Many students put significant time into their longer personal statement but then rush off the shorter supplemental section of the application.
The strong essay below was written in response to the application to Duke University's Trinity College. The guidelines for the optional supplemental essay ask, "If you are applying to Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something in particular at Duke that attracts you? Please limit your response to one or two paragraphs. The question asked here is typical of many supplemental essays.
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Essentially, the admissions folks want to know why their school is of particular interest to you. First, think about the prompt. The admissions officers want to know if there is something "in particular at Duke" that makes the applicant want to go there. A bad essay never discusses features that are unique to Duke. A good essay gets specific and shows particular knowledge of the school.
The sample essay succeeds on this front. Although the essay is just a paragraph long, the author presents three specific features of Duke that make her want to attend:. This last point doesn't matter much in the admissions process and the writer was correct to mention it only indirectly. The first point has moderate importance. Many colleges have impressive Gothic architecture, so the feature isn't unique to Duke. However, the writer connects the campus to her own Southernness. She also demonstrates that she has visited the campus, something that is not true of many applicants who haphazardly apply to a long list of prestigious schools.
The second point about the history curriculum is key to this essay's success. This applicant knows what lies beneath the university's surface.
She has clearly researched the curriculum. She is not applying to Duke simply because of its beauty or its reputation, but because she likes how the university approaches learning. StudyPoint can help! Learn about student life, review admissions requirements, and see how your scores compare to those of the current freshman class.
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