white prompt logo

College essay resources

How to ace every smu supplement essay, school supplements.

When you apply to Southern Methodist University, you’ll have to write two SMU supplement essays in addition to your Common App personal statement and activities list . (You can also apply through ApplyTexas or the Coalition app!)

The first SMU supplement essay is a fairly standard and open-ended “Why SMU” essay.

SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250-word limit)

Follow these steps to develop material that shows readers both who you are and why SMU is an ideal fit for you.

Step 1: Write down about 2-3 of your main interests as well as 2-3 of your goals for college and beyond. Be specific—and honest. Don’t include an interest or goal just because you think it’s what an admissions reader wants to hear.

Let’s look at an example of what a student might list here.

  • Human rights (especially jailed political activists)
  • Free elections
  • Get involved in politics to foster human rights around the world
  • Form an ethically-driven, socially-conscious business

Step 2: Research, research, research. Identify 2-3 specific SMU resources (classes, clubs, faculty, aspects of the school’s educational philosophy or campus life) that connect with your passions and academic interests. Again, be as specific as possible.

Our example student from step 1 might list:

  • Embrey Human Rights Program
  • Tate Lecture Series Student Forum (to be able to engage with prominent figures such as “activist” CEOs Howard Schultz and Bill Browder)
  • SMU Amnesty International

To write your essay, connect your items from steps 1 and 2 above. Show how SMU will help you to pursue your interests and goals. (To “keep it real,” it might help to imagine you’re talking to a friend.) Remember, when you discuss specific features of the university, (such as, for example, its Residential Commons system) don’t tell admissions readers things they’ll already know. Mention only what is necessary to show how a particular resource ties specifically to you . That’s right: the focus should be on you !

The other SMU supplement essay prompt asks about your background.

SMU is a diverse learning environment shaped by the convergence of ideas and cultures. How will your unique experiences or background enhance the University, and how will you benefit from this community? (250-word limit)

This prompts lets you highlight what you’ll bring to SMU as a human being who is more than just the sum of the grades and test scores in other parts of your application. Here are some steps you can follow to craft compelling material:

Step 1: Brainstorm about experiences that have made you the person you are today. You might draw from a community or ethnic/cultural group you belong to, your gender identity, your family or upbringing, your worldview, or some other particularly formative or life-changing events/activities. Pick one or two meaningful moments or realizations that only you could write about.

Step 2: List specific actions you might take at SMU related to or inspired by the experiences or characteristics from step 1. How will these actions help others or enrich others’ educational experience? Be genuine here; don’t write things just because you think they sound good. (It will probably be obvious—and unpersuasive—to admissions readers.)

  • For example, if you wrote about growing up both in America and abroad, you might discuss how you experienced two different cultures and were able to see each one from an outsider’s perspective. You could then describe how you would teach other students about this other culture and help to build cross-cultural bridges.

Step 3: To come up with ways you’ll benefit , make an honest assessment of some things you think are missing in your life—ways your life isn’t “perfect.” (And no, we’re not talking about a lack of fame, fortune, and a mansion in the Hollywood Hills!) Think in terms of experiences you’ve never had or things you’ve never been exposed to. For example, perhaps you never felt accepted by your peers due to your religious upbringing, or perhaps you grew up surrounded mainly by people of a single ideology/religion/ethnicity/etc. Then, brainstorm ways that SMU’s diverse and open-minded community might help “fill in” some of these gaps in your life.

Now it’s time to write your essay! Show how your step-1 experiences could lead to your step-2 potential actions. Then discuss how SMU’s environment could provide experiences missing from your life. Don’t stop at just naming the “gaps”; show why it’s important and meaningful to you to gain such exposure to a diverse community. How might it impact your life going forward? 

Related Articles

how to write smu supplemental essays

How to Write Your Waitlist Essay

Cassandra Cloutier

Your Waitlist Essay (aka, Letter of Continued Interest) serve two primary purposes: (1) share new (or additional) information that will make you a more compelling candidate and (2) confirm your level of interest in the school.

how to write smu supplemental essays

The Simple “Why Us” Essay Strategy that Works

Brad Schiller

A successful Why Us essay indicates you’ll likely enroll if admitted and shows why you’re a good fit. Focus on how your academic interests match what the college offers.

how to write smu supplemental essays

How to Write Every Ross School of Business Essay for the University of Michigan

This guide will help you develop compelling topics for both Ross School of Business essay prompts.

white prompt logo

  • Become a Writing Coach
  • Writing Center
  • Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
  • Sign Up for an Essay Coaching Package
  • College Essay Feedback for High Schools
  • Prompt for IECs

Mastering SMU Supplemental Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide

Mastering SMU Supplemental Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide

Image Source: unsplash

Introduction

The supplemental essay portion of the SMU application is an opportunity for prospective students to showcase their fit with the university, as well as their unique experiences and perspectives. These essays provide admissions officers with additional insight into who you are as a person and what you can bring to the SMU community. Crafting impressive supplemental essays requires careful thought and consideration, as they play a crucial role in determining your admission. In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to write outstanding SMU supplemental essays that will capture the attention of admissions officers. We will discuss the purpose of these essays, offer tips and best practices for writing them effectively, and provide examples to illustrate our points. Whether you're applying to SMU's Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, or any other program at the university, this guide will help you navigate the supplemental essay process successfully. So let's dive in and learn how to master SMU supplemental essays!

AdmitGPT: Your Personal College Admissions AI Assistant

Get tailored college recommendations, essay feedback, interview prep, and more.

Understanding SMU Supplemental Essays

When applying to Southern Methodist University (SMU), prospective students are required to complete supplemental essays in addition to the general application. These essays provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their unique qualities, experiences, and perspectives that make them a strong fit for SMU. Understanding the purpose of these supplemental essays is crucial in crafting compelling responses that will impress the admissions committee.

SMU supplemental essays are additional writing prompts that allow applicants to go beyond their general application and delve deeper into their personal background, interests, and aspirations. These essays give applicants the chance to highlight specific aspects of their life or experiences that they believe are important for the admissions committee to know.

The purpose of SMU supplemental essays is twofold. Firstly, they provide a way for the admissions committee to gain a more comprehensive understanding of each applicant. By asking specific questions, SMU can assess an applicant's passion, motivation, and potential contributions to the university community. Secondly, these essays help SMU evaluate an applicant's fit with the university's values, culture, and academic programs. Through thoughtful responses, applicants can demonstrate their alignment with SMU's mission and show how they would thrive within its unique environment.

Writing impressive SMU supplemental essays requires careful thought and consideration. Applicants should approach these essays as an opportunity to tell their story in a way that sets them apart from other candidates. To craft compelling responses, it is important to thoroughly research SMU's values, programs, and opportunities. This knowledge will enable applicants to tailor their answers specifically to what SMU is looking for in prospective students.

When writing SMU supplemental essays, it is essential to showcase your fit with the university by highlighting your relevant experiences and achievements. This could include discussing specific courses or professors at SMU that align with your academic interests or mentioning extracurricular activities or organizations on campus that you are excited about joining. By demonstrating your knowledge of SMU and its offerings, you can show the admissions committee that you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in becoming a part of the SMU community.

Additionally, it is important to use these essays as an opportunity to showcase your unique experiences and perspectives. Think about what makes you stand out from other applicants and how your background has shaped who you are today. Whether it's overcoming challenges, pursuing a passion outside of school, or engaging in community service, sharing these personal anecdotes can give the admissions committee a deeper insight into your character and potential contributions to SMU.

Writing Tips and Best Practices

When it comes to writing SMU supplemental essays, there are several tips and best practices that can help you craft impressive and compelling responses. These essays are an opportunity for you to showcase your fit with SMU, as well as highlight your unique experiences and perspectives. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your essays stand out from the competition and leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee.

One of the first steps in writing SMU supplemental essays is to carefully analyze the essay prompts. Take the time to read through each prompt multiple times and make note of any key words or phrases. This will help you understand what the prompt is asking for and allow you to tailor your response accordingly. It's important to fully grasp the purpose of each essay prompt in order to provide a thoughtful and relevant answer.

Once you have a clear understanding of the essay prompts, it's time to start structuring your responses. Begin by creating an outline or rough draft of each essay, organizing your thoughts and ideas in a logical manner. Consider using headings or subheadings to break up different sections of your essay, making it easier for the reader to follow along. A well-structured essay will not only make it easier for the admissions committee to read, but it will also showcase your ability to think critically and present information in a coherent way.

In addition to structure, using persuasive language and storytelling techniques can greatly enhance your SMU supplemental essays. Instead of simply stating facts or listing achievements, try incorporating personal anecdotes or examples that demonstrate your skills or character traits. This will make your essays more engaging and memorable for the reader. For example, if one of the prompts asks about a challenge you've overcome, instead of just describing the challenge itself, share how you tackled it and what you learned from the experience.

