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Writing the Wake Forest Application Essays 2020-21: Showcasing Individuality

Wake Forest College, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, prepares its students to be informed citizens and compassionate community members. The Wake Forest application essay prompts touch on these values, but they also provide you ample opportunity to be creative and showcase your unique outlook on life.

Without further ado, take out a fresh sheet of paper or open up a new Word document, and get ready to do some freewriting!

 

1a. List 5 books you have read that intrigued you.

Questions to consider: What books did you enjoy discussing in English class? What intriguing books have you read on your own? What books took you out of your comfort zone? What books have you gotten lost in?

This prompt doesn’t give you room to explain your choices. As you build your list, aim for honesty, and do your best to choose books that align with your areas of intellectual interest.

 

1b. Tell us how a work of fiction you’ve read has helped you to understand the world’s complexity (150 words)

Questions to consider: Can you think of a time that a book helped you understand someone very different from you? Have you read any books that expanded your awareness of a pressing social issue? Which books do you associate with pivotal times in your life?

You can include a brief summary (no more than two sentences) if you think the reader will be unfamiliar with the book you chose, but the majority of your essay should focus on why this book is meaningful to you. 

 

2. Tell us more about the topic that most engages your intellectual curiosity (150 words)

Questions to consider: What topics are you passionate about? What are some more specific questions that come up when you think about those topics? How have you sought out answers to these questions?

For this Wake Forest supplemental essay, the more specific you can be, the better. For instance, rather than stating that you’re interested in theatre, you might tell the reader that you’re curious about how immersive theatrical experiences like Sleep No More are made.

 

3. Describe a community that is important to you. How has that community prepared you to engage with, change, or even build the Wake Forest community? (150 words)

Questions to consider: How have the communities you belong to nurtured your growth and made you a better person? What makes your understanding of the world unique? What new communities do you hope to engage with at Wake Forest? What values will guide your interactions with these communities?

Make sure you address both parts of this prompt! Your essay will be most effective if you research opportunities for engagement at Wake Forest and think about how you’ll contribute.

 

4. Give us your top ten list.

Questions to consider: What are you obsessed with? What do you think about at least once per day? If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?

This is definitely the most famous Wake Forest application essay! Students are often intimidated by it, but you shouldn’t overthink your answer. After you’ve written a first draft, reread your list and ask yourself how a reader might perceive it. For example, listing your top ten serial killers is the fastest way to a rejection. But you could totally provide a top ten list of true crime podcasts!

 

5. How did you become interested in Wake Forest University? Feel free to tell us about any contact that you had with Wake Forest that was important to you.

Questions to consider: How did you decide that Wake Forest was the school for you? How do you see yourself growing as a scholar during your time there? What specific opportunities will you take advantage of? If you spoke with an alumnus, visited campus, or attended a virtual information session, what did you learn about the Wake Forest community? Why do you feel you will fit in there?

This is a classic “Why This School” essay, but Wake Forest also specifically encourages you to describe any connections you have to the Wake community.

 

Bonus Essay

If you apply with the Wake Forest University application instead of the Common App or Coalition App, you’ll need to submit an additional 650-word essay on a topic of your choice.

If you’ve already written a Common App personal statement, you can simply use that essay on this application. If you haven’t yet written a personal statement, check out our guide for some advice on how to get started!

Once you’ve reflected on these questions, you’ll be well on your way to a set of Wake Forest application essays that showcase your individuality!


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Prompt’s Essay Specialists reviewed 13,000 admissions essays in 2018, helping thousands of students submit their applications with confidence.

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