- Stanford Supplemental Essays Writing Guide 2020
- Short Response Questions (50 words)
- Short Answer 1 - What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50-word limit)
- Short Answer 2 - How did you spend your last two summers? (50-word limit)
- Short Answer 3 - What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50-word limit)
- Short Answer 4 - Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (50-word limit)
- Short Answer 5 - Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50-word limit)
- Stanford University Essays Prompts
- Essay Prompt 1
- Essay Prompt 2
- Essay Prompt 3
- Tips to Keep in Mind Before You Start Writing
When it comes to writing college essays, the first thing applicants should pay attention to is their individual voice as a person. The admissions officers won’t accept a standard paper; they want to read an interesting and catching college essay or - the catchy short answers to the college essay questions, covering the topic and reflecting who you are. If you want to study at Stanford University, you need to do your best to write a worthy paper, which will definitely grab the attention of the committee. In our insightful review, we’ll share a few important tips that will help you write a catchy Stanford essay.
Short Response Questions (50 words)
Short Answer 1 - What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50-word limit)
For these essay questions, choose something very special that you can manage to explain in 50 words. This might be a challenge by itself, and mentioning it may be a good idea, depending on the situation and the tone you’re choosing.
Traditional answers are fine, but it’s much more interesting to read about applicants’ challenges that are unusual. You can put your creativity to practice here, even leave the answer open-ended if you think it’s applicable.
All challenges can become significant if you perceive them in this way. In a coalition with creative writing, you can tell an engaging story and submit the best admission short essay possible. In Stanford supplemental essays, you should also pay attention to your vocabulary. You’re not in high school anymore; it’s time to answer questions in a proper manner.
Try writing about the challenge from the past, current, or future perspective. This will put an interesting spin on your short essay and get more attention. In fact, you’ll also have a chance to self-analyze a little, which is very interesting and may highlight a new section of your psyche.
Short Answer 2 - How did you spend your last two summers? (50-word limit)
This short answer can show your character to the admissions officers. If there are some details that show you as an amazing future undergraduate student, write about it. Basically, any experience you’ve had (visiting another country, joining a youth coalition, looking for the best career, working on your hobbies, doing homework) will do.
Just, again, make sure you write it in an interesting way so that any person is interested in how you answer questions, even though it’s not a 250-word essay.
Try to create a mix of details that include responsibilities, hobbies. Make the right choice of tone and vocabulary; make it more like a friendly talk, not an applicant essay. It’s better to choose fewer activities but explain your reasons and choice more. Avoid introductory sentences that basically restate the question. You only have 50 words, use this space wisely, and only include necessary details.
These short questions will really show the applicant’s skills in using a small space to highlight the most important things. Consider it a test or a major challenge.
Short Answer 3 - What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50-word limit)
In case you have no such moment, Google will help you. Search for TOP historical moments and choose something unusual. As you already know, such short questions require interesting answers. Do your homework on the most opaque historical events (ancient Egypt, major disappearances, etc.).
Keep in mind that a lot of applicants will choose a fact from Google, so you have to submit something the person on the committee that will read the paper hasn't seen yet. From the first sentence, you have to engage them in a regular or an open-ended answer that will make them want to know more. While being mysterious is good and all, try to explain your reasons in a manner a future Stanford undergraduate would use.
It doesn’t have to be something far in the past; we’ve had enough history moments in the last century. Choose something that wakes a major interest in you.
Short Answer 4 - Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (50-word limit)
Such essay questions give you a rare opportunity to show why you have to be on one of the admission programs. Talk about your career, how you value extracurricular education, tell something that makes you special.
Choose a thing that has put you to the test and has given you many lessons. Let it be something you didn’t get a chance to write about in your application due to the lack of space or connection. It should be one activity, don’t start to mix up lots of things. Here, you have to open up about your personal education, about something that makes you “you.”
Avoid just writing about the activity, it might not be interesting, and this isn’t a high school essay. In such answers, you have to show your personality, maybe with connections to the majors you’ve chosen. This might be a job in another country, programs you’ve been a part of, or another section of your life that has become a great lesson and eventually brought you to a Stanford class of 2021 (choose your own year; the prompts rarely change).
