College Application Essay Prompts University Of Chicago

Sunday, August 15, 2021 12:25:54 AM

College Application Essay Prompts University Of Chicago



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CEA's Guide to the University of Chicago's 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Prompts

This is it, the infamous U Chicago supplemental application. These quirky prompts have been a rite of passage for generations of applicants. So before you dive in, just remember that if they could do it, so can you! Your goal in writing your Chicago extended essay should be the same as ever: to reveal something new to admissions. It might even help to have a few ideas in mind before reading through your options. These prompts are so specific and strange that, in the end, the key is just to follow your instincts. What speaks to you right away? What inspires you? Think of this run-of-the-mill why essay as the overture to your magnum opus i.

The more specific details you can incorporate into your essay, the more sincere and personal it will feel and be! Explore both academic and extracurricular opportunities. How will you pursue your interest in oceanography? With a major in biology and a semester in Australia? What research opportunities will you pursue? Will joining the club crew team help you feel more connected to aquatic life despite your midwest location? How will a U Chicago education help you get there? How will your scholarly and social pursuits help you grow? Show admissions how U Chicago is the bridge between the person you are and the person you hope to be.

Your answer to this prompt should ultimately speak to your passions. Perhaps Saturn is made up of string because you recently discovered a love for knitting and you would take full advantage of this bountiful new resource. If Pluto is made up of trampolines, would you take your love of gymnastics to new heights? Whatever the celestial object is made of, it has to link to some kind of story or revelation about yourself.

You could take this prompt as face value and literally write about pie. Does pie smooth out social interactions with your relatives? Who can question you about your career path and life goals when they have a mouthful of delicious pumpkin pie in their mouth?! This prompt can be interpreted in a hundred different ways. The extent to which you can push this open-ended question is virtually limitless. Admissions is looking to see how you think, process, and approach. So, flex your imaginative muscles and take the metaphor off a cliff in a good way. This question can be reflective of so many aspects of your life. Repurposed phrases are encouraged! Feel free to explore the realms of physics, philosophy, fantasy…the sky is the limit!

The UChicago Optional Essay prompts kick off with probably the wackiest option. You're allowed to let your imagination run wild with this prompt. Pick a celestial object planet, star, moon, comet, etc. For this prompt, they want to see how imaginative you can be. Have fun with this prompt, make it as wacky and original as you like, but remember to tie it back to you. Say you go with the obvious option, that the moon is really made of cheese. What does that mean to you? Maybe you'll discuss your interest in ending world hunger and imagine that crews could be sent regularly to the moon to take hunks away and distribute it in areas that are having food crises.

Or perhaps you imagine that Neptune is full of powdery snow and perfect ski slopes, and humans and aliens go there to compete in intergalactic ski competitions that show how sports can bring different groups together. Choose any combination that strikes your fancy, and use it to show a little bit about your personality, interests, or values. This is a classic UChicago question that allows you to answer the question literally The year I applied, the version of this question was "Describe your table. You can answer this literally and explain something like how your giant family all loves pie, so when you have family reunions, it's the obvious choice for dessert and allows people to focus on enjoying togetherness instead of worrying about food.

Or as always with UChicago essays , you can take it in a totally unexpected direction. This prompt is a chance to put your interpretive and reasoning skills into action. In fact, you could almost think of it like a riddle, except that the answer is anything that you can come up with and justify. Is pie easy because the word is short and easy to pronounce, which made it easy when you were learning English as a second language? Is pie easy because there are a set of directions to follow from start to finish, which you wish more things in life had? Or maybe you don't find pie easy at all! Ultimately, responding to this prompt requires thinking outside the box about the wording of the question and the concepts included in the question.

If you're able to come up with an interesting, logical explanation for why you think pie is easy, you'll be on the right track for a good response to this prompt. This is a bit of a lengthier prompt, but what it's asking for is fairly simple: devise a new unit of measurement and explain it. If you struggled to think of a good topic for either of the first two prompts, you may have an easier time with this one, since it can apply to pretty much anyone.

Then brainstorm ideas of how they could include a new unit of measurement. For example, maybe you love cooking for others, and your new unit of measurement is a value for the volume of clapping you receive when testing out a new recipe for your family. Or maybe your new value is based on how many times you visit Wikipedia to look up a fact while reading a new book A four-wiki-hole book?? That's the kind you love! The standard guidelines still apply here: choose something that's unique and gives insight into who you are. It's totally appropriate to get really specific in your answers here. The prompt itself asks you to dive into the nitty gritty of your new value and explain what it means, how it can be used, and if there are similar values you can use either real or made-up values for the equivalents.

