How to Write the Emory Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

Padya Paramita

How to Write the Emory Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

You might be applying to Emory University for a variety of reasons. Whether you have your eyes on this Atlanta college for the smaller class sizes or the state-of-the-art lab facilities, it’s time to show the admissions officers what makes you a must-have candidate by taking advantage of the Emory supplemental essays 2020-2021.

As a leading research university in the country, Emory wants students who aren’t afraid to take initiative in their community and work hard to achieve their goals. By elaborating on different interests and experiences, you can convince the admissions officers what makes you an exceptional and hardworking candidate. In this blog, I’ve gone over the prompts, as well as included some additional tips as you take on the Emory supplemental essays 2020-2021.

Prompts for the Emory Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

In addition to your Personal Statement, please answer two (2) of the prompts below. Choose one prompt from the “Reflections” category and one prompt from the “Tell us about you” category. We encourage you to be thoughtful and not stress about what the right answer might be. We simply want to get to know you better. Each response should be no more than 150 words.

“Reflections” Category: Respond to one of the following:

Option 1

Share about a time when you questioned something that you believed to be true.

In addition to looking for students who will make an impact, Emory is also looking for curious minds who question the way things are done and ultimately drive change. Admissions officers are also looking for open-minded students who work hard to understand different points of view and who are eager to evolve and grow. By asking this question, Emory is looking for an example of your own intellectual evolution. This means that there should be a “before” (your thought process or understanding before you began asking questions), a “realization” (what happened to make you question your existing understanding and what did you do about it), and an “after” (what did you learn and what do you think now?). Keep all of this in mind when answering this prompt. 

When choosing what to write about for this prompt, think critically about your experiences. Reflect on your beliefs — whether they be religious, philosophical, opinions, intellectual — and look for learning moments. Or, think about a time you might have realized you were wrong about something or made an incorrect assumption. Now, you don’t have to have questioned something incredibly grand. Your story can highlight a situation on a smaller scale and still convey a meaningful experience that shaped your perspective. What matters is that your story is personal, demonstrates curiosity, and ultimately, and highlights your intelligent, likable, and evolved individual self. 

150 words aren’t enough to detail every single second of what happened when your viewpoint was challenged. If you choose this second prompt among the Emory supplemental essays 2020-2021, make sure you dedicate most of the space to explaining why this experience mattered so much, how it has changed the way you think, and what it means for you moving forward.

Option 2

If you could go back in time, what advice would you offer yourself at the beginning of secondary/high school?

Competitive colleges like Emory want students who will contribute to their campuses in meaningful ways. By asking this question, Emory is interested in knowing how introspective you are and what kind of mindset you might use to re-approach high school if given the chance. While the advice piece is important, it's even more crucial that you expand on why you would offer yourself this advice. 

First, I suggest thinking about everything you've done in high school—school, student group, sports team, community service etc. From there, think about what has the most value to or makes the biggest impact in your life and why. The list could go on, but may include things like a lesson learned, a particular element of your community’s culture, or even a routine/activity. From there, you want to think about what you might wish to change — or may have known from the beginning. When approaching this essay, try to be as specific as possible. 150 words will go quickly, so make sure you get straight to the point, and lay out the advice — but leave most of the space for the why.

Option 3

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

If you look up what Emory looks for in its students, you will find the following definition of its holistic application review process: “We want to identify who each student is as a learner in academia and also who they are in their community.  Is the student fully-engaged with their world—wherever that might be and whomever that might include? Is the student determined? Courageous? Intentional? Ethical?”

This question is getting at students’ interest in growing as humans and learning about the world around them. They are looking to see whether students have taken the opportunity explore in depth, investigate, and eventually, share with others. If you want to take on this third option among the Emory supplemental essays 2020-2021, think first about ways in which you have demonstrated your curiosity for raising your cultural awareness in the past, and how you wish to do so going forward. Identify the incident, what sparked it, and what you taught you about a particular culture. How did this experience change your view point? How has this knowledge played a role in the community around you? Make sure you tread this option with caution. You don't want to appear as a "savior" but rather as someone humble who might not have been knowledgable on a particular topic, and chose to change that.

“Tell us about you” Category: Respond to one of the following.

  • Which book, character, song, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) represents you, and why?
  • If you could witness any event (past, present, or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why
  • Introduce yourself to your first-year Emory University roommate.

    This prompt might throw you off a little. After all, how can you figure out what the school is even looking for? Don’t panic. All the university wants is to know about you. You definitely don’t have to come up with a response that you believe is super deep and intellectual. Don’t say that The Great Gatsby represents you if you actually hated it in English class just because you think Emory is looking for a particular answer. i As cheesy as it sounds, just be yourself. Admissions officers want to get to know you. So no matter what historic event you or song you pick, make sure the personal connection is clear.

    The important part among the first two options is the “why.” Why does a certain piece of writing or a particular event hold importance to you? If you choose the third option, remember that that you and your hypothetical roommate are attending Emory. Think about how you would want to take advantage of the resources Emory has to offer — alongside your roommate. You should also let them know facts about you — especially regarding living with you!

    Whether you choose to focus your answer on a character or a letter to your roommate, remember that you don’t have to force yourself to be witty if you’re not a witty person. Let your answers come to you naturally. Admissions officers have had years of experience reading answers to questions such as these. They know if you’re trying too hard to guess what you think they want to hear rather than how you actually feel. 

    Further Tips for Writing the Emory Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

    • Choose your prompts strategically - For both categories you get to choose from multiple options. Choose prompts that will highlight your best qualities as an applicant. Pick a topic that you believe will bring the best out of you, and help paint an accurate picture of your personality and values. If you can’t think about a song that’s important to you, write about an important historic event. Choose the topic that brings forward the ways in which you have made a difference, or you plan to make a difference.
    • Don’t repeat your personal statement or your activities list - The goal of the Emory supplemental essays 2020-2021 is to provide further information on who you are and what you’re all about. Before you start writing, map out potential essays for different prompts. Compare your outlines and make sure that when side-by-side, they bring out different strengths. Also make sure that they do not repeat what’s in the rest of your application. Use every opportunity to tell the admissions office something new about you. Don’t repeat yourself!

    Writing the Emory supplemental essays 2020-2021 is a great opportunity to provide your reader with more context on who you are, your passions and aspirations, and how you could succeed thanks to an Emory education. Answer the prompts in a way that highlights what makes you unique and portrays you as a memorable candidate. Work hard on these responses, and convince the school why you are a student they must admit! 

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