On the one hand, the fact that the Common Application has seven essay prompts to choose from is great news! No matter what your story, you're sure to find a good fit. On the other hand, having seven prompts means you can write seven different kinds of essays, each with its own potential pitfalls and clichés to steer around.
In this article, I'll outline two totally different approaches to figuring out which Common App essay prompt is right for you and help you brainstorm possible ideas for each. I'll also talk about what makes great college essays great, and give examples of what you want to avoid when crafting your essay.