Williams College Supplement Essay

We've already applied, why not share our creations to assist future applicants.

Here's my Williams Supplement. My proudest work.

Imagine yourself in a tutorial at Williams. Of anyone in the world, whom would you choose to be the other student in the class, and why?

I am, at this moment, lying on an inflatable air mattress on the roof of an abandoned gas station. The night is quiet, save the sweet song of the katydid bugs, a song that might annoy the suburban sleeper, but only reinforces the strange rhythm that begins to overwhelm me. I want to admire the stars, but an unknown force urges my eyes shut, and I, instead, begin to imagine myself in a tutorial at a liberal arts college, somewhere in Massachusetts. The professor appears. He is a cheery man with a mustache reminiscent of that of former U.S. President William Taft's, the room slowly makes itself apparent, an office like clutter where someone's mind clearly has been running free, but one thing does not appear: my peer. It is as though the ethereal forces that reside on this rooftop wish me to make this last contribution and so I oblige.

Indeed, the only soul fit to exist in contrast to my ideas is the adored character from J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series, Dobby the House Elf. It is only he who possesses the inherent submissiveness that would accommodate my nature. "I believe that Marx was 99% economist and 1% ideologue," I would say, to which Dobby would respond "Yes, Professor Taft, Mr. Parth speaks nothing but the truth." All week, my ego would look forward to the beloved tutorial where the damages imposed upon my self-esteem are mended through a sweet kissing of the buttocks by America's favorite house elf, and I would leave Williams in high spirits. Without Dobby by my side, college would leave me vulnerable and outside of my habitat, like a shaved squirrel in an air conditioned room, and thus I treasure Dobby much like the aforementioned squirrel would a blanket.

I awaken from my trance to discover the morning. I feel warm.

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Williams College Application Essay Prompt

This makes it all the more important that your application to Williams College is as strong as you can possibly make it. A compelling application begins with a well-crafted essay, and we at CollegeVine are here to help you with just that. In this blog post, we’ll go over the tips, tricks, and insights you need to write a supplemental essay that is sure to wow the admissions officers and help you stand out in the application pool.


Imagine yourself in a tutorial at…


At Williams, we believe that bringing together students and professors in small groups produces extraordinary academic outcomes. Our distinctive Oxford-style tutorial classes — in which two students are guided by a professor in deep exploration of a single topic — are a prime example. Each week the students take turns developing independent work — an essay, a problem set, a piece of art — and critiquing their partner’s work.

Focused on close reading, writing, and oral defense of ideas, more than 70 tutorials a year are offered across the curriculum, with titles like “Biomedical Ethics,” “Women in National Politics,” and “Extraterrestrial Life in the Galaxy: a Sure Thing or a Snowball’s Chance?”

Imagine yourself in a tutorial at Williams. Of anyone in the world, whom would you choose to be the other student in the class, and why?


At first glance, this question may seem rather daunting. It’s lengthy, it’s detailed, and it’s talking about a subject you may not yet be an expert on: Williams’ unique tutorials. However, there’s no need to stress. In reality, this question is far more open-ended than you may initially perceive it to be. At its heart, it is asking you to identify one person, living today, whom you would like to engage with in a close-knit academic setting.


The first step to answering this question is to understand the context in which it is framed. This means learning what, exactly, a Williams tutorial is like. Typically, a tutorial has no more than ten students; these students are then divided into pairs. Every week, one member of the pair writes a paper, which is approximately 5 pages in length, and the other member writes a critique. Then, the professor leading the tutorial meets with the pair to engage in a robust academic dialogue regarding the paper and the responding critique.


Naturally, this dynamic lends itself to deep intellectual intimacy. With your tutorial partner, you’ll likely be sharing raw insights, personal convictions, and passionate discussions. This is someone you’ll have to trust to be critical of your work, and in turn, someone whose ideas and opinions you’d be willing to analyze as well. Thus, the ideal tutorial partner you choose should be someone who you not only believe can help you grow as a student, but who you feel you can intellectually stimulate and challenge as well.


Now that you understand the context of the question, it’s time to actually answer it and choose a tutorial partner. Luckily for you, there are few wrong answers to this question. That being said, you should be particularly cautious about choosing extremely controversial or polarized figures, or figures linked to potentially divisive topics, such as religion or politics.


Remember that you don’t know anything about the admissions officer who will be reading this essay, and you want to steer clear of any topics that may potentially offend or simply rub them the wrong way. It is always wise to err on the side of caution, and it may be in your best interest to keep your essay rather neutral in this regard.


Beyond this, who you choose to select is entirely up to your discretion. You could identify a celebrity, a prominent intellectual, a figure in your personal life, or any other individual you deem fit. No matter who you choose, what’s most important is that you provide a clear answer as to why you are choosing them.


Think about the ways in which you want to grow as a student during your time in college, and then think about how the figure you choose will help you do so. What are your academic strengths? Where do you need to improve? In what ways do you want to be challenged? When you graduate from university, how will your approach to academia have changed?


Additionally, you should think about how your own intellectual passions can be tied back to whomever you choose. For instance, let’s say you are particularly interested in increasing female representation in politics. During your time in high school, you’ve volunteered with organizations like the League of Women Voters or the National Organization for Women, and helped start a female empowerment club at your high school.


For your response to this question, you could discuss how you would choose former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to be your partner in the Women in National Politics tutorial. You could describe the kinds of questions you’d ask her, what you’d hope to learn from her, and how you’d bring in your past experiences to add a new perspective to your conversations with her.


The key to successfully pulling off this essay is passion. After reading your supplement, admissions officers should not only be able to clearly imagine you as a member of a Williams tutorial, but also as a member of Williams’ greater academic community. A successful response to this prompt helps illuminate your academic and personal interests, and leaves admissions officers with a clearer idea of who you are as a student and as an individual.


With these tips in mind, you’re ready to begin working on your Williams supplement. We at CollegeVine wish you the best of luck, and encourage you to contact one of our highly trained essay specialists for even more help with perfecting your essay for Williams College!


For more tips and tricks on how to master the application process, be sure to sign up for CollegeVine’s personalized application guidance program and mentorship services.


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