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How to Write the Elon University Essays 2022-2023

 

Elon University has five required prompts. While five may appear like an intimidating amount, many of them are short-response questions that will challenge you to be creative, with topics ranging from emojis to superpowers to music. The questions may take a little more brainpower, but they’ll give you a chance to really showcase your personality and writing voice. This means that these supplemental prompts, more than many others, will give you the opportunity to make your application stand apart.

 

Want to know your chances at Elon? Calculate your chances for free right now.

 

Elon University Supplemental Essay Prompts

 

Prompt 1: We’re in your hometown. Where should we go and what should we do? Tell us about your hometown. Our admissions counselors may even take your suggestions when they are in the area! (50 words)

 

Prompt 2: What three emojis/GIFs do you use most often? Why?

OK, we know not everyone uses emojis or GIFs – so if you don’t, tell us which three you would choose if you did! (30 words)

 

Prompt 3: You are a superhero. What are your powers?

Be imaginative. What would you do with the powers you choose? (30 words)

 

Prompt 4: Name three songs from your perfect playlist.

 

Prompt 5: Tell us your top 5. Take this opportunity to let the admissions committee know more about you. Your top 5 should be something unique to you and give us a glimpse of who you are. Be creative! You may choose any theme for your top 5. Do you love cooking? List your top 5 recipes. Are you enthusiastic about anime? Who are your top 5 characters? Do you watch or participate in a lot of athletic events? Name your top 5 moments. Love to stream; what are you watching? You could even list your top five college tours – as long as Elon is #1! Explain why these are your top 5. (250 words)

 

Prompt 1

We’re in your hometown. Where should we go and what should we do? Tell us about your hometown. Our admissions counselors may even take your suggestions when they are in the area! (50 words)

 

The first thing to note about this prompt, along with a few of the following ones, is the word requirement. You’ll notice that it may be much shorter than other supplemental essays that you’re used to – while that may be something to celebrate, it also means that every word here counts. Chances are you’re going to have a lot more than 50 words to say about your hometown. That means that your goal here is to keep it simple and keep it unique.

 

Try to pick just one thing about your hometown to write about in this response. A favorite restaurant, tourist attraction, hidden gem, or viewpoint will serve this response well, but be sure to let your mind wander to whatever aspect of your hometown feels special to you – it’s that quality that is really going to have an impact on the admissions counselor who reviews your application. That being said, you only have 50 words to play with, so don’t write about something that may need a lot of explaining. At the same time, you may feel as though your hometown’s best thing is a shopping mall, but an admissions counselor can find a shopping mall anywhere. Remember, simple and unique.

 

Generally, think of the places you’d go with your family on weekends growing up. What speaks to you will speak to an admissions counselor so long as you describe it genuinely and admirably. As the first prompt, this isn’t a question meant for you to “wow” the admissions counselor, it’s just their first impression of your writing style and your upbringing.

 

Additionally, keep in mind that your admissions counselor will already know where you live from your Common Application! This will save you a word or two from your response, as rather than restating where you live, simply go ahead and open with the recommendation. For example, if your response is about an amusement park nearby go ahead and write something like “Funland by the Boardwalk was the centerpiece of my childhood…”

 

Prompt 2

What three emojis/GIFs do you use most often? Why?

OK, we know not everyone uses emojis or GIFs – so if you don’t, tell us which three you would choose if you did! (30 words)

 

This question may catch you off-guard at first, but it’s not meant to. This is another chance for you to show off your personality and identity, and your admissions counselor is not expecting an entirely serious response to this question. It’s meant to be lighthearted and make an intimidating college application feel a little bit more low-stakes. And with only 30 words to work with, you’ll likely only need to write about 2-3 sentences.

 

The toughest part of this response is that you’ll have to pick three different emojis and GIFs to write about in only a handful of words. To make things easier, it may help to choose whether to write about three emojis or three GIFs – alternating between the two might use up your precious word count and be confusing.

 

The best way to come up with your three picks will be to brainstorm! Spend a few minutes listing any emoji or GIF that comes to mind, and feel free to check out your recent history as well if you’re having trouble remembering. Again, this question is not meant to stump you, so go with your gut on what emojis or GIFs speak to you.

 

If you choose to write about emojis, narrow it down to the three that you feel you couldn’t live without. Another way to think about it that may be helpful is to think about which three emojis you would put in your Instagram bio if you had to do so. These will often be the three emojis that represent you the best. For example, the dinosaur emoji may represent your love for science, your cowboy emoji might represent your love for country music, and the sunglasses emoji may represent the lighthearted attitude you share with your friends and family. These emojis should each represent a different part of you, so get creative and don’t be afraid to be yourself.

 

The same goes for GIFs – use GIFs that you find genuinely showcase a part of your personality and some that you may use or would use in everyday life. While finding the right GIF may be more challenging than finding the right emoji, you can also get really specific about which GIF you choose, and can often say multiple things with one GIF. For example, if you include a GIF of Spiderman dancing, you can say that it represents your love to dance and your love for superheroes. Just remember that you only get 30 words here, so keep it short and sweet.

 

Prompt 3

You are a superhero. What are your powers?

