt accordingly. Start looking for several topics, highlight your interest, and then match it to the prompt to see which one is the better choice. The common application is diverse enough to cover almost every common application essay option.

3. Don’t Neglect Your Supplement Essay

Many colleges require you to write supplemental essays in addition to the common app essay. Here, students make mistakes by spending all their time on writing common apps and forgetting the importance of supplemental essays. These essays are also the art of the overall package and can impact your admission chances. It will highlight why you are a good fit for the college by discussing its unique strengths.

However, if you are unable to manage writing both essays in parallel, then acquire college application help. For instance, if you are passionately writing your common essay, then supplementals can be done by experts without compromising on their quality. After all, both are marking edges for the college admission decisions.

4. Don’t Consider It a Piece of Literature

The common app essay is not similar to the academic essays that you have written in your schools or colleges. Traditionally, in other assignments, you analyse a piece of literature or a historical event to showcase your in-depth knowledge and critical view of it. Here the words should be like it is coming from you rather than an English teacher. So, present an authoritative voice while avoiding using any offensive or inappropriate language.

5. Don’t Ignore the Essay Organisation

You must not overlook the importance of structure because this essay is not similar to the course essays. Remember, organisation is crucial if you want to deliver your thoughts effectively to the reader. An impressive common essay will contain a strong opening and organised overall content with a powerful closing.

Start by outlining and then transit paragraph by paragraph. Resist the temptation to rush to the writing process. Rather, pre-planning may form it well for easy comprehension. Find below the essay writing format that can help in such an organisation.

Common App Essay Format

The Transizion provides a similar format for describing all the related details, such as the word count, font size, and style of the common app essay.

6. Don’t Leave It for The Last Minute

One of the thumb rules for writing a quality essay is to start early. Don’t wait until the last minute or days before the final submission. When you write it in a hurry, you can’t take care of the precision and keen details that contribute to the quality. Application essays take more time than casual essays. So, invest as much time as you can so that there should not be room for making an error that the admission committee can question.

Common App Essay Examples

The College Advisor provides different examples of common application essays, which might help you choose your topic and understand how others have included details. Below is one of the samples written on the topic “A New Perspective on Failure.”


Many candidates need to write a common application essay to apply for admission through the Common Application portal. All they need to do is fill in the details here, and their application will be sent to multiple colleges and universities. However, students indeed make many vague mistakes when they write their essays.

In the guide above, we have highlighted these mistakes and discussed some possible solutions to these problems. Moreover, being frustrated from the last time rejection, if you don’t want to take any risk this turn, seek scholarship essay help from expert writers. These professionals will provide you with a document that speaks well and is aligned with common app essay prompts 2024-2025.