Another important aspect of writing impressive SMU supplemental essays is proofreading and editing. After completing a draft of each essay, take the time to review and revise your work. Look for any grammatical or spelling errors, as well as areas where the writing could be tightened or clarified. It can also be helpful to have someone else read your essays and provide feedback. Fresh eyes may catch mistakes or offer suggestions that you may have overlooked. Taking the time to thoroughly proofread and edit your essays shows attention to detail and a commitment to producing high-quality work.

In conclusion, mastering SMU supplemental essays is crucial for prospective students looking to stand out in the application process. By understanding the purpose of these essays and crafting compelling responses, applicants can effectively showcase their fit with SMU. It is important to highlight unique experiences and perspectives that set them apart from other candidates. By following these tips and best practices, applicants can increase their chances of impressing the admissions committee and securing a spot at SMU. Remember, the supplemental essays provide an opportunity to demonstrate your passion, commitment, and potential contributions to the university community. So take your time, revise your drafts, and make sure your essay reflects your best self. Good luck!

Becoming an Expert in Stanford Supplemental Essays: Tips for High School Students

Achieving Excellence in UCB Supplemental Essays: Tips for High School Students

Mastery of NC State Supplemental Essays: Illustrations and Pointers

Gaining Proficiency in Dartmouth Supplemental Essays: Illustrations and Pointers

The Definitive Handbook for Boston College Supplemental Essays: Advice for High School Students in 2023

Logo

© Copyright 2023 AdmitGPT - All Rights Reserved

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, smu essay prompts and tips.

Hey! I'm applying to Southern Methodist University and I saw their essay prompts. I'm not exactly sure how to approach them. Does anyone have any tips or ideas on writing a strong essay that would catch their attention?

When it comes to writing a strong essay for Southern Methodist University (SMU), you'll want to focus on demonstrating your personality, experiences, and how you align with the school's values. Here are some general tips to help you craft an essay that will catch their attention:

1. Read SMU's mission statement and core values: Understand what principles the university stands for, and try to incorporate these values into your essay. Show them how your background, experiences, and goals align with their philosophy.

2. Be authentic and personal: Share your genuine experiences, thoughts, and feelings, as trying to write what you think they want to hear is just going to make your application sound the same as everyone else's. Admissions officers want to get to know the real you, so make sure your personality shines through in your writing. Use specific examples from your life to support your points and demonstrate your character.

3. Show, don't tell: Use descriptive language and vivid details to immerse the reader in your story. Instead of just stating a fact, paint a picture with your words, so your readers can fully understand and appreciate your experiences and perspectives.

4. Edit and proofread your essay: Double-check your work for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. You want your essay to appear polished and professional. If possible, ask a teacher, counselor, or someone else you trust to review your essay for feedback. If you want a more objective perspective from someone who doesn't already know you, you can also either take advantage of CollegeVine's Free Peer Essay Review Tool or submit your essay for a paid review by an expert college admissions advisor through CollegeVine's marketplace.

5. Make a connection to SMU: Overall, the most important thing is to show why you believe SMU is the perfect fit for you. This can include highlighting specific programs, extracurricular opportunities, or unique campus features that you're excited about. Show them how you can contribute to and benefit from the SMU community.

Keep these tips in mind as you write your SMU essay, and be sure to stay true to yourself and your experiences. A well-crafted, authentic, and engaging essay will undoubtedly capture the attention of the admissions committee and leave a lasting impression. Finally, if you want more comprehensive guidance, consider checking out CollegeVine's breakdown of the current SMU supplemental essay prompts: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-southern-methodist-university-essays.

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

How to Write a Supplemental Essay for College Applications

Discover tips for tackling writing supplements, and read a sample essay from a current student.

Pretty young student sitting at desk and doing her homework, she is connecting to the internet with a laptop

Getty Images

A supplemental essay gives you an opportunity to tell the admissions committee about something you weren't able to cover in your main essay.

Prospective students are usually aware that they must write an essay as part of the college application process . But they may not know that some schools will ask for additional writing samples such as a supplemental essay.

Avoid These College Application Mistakes

Courtney Rubin and Cole Claybourn July 26, 2023

how to write smu supplemental essays

These writing supplements are usually shorter than the main college essay , but they're no less important, experts say.

"Every word counts in getting your story across," says Deborah Davis, president and founder of Davis Education & Career Consultants LLC, based in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Some colleges ask for just one supplemental essay while others may require several.

For example, Wake Forest University in North Carolina had six additional questions for prospective students to respond to on its 2020 undergraduate admissions application. However, a couple of the questions asked applicants to write lists – for instance, a personal top 10 list – rather than a full paragraph or two.

Supplemental essay prompts come in all shapes and sizes. In some cases, schools let applicants choose from several options. For instance, the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill 's fall 2019-20 application included four prompts – such as "What do you hope will change about the place where you live?" – from which prospective students had to select two.

Davis says two of the most common prompts she's seen are "What do you want to major in?" and "Tell us about a favorite activity."

While word counts for supplemental essays vary, they tend to be limited.

Wake Forest has a 150-word limit for each of its supplements, says Tamara Blocker, the university's senior associate dean of admissions. UNC caps applicants' short answer responses at 250 words each, according to the school's website.

In contrast, The Common Application , a platform that allows students to apply to multiple colleges at once, has a suggested 650-word limit for the main essay and 250 words for others.

These types of written responses are more like vignettes or snapshots, rather than full-blown essays, says Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions at UNC.

"I think – I hope, anyway – that students feel the opportunity maybe in the shorter responses to worry less about form and just be a little more open with us," he says.

To help prospective students familiarize themselves with supplemental essays, U.S. News obtained an example from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Ryan Sheehan from Wallingford, Pennsylvania, wrote the short piece and is a computer science major in the class of 2021.

As part of his application, Sheehan responded to the following prompt: "There is a Quaker saying: 'Let your life speak.' Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today."

"As the son of two journalists, I have grown up under a lifelong inquisition: How is your room such a mess? Can you please stop chasing the cat? Will you come down from the tree already? Granted, those are all from this past year, but the point still stands. Like any good journalists, my parents have also always had a propensity for uncovering the truth. On the third night that I had my license, I decided to go to the library to study. Before 15 minutes had passed, I noticed the librarian peering at me through the shelves before quickly averting her eyes and whispering, "He's here," into her phone. Even so, regardless of how many spies they've hired over the years, I have always looked up to my parents immensely. However, I have found my inherited inquisitiveness to be a trait most useful in a place far from the realm of reporting: the robotics lab. After four years of spending almost more time in the lab than at home, I have learned that nothing is more important than asking the right questions. As a programmer, I need to be able to communicate with my builders. Come press time, if I don't interview them properly, our robot will invariably end up as a hunk of unresponsive aluminum. To make a machine, the team must work as one. So although I may be writing source code instead of a breaking story, I am glad I had such nosy parents after all."

Karen Richardson, former dean of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management at Tufts who is now dean of admission at Princeton University in New Jersey, explained why she liked this response: "This is a great essay because, in just 250 words, it shows rather than tells the reader who Ryan is and the things that matter to him. It gives us a sense of his family life and academic interests, and it even shows us he has a sense of humor. As an admissions committee, we learned a lot about Ryan in just one paragraph."

Here are five additional tips from admissions officers to help prospective college students craft strong supplemental essays.

Answer the Question

This may seem obvious, but applicants should carefully read a supplemental essay prompt and make sure they understand what it is asking before answering it, Richardson says.

Prospective students may want to reuse an essay they wrote for another college, but that doesn't always work because supplemental questions tend to be more tailored to an individual institution, she says.

Start With an Outline

Applicants may have their own writing process, but Davis encourages those she works with to create outlines. She says prospective students should brainstorm the personal qualities, skills or experiences they would like to convey in their supplemental essays.

Don't Repeat Yourself

Supplemental essays are a chance for applicants to give more information to an admissions committee to further show why they are a good fit for a school, Davis says. So prospective students should make sure they aren't repeating something that's already been covered in their main essay.

Narrow Your Focus

Probably the biggest mistake applicants make in supplemental essays is choosing a topic that's too big, Farmer says. For example, he says prospective students may attempt to settle a complex political issue in just one paragraph.

"I think it's better to do something small and do it well than to do something big and skate over the surface," he says.

Maintain Your Voice

It's a good idea for applicants to ask another person for editing help, but too much input can be detrimental to an essay, experts say. If lots of people – teachers, parents, peers – read and weigh in on an essay, they can weaken how clearly a student's voice comes through in the writing.

"It's great to read something that sounds like it was written by an 18-year-old and not by a machine," Farmer says, "or by someone who's trying to be prematurely middle-aged."

Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of Best Colleges.

10 Ways to Discover College Essay Ideas

Doing homework

College Admissions

  • How to Write a College Essay
  • How to Complete a College Application
  • Use the Common App to Apply to College
  • College Application Essay Grammar Tips
  • See College Essay Examples

Tags: education , colleges , college applications , college admissions , students

2024 Best Colleges

how to write smu supplemental essays

Search for your perfect fit with the U.S. News rankings of colleges and universities.

