Supplemental Essay or a Writing Supplement

April 19, 2018
One of the most important elements of the college application, in addition to the grades, the standardized test scores and the high school courses, is the essay. The Common Application and the Universal Application have a mandatory essay, but many colleges include their own specific school essays, which are known as writing supplements.

This kind of essays give admission officers the opportunity to get to know students, and they are also excellent indicators of your proven interest. So, how can students master the admission essays to the college and/or university? Keep reading and you will find that out.

How to Write an Awesome Supplemental Essay?

Tell Admissions Officers something that they do not already know.

Admissions Officers want to get to know their applicants. Readers of applications can find out a lot of things out of the extra-curricular activities, transcripts, tests, letters of recommendation and other application materials. The best way to get a clear idea of the goals, achievements and character of the student is to listen directly to the student himself.

Do not use this essay to repeat the information you have already told; identify what can not be found anywhere in the application. For example, if on the activity list you said that you have been a captain of the school football team, do not write an essay about the most important game of the season. The Admissions Officers already know that football is your interest, so choose a deeper theme that reveals something important.

For instance: the main activity of the student in his list was horseback riding. Instead of writing an essay on riding, he wrote about his faith and how he reconciled this with what he had learned in his courses on advanced science.

Don`t forget to check grammar and punctuation to be sure your essay is perfectly written and grammatically correct.

Approaching “extravagant” Essay Prompts.

This is the trend of college admissions, which continues to grow in popularity: a strange application essay question. From questions about “YOLO” and spiders to questions about how would students develop their own courses, many universities ask some bizarre and unusual questions. For many students, these wild and crazy application prompts can be extremely frightening. Many struggle with the balance between writing creative and witty answers and sounding cheesy and forced. If you do not know how your essay could come across to admissions officers, try writing this kind of essays at home and send them to Robotdon website, where they can check your essay and say what is wrong and what is right.

When addressing these strange questions, do not forget that the main purpose of the essay is to tell something interesting and important about you. These essays are not about what you think the university wants to hear, so keep your interests in mind!

We can say the same about the additional “short-take” questions, those that are looking for an answer in one-word or one-sentence. Go deeper, but remember that your answer does not have to be as strange as the question, it just has to reflect your character and your passions.

For example: The question is: “What is the greatest invention of all time?” A student who was fascinated by photography answered a daguerreotype, the first photographic process of wide usage.

The general essay – “Why this university?”.

One of the most common supplementary essays that students will find is the infamous essay “Why this university?”. It’s just “Why X University?” Or a more specific question about how to make a student campus better. Universities are looking for detailed and well-researched answers.

It’s not enough to say: “I want to go to the X University, because it’s an excellent school.” Or “I just like X College.” Evaluating these answers, universities want to see that the student made a research about the institution and has already thought about his life in the campus community. If supplemental essay is good to show your interest, then this question is the most important one.

Answering this essay question, use specific details. What are the courses and teachers you are interested in? Students should talk in detail about student organizations or meeting specific goals and specific aspects of the campus community. Be as detailed as possible, but do not forget to relate these details to specific goals and interests. Do not limit yourself to mentioning some of the course names and expect to surprise the admission offices.

If you write a great supplement, it will add great context and individuality to the application and will increase your chances of admission. Good research and preparation is the key to writing outstanding supplements, so do not wait until the last minute!

What's your Essay Score?
Essay Checker for College Applications or Perfecting your Daily Writing.
Try Free Now

Tips on How to Write a Remarkable Supplements

Adapt your essays

You have to treat each and every application as if it is your top-choice school. This means that you have to equally care about each essay and adapt it to the school and the course of study that you are applying to, rather than simply copying and inserting the same generic essay in each application. Believe me, admission officers can tell from your writing whether they are really interested in attending this particular university or not, so do not rush and put some really good effort in all of your essays, no matter how simple or short they might be.

Use specific data

In the process of writing your essay you need to use specific details and examples about the school. If you are asked to tell something about the school, use your research and notes from the campus visit, just like in the essay – “Why this college?”. Tell about the specific classes and clubs that you are interested in, about the professors you would like to study with, and about the aspects of the history, traditions and campus of the school that attract you to it.

Be Creative

The rise of the popularity of the supplemental essay made schools to think outside of the box and include strange and interesting questions in order to make students think creatively. Weird essay topics and quick-take responses that require one-sentence, or one-word response, were made up with a purpose to challenge students and help admission officers see their individuality better.

For example, the question is “What’s the best thing that has ever been invented?” Do not just write about the first thing that comes to your mind and move forward. Think about what influences you in your everyday life and what has had an impact on your interests. If you answer something like “the Internet” or something like this, it will be too simple and common, so be creative!

Be yourself

Keep in mind that college admission officers want to get to know real you, not polished and unrealistic version of you. Be yourself! Get some feedback from teachers and counselors, but make sure that you transform their corrections to your own views. Avoid using difficult words and complicated sentence structures in an attempt to sound more sophisticated and smart.

So, that is all I have for you today, I hope you found out something new and something interesting from this article and now feeling more inspired. Good luck with your applications!

The Best Articles from Robotdon

The Robotdon email digest is a weekly summary of the most popular and inspiring essay-related content. We curate the best so you can stay continually informed.