Short Answer 5 - Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50-word limit)
This could have been a 250-word essay where you talk about the wonderful majors, how you want to be a part of the class, how you want to start your career path, etc. The admission committee reads thousands of such essays a year, so they have decided to give applicants a short question about their most desired experience.
For this, you will need a ton of research. Find all the information about Stanford and all its activities, classes, programs, etc. You can even find Stanford alumni online and ask what they have enjoyed the most during their studies.
Look for specific information and find out what of all that stuff you’re the most interested in. Write about your motivation, why this activity or event is especially important to you. This is another chance to show your creative persona and get the place at the university of your dream!
Stanford University Essays Prompts
Essay Prompt 1
The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 to 250 words)
This and the following two prompts are much longer, up to 250 words, which means you have to approach the outline with more caution. Stanford is looking for applicants who are open to learning not only in the classroom but anywhere they go.
We have all, at least once, felt that love for education. That love without dreadful tests and thinking about the teachers or going somewhere you don’t want to. It’s the feeling of openness to whatever life can teach you today.
Think of such an experience. It can be a barbeque with friends when you have spent an hour reading about geology “just because.” It may be a story about you walking around the park and genuinely wanting to learn all kinds of trees. It can be something more specific like you waking up and learning astrophysics all day, although your major is English.
Such bursts of love for education are very important for a lot of universities. Be open about your experience and show that you will learn both inside and outside of the university.
Essay Prompt 2
Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better. (100 to 250 words)
This prompt is about healthy, friendly roommate relationships. Choose a relaxed tone of writing and create a kind of letter to your future roommate. It’s wise to start by thinking of your perfect roommate. What kind of person would you want to live with for several years?
As you find that image in your head, think about writing about your personality to them. Introduce yourself, show your true colors and qualities. One important recommendation here is not to make yourself an ideal student. This is not the point of the essay, and it’s clear when a person just tries to open only the good qualities.
Be honest, don’t shy away from some qualities you’re still working on. In this piece of writing, the university wants to find out more about you. The committee just wants to know you better. No awards and academic success stories, just you. What kind of person are you? What do you like and don’t like? What kind of roommate will you be?
Just write a fun letter to your future friend with a genuine desire to actually make friends. Brainstorm for ideas, give yourself a time limit and don’t think too much; just write out stuff.
Essay Prompt 3
Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why (100 to 250 words)
What a topic, right? This one requires some self-analysis because you have to choose one thing that is the most meaningful to you in your life (as of now). The purpose is for you to show your intelligence and excellent writing skills. Be ready to write about your reasoning for the choice a lot.
Don’t use cliches; spend some time on that analysis and find something deep inside you that is very meaningful yet also suitable for the university. You should show yourself as an intelligent person with a passion, a drive for improvement, and studies.
Talk about helping others, friendship, companionship, being progress-driven, etc. Leave a section to talk about the event or experience that has led you to the understanding of that most valuable thing in life. Don’t make the essay too dramatic, and choose something you haven’t been able to highlight in your major application.
To make the essay creative, choose something very special, and think your reasoning through. It’s better to spend some time on it but get an amazing result.
Tips to Keep in Mind Before You Start Writing
Sometimes, the application procedure can be exhausting. You don't know what topics to cover, what questions you should answer in your paper and how to structure it in a proper way. Furthermore, you dream of studying a definite educative program and have not the slightest idea how to make the admissions committee accept you. A familiar situation, right? Nevertheless, you aren’t alone; hundreds of students feel the same. Writing a paper for Stanford is like writing a scholarship essay.
Professors from Stanford want to find out who you are and desire to hear your individual voice. They wish to read about the achievements, experience, and skills. Their key mission is to deal with talented students able to bolster the reputation of their higher educational establishment. So, how to write an idea; college essay about your success? How to impress the committee?
- Be honest. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. They wish to see who you are, so show them!
- Structure your writing. You should have an essay breakdowns. No one wants to read a long unstructured paper. Any college paper should include a catchy introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
- Write about yourself. The key mission of the application paper is to show who you are. So don’t even try to cover other topics having nothing to do with you.
Following these tips, you’ll definitely tackle the challenge. You’ll:
- impress the committee;
- create a stunning essay;
- be accepted.
The idea is that you need to demonstrate that you really dream of studying there.