College Admissions: Get a Step Ahead!

Sign up to receive the latest updates from U.S. News & World Report and our trusted partners and sponsors. By clicking submit, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy .

Ask an Alum: Making the Most Out of College

You May Also Like

Supporting low-income college applicants.

Shavar Jeffries April 16, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

Supporting Black Women in Higher Ed

Zainab Okolo April 15, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

Law Schools With the Highest LSATs

Ilana Kowarski and Cole Claybourn April 11, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

Today NAIA, Tomorrow Title IX?

Lauren Camera April 9, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

Grad School Housing Options

Anayat Durrani April 9, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

How to Decide if an MBA Is Worth it

Sarah Wood March 27, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

What to Wear to a Graduation

LaMont Jones, Jr. March 27, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

FAFSA Delays Alarm Families, Colleges

Sarah Wood March 25, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

Help Your Teen With the College Decision

Anayat Durrani March 25, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

Toward Semiconductor Gender Equity

Alexis McKittrick March 22, 2024

how to write smu supplemental essays

how to write smu supplemental essays

Supplemental Essays Guide: How to Write, Tips & Examples

Student writing in on paper

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 9/11/23

Writing stand-out supplemental essays may be your ticket into your dream school. Follow along for our complete guide on writing perfect supplemental essays for college.

A student writing a supplemental essay

If you’re working on supplemental essays, you’ve already spent countless hours perfecting your application. However, even the perfect application must be followed by stellar supplementals to get you into your dream school. That’s right, supplementals are a highly important piece of the application process - so how can you perfect yours? 

In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about writing excellent supplemental essays, including examples from well-written essays , tips for common essay prompts, and each possible length. To top it all off, we’ve also included answers to the most frequently asked questions about writing stand-out supplemental essays.

Let’s get started!

What are Supplemental Essays? 

Supplemental essays are additional writing samples that you submit along with the rest of your college application. Many high-ranking schools ask for these essays, as they are intended to be more specific than your personal statement. It’s a chance for you to further demonstrate why you are a good fit for the school you’re applying to.

How Important are Supplemental Essays?

Two students talking

In short, supplemental essays are an extremely valuable part of your application. Your application allows schools to see the base of your work ethic through numbers (grades, extracurriculars, awards, and more), but it doesn’t give any indication of your personality. 

These essays are your first opportunity to give your university an idea of who you are and what you are passionate about. 

Excellent essays can tip the scales in your favor, especially for highly competitive schools where most candidates have excellent grades. An in-depth, well-written essay can set your application apart from others.

What are Colleges Looking For in Supplemental Essays? 

In supplemental essays, colleges look for honesty, specificity, and the ability to answer the prompt accurately and succinctly. We will look at several common prompts that colleges often use: 

  • “Why This Major?”
  • Community/diversity
  • Extracurricular

Using these prompts helps college admissions get a better idea of who you are as an applicant.

How to Write Different Supplemental Essay Prompts

Every college has a unique set of prompts they distribute to their applicants each year. However, most prompts follow core formats. Here are some of the most common types of supplemental essays and how to write them.

The “Why Us?” Essay

The “Why Us?” or "Why This School?” essay is one of the most common prompts in circulation. Top schools such as Brown, Columbia, and Cornell have all been known to ask applicants to answer this prompt as part of their application. So, how do you write the “Why Us?” essay? Let’s talk about it. 

When a college asks you why you want to go there, the admissions committee wants to know a few things:

  • The specific things about this school that appeal to you (have you done your research?)
  • How you will contribute to this school’s college life
  • How attending this school will help you achieve short and long-term goals

With this prompt, avoid listing reasons you want to go to the school unless you are directly instructed to do so. This is an opportunity to show the admissions committee how much their school matters to you, what programs and courses most interest you, and how the school will help you develop your passion and achieve your goals. 

You should do thorough research on the school and consider what sets it apart from other colleges on your list . Avoid providing general reasons that could be said about any other college. 

Writing this essay is your chance to showcase why you are passionate about attending this specific school and why it matters to you. Finally, conclude your essay by explaining how and why attending this school will help your long-term goals. 

‍ “Why Us?” Essay Sample from Columbia University:

“Computer science is at the core of my academic passions and my life ambitions. What I value in life is being around brilliant technologists. At Columbia, I have worked with and befriended the most driven and gifted programmers I’ve ever met. In January, I formed a team with three Columbia freshmen for MIT’s annual strategy-game-playing artificial intelligence competition. Ben, Ryan, Koh and I spent the month reviewing matches, debating approaches and tweaking our models. More than once we coded through the night. Their caliber was clear in the subtle insights that their multi-disciplinary backgrounds gave them and they gave me something to aspire to.
I have many interests that lie outside of my intended major but that I want to continue to pursue, and Columbia provides an environment for those diverse passions. Recently, while at a Columbia math club meeting with Ben, I ran into a political science major, Mathieu. He was elated to point out the insights that a love of math granted him in his courses and his conviction encouraged me to explore the peculiar intersection of the two fields.
I love teachers who love to teach. At Columbia, I’ve seen faculty who have a love for what they do and who care about students. While touring, I sat in on a quantum mechanics lecture. Professor Norman Christ strode into the room at eight on-the-dot and jumped into a discussion of WKB complex value approximation. For three straight hours, he guided us through the intricate world of QM without any notes. His enthusiasm brightened that drizzling Monday morning. That I could follow the lecture at all is a testament to his lucid explanations and extraordinary knowledge. When I came to him with questions afterward, he helped me truly understand a topic that initially felt years out of reach.”

Why this is a successful essay: In this essay , the writer starts by talking about their major and how Columbia provides an excellent program. They continue to add how they could positively impact Columbia if accepted. Take note of how the writer lists their key topic at the beginning of each paragraph and then connects Columbia to each topic. 

This student also mentioned that they enjoyed a Columbia professor's lecture, which is an excellent way of showing their deep interest in the school. Showing in your essay that you are passionate about the program and that you’ve done your research can be a point in your favor. 

The “Why This Major?” Essay

Although this prompt is very similar to the “Why Us?” essay, your answer should focus entirely on why you’re passionate about your degree. Think of this essay as an opportunity to tell the story of how you developed your passion. Try creating a timeline before you start writing to help organize your ideas. It should look something like this:

1. The first time I thought about pursuing this major was: __________________                              

2. I started to get more serious about pursuing this passion when:___________________

3. I’m now applying to this program so that in the future, I can: ___________________

Creating a timeline can help you easily convey how important your major is to you and the journey you’ve taken to build upon your passion. 

You can also include, if it applies, what specific things about your school’s program that drew you to your current selection. However, the main focus of this essay should be how you developed your passion for the subject and what you want to do in this field later on.

"Why This Major" Essay Sample from Yale:

“Literature and anthropology are telescopes into the past; philosophy, a prism into the mind. I want to ask the hard questions: Do I have free will? Is meaning lost in translation? Is there eternal truth? What is an “I”? Am I my mind, body or something more? Literature is an empathetic account of the past, anthropology a scientific documentation of human lives. I want to find commonality in lives separated by time and space, find meaning within them, partake in the collective memory of humanity, and interrogate what it means to be human.”

Why this essay works: 

In this short essay example from a Literature and Anthropology student from Yale, the student gets straight to the point. Demonstrating the questions they have that they hope to answer throughout their education is an excellent way to show that you’ve given your major a lot of thought. 

They’ve also captured the true essence of their major in the last sentence by stating they want to “partake in the collective memory of humanity” and “interrogate what it means to be human.” Whatever major you choose, write honestly about what calls you to the subject and demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the genre of material you’ll be studying. 

The Adversity Essay

As one of the most challenging essay prompts, the adversity essay presents students with the uncomfortable task of recalling a difficult life experience and explaining how they overcame it. 

For some, choosing an instance of adversity can be the most challenging part of this prompt. Keep in mind that adversity looks different to everyone. Your story doesn’t have to be overly tragic to write a good adversity essay; you simply need to approach your issue from a place of growth. 

One of the main mistakes applicants make when writing the adversity essay is thinking that their adversity story needs to be overly tragic or complex. Instead of focusing on the actual adversity, your essay should mainly focus on the steps you took to overcome the adversity and learn valuable lessons moving forward. 

If a school asks you to write an adversity essay, the admissions committee wants to know how you handle a challenge. If you buckle under pressure, you may not be able to handle the intensity of a heavy workload. 

Therefore, schools want to know that you are capable of facing challenges head-on and have the capacity to learn from your mistakes. 

