American University Essay Sample

2013-2014 American University Writing Supplement

1. American University provides its students the freedom to pursue majors and minors within and across the different schools and colleges of the University. In one paragraph, discuss your academic goals and how American University would help you achieve them. (Required, 250 words words max, Paste in)

2. In no more than two paragraphs, please address one of the following prompts (Required, 250 words max, Paste in).:

I) Picture your journey in the American University community from freshman year to graduation day. Describe the person you hope to become on this journey.


 II) American University consistently ranks as a school with the most politically active students in the nation, where students engage in a variety of local, national, and global issues. Discuss an issue of importance to you and how you hope to become further involved with it as a member of the American University community.

Whether you are applying for a job, internship, or to graduate schools, you may be asked to provide a writing sample. Writing samples allow an employer or graduate program to judge your ability to convey a written message and should be taken seriously.


When choosing a sample, consider the writing style that you