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A simple guide to writing supplemental essays

Majority of the universities around the world require extra essays written by the students, also known as supplemental essays. These pieces of writing usually reveal some important information by the student.

Now there is no doubt that every university’s requirements are different, but today we have prepared for you a guide that includes the most common supplementary essays and what can you as a student write in them to make them worth reading.

“Why this university?”

This question is widely asked in any university around the world. It is pretty straightforward and it would not be a surprise if you were asked this during the interview as well! So, ask yourself: why did you decide on attending this university?

The first step that you need to take when writing your essay is to identify what makes this specific university so special and unique. One way to do that can be through visiting the university’s website, reading their core values, mission & vision and their goals. After that, you can reflect on what you have read and explain how you find that special, and why do you think this university suits you the best. Another way can be through taking a tour around the campus and learning more about it by speaking with some of the students and teachers there. In the end, it doesn’t matter what method you decide to use, what matters is to collect information that can be useful for your essay by showing how this university stands out. It could be due to a special major they offer, their outstanding teachers, or simply because you think that their values are something that you stand by. To sum it up, show them what exactly is unique in the university that is of interest to you.

“Why you?”

Another widely common supplemental essay is the “Why you?” question. This essay will determine what the admissions committee’s first impression of you is.

In this essay, your main focus should be on showcasing how and why you would be a great fit and addition to this university. Write some things that would be of interest to the reader. If you ever volunteered anywhere and you think that what you did while volunteering matches one of the university’s values for example, then include it in the essay!

Adding to that, show them how they would play a great role in honing and improving your skills, while also helping you develop new ones. Explain to them how you would put your skills to good use while being a student there.

For example, if one of our skills is teamwork, show them how you would be a great fit in their environment because it would be easy for you to collaborate and work with others.

To sum up, the whole purpose of this essay is to explain to the admissions committee how you would be a great fit, and why they should choose you among the others.

“Why this major?”

Many students feel like this question is intimidating because it requires deep thinking of what they want to major in and pursue as their future careers. But there is no need to worry, everyone struggles in this step and no one has everything 100% figured out, and that is exactly what universities are for! What universities are looking for in this essay is to learn more about you and what major interests you.

A great way to answer this question and start writing your essay is to use the story writing technique. Explain in detail what you went through and what affected your decision until you finally realized that this major was your final choice that you are so sure of. These moments that led you to this final decision don’t have to be huge milestones. They can be simple things like for example: maybe as a kid you enjoyed watching medical shows, and your love and interest of watching them led you to now wanting to be a medical student. Or maybe you always enjoyed experiments and learning how things work, so now you decided that you want to major in Chemistry or Physics.

To sum up, the most important thing is to write the events from past to present in a story form to make it more interesting and easier for the reader to understand everything that has led to your final decision.

To conclude, these are just some of the most common supplemental essay topics that are required by some universities. Keep in mind that these essays should be taken seriously as they play a huge part in your college application. If the admissions committee was impressed by your application and supplementary essays, it is most likely they are interested in you as a student, so take your time to write these essays, and avoid lying in them because lying is not the wisest option in this situation, or any situation at all.

Good luck!

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