College Essays

Stanford University

Prompt: Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time? (50-word limit).

Essay:
Although I’m versed in Chinese poetry, I have yet to explore Japanese
haikus. I would devour as many haikus as I could and savor the colorful individuality of each
character by handwriting them using a brush from my untouched calligraphy set. After all, poetry
is simply painting with words.

Tips for Writing:
Be authentic as you can – for this prompt in particular, don’t worry about fitting in your
most impressive extracurricular, but be genuine about what you want to do. With short word limits, it’s important to maximize the utility of each word. To convey a more casual tone, for example, you could form more contractions, thereby saving space as well. Describe in detail one activity you would like to do – in this case, depth is better than breadth. Make sure your response links back to the general theme of your application, showing that you have focus. Some people also like to take a more humorous approach to this prompt (ex: if given another hour, sleep more); the style doesn’t really matter as long as the idea is well-
thought out and clearly conveyed.

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