You can be as wacky or as serious as you want with your response, just make sure it fully answers the prompt and gives a little window into what's important to you. This is one of the broadest options of the prompts. You have free reign to discuss why pretty much anything in the world is original or unoriginal. So, what's something that has dazzled you with its originality? Or something that's made you roll your eyes because of how derivative it is? The prompt suggests focusing on something in art, literature, philosophy, or technology, but your choice doesn't need to fall into one of those categories.

Is there a song you think is unlike anything else you've heard? Do you think all new technology is just a repeat of a past invention? You can get as broad or as specific as you want with this prompt, discussing an entire field like literature or narrowing it down to a single book. Of course, choosing your topic and stance is only the first part. Then you need to explain why you feel that way. Explain your position thoroughly and give specific examples to back it up. It's said that history repeats itself. This prompt is quite similar to 4, although it's less broad because it's only asking about academic disciplines and you must take the stance that the discipline does repeat itself. Some people prefer narrower prompts because it makes it easier for them to decide what to write about.

If that's you, this prompt may be a great option! This prompt is also a great way to give the admissions team a deeper look at how you feel about your future major and why it interests you. You aren't required to write about your future field of study, but we do recommend it as colleges love to see students with a deep interest in their academics. However, as for all these prompts, choose what you think you can write the strongest essay on.

Once you have your topic, dive into how it repeats itself. Like we advised with prompt 4, use specific examples to strengthen your argument. Perhaps you decide to write about how, in literature, many novels follow similar plots. Mention the specific books and plot devices that support your take on this. This is one of the more straightforward prompts, but don't feel like you need to take it super seriously if that's not what you're feeling.

After all, UChicago even slipped a joke of their own into this prompt! In the spirit of adventurous inquiry and with the encouragement of one of our current students! Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun! If you aren't feeling any of the other five optional prompts, you can respond to this one, which asks you to choose and respond to a past UChicago optional essay prompt, or write and respond to your own prompt. With either option, you'll want to consider your identity, interests, strengths, and goals, and let those factors inform which prompt you choose, how you write your own prompt, and how you craft your response.

You may not feel up to the task of writing your own prompt, but you might like the idea of tracking down an old prompt that catches your eye. Read through the past prompts and consider which one will allow you to play to your strengths. If there's a particular experience or skill that you want to showcase in your response, select a prompt that is conducive to that. Alternatively, if there's a specific experience you want to write about, you can write your own prompt and respond to it. To write your prompt, use the tone and structure of the existing UChicago prompts as a guide.

It'll probably come as no surprise that your original prompt should fit right in with the ones provided on the application. This means you might have to be a little goofy, cryptic, or risky Though this option allows you to write your own prompt if you so choose, it's important to remember that your response to the prompt should still focus on showcasing who you are , what strengths you will bring to UChicago as a student, and why UChicago is the perfect place for you.

Don't get too carried away trying to impress admissions with punny phrases or cryptic logic; be authentic, be bold, and be you. Some people shy away from this prompt because they feel like it's "cheating" or less impressive to not follow one of the specific prompts that UChicago gives. However, this isn't true! As long as you write a compelling essay that gives readers a better insight into who you are, your essay will strengthen your application.

For what it's worth, when I applied to UChicago, this is the prompt I chose, and I was still accepted to the school. UChicago wants you to be creative here, so there aren't many topics that are off limits. However, you're trying to convince them that you'd be a great an interesting student to add to their school, so make sure you use your essay to show who you are and why UChicago would want to admit you. This means you should avoid responses that don't give readers a good idea of who you are.

For example, if you choose essay option 1, don't just state that you're imagining Pluto to be made out of black diamonds. You'd want to tie it back to yourself and your life by explaining the reasoning. For example, maybe you have a treasured family heirloom with a black diamond, and you'd want to harvest those diamonds on Pluto so everyone could have a black diamond that means as much to them as yours does to you. Because these prompts are creative, it can be easy to run away with them, but always remember to answer the prompt completely and give UChicago better insight into who you are. Additionally, don't feel that certain University of Chicago essay prompts are "better" or more impressive than others. UChicago wouldn't have chosen these essay topics if they didn't think applicants could write outstanding responses to them, so please choose the prompt that you can feel you can write the best essay for.

