Short Overview and Useful Tips before Supplemental Essays Prompts


There could be several types of supplemental essays: Topic of Your Choice, Why essay, Oddball. The first essay should be 100 words or less, and the second one – 250-300 words. Below you will find approximate topics of supplemental essays with explanations. But before such, there are some helpful tips for you to be better prepared for these assignments. Don’t underestimate your preparation – these essays should be small, however, interesting and informative.

When writing your supplemental essays, keep in mind the following helpful recommendations:

  • in some cases, conduct your preparatory work to be more aware of the chosen topic and sound, therefore, more persuasive for the Admissions Committee;
  • accustom yourself to write briefly on any particular topic – include in your supplemental essays only the most important statements;
  • structure your thoughts and express such in a logical manner;
  • write in plain and cheerful manner;
  • make your supplemental essays personalized by sharing your emotions within acceptable limits, your experience, and your aspirations.

Supplemental essays prompts with explanations

Please respond in 100 words or less:

When the U.S. Supreme Court considered in 1818 one Dartmouth-related case, Daniel Webster from Class of 1801 expressed this remarkable phrase: “It is, Sir…a small college. And yet, there are those who love it!” As a person who strives to be in Dartmouth class, explain briefly what makes you interested in Dartmouth community, program, and campus?

This prompt seems easy to answer only at first glance. Unless it states the more or less general question, you should share your own reflections and anticipations for being admitted to Dartmouth. The Admissions Committee wants to find out what makes their college distinctive from your perspective, what do you love about it, and what do you think about the concept of this college. How do you imagine your future life at Dartmouth? 

As any other type of significant writing work, a supplemental essay to Dartmouth requires preparatory work. It is worth spending some time reviewing its website, history, program, and educational approaches. To sound more confident, elaborate your own roadmap with your path from the start of possible studies at Dartmouth and your goals in the short-term perspective.

Please choose one of the next prompts and respond in 250-300 words:

After World War II, John Sloane Dickey, a Dartmouth President, Class of 1929, declared the following: “The world’s troubles are your troubles…and there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.” What current trouble of the world induces you to act? And how can your studies at Dartmouth help to address this problem effectively?

Emphasize this prompt as it gives the Admissions Committee the first overview of your mindset, aspirations, and things you worry about. In this case, faithfully answer for yourself first what exact world’s trouble touches you most of all and why. Then decide what actions you could practically take to be involved in the process of resolving this problem. Perhaps, there are some organizations who conduct now required work in this field. Do your best to form some logical line connecting this chosen world’s trouble, studies at Dartmouth, and your future actions on how to address this problem. 

This assignment requires more details concerning the world’s problem itself:

  • when it has emerged, also emphasize how long does it exist;
  • describe the negative impact it has;
  • specify actions taken to resolve it;
  • mention organizations that deal with this problem, if any;
  • indicate unresolved issues related to this world’s problem.

Keeping in mind word limitations, it is better to describe all information you know using 2-4 sentences. Even if you know more than could write, don’t become upset. It will be obvious from your text that you are well-prepared.

This information should be supplemented with your own view, ideas, and possible proactive actions you may take to resolve this world’s problem at issue. Devote to this part the biggest part of your essay, and don’t forget about the relation to the courses at Dartmouth.

The Hawaiian word mo’olelo can be translated as “story”; however, it also refers to tradition, legend, history, and genealogy. Which translation will you use to represent yourself? 

This prompt presents a very ordinary question in a very non-standard manner. Dartmouth formulates this question using the word mo’olelo and providing a range of not obvious translations to check in what manner you can respond to the non-standard issue. As you may guess, your answer should be the same interesting as this question itself. The shortest way here is to focus still on the word “story” but describe in the context of your tradition, legend, history, or family. Choose some interesting cases to describe. This prompt is personal. Therefore, it can help you to distinguish yourself and form a positive impression. So, confidently shape your story first and then adapt it to the prompt itself. 

Albert Einstein once said: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” 

Admire your curiosity.

Many prompts focus on mindset, intellect, imagination, creativity, or emotional intelligence. In the case of this prompt, it is easy to strike as you can describe nearly any situations where you were curious, omitting the earliest periods of your life only. 

If this quote is about you – feel free to describe how curious you may be in the general sense first of all. For instance, you may share a situation when you did something in a different or unusual for your manner or when you went to an unknown interesting place.

Curiosity has been emphasized as it is one of the crucial features to succeed during any educational process. And who knows, perhaps your studies at Dartmouth can be a step for becoming a person like Einstein. 

A novelist Peter Hautman once said: “Yes, books are dangerous. They should be

dangerous –they contain ideas.” Describe a book or a story that fascinated your imagination with the ideas expressed in it. What impact had it on your life?

It will be easy to address this prompt if you enjoy books and read a lot. Simply choose the first one favorite and mature book that comes to your mind and characterize it briefly (author, the year when it was written, prizes, and awards, if received).

When speaking about the impact such a book has made on you, Dartmouth wants to find out in which manner it has shaped your life views, changed your outlook or the way of thinking. If you remember some quotations – include such and explain why do you keep them in mind. 

Make this essay as personal as you can. Feel free to share your emotions and reflections you had. Especially emphasize what impact this book has made on your imagination. Indirectly, this will indicate to the Admissions Committee of Dartmouth College about your ability to think non-standard.

United Farm Workers organization was founded by a civil rights activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta. Once she said: “We criticize and separate ourselves from the process. We’ve got to jump right in there with both feet.” Share your experience when you were passionate about something so much that you instantly started to pursue your goal. 

Dartmouth seeks students who not only smart but also intended to realize their aspirations, possess unshakable resilience and persistence in pursuing their goals. For this prompt, admissions want to find out about any particular situation when you turned your motivation and efforts to concrete results worthy to speak about. Perhaps, it was some volunteer or charity experience, your first job, participation in various meetings, and other valuable experience that made you more confident. Make special emphasis in your prompt on your proactive efforts and solutions you applied to achieve your goals or receive other valuable results. 

Final words

It is natural to be a little bit confused and stressed when thinking about your admission process and essay writing. However, your good self-preparation can help to overcome these barriers and become even more confident in your efforts. 

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