Adversity Essay Sample from Harvard University:

“When I was a freshman in high school, I didn't care about school or my education. I couldn't see a future where it mattered whether I knew how to say 'how are you' in Spanish or how to use the Pythagorean theorem. Because I couldn't see the point of these classes, I found myself disconnected from the high school experience as a whole, which resulted in low grades. My parents expressed their disappointment in me, but I still couldn't bring myself to care; I was feeling disconnected from my family, too.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I was depressed. I stopped spending time with my friends and stopped enjoying the things I used to enjoy. I was feeling hopeless. How could I get through three and a half more years of high school if I couldn't even get through a semester? I couldn't stand the thought of feeling this way for so long – at least it felt so long at the time.
After a few failed tests, one of my teachers approached me after class one day. She said she also noticed a difference in my demeanor in the last few weeks and asked if I was okay. At that moment, I realized that no one had asked me that in a long time. I didn't feel okay, so I told her that. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her that I was feeling disconnected from school and classes and just about everything at that point.
My teacher suggested I visit my guidance counselor. So the next day, during study hall, I got a pass to visit with my guidance counselor and told her I was feeling disconnected from classes and school. She asked me what my interests were and suggested that I take an elective like art or music or a vocational tech class like culinary arts or computer coding. I told her that I wasn't sure what I was interested in at this point and she told me to take a couple of classes to see what I like. At her persistence, I signed up for art and computer coding.
It turns out art was not my thing. But it also turns out that computer coding is my thing, and I am not sure I would have realized that had I not gone to see my guidance counselor at my teacher's recommendation. After taking computer coding and other similar classes, I had something to look forward to during school. So even when I still dreaded taking Spanish and Geometry, I knew I could look forward to an enjoyable class later in the day. Having something to look forward to really helped me raise my grades because I started caring about my future and the possibility of applying for college to study computer science.
The best thing that I took away from this experience is that I can't always control what happens to me, especially as a minor, but I can control how I handle things. In full transparency: there were still bad days and bad grades, but by taking action and adding a couple of classes into my schedule that I felt passionate about, I started feeling connected to school again. From there, my overall experience with school – and life in general – improved 100%."

Why this is a good essay: In this essay , the applicant focuses on personal development. They begin by addressing their low grades and poor mental health at a younger age and how the experience affected them. The main focus of the essay, however, is how they found the motivation to get back on track and improve their grades. 

The student has taken this essay opportunity to not only explain the poor grades that Harvard will see from freshman year but has also proven that they have the ability to pull through when times get tough. Remember, the adversity essay should focus mainly on how you’ve learned and grown from a negative experience rather than focusing on the experience itself. 

Community/Diversity Essay

Essay prompts that ask about your experiences in your community help colleges to better understand your unique perspective. Many schools aim to cultivate a diverse environment to enrich the student experience and make sure students from all different backgrounds feel welcome on campus. 

Diversity can relate to your ethnicity, culture, birthplace, health, socioeconomic status, interests, talents, values, and many other things. There is no “correct experience” when it comes to choosing a topic here. In this essay, you have the opportunity to celebrate your unique perspective.

Think about experiences that are important to your identity. For example, you could write about your hometown, a family tradition, a community event, a generational story, or whatever feels most authentic to you. 

Keep this essay authentic; avoid fabricating a story or using someone else's experience. This story needs to come completely from you and let your school get some more information on who you are.

Community/Diversity Essay Sample from Duke University:

“The pitter patter of droplets, the sweet smell that permeates throughout the air, the dark grey clouds that fill the sky, shielding me from the otherwise intense gaze of the sun, create a landscape unparalleled by any natural beauty. I have gazed upon the towering cliffs of Yosemite, stood next to Niagara Falls as the water roars, succumbing to the power of gravity, and seen the beaches of Mexico basked in moonlight, yet none of these wonders compares to the simple beauty of an Arizona rainstorm. To me, our rain represents more than humidity and darkness; its rarity gives it beauty. The uncertainty of when the next day of rain will come compels me to slow down, and enjoy the moment.
Out of the three realms of time; past, present, and future, the present is the only one we can experience, and I take advantage of every moment I have. When I pause my running to enjoy a sunset that dazzles the sky with brilliant colors of purple and orange, when I touch my brush to a canvas and focus on my movements in the present, when I drive home after a long day of improving our robot, and decide to drive around my neighborhood to finish “Garota de Ipanema”, which just popped up from my playlist of 700 songs, I am taking advantage of the moment.
So next time it rains, step outside. Close your eyes. Hear the symphony of millions of water droplets. And enjoy the moment.”

Why this is a successful essay: This essay is an excellent example of pulling a unique experience from your life and expressing its importance. The applicant tells a compelling story about their unique perspective on rain in Arizona and does an excellent job of expressing how special the seemingly mundane event is to them. 

The language used here is visually descriptive, which makes the reader feel as if we are experiencing the event with the writer. This is an excellent way to get the admissions committee to feel connected to your story and get a better understanding of who you are and what you enjoy doing in life. 

The Extracurricular Essay

Many schools are interested in how you spend your time outside of the classroom. Extracurricular essays are quite common as supplemental essays, although students often struggle with how to make an entire essay out of their extracurricular activities. That’s why it’s important to brainstorm and create a story.

Think of a problem that arose while you were participating in one of your extracurricular activities, such as:

  • Your sports team lost an important player
  • You were injured during a dance recital
  • Your music group needed funding 
  • Your local soup kitchen was at risk of being shut down, etc.

The problem you choose can be big or small as long as it lends itself to a story. Think about the problem and how you took steps to solve it with your team or other members of your community. 

Use your extracurricular essay to show how your passion and motivation extend beyond the classroom. You can choose any activity to write about, as long as it was not during regular school hours or related to a specific course. 

Extracurricular Essay Sample from Yale:

“ Haunted romanticism, ravaged gaze, desperation bordering on lunacy, Saturn Devouring His Son first caught my attention as a bored nine-year-old wandering around a museum, and once again as a high-school student, after catching a glimpse of it in a textbook. 
Because after looking at angelic frescos after more Church frescos, I could not stop myself from flipping back to the tiny printing of this unholy piece. I sought to discover the story behind it—what caused this artist to create something so raw and naked, in the age of staid royal family portraits?
I became immersed in unraveling each bit of the story, how Goya had long transitioned from a royal painter, to a harsh, but veiled critic of society, the desolation that occurred during the French occupation of Spain, the corruption of Charles IV— who was really only a puppet ruler to Godoy. I learned how kingdoms rose and fell—and rose again, how art is unafraid to capture the seditious attitudes of the common people, and how it has endured to teach us of past mistakes.
I fell in love with dissecting the messages from the past, and discovering how we still have not listened to them.”

Why this essay is successful: 

The prompt for this Yale extracurricular essay was “Write about something that you love to do,” and the writer has certainly delivered. Here, the writer goes into detail about why they enjoy going to art museums outside of school. They’ve kept their essay focused on the meanings behind the paintings, giving the reader a deeper understanding of not only what fascinates them - but why it does.

The real key to an extracurricular essay is showing your passions outside of school. There is no right answer; you should simply focus on what interests you and explain why. Try to make the reader feel as if they are there with you. Think about the smells, the sights, and the feelings that surround your extracurricular interest and include them in your essay. 

College Supplemental Essay Length 

how to write smu supplemental essays

All of the essay types above come in different lengths. Some essays will ask only 150 words or less, while some have no word limit at all. Here, we’ll go over how to adjust your writing depending on your word count. 

Short Essay

how to write smu supplemental essays

There is a broad misconception that writing a short essay is “less work,” which we are unfortunately here to squash. Writing shorter-form essays (150 to 500 words) can be more challenging because you have less room to make your point, and your writing must be concise. 

To write an excellent short-form essay, start by brainstorming your ideas and move on to writing once you have a solid idea of the main points you want to include. Avoid fluff, repeating the question, reciting your resume, and run-on sentences. The best short essays are honest and to the point. 

If your essay is too long when you’ve finished writing, go through each sentence and ask yourself: “Could I tell this story without this sentence?” If yes, cut it completely. If you answered no, find ways to subtract unnecessary words. Having a friend help you edit is a great way to find out which parts are making the text longer without lending anything to the story. 

Medium Essay 

how to write smu supplemental essays

A medium essay is a sweet spot. Typically, a length of one to three pages flows easily and allows the writer to include all necessary information without repeating themselves or taking anything away. 

Because of this, make sure not to go over or under the word count. Most students do not struggle to keep their writing within these parameters, so it’s important to respect them. 

Although you have more room in a medium-length essay, your writing should still be concise and flow well without including excess information. It’s always a good idea to have a teacher, friend, or family member look over your story. 

Make sure that when they edit, they are looking for things like grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and unnecessary information. They shouldn’t take too much out of your essay because you don’t want the voice of the essay to change. 

Long Essay 

how to write smu supplemental essays

When tasked with writing a long essay (three pages or more), it can be challenging to continuously provide fresh information and avoid repetition. However, repetition and dragging sentences is the main thing you’ll want to avoid in a long-form essay. To do this, you should rely heavily on planning and your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement sets up your article, allowing you to break the information into parts and tackle each step individually. Brainstorming before you start writing is critical as it ensures you have enough relevant information to fill out the full length of your paper. 

