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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Wake Forest University Supplemental Essays

Wake Forest University is a private university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Wake Forest supplemental essays are a great opportunity for you to showcase who you are in a way that your resume can never do.

Unlike a lot of other college essays, Wake Forest’s prompts are primarily academic focused (although there is some fun to be had!). They want to know about you intellectually, which can feel a bit overwhelming at first. But not to worry– we are going to break down each of the optional prompts to make them easier to understand. Let’s get started!

Related: College supplemental essay database

Prompt #1

“List five books you have read that intrigued you. (Spaces have been left for you to include each book’s title and author and mark whether the selection was required or not required.)”

This is a great question as it is simple, easy, and straight to the point. To start, think about all of the books you have read and why you liked each of them. 

From there, you want to try and choose five books that are different from one another. Try to go beyond the books that you’re assigned for your classes, and choose some that you read in your own free time.

This will show depth of thought, along with the fact that you are able to read different genres and authors, and have a wide variety of intellectual information. An example of this might be in the novel The Alchemist, which reminds readers that they are ultimately in charge of their own destiny.

Questions to consider

  • What about each of the books have intrigued you?
  • Is it the genre that intrigues you, or each book individually that draws you in?
  • What made you pick up the book in the first place?

Prompt #2

“Tell us what piques your intellectual curiosity or has helped you understand the world’s complexity. This can include a work you’ve read, a project you’ve completed for a class, and even co-curricular activities in which you have been involved.” (150 words max)

This question is nice because it is extremely open ended like the rest of Wake Forest’s supplemental essay prompts. To help inspire you with what to write about, you can think about a class that you took in high school that you really enjoyed. 

If there was a topic that stood out to you in one of those classes, do some more research about it to figure out why you are passionate about it. This question applies to more than formal academic subjects, so if there are certain art, music, or philosophical ideas that engage you outside of school, do share. This could be analyzing movies, music, or discussing the meaning of life with your grandfather. 

150 words go by pretty quickly, so try to be concise with your words.

Questions to consider

  • What’s something profound that you’ve learned from a book or experience? 
  • How have your perspectives changed throughout the years? What caused it?
  • What do you want to learn about the world? Why?

Also see: How to write an essay about yourself

Prompt #3

“Dr. Maya Angelou, renowned author, poet, civil-rights activist, and former Wake Forest University Reynolds Professor of American Studies, inspired others to celebrate their identities and to honor each person’s dignity. Choose one of Dr. Angelou’s powerful quotes. How does this quote relate to your lived experience or reflect how you plan to contribute to the Wake Forest community?” (300 words max)

As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Therefore, leave your mark on Wake Forest with your supplemental essay by showing vulnerability. 

Tell the university what moves you, and how you plan to use your perspectives on campus. Dr. Angelou was a powerful and influential voice, so how might you showcase your own?

Questions to consider

  • What is one of your favorite works of Dr. Maya Angelou? Why?
  • What does this quote mean to you?
  • How can you relate to Dr. Angelou?

Don’t miss: How to write a 250 word essay

Prompt #4

“Give us your top ten list. Theme: __________________________”

The fourth and final prompt in the series of Wake Forest supplemental essay prompts is one of the most interesting prompts that we have seen among the college supplemental essay prompts. You have so much creative freedom with this prompt that it almost makes it more difficult to think of what to write. 

To start, don’t overthink it. Picking the theme is the easy part, but actually thinking of a list of things that represents you well is tricky. You want to be unique so that your personality shines to the people who are reading the essay. 

Do you have a Top 10 favorite musicians list? Want to dig deeper? Write about your top 10 most influential people to have ever existed. Things like these will make you stand out and get the reader thinking. 

Questions to consider

  • Why have these things made it into your top 10?
  • What are some of your favorite things? Why are they important?
  • How does your list put who you are into context?

Final thoughts for students

The Wake Forest supplemental essays are open-ended, which can seem daunting at first glance. But as long as you stay true to yourself in your writing and write what you know, you cannot say the wrong thing. 

This is a chance for Wake Forest to see your sense of humor, your intellect, and what kind of student you are. In the end, these responses  will show them what makes you unique. Have some fun with it!

Don’t miss: Tips for a successful college application

Additional resources

Once you’ve completed your Wake Forest supplemental essays, give yourself a pat on the back. But remember, the journey is not over! As a student working through your college applications, we understand that you have a lot on your plate.

Luckily, we can alleviate some of that stress by walking you through some of your next steps. Whether you are confused about how to fill out the FAFSA, or possibly the cost of college applications, we have you covered with tons of resources right at your fingertips. Good luck on the rest of your college application journey!

Additional supplemental essay guides

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