Interpreting Essay prompts within reason

sv3

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Feb 24, 2009
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I've seen some prompts that could be interpreted in different ways and wondering how much leniency we have here? Is the key to define our understanding of the prompt right away and then write our essay based upon our definition of the prompt?

Most of the time I find myself focusing the prompt on a specific area, as opposed to a larger more vague area. For example, if the prompt says something like "Highly selective univeristies are beneficial for society........." - What does selective mean here" Selective for academic acheivement? Income? etc etc. Could one focus this prompt in any way they want, or go with what is most likely meant by the MCAT author (which in this case would be academics I am assuming).

thanks
steve
 

Rach83

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I've seen some prompts that could be interpreted in different ways and wondering how much leniency we have here? Is the key to define our understanding of the prompt right away and then write our essay based upon our definition of the prompt?

Most of the time I find myself focusing the prompt on a specific area, as opposed to a larger more vague area. For example, if the prompt says something like "Highly selective univeristies are beneficial for society........." - What does selective mean here" Selective for academic acheivement? Income? etc etc. Could one focus this prompt in any way they want, or go with what is most likely meant by the MCAT author (which in this case would be academics I am assuming).

thanks
steve

You can interpret the prompt however you like but that is why you have to make sure to define the terms in your first paragraph. Once you define what "selective" means for example, you can then use any examples that fit this definition.
 
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