How to Write School-Specific Supplemental Essays? 

It’s a good idea to tailor your supplemental essays to match the expectations of the school you’re applying to. Here are some guides on how to write outstanding essays for specific schools: 

  • How to Write the Harvard Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Vanderbilt Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Duke Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Princeton Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Northwestern University Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the UPenn Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the University of Washington Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Boston College Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Cornell Supplemental Essays
  • How to Write the Bowdoin Supplemental Essays ‍
  • How to Write the Pepperdine Supplemental Essays

These guides will help you write stellar essays!

FAQs: Supplemental Essays

Here are our answers to some frequently asked questions about supplemental essays.

1. Do Colleges Care About Supplemental Essays?

Yes, colleges care about supplemental essays. Your writing gives colleges extra insight into who you are as a person beyond your grades. Strong essays can give you an advantage in your application to many different schools. 

2. What to Include in Supplemental Essays?

Stick to the prompt. Your response should approach each aspect of the prompt while providing genuine information about your life experience. 

Each essay prompt is different, but admissions committees always love to hear a good story. Use descriptive yet concise language to get your points across while transporting the reader into your world.

3. When Should I Start My Supplemental Essays?

You should start planning your essays as soon as you receive the prompts for each. Once you’re confident in your plan, begin writing your essay as soon as you can to give yourself plenty of time to edit before submitting. 

4. Are Supplemental Essays Hard?

For students who are not strong writers, it can be challenging to get started on your essays. However, the most important part of your essay is to remain genuine, tell your story, and be concise. 

5. How Do I Start Writing My Supplemental Essay?

Before you start writing, brainstorm and create a solid plan for what you want to include. This will help you write with ease and remain on track while you’re writing your paper. You can also look at good essay examples for inspiration. 

6. Where Do You Submit Supplemental Essays? 

If using the Common Application, you can submit your essays in the Writing Supplements section. Generally, you will submit your essays along with the rest of your application.

Final Thoughts

Your supplemental essays are an important part of your application and should be given plenty of time and attention. No matter what essay prompts you are given, ensure that you are consistently speaking from the heart and telling a compelling story. 

Keep in mind that your experiences are what make you unique, and you do not have to exaggerate or fabricate anything to craft an excellent supplemental essay.

If you are still struggling with writing compelling essays, you can always seek professional help to get assistance with writing, editing, brainstorming, and overall crafting stellar supplementals. 

Good luck with your essays!

Access 190+ sample college essays here

First name, vector icon of a person

Get A Free Consultation

You may also like.

When Do Columbia Decisions Come Out?

When Do Columbia Decisions Come Out?

How to Write a College Transfer Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write a College Transfer Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to write smu supplemental essays

logo - no background.png

Berkeley² Academy

Test Prep | Tutoring | College Admissions

  • Ryan Murphy
  • Oct 1, 2020

How to Write the SMU College Admissions Essays

SMU campus

Last week , I wrote about how to brainstorm and draft the TCU-specific college admissions essays. And a few weeks back , I talked about best practices for the ApplyTexas Essays and UT Short Answers. Today, I will provide some tips on how to approach the SMU college admissions essays.

SMU requires two school-specific responses in addition to the “main” admission essay. I will explain how to brainstorm and outline your responses to these prompts. But first, let me explain what SMU (as well as any other college that has school-specific prompts) is generally looking for.

Any school-specific college admissions essay is meant to illustrate that you’ve “done your homework.” In other words, the admissions officers want to know (1) do you actually want to attend this college for a substantial reason, (2) and can you clearly articulate that reason?

Superficial reasoning -- like location of the school or the prestige of its name (or, worse, its best sports team) -- will not help your application. And vague, copy-and-paste reasoning cobbled from other essays won’t really help either.

So, what does this mean for writing the SMU-specific college admissions essays? Simple. Spend half an hour on SMU’s website (or longer) and see what you like about the college’s professors, academic resources (such as research labs and business affiliates), and student culture.

You don’t need to digest the whole website, tour the campus, and burn with ever-glowing pride for Mustang culture (although, of course, none of those things would hurt), but you do need to demonstrate that you’re not just “phoning it in” and writing these essays so you can “get the app in.”

Make sense? Great! Now, let’s review the actual prompts.

PROMPT #1 : SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250 words)

First break the prompt into multiple components, which you can use to structure your short response:

Paragraph 1: Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU. (~100 words)

Explaining your interest in SMU is basically stating what caught your eye about the university in the first place. In other words, this first half of the question is your introduction paragraph .

Maybe you attended an engineering camp during summer. Or maybe you assisted research in the Biological Sciences department. Or maybe you simply watched a YouTube video from one of its dozens of famous alumni (including many politicians). Whatever the connection, you want to identify a specific moment that gave you the first meaningful connection to SMU. You will build off of this moment in the subsequent paragraphs.

And, whatever first put SMU “on your radar” should have made you realize how the school represents something or offers something . Basically, this intro paragraph should end with some kind of thesis or thematic statement that crystallizes what underlying trait SMU has that interests you -- for example, “Ultimately, I realized that SMU is the best college for me to further develop a sophisticated knowledge of international business.”

Paragraphs 2-3: What specific factors have led you to apply? (~150 words)

After the initial appeal of “first contact” with SMU is described, then you need to explain how your piqued interest led you to act. Therefore, paragraphs 2 and 3 should go into more detail about how you learned more about SMU and then finally made the decision to apply.

Paragraph 2 (~100 words) should be the initial “research” stage. You can talk about reviewing the work of professors or touring the campus or interviewing alumni or really anything , as long as you are specific about what you learned about SMU and why it motivated you to apply.

Paragraph 3 (~50 words) is the “what you hope to accomplish” segment. Once you describe the major reason for applying to SMU (I recommend going with a specific professor / research area as your reasoning, but that’s not always the most compelling option), you can further demonstrate why SMU fits your college goals by stating how you see yourself at SMU.

Alternately, you could also make the third paragraph the “furthermore, I like this too” part of your essay. In this case, you can identify another feature of SMU that genuinely excites you (for secondary reasons, additional resources such as alumni contacts or internship opportunities usually work well). For length purposes, it may be hard to cram in another point in a convincing manner, so your best option is likely to go deeper on your one main point. But, if you can make it work, then do it!

PROMPT #2 : SMU is a diverse learning environment shaped by the convergence of ideas and cultures. How will your unique experiences or background enhance the University, and how will you benefit from this community? (250 words)

This topic is quite similar to one of the UT-Austin Short Answers (#3), so if you plan on applying to UT-Austin and SMU, then you most likely will be able to recycle the UT Short Answer for this one with minimal editing. But let’s go ahead and assume that you do the SMU essays first (or don’t apply to UT-Austin).

Similar to the first prompt, you can use the multiple parts of this question to organize your thoughts:

Paragraphs 1-2: How will your unique experiences or background enhance the University? (~200 words)

Over the course of the first paragraph (~50 words), you need to introduce one unique experience or element of your identity -- and this should be something unseen elsewhere in your other essays and application materials, if possible. For example, maybe this is the moment to talk about your religion (though in non-preaching, somewhat neutral terms) or a family tradition.

In the second paragraph (~150 words), you then go into more details about the specifics of this experience or part of your identity. The second paragraph is basically “the story” of your essay, but there is one complication: you also have to explain in this paragraph how this experience/background will enhance SMU . Thus, at the end of the “story,” you need to state (1) what you learned and (2) how you will apply this lesson while attending SMU.

Paragraph 3: How will you benefit from this community? (~50 words)

You can address the second half of the prompt in the third / conclusion paragraph of the essay. Indeed, once you’ve explained what makes you unique and how this will be useful at SMU, you can then say how you imagine the student body and general community spirit will benefit you.

This part can focus on extracurriculars, student groups, resident hall traditions, and anything else that reveals what excites you about the culture of SMU. And of course, you want to make sure that whatever you highlight relates to what you discussed in the previous paragraphs.

Those are my recommendations for how to approach the SMU supplemental college admissions essays. I hope you find it easier to brainstorm and draft your responses!

Need help finalizing your college admissions essays? We can gladly help you review essays and determine best strategies for editing content, adding more details, and removing extraneous information. Check out our College Admissions Services -- Essay Editing for more information!

