If you want to be a Husky, it’s not just about good grades and test scores but also a good essay. In this article, we will be giving you some of the UW essay examples, to guide you while writing your essay.
The University of Washington is often ranked among the public Ivy League. That is, public schools with academic clout and selectivity elevate their reputations.
What’s Included in the University of Washington Essay Section?
There are two required essays you need to write for the University of Washington, along with an optional third essay. These essays are:
- Coalition essay (500 words)
- Short response (300 words)
- Additional information (optional, 200 words)
Part of the Coalition app includes answering an essay prompt in 500 words or less. While there are five Coalition app essay prompts, the University of Washington doesn’t allow you to choose which prompt to answer; all applicants must answer the same prompt.
This essay (along with the other essays) will be submitted in the UW section of the application, not the Coalition Essay section.
The University of Washington application also includes a required short response question of 300 words and an optional short essay of 200 words.
Additional space is available, but it’s recommended that you don’t take it unless you absolutely need it.
Show restraint when responding to UW essay prompts; it shows that you can be concise and follow directions, and you won’t run the risk of volunteering too much information or making yourself memorable for the wrong reasons. That said, we’ll cover some exceptions below!
How to Write A Great UW Essay
Think about how many UW college-entry essays are read each year by admissions counselors. Imagine how their eyes must glaze over after they’ve read a few dozen essays. You don’t want yours to sound like everyone else’s.
The UW admission reviewing the essays are looking for a better understanding of you than they can get from your GPA, your SAT scores, or other information on your application.
A good essay can raise a so-so application higher, and a poor essay can diminish an otherwise stellar application.
These pointers below will help you make your essay stand out from the crowd.
Tell a Story
Make your point by telling a story about something that has happened to you or that made an impression on you. A vivid telling of an important moment in your life is far better than listing all your accomplishments (which will be in the rest of the application, anyway).
Capture the Reader’s Attention
Pay particular attention to the beginning of your essay. Hints of something dramatic or unusual to come later in the essay will help keep your reader’s interest.
Don’t try to sound like a college student. Sound like yourself. No one expects you to be perfect or brilliant. The university is interested in who you are and how you think.
Set the Tone
Your essay should be friendly, but not too casual. Use complete sentences, and don’t resort to slang. Clear out all the clichés. A clever turn-of-phrase or metaphor is appreciated by the committee members. But don’t overdo the comedy; a little humor goes a long way.
Write in as few words as possible. Take out words and phrases that don’t add anything to a thought. Be on the lookout for too many adjectives.
Use Active Voice
Search through your essay for variations of the verb “to be.” Change these passive verbs to active verbs. Moving the subject to the beginning of the sentence also helps to eliminate the passive voice.
Rather than this: “I want to help people.” Try this: “I want to be like my mom, who is the first person you think of when you’re hurt, feeling down, or in trouble.”
Don’t Try To Impress.
Long sentences and big words do not enhance your essay — especially if you use a word incorrectly. Stick to words you’re sure of; it never hurts to look them up to make sure they mean what you think they mean.
Take “I” Out
If you write “I” more than a few times, go back and rewrite to eliminate most of them. It’s difficult since you are writing a personal essay, but too many “I’s” are a sign of a poor writer.
Proofread and Revise
Ask your parents, teachers, and friends to read your essay and tell you frankly what they think. They may have specific grammar or spelling corrections, or suggestions about the direction of your story.
Or they may be able to point out anything that’s not clear. You don’t have to take everyone’s advice, of course, but if a criticism rings true, pay attention.
Let it Simmer
After you’ve finished your essay, set it aside for a few days, and then read it again. Coming back to it after an absence will allow you to read it fresh, just the way the admissions committee will.
You’d be surprised how often a paragraph that seemed perfect last week will seem muddled or overly dramatic this week.
UW Essay Examples
The roaring waves crashed against the rocks. The sky was black except for two glowing fluorescent lights in a distance. I stood alone facing the Pacific Ocean and tears slowly trickled down my face but the wind quickly blew them away into the retreating sand.
It was a cold December night on which I had another petty argument with my mother. Earlier, she was on the phone with my grandmother for more than an hour. I anticipated a celebration for the holiday, not a longwinded conversation with my grandmother.
My mother sounded quite concerned. She just never wants to spend any time with me, I thought to myself.
Anger trailed behind as I slammed the door and walked out to the beach. After I came back home, my mother gave me a tirade about how I should not go outside alone at night.
I should not have fought back, but my tongue could not control my emotions. I was tired of her control over my daily affairs. Also, I talked loudly to assert my independence and bravado.
Then, she said, “You are old enough but you still do not know how to make me happy.” Her expression was a mirror that gave an unforgiving reflection of my personality.
My cheeks burned as I stood there in silence, quietly recognizing that everything she said was true.
My flaws felt as if they were etched on my forehead. The argument quickly turned into a pointless and bitter conversation. For the next week, we would not talk to each other.
This scenario has been repeated several times as I grew up with a strict but caring mother. Maybe she was doing the right thing, but at the moment, I did not understand. Later, I discovered that my grandmother had crashed into a car while crossing the street.
She remained unconscious in the hospital for many hours. After learning about this dire situation, I suddenly realized that my mother did the right thing. I felt so childish and selfish. I deserved her silent punishment.
This was the best mistake I have ever made because my mother starkly exposed my flaws. She spotted my weaknesses more quickly than anyone else. She made me personally experience the harm from the lack of filial piety and sympathy for other human beings.
After our bickering, I knew that my character definitely needed improvement. Now, I can clearly see why and how I should change. That argument has taught me much more than what teachers did in the classrooms.
I am so glad I made the mistake of walking alone on the beach on that cold December night. The quarrel that ensued was an awakening. My mother defeated my selfish and hubristic attitude.
She opened a door that transformed me into a considerate individual for others’ predicaments. She taught her daughter the meaning of unconditional love.
There it is in front of me: a box, its edges carefully encased in a glossy white wrapping paper.
The exterior is plain and simple she loves things minimalistic. Inside, an ambient light in the shape of a mystical creature glows her favorite color.
There’s a handwritten poem for her too. I’m proud of all the thought that went into it.
To me, Christmas, birthdays, and all the little occasions someone might mark on a calendar as “special” are ideal for small surprises small bits of my mind that just want to create.
It has to be practical useful yet aesthetically appealing. It has to be personal something that highlights their importance in my life.
Most importantly, it has to be spontaneous and thoughtful; no good gift should ever feel forced. Too many people think of gifts as mere tradition. Gift-giving is an art.
There’s a perfect gift for everyone; you just know it when you see it. Whether in a professional environment or a personal one with the friends and family I love, a facial expression tells more than words can describe.
The smile that breaks out from the look of surprise there’s no better indication that my creativity paid off
I’ve always wanted to turn gimmicky ideas into practical realities, not for the purpose of selling, but rather so that I could give a gift nobody else could have given.
Windshield wipers for glasses for the friend who lives in rainy Seattle.
Camouflaging cloaks for the friend with the strict parents. Maybe, in some distant future, I’ll even create a video animator for bringing to life ideas straight from the imagination of a friend who dreams too much.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a community that has always given to me I know how good it feels to receive that surprise, so I try every little thing to recreate that feeling for those around me.
Creativity, to me, is not just thinking outside the box. It’s deciding what’s inside it.