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How to write the 2021-2022 Emory supplemental essays

by Story2 Staff, on Jul 24, 2021 1:01:35 PM

Students applying to Emory University will need to respond to two prompts from two different categories of supplemental essays. One is a straightforward "What Major" essay of 200 words. Emory calls the other category "Getting to Know You," where applicants choose one prompt to reflect on under 150 words— for both of these supplements, your responses need to be short and very specific!  

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Read on for our guide to responding to Emory’s 2021-2022 supplemental essays! And Emory's website also has a great guide to answering these short reflection questions! 

Question #1: What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? (200 words)

This prompt offers a chance to demonstrate how your academic interests match up with the programs available at Emory. Admissions readers don’t necessarily expect you to know exactly what you want to study in college, so just focus on whatever appeals to you the most right now. If you’re having trouble choosing just one, think about the rest of your application. What field of study best fits into the overall story you’re telling about yourself with your entire application? Choose a moment that shows interest and curiosity for the academic areas you want to talk about.

Question #2: Choose one of the five prompts and answer it in no more than 150 words. 

Prompt 1: Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness. 

This prompt aims to help Emory readers understand what you’ll be like as a college student. In college, you’ll be experiencing and interacting with people of many different cultural backgrounds, possibly for the first time. Readers want to know that you are able to do this respectfully and intentionally. How have you broadened your own cultural awareness during your high school experience? How have you interacted with people from different backgrounds? This is a great opportunity to tell the story of a specific moment from your life! 

Prompt 2: When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true? 

During college, you’re going to be exposed to many new ideas, perspectives, and ways of thinking, and some of these might be contrary to the beliefs you currently hold. Admissions officers at Emory want to know that you’re open-minded, and willing to have your ways of thinking challenged. In answering this prompt, describe a moment when you questioned your ideals, changed your mind about something, or had your belief shaken. What was the situation? How did you react? Focus on demonstrating how you were able to adapt and, if relevant, change. 

Prompt 3: If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why? 

You don’t have much space to fully explore your chosen event, so answering this prompt will be an exercise in brevity and concision. Whatever event you choose, past, present, or future, make sure that it tells readers something about who you are as a person. If you choose, say, the fall of the Berlin wall, don’t just say “I find it interesting.” Why do you find it interesting? What about that specific moment in time appeals to you? What do you hope to learn, and how would you apply that to your life now?   

Prompt 4: Share about a time when you were awestruck. 

Doesn't this question make you smile just thinking about it? This is a chance to show -- very specifically -- what inspires you, brings you joy, or is just really, really exciting to you. Keep it honest, specific, and real to you.

Prompt 5: Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or nonfiction) seems made for you? Why?

This is a fun and creative way to tell readers something new about yourself, which hasn’t been covered in the other parts of your application. 150 words is not much space, so choose something that doesn't require a lot of explanation. Remember to bring the “why” part of this prompt to life. How specifically does your chosen work represent you? Be as specific, unique, and personal as you can! 

Ready to perfect your personal statement next? For tips on crafting a great personal statement and examples of what that looks like, check out our guide to personal statements! 

Go back to main Supplemental Essays post.

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Topics:college admissions