In this section are two University of Chicago essay examples, each written by an accepted applicant. And now you inquire as to my wishes? They're simple, accept me for who I am! Why can't you just love and not ask why? Not ask about my assets or my past? I'm living in the now, I'm waiting for you to catch up, but you're too caught up in my past, I offer us a future together, not a past to dwell upon.

Whenever I'm around you, I just get that tingle deep inside me that tells me you're the one; you have that air of brilliance and ingenuity that I crave in a person, you're so mature and sophisticated, originality is really your strongest and most admirable trait. I wish we could be together, I still think in my heart of hearts we were meant to be, but you have to meet me halfway, dear. I'm on one knee here with tears welling up in my eyes, the fireworks are timed and ready to light up the night sky for you, just say 'I accept This essay is from several years ago, so it doesn't use a current prompt, but it's still helpful to read and analyze. Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers.

Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own. The Illuminati changed my life. Three years ago, I found my first ambigram in one of my favorite novels, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I turned the page, and there it was: the word "Illuminati" printed into the exact center of the book. It was styled like a newspaper masthead, exquisite and complex, yet oddly symmetric. Curious, I rotated the book upside-down. Impossibly, the inverted word was still "Illuminati. Suddenly, I was reading it in both directions. My eyes waltzed along the broad curves and sharp twists of the calligraphy, striking poses in a glamorous font against a sheet of creamy whiteness, sliding between the dense vertical strokes, peering at the edge of the defined serif as it angled away, then bent boldly toward me.

Every line was deliberate, every flourish smiling with purpose, and the whole word balanced on the delicate cord that joined two letters into one. It was unforgettable. Ambigrams are words that can be read from different directions. Actually, "ambigram" is an umbrella term that encompasses dozens of distinct types of visual wordplay. The most popular ones are rotational, mirror image, and-my personal favorites-symbiotic ambigrams, which can spell two different things when viewed normally and upside-down.

Compelled by the striking art, I could not help but try my own hand at designing ambigrams, and slowly I felt the pitiful stick-figure artist inside me shrink away as my inner energetic graphic designer sprang up. Before early volleyball tournaments, I work myself up by filling up pages and pages of experimental letter combinations, gleefully satisfied at the way that a rounded lowercase "a" was a perfect upside-down lowercase "e. On a challenge from a friend, I even drew an ambigram of "Jay-Z" and "Beyonce" on a bumpy bus ride back from a leadership retreat.

In the last few months, I have also practiced drawing ambigrams as fast as I can. I dream about the day when I can effortlessly write out a message saying "Hi, how are you today? I imagine a world in which everyone had this ability, and could literally write two things at once. How would that change communication? My legs swing comfortably from this innovative edge, excited to take a stab at the answers. The best part about the ambigram is that it refuses to define itself as just one thing.

It is a linguistic passion, a cryptographic endeavor, an artistic design, and an ironic illusion. I relish the fact that ambigrams force both the artist and the audience to reject first glances and embrace secret identities. This may just be a nerdy obsession, but ambigrams have taught me far more than how to sketch fancy words. Their multidimensional truth implies that my hobbies of both writing Italian sonnets and solving logical riddles are not opposing functions of my left and right brains, but rather, a perfect conglomeration of my passion for creating and solving puzzles.

The beauty of the most surprising combinations reminds me to take bold risks in both my life and my designs. Above all else, ambigrams have taught me that I can create the impossible. I can make true and false the same word depending on something as simple as a degree head turn. Victory can be defeat. Open can be closed. Am amateur piano player with an obsession for cryptology can learn how to program iPhone apps and get the game-winning kill at the varsity volleyball championship. A girl with divorced parents can make time for both families, and an inspired teenager from California can write her name into world history--both normally and upside-down.

When answering the University of Chicago essay prompts, keep in mind that the main reason UChicago is reading these essays is to find out who you are as a person and if you'd be a good fit at their school. The University of Chicago wants students who are passionate about learning, creative, are excited to make the most of their time on campus, and have big dreams for themselves, and the UChicago supplement questions are designed to help you show these sides of yourself to the school.

For the "Why UChicago? For the extended essay, you can and should be more creative. These UChicago essays are more "out there," and in your response, you should show your personality and passion for learning. For both University of Chicago essays, remember to show who you are and what you're passionate about, include details about yourself and the school to help you stand out from other essays, and mention your plans and goals for the future. If you want a more in-depth look how to write about Question 1, check out our guide to the Why UChicago Essay , which includes an additional sample essay along with analysis of how to answer this prompt.

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