For this prompt, Wake Forest is asking you to prove that you have both the empathy and critical thinking skills to derive meaning from works that may not be directly related to your own life. These skills, in turn, will be of great value to any college student! To approach this prompt, first choose the book about which you want to write. (Although “work of fiction” doesn’t necessarily specify a book, it’s typically more meaningful to write about a book, as opposed to a TV show or movie, since written words leave the most room for interpretation.)
You can write about a classic, but if you do, try to avoid writing about something that you’ve read from school (e.g., 1984, The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter) because it is likely that many, many others are writing about the same. But if the only thing you’ve read (in recent memory) is a school book, choose that over something you read recreationally from long ago.
Once you choose your book, your next goal is to demonstrate your interpretation of the world and how your chosen text has helped shaped this perspective. For this essay, one way to do this is by explaining how the book has made you more empathetic to unfairness of random luck that everyone is subjected to, or how the text has motivated you to assume an active role in political events.
For example, The Book Thief may have cemented your understanding of the nuances of human emotions during World War II, or The Kite Runner may have introduced you to the intricacy of early 20th-century Middle Eastern conflicts. With a relatively high word limit of up to 300, you can spend time explaining your perspective before reading the book and contrast it with your perspective afterwards. Including specific details from the book would be especially convincing to admissions officers.
Finally, wrap up the essay by generalizing your new viewpoint on this particular political event to your novel perspective on the world as a whole. This illustrates to Wake Forest University your ability to learn from all mediums, and your ability to reflect on other’s trauma or difficult experiences as your own.
Upon first read, you might be confused as to why Emory asks this ambiguous prompt that not only demands an answer but also requires you to interpret the question. As we mentioned before, Emory is a leading research university that seeks to pioneer technological and social developments in this world. In an era in which society is changing more rapidly than ever before and norms for moral conduct are becoming more muddled, Emory University wants to ensure that its students are leaders in innovation with a concrete set of moral principles. This essay is your opportunity to discuss the ethics by which you live your life.
Let’s try to further simplify this prompt. The keywords here are: social media, engage, and integrity.
The meaning of the word integrity can be roughly divided into two aspects: wholeness, and moral principles. The first step to this prompt is defining what the word integrity means to you. How do you keep your moral principles “intact?” In other words, how do you ensure that you (and/or others) do not violate the code of moral conduct of which you value?
To get you started, consider the following questions:
- What kind of treatment of another person is unacceptable to you?
- How do you avoid treating other people like that in everyday life?
- What would would you do ( or do you do) if you witness a person treating another in such unacceptable way?
- Why do you find this behavior especially unacceptable?
- What kind of treatment of another person seems especially kind to you?
- Why do you think of this behavior as especially kind?
Once you have nailed down what integrity means to you by analyzing the answers to these considerations, explain how your code of moral conduct applies in the world of social media, where people with malicious intent can hide behind the veil of anonymity. Emory wants to see how you aspire to promote morality and honesty in a world where information is exchanged very rapidly, and matter-of-factly.
Also, while this prompt addresses a broader social issue, it asks that you discuss the topic in the context of you. So you must tie your essay back to your own sentiments, actions, and experiences in the digital world.
Be careful to not get too political or controversial with this topic. Ultimately, this is an admissions essay and the officers are more interested in hearing what integrity means to you, and how you propose to adhere to it in environments (social media) where it might be tempting to not follow such high moral standards.
Keep in mind that this essay, like the others, allows a maximum of 150 words. So, be sure to be concise and lucid in your response.
We here at CollegeVine wish you good luck with your Emory University application!
Interested in application and essay help? Learn about our College Apps Program and Essay Editing Program.
Want us to quickly edit your college essay? Submit it to our Rapid Review Program, and we’ll get it back to you quickly with comments from our expert team. Best of luck with your application!