Be imaginative. What would you do with the powers you choose? (30 words)

 

This is another short-response question that allows you the chance to showcase your personality and voice. Whether you are fond of superheroes or not, be creative when answering this question, and feel free to be a little out there. The sky is really the limit here, which includes if you want to make flight your superpower.

 

You’ll want to avoid simply adopting the superpowers of a superhero you’re a fan of. The question is asking which superpower you’d want, not which superhero you’d be. You can write that you would want the power of super speed, but don’t write that you’d want to be the Flash.

 

This also isn’t meant to be a trick question, and you don’t need to write that you would use your powers to fight crime. In fact, we’d advise that you actually don’t. Remember, these responses are your chance to stand apart from the pack, so use them as an opportunity to flex your creative muscles. Think about the small problems hampering your life now, and think about how a superpower might be able to solve that problem.

 

Using the example of super speed, if you’re finding that you’re constantly having to rush out of the house in the morning to walk to school, you can write that super speed would allow you to easily get to where you need to go on time and leave a good impression on people by being early. Be genuine, creative, and funny, and that will go a long way.

 

Prompt 4

Name three songs from your perfect playlist.

 

Like the emoji/GIF question before it, this is another prompt in which you can use your three choices to showcase distinct aspects of your personality and identity. However, rather than brainstorming specific songs you may like, it will be easier to brainstorm a short list of genres that you love. Songs you like while writing the essay may not be the songs you like in two weeks, and most certainly won’t be the songs you like in two months. On the other hand, genres stay with you and will allow you to paint a complete picture of your music taste.

 

When listing your favorite genres, don’t simply resort to broad terms like “rock” and “rap”, go further and try to research what kind of music some of your favorite artists are making. “Folk rock” and “pop rap” will lead to better eventual song answers. Also, remember that these genres shouldn’t overlap with one another, so be sure the three genres you brainstorm summarize your holistic music taste. And if there’s a unique genre of music you’re into, make sure to include that! An answer that someone wouldn’t be able to guess just by speaking with you will serve you well.

 

After you’re done brainstorming your favorite genres, think about your favorite song from each. Don’t feel like you have to pick songs that everyone would know; admissions simply want to get a better glimpse of your personality from fun prompts like these, and they state on the Common App that they’re planning to create a playlist of favorite songs from their first-year class.You also just need to name the songs and the artists; there’s no space for any explanation.

 

A well-rounded answer may sound like Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”, Kanye West’s “Through the Wire”, and something like Grover Washington Jr.’s “Just the Two Of Us” – but remember to have fun with it! This is essentially the same as someone asking what your desert island songs would be, so when all else fails, just think about what songs you would be unable to live without.

 

Prompt 5

Tell us your top 5. Take this opportunity to let the admissions committee know more about you. Your top 5 should be something unique to you and give us a glimpse of who you are. Be creative! You may choose any theme for your top 5. Do you love cooking? List your top 5 recipes. Are you enthusiastic about anime? Who are your top 5 characters? Do you watch or participate in a lot of athletic events? Name your top 5 moments. Love to stream; what are you watching? You could even list your top five college tours – as long as Elon is #1! Explain why these are your top 5. (250 words)

 

This is the last and longest prompt and will be the main opportunity besides your Common App essay to show off your writing skills and voice. It is left intentionally open-ended as means for you to write about something you are passionate about, so make sure that before you start writing that you are truly interested in your chosen topic. For example, if you don’t care much for movies, don’t name your top 5 movies as a means to appease the admissions counselor. They want to hear what your interests are, not the interests of everyone else.

 

Unlike the prompt before it, this question also wants to know why you’re listing the choices you are, which will actually show more about you than the choices themselves. For example, anyone can say that cheesecake is their favorite dessert, but only you may say that your love for cheesecake is what bonded you to your grandparent. As such, make sure the choices you are making genuinely say something about who you are, rather than just something you find fun. Don’t just write about your favorite video games unless you really feel they are a core part of your identity because, at the end of the day, that identity is what the admissions counselor wants to learn about.

 

While Elon lists several examples of lists you can make, we would also recommend coming up with your own if you can. This shows creativity, initiative, and that you’re invested in the prompt itself, and will also set your response apart from many who choose to piggyback on one of the examples given to them. Some additional topics may be as follows:

 

  • Concerts/Events You’ve Attended
  • Places You’ve Visited/Landmarks
  • Animals
  • Books
  • Artists
  • Comedians, Creators, etc.

 

You also might consider something more personal, such as:

 

  • High school memories
  • Items of clothing and the stories behind them
  • Words in a foreign language you’re learning
  • Plants in your house

 

However, if you find that you do truly connect more with one of the topics listed in Elon’s prompt, that’s okay! Elon includes them for a reason.

 

When writing about your choices, remember that you don’t have to explicitly rank them. Your explanation should not be why you prefer one thing over the other, it should be why they made it into your Top 5 in the first place. It’s not about comparing and contrasting, but rather why it’s important to you.

 

However, remember that the admissions counselor may not be particularly knowledgeable about your chosen topic or choices, so be sure to provide some brief background. It may help to think of explaining your choices like you were explaining them to one of your teachers.

 

Finally, keep in mind that the Common App gives you space to list out the top 5 separately from the 250-word explanation, so take advantage of that extra space as you’re writing!

 

Where to Get Your Elon University Essays Edited

 

Do you want feedback on your Elon essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool, where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!


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