The Honors Program seeks to recruit students who demonstrate an openness to intellectual challenge, an aptitude for critical thinking, and advanced skills in oral and written expression. The Honors Essay is the only component of the Honors Program application in which the applicant may specifically address his or her preparation and suitability for membership in the Honors Program. Applicants are therefore advised that Honors Essays that are identical to the general personal statement, do not respond to the prompt, engage in more description than analysis, or are technically weak are frequent causes for an otherwise strong application to be declined.
Content-related criteria according to which the Honors Essay is assessed are the degree to which the essay suggests a thoughtful engagement with the prompt and demonstrates the intellectual growth or curiosity of the applicant. Formal criteria include whether the essay demonstrates convincing and clear argument, cohesive organization, and mature writing style.
Please respond to the following prompt in 250-350 words. Essays of greater length cannot be accepted. Additional materials (resumes, writing samples, portfolios) other than the Honors Essay cannot be accepted for consideration.