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Who Invented Essay Questions

In 300 words or fewer, write on one of the two essay topics below. In addition to writing on your chosen topic, upload an audio file, video, image, or document you have created that is meaningful to you and relates to your essay. Above your essay, include a one-sentence description of what you have submitted.

  • What do you most enjoy learning?
  • Reflect on your engagement with a community to which you belong. How do you feel you have contributed to this community?

Please limit your upload to the following file types: mp3, mov, jpeg, word, pdf. Note that advanced editing of audio/video/image/documents is not necessary. While we are not providing limits to the length of the material you upload, the Admissions Office may not have time to review the entirety of your submission. Sometimes, less is more.

Uploads provided via the Coalition Application will be reviewed by the Admissions Office only. If you wish to submit material that may be evaluated by Yale faculty, please see our Supplementary Material instructions.

Optional Engineering and Computer Science Essay

If you selected one of the computer science or engineering majors, please tell us more about what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in computer science or engineering, and what it is about Yale’s program in this area that appeals to you. (Please answer in 500 words or fewer.)

More Prewriting (Invention) Questions


This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.

Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2010-04-17 05:24:22

As a writer, you can begin by asking yourself questions and then answering them. Your answers will bring your subject into focus and provide you with the material to develop your topic. Here are twenty questions or "thought starters" that present ways of observing or thinking about your topic. Each question generates the type of essay listed in parentheses after the question.

  1. What does X mean? (Definition)
  2. What are the various features of X? (Description)
  3. What are the component parts of X? (Simple Analysis)
  4. How is X made or done? (Process Analysis)
  5. How should X be made or done? (Directional Analysis)
  6. What is the essential function of X? (Functional Analysis)
  7. What are the causes of X? (Causal Analysis)
  8. What are the consequences of X? (Causal Analysis)
  9. What are the types of X? (Classification)
  10. How is X like or unlike Y? (Comparison)
  11. What is the present status of X? (Comparison)
  12. What is the significance of X? (Interpretation)
  13. What are the facts about X? (Reportage)
  14. How did X happen? (Narration)
  15. What kind of person is X? (Characterization/Profile)
  16. What is my personal response to X? (Reflection)
  17. What is my memory of X? (Reminiscence)
  18. What is the value of X? (Evaluation)
  19. What are the essential major points or features of X? (Summary)
  20. What case can be made for or against X? (Persuasion)

(Adapted from Jacqueline Berke's Twenty Questions for the Writer)

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