Featured Posts

The Return of Required Testing and What it Means for You

The Return of Required Testing and What it Means for You

how to write smu supplemental essays

Why the Digital SAT Proved Tougher Than Expected

The Ultimate Guide to Conquering AP/IB Exams

The Ultimate Guide to Conquering AP/IB Exams

Waitlisted? What To Do Next

Waitlisted? What To Do Next

how to write smu supplemental essays

Carnegie Mellon University: Home of the Curious and Passionate

Your Network is Your Net Worth: 6 Tips to Help Grow Your Network

Your Network is Your Net Worth: 6 Tips to Help Grow Your Network

how to write smu supplemental essays

Big Changes at UT Austin: Testing Policies, Essays, and Deadlines

Artificial Intelligence and Admissions

Artificial Intelligence and Admissions

how to write smu supplemental essays

College Applications 101

Admission Trends and Early Admission Results – Class of 2028

Admission Trends and Early Admission Results – Class of 2028

Recent Posts

The Return of Required Testing and What it Means for You

Search By Tags

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors

Extracurriculars.

how to write smu supplemental essays

How to Write the Most Common Supplemental College Essays: A Complete Guide

Note: This post focuses on supplemental essays. If you want advice on the Common App prompts, check out our guide to the Common App essays .

Your grades are in, your test scores have been sent, and recommendation letters have been uploaded…but there’s one last component of your college applications left: the essays. For many students, essays are the final and most daunting hurdle to clear before hitting submit.

Your essays, however, are your opportunity to tell admissions officers how you want them to remember you. Maybe you didn’t do so well on the SAT, or maybe you got a lower grade than you hoped for in Honors Chemistry, but you can’t change your grades or scores.

The essays, however, are entirely in your control. There is so much freedom to tell your story and what makes you unique. Our mission at CollegeVine is to make the essay-writing as stress-free as possible. Read on for our tips and tricks on writing a college essay that will give you the best chance at getting that thick envelope!

Content overview:

  • Why this college?
  • Why this major?
  • Elaborate on an extracurricular activity or work experience.
  • Discuss a community you belong to that has impacted who you are today.
  • Crafting the essay
  • Avoiding pitfalls

Want to learn more about Supplemental Essays? Check out one of our popular recorded live streams on this topic.

Common Types of College Essays

Colleges will find a hundred different ways to ask a question, but most of the time, the prompt boils down to one of the following common essay themes.

Common Essay #1: Why this college?

Students’ most common mistake on a “Why this college?” essay is lack of specificity; in particular, some students will list attributes that can apply to multiple schools, which is what you want to avoid at all costs.

When it comes to a “Why this college?” essay, you need to discuss qualities and programs specific to that school. It is not enough to merely list or name-drop, however. Instead, talk about why this item is important to you. Here’s how this plays out:

What not to do:

I want to go to the University of Southern California because it is a highly ranked school in Los Angeles. In addition, I like its Cosmic Writers Club, as well as the Incubate USC program. I am especially excited about the abundant film resources.

Why the previous response doesn’t work:

There are many reasons you want to avoid a response like this. Let’s start with the first sentence: replace the school’s name with UCLA and the accuracy doesn’t suffer. What this means is that the sentence is not specific enough to USC. In addition, you never want to state, or even imply, that you’re applying to a school due to prestige or ranking.

The exception for the previous rule is if a school is ranked highly for a specific program of interest. For example, if you want to pursue creative writing and a school has the number one creative writing program in the country, you can mention this because it is a quality specific to that school. A school’s overall prestige, however, should not be mentioned in your essay.

Why else doesn’t this response work? Let’s look at the second sentence. The writer does well to mention specific programs within USC. However, the response fails to discuss why they liked these programs or how they would benefit from having access to them.

What to write instead:

As someone with a lasting love for writing and a blossoming passion for entrepreneurship, I was so excited to find a large urban school like the University of Southern California that would give me the resources to pursue both. From classes with award-winning authors—amongst them Professor T. Boyle, whose environmental fiction works are similar to those I hope to someday publish—to clubs like the Cosmic Writers Club, which unites author hopefuls, USC offers more resources than I could ever exhaust in my journey to publish my first book.

On the business side, USC is known for fostering the type of creativity and innovation needed in pursuing start-ups. In particular, I was so excited to learn of the Incubate USC program, a unique mothership of ideas that nurtures the creativity of students. With the help of this program, I would be able to pursue my growing interest in the world of start-up ventures.

Why the previous response works:

This response not only mentions programs and resources specific to USC, but it shows how the student would take advantage of these opportunities. In addition, this response portrays passion and ambition, infusing elements of the student’s personality while still staying focused on answering the prompt.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • The first time you say the school’s name, you should write it out. After that, you can abbreviate.
  • Avoid writing what every other applicant is going to write. For example, every NYU applicant is going to mention NYU’s location in New York City. Unless you have a unique twist on this, you should skip it.
  • Don’t mention frivolous things like dorms or dining halls. Your reasons for liking a school should be more substantial.
  • Do your research. For example, don’t say you’ve always wanted to go to a city if you’re writing an essay for a rural school.
  • Do not copy and paste your “Why this college?” essay and simply change the school name. Many non-Harvard admissions officers have received essays from students about why they want to go to Harvard. If your “Why this college?” essay is so general that you can copy and paste it, your reasoning will not impress admissions officers.

For more tips on writing this essay, see our complete guide to the “Why this college?” essay , including a real sample essay.

Common Essay #2: Why this major? 

One of the most important things to remember is that admissions officers are not looking for a résumé. This is not to say you can’t discuss your activities and how they culminated a passion for a specific major. The challenge, however, is to use these activities to tell a story rather than a mere list of achievements.

How do you do this? Share your thought processes. Many times it is the thoughts surrounding an activity more than the activity itself that will show the reader your journey to choosing a major.

Other tips:

  • Don’t ever say that your reason for choosing a major is money-making potential. If you want to mention life beyond college, then talk about how this major will help you achieve your dreams. If your dream is to produce a feature-length film and a film major will help you get there, say that. But don’t say your dream is to be a rich film producer.
  • Undeclared? That’s totally okay. Just be sure to list a couple potential majors, and explain your interest in those. Under no circumstances should you say you have absolutely no idea, as that will make you look like you don’t care. For more tips, see our post on how to write the “Why this major?” essay if you’re undecided .

For more tips on writing this essay, see our complete guide to the “Why this major?” essay , including a real sample essay.

Common Essay 3: Elaborate on an extracurricular activity or work experience.

Is there an activity or work experience in your application that you have more to say about? Maybe there’s a story behind it that you want to tell. Some questions to consider are:

  • How did you become interested in this extracurricular?
  • What is your role in the activity or work experience?
  • Why do you do it?
  • Have you experienced growth within the activity over time?

There are endless angles you can pursue here, but your essay should, in short, show your motivation behind participating in a certain activity or job.

What you don’t want to do, however, is simply restate something that’s been said elsewhere. If you have already spotlighted an activity in another essay for a given college, don’t write about the same activity. Your goal here is to share new information and your breadth of experiences.

As with the “Why Major?” prompt, it is more powerful to share a story with the reader rather than to detail the activity itself.

For more tips on writing this essay, see our complete guide to the Extracurricular Activity essay , including a real sample essay.

Common Essay 4: Discuss a community you belong to that has impacted who you are today.

“Community” can mean many things, so there are many possible approaches to this prompt. Some applicants respond with a community they’re linked to through culture, and others through sports or a club.

One thing you can emphasize is personal growth—or other aspects of who you are as a person—that has come from belonging to this community. The majority of the essay should, in fact, center around how being part of this group has changed or impacted who you are as a person.

What to avoid:

  • Do not discriminate against other communities in your response.
  • Try not to talk about your community in broad terms, but instead focus on your place within this community.
  • Avoid using the essay as a chance to complain. If you choose to talk about challenges in a certain community, find a way to give your essay a sense of resolution. This can consist even of talking about how you’ve grown as a person or learned how to confront these obstacles in a productive way.

Writing the Essay

Phase 1: ideation.

Highlights of this section:

  • Thinking of an idea
  • Portraying individuality
  • Staying true to yourself
  • General tips and tricks

Now that you’re familiar with some of the most common types of essay prompts, let’s dive into the ideation process. Here are some questions that it’s good to ask yourself when you’re just starting out, particularly when the prompt deviates from the more straightforward archetypes above:

  • What makes you unique?
  • What is your story?
  • Is there something you weren’t able to say in your application that you think admissions officers should know?
  • Did you mention something earlier in your application that you want to elaborate on?

Remember that your essays, and application in general, should read like a portfolio in which all components are complementary without being redundant. If the application is like a drawing, then the essays should contribute to creating one coherent image without sketching the same line more than once or leaving gaps in the drawing.

Don’t shy away from being quirky! The more you present yourself as your own unique person, the more likely the admissions officer is to remember you. Take the following cases, for instance:

  • A football player who scores a winning touchdown in the last five seconds of the game.
  • A football player who knits scarves for residents of a retirement home in his free time.

In the first case, telling this story doesn’t do anything to differentiate this football player from others. However, the second story portrays a unique student with two interests the reader might not otherwise have paired together. Individuality is the goal here.

Of course, don’t exaggerate , lie, or pretend to be someone you’re not. In particular, don’t write something just because you think the admissions officer wants to hear it. They have read enough applications to separate the genuine voices from the insincere. As such, your only job is to put your true self on the page!

Here are some other things to keep in mind while brainstorming college essay topics:

  • Narratives will always be more successful because they engage the reader emotionally. They are also an easy way to demonstrate how you’ve changed and grown over time.
  • If you have already emphasized something in your application, don’t dedicate an essay to it unless can share an entirely new perspective. When in doubt, choose a new topic.
  • Your essay doesn’t have to be about something rare and incredible. You don’t have to have started a company or traveled the world to write a solid essay. In fact, some of the strongest essays have taken a simple, perhaps even everyday occurrence, and portrayed it in a beautiful way that shows a unique way of thinking.
  • Be sure to answer all aspects of the prompt while still giving the reader insight into who you are. It’s very easy to speak about some topics in third-person or broad terms (example: “What is your idea of success?”). Don’t do this. Instead, find a way to link the prompt to your own life.

Overall, think of the essays as a way to let the admissions officer get to know you on a personal level. Humanize yourself.

how to write smu supplemental essays

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

Phase 2: Crafting the Essay

  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Perfecting the first and last sentence
  • What does the essay say about me?

You have likely heard this next tip a hundred times throughout high school, but it’s vital to writing a strong essay: show, don’t tell . The whole point of essays is to give insight into who you are and how you think. Can you effectively do that if you’re merely listing off things that happened? Nope. Let’s take a lot at two examples:

  • An example of telling: The cat ran out the door, and I got scared.
  • An example of showing: The doorbell rang, accompanied by the creak of the mailbox as the mailman slipped the day’s envelopes inside. I ran downstairs and threw the door open, knowing today was the day I was going to hear back. My excitement made me oblivious, though, and it wasn’t until I saw a blur of dark fur dash through the open door that I realized my mistake.

The second example takes the facts and turns it into a story. It gives the reader a sense of anticipation as well as a character to identify with and root for. That’s what “show, don’t tell” does for your essay.

Now let’s talk about the two most important parts of your essay: the first sentence and the last sentence.

Your first sentence’s job is to hook the reader. Aim for a first sentence that surprises, even slightly jars, the reader to wake them up and get their full focus on your essay. Here are some examples:

  • It wasn’t supposed to be blue.
  • Was the car meant to sound like that?

In both cases, the writer has intentionally withheld information, providing just enough to leave the reader wanting to know the rest of the story. What isn’t supposed to be blue? What happens next?

As for the last sentence, its job is to resolve the essay, leaving the reader with a sense of peace and finality. Give the reader one last great impression to remember you by. Here’s an example:

“I’ve learned to hold my failures close; not so close that they burden me, per say, but just

close enough that they can guide me as I journey onward.”

This sentence works because it gives the reader a sense that, though the story continues on in the form of the narrator’s ongoing journey, the story on the page has been resolved. It feels peaceful.

Now then, after you’ve completed your first draft, the next thing you want to do is ask yourself the following question : What three things about me can the reader get from reading this essay? If you’re having trouble answering this question, then the essay needs to share more about you. Otherwise, you’re ready for revision!

Phase 3: Revision

  • Careless errors
  • Staying under the word limit
  • Getting a second opinion

You’ve done the hard work. You came up with a brilliant idea and poured your heart and soul into the writing. Now comes the tedious part: revision.

Most importantly, college essays need to be absolutely devoid of grammatical or spelling mistakes . You don’t want to give your admissions officer the impression that you didn’t care enough to proofread, especially after all of your hard work.

Another aspect that tends to frustrate students is the word limit. If you’ve made it under the word limit, great! If not, here are some methods of cutting down.

  • Example: In visiting your campus, it occurred to me that the method with which you schedule your classes is ideal because…
  • This can be cut down to: The way you schedule your classes is ideal because…
  • Most times phrases such as “I think,” “I believe,” “it seems,” and other similar wording is not necessary and simply takes up extra space. Use your judgement, but generally, these phrases get the boot.
  • Keep an eye out for the word “that.” This can almost always be cut.
  • If you use a long hyphen (—), no space is needed between words. This will bring your word count down. Don’t get too hyphen happy, though!

If the above tips are not enough to get you below the word limit,  you may need to remove entire paragraphs. If a paragraph does not drive the story forward, or is unnecessary in understanding the progression of the story, you may want to remove it.

Once your essay is mistake-free and below the word limit, your next task is to send it to at least three trusted individuals. Ask them the following questions to guide their suggestions:

  • Does it make sense?
  • Does it sound like me?
  • What does it say about me? (Check that this aligns with what you want it to say about you).

Take note of their responses and decide what changes you want to implement. Be receptive, but remember to stay true to yourself and your vision.

Avoiding Pitfalls:

  • Avoid discussion of taboo subjects or things that can be perceived as controversial. Everyone is entitled to their own views, but you don’t want to chance saying something controversial that your reader might disagree with.
  • Never appear discriminatory in any way. Colleges tend to be vastly left-wing and progressive.
  • Don’t turn in work that isn’t your own. When does accepting another person’s edits become plagiarism? If they are rewriting entire sentences in their own words, it is no longer your own work.
  • Avoid clichés! It is okay to write about a common experience (like a sports injury or service trip), but only if you have a unique take on them. Don’t write on a popular topic if you will simply describe the same lesson that everyone else learned.
  • Don’t write your essay directly into the application text box or it may not save your work. Write it in a separate document and copy and paste it later. Then, double check that the format is correct.

At the end of the day, your essays should just leave the reader thinking: I want to have a conversation with this student. You want to show that you’re an multifaceted, mature person with an interesting story to tell. At CollegeVine, we’re rooting for you all the way—go get writing!

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

how to write smu supplemental essays

Facebook

Supplemental Essay Guide 2023-24

What do the 2023-24 supplemental essay prompts really mean, and how should you approach them? CEA's experts are here to break them all down.

Acceptance Rate

Undergrad population.

  • Liberal Arts (51)

* Tuition filtering is based on out-of-state fees

Agnes Scott College 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

ivy divider icon

Alvernia University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide  

American university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, amherst college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, babson college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, bard college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , barnard college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, baylor university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , bennington college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, bentley university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, berry college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, bethany college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, bishop’s university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, boston college (bc) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, boston university (bu) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, bowdoin college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, brandeis university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , brown university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, bryn mawr college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, bucknell university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, butler university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, california institute of technology (caltech) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, california lutheran university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, capitol technology university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, carleton college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, carnegie mellon university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , catawba college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, centre college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, chapman university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, claremont mckenna college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide  , clark university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, college of mount saint vincent 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, college of william & mary 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, college of wooster 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, colorado college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, colorado school of mines 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, columbia university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, cornell university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, culver-stockton college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, d’youville university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, dartmouth college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, davidson college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, drexel university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, duke university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, earlham college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, elon university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, emerson college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, emory university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, flagler college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, fordham university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, george mason university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, georgetown university 2023-24 essay prompt guide, georgia state university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , georgia tech 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, gonzaga university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, harvard university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, harvey mudd college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, haverford college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, hillsdale college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , hofstra university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, illinois institute of technology 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, illinois wesleyan university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, indiana university bloomington 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, ithaca college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, johns hopkins university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, kalamazoo college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, lafayette college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, lehigh university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, lewis and clark college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, linfield university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, loyola marymount university (lmu) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , lynn university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, macalester college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, malone university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, manchester university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, marist college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, mary baldwin university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, massachusetts institute of technology (mit) 2023-24 essay prompt guide, meredith college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, monmouth college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, moravian university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, morehouse college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, mount holyoke college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, new york university (nyu) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, north park university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, northwestern university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, occidental college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, oklahoma city university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, olin college of engineering 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, pepperdine university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, pitzer college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, pomona college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, princeton university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, providence college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, purdue university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, rensselaer polytechnic institute 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, rice university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, saint elizabeth university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, santa clara university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, sarah lawrence college 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, scripps college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, seattle pacific university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, smith college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, soka university of america 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, southern methodist university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, st. john’s college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, stanford university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, stonehill college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , swarthmore college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, syracuse university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, texas a&m university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, texas christian university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, the college of idaho 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , the george washington university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, the new school 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, trinity college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, tufts university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, tulane university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of california 2023-24 essay prompt guide, university of central florida 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of chicago 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of cincinnati 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of colorado boulder 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of florida 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of georgia 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of illinois urbana-champaign 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, university of maryland 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of massachusetts amherst 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of miami 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide  , university of michigan 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of minnesota twin cities 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , university of north carolina (unc) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of north carolina at charlotte 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of north carolina at greensboro 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of notre dame 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of oklahoma 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , university of oregon 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of pennsylvania (upenn) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of pittsburgh 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , university of richmond 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, university of san diego 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide , university of san francisco 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of southern california (usc) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of texas at austin 2023-24 essay prompt guide, university of tulsa 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of vermont 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of virginia (uva) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of washington (uw) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, university of wisconsin-madison 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, vanderbilt university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, vassar college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, villanova university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, virginia tech 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, wake forest university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, washington and lee university 2023-24 supplemental essay guide, washington university in st. louis 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, wellesley college 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, worcester polytechnic institute (wpi) 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide, yale university 2023-24 supplemental essay prompt guide.

Ivy Divider

Contact us to learn more about our one-on-one advising services!

  • I am a * Parent Potential Partner School Counselor
  • Name * First Last
  • Phone Type Mobile Landline
  • Street Address
  • Address City State / Province / Region Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czechia Côte d'Ivoire Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People's Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestine, State of Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Réunion Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Sweden Switzerland Syria Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, the United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Türkiye US Minor Outlying Islands Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Åland Islands Country
  • Which kind of private school application are you working on? * Preschool Primary School (K - 8) High School (9 - 12)
  • How did you find CEA? Internet Search New York Times Guidance counselor/school Social Media YouTube Friend Special Event Delehey College Consulting Other
  • Our Approach & Team
  • Undergraduate Testimonials
  • Postgraduate Testimonials
  • Where Our Students Get In
  • CEA Gives Back
  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • Graduate Admissions
  • Private School Admissions
  • International Student Admissions
  • Common App Essay Guide
  • Supplemental Essay Guides
  • Coalition App Guide
  • The CEA Podcast
  • YouTube Tutorials
  • Admissions Stats
  • Notification Trackers
  • Deadline Databases
  • College Essay Examples
  • Academy and Worksheets
  • Waitlist Guides
  • Get Started

IMAGES

  1. How To Write Smu Essay

    how to write smu supplemental essays

  2. Smu Supplemental Essays 2023

    how to write smu supplemental essays

  3. 8 Tips for Writing Supplemental Essays

    how to write smu supplemental essays

  4. How to Write Great Supplemental Essays for College

    how to write smu supplemental essays

  5. How to write the BEST supplemental essays

    how to write smu supplemental essays

  6. Smu Supplemental Essays 2023

    how to write smu supplemental essays

VIDEO

  1. Java Essentials Blueprint

  2. Very SCARY Aeroplane Flight Landing!! Boeing 777 RYANAIR Landing at Princess Juliana Airport

  3. [FREE] Kay Flock x Dark Drill x Type Beat @ProdbyDawe

  4. 2C4RC1CG7PR522136 CHRYSLER MINIVAN 2023

  5. स्वतःला अंधभक्त म्हणून घेण्याआधी थोडा विचार करा...| PM Modi

  6. Aquarius, your message for the week! #shorts

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write the Southern Methodist University Essays 2023-2024

    Southern Methodist University Supplemental Essay Prompts. Prompt 1: SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU, and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250 words) Prompt 2: SMU is a diverse learning environment shaped by the convergence of ideas and cultures.

  2. How to Ace Every SMU Supplement College Essay

    Step 1: Write down about 2-3 of your main interests as well as 2-3 of your goals for college and beyond. Be specific—and honest. Don't include an interest or goal just because you think it's what an admissions reader wants to hear. Let's look at an example of what a student might list here. Step 2: Research, research, research. Identify ...

  3. 2023-24 Southern Methodist University Supplemental Essay Guide

    The Requirements: 2 essays of 250 words. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why, Community. SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250-word limit) Consider this an opportunity to share more about you by highlighting what you like ...

  4. How to Write the SMU Supplement 2023-2024

    Mention the classes by name and explain why they align with your academic interests. Find a professor whose research interests you and discuss how you would love to assist them. After doing these steps, feel free to add any other attractive academic opportunities you have found in your research and why they are right for you.

  5. 2 Strong SMU Essay Examples by an Accepted Student

    What the Essay Did Well This student successfully accomplishes the primary goals of a "Diversity Essay." They explain 1) how they can draw on their past experiences to enrich their peers' college experiences (teaching them about aviation and unusual cuisines), and 2) how they themself will benefit from joining clubs at SMU that will allow them to explore interests they don't yet know ...

  6. Mastering SMU Supplemental Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide

    SMU supplemental essays are additional writing prompts that allow applicants to go beyond their general application and delve deeper into their personal background, interests, and aspirations. These essays give applicants the chance to highlight specific aspects of their life or experiences that they believe are important for the admissions ...

  7. How to Write the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Supplement ...

    This is important. Don't write this like you are undecided even if you are. You then want to mention 2 higher-level classes and a professor that you would want to work with. Talk about why you are excited for them. This should feel a bit personal. Connect SMU's opportunities to your interests. You want to show that overlap.

  8. How should I approach SMU's supplemental essays?

    Hi there! I'm glad to hear you're interested in applying to SMU. To help you tackle their supplemental essays, I'll provide some general guidance on what SMU is looking for, as well as tips on how to make your responses stand out. First, it's essential to understand what SMU values in its applicants. They're looking for students who align well with the school's mission, values, and goals.

  9. Southern Methodist University

    Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so.

  10. SMU Essay Prompts and Tips

    When it comes to writing a strong essay for Southern Methodist University (SMU), you'll want to focus on demonstrating your personality, experiences, and how you align with the school's values. Here are some general tips to help you craft an essay that will catch their attention: 1. Read SMU's mission statement and core values: Understand what principles the university stands for, and try to ...

  11. How to Write the Southern Methodist University Essays 2016-2017

    The list goes on, and it all depends on who you are. Write these down in the left column. STEP 2: Once you've completely filled out the left column of your sheet of paper, you should begin to list how each element of your experiences and background would enhance the university.

  12. How to Write a Supplemental Essay for College Applications

    However, a couple of the questions asked applicants to write lists - for instance, a personal top 10 list - rather than a full paragraph or two. Supplemental essay prompts come in all shapes ...

  13. An Introduction to Supplemental Essays

    A supplemental essay is an additional essay, besides the main one, submitted by applicants along with their college application. While the main college essay gives the admissions committee a peek into an applicant's strengths and achievements, the supplemental essay provides more information on the applicant's opinions, traits, and beliefs ...

  14. The Ultimate Guide to Supplemental College Application Essays (Examples

    Part 3: Types of secondary and supplemental essays. While you can face a number of different types of questions when tackling your secondary and supplemental essays, there are certain prompts and certain genres of prompts that come up again and again. It's a good idea to be aware of the general types of secondary essays that can come up.

  15. Supplemental Essays Guide: How to Write, Tips & Examples

    A complete guide on how to write different types of supplemental essays, including tips, examples, and what colleges are looking for. Get in touch: +1-800-991-0126. Get in touch: +1-800-991-0126. Programs. Grades 6 - 11. College Profile Development. Grade 12. Application counseling and final review.

  16. Southern Methodist University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

    The Requirements: 2 essays of 250 words. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why, Community. SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250-word limit) Consider this an opportunity to share more about you by highlighting what you like ...

  17. How to Write the SMU College Admissions Essays

    First break the prompt into multiple components, which you can use to structure your short response: Paragraph 1: Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU. (~100 words) Explaining your interest in SMU is basically stating what caught your eye about the university in the first place. In other words, this first half of the ...

  18. Learn How to Write Great Supplemental College Essays

    This is a must read for anybody writing the Stanford roommate essay: included is an example essay, a detailed breakdown, helpful tips along the way, and a section on how to revise your essay too. Write supplemental essays for hundreds of the most competitive colleges. Follow our step-by-step guides and read our supplemental essay examples that ...

  19. How to Write the Most Common Supplemental College Essays: A Complete

    The first time you say the school's name, you should write it out. After that, you can abbreviate. Avoid writing what every other applicant is going to write. For example, every NYU applicant is going to mention NYU's location in New York City. Unless you have a unique twist on this, you should skip it.

  20. How to Write a Supplemental Essay: Steps and Prompt Examples

    Use concrete details to paint a vivid picture of your contributions and aspirations. Writing a strong supplemental essay often involves multiple drafts. After writing your initial draft, take a break and return to it with fresh eyes. Look for areas where you can improve clarity, coherence, and conciseness.

  21. Supplemental Essay Guide 2023-24

    Yale University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide. What do the 2023-24 supplemental essay prompts really mean, and how should you approach them? CEA's experts are here to break them all down.

  22. How to Write the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay

    How to write each supplemental essay prompt for Carnegie Mellon. Prompt #1: "Why major" essay. Prompt #2: "Why us" essay. Prompt #3: "Additional information" essay. If you combined a robber baron, a classic fruit, and an extra "L," and somehow ended up with a top 25 university with an especially strong engineering program, you'd obviously ...

  23. How to Write the Santa Clara University Supplemental Essays: Examples

    Step #1: Imagine a mini-movie of the moments that led you to your interest and create a simple, bullet-point outline. Step #2: Put your moments (aka the "scenes" of your mini-movie) in chronological order, as it'll help you see how your interests developed. It also makes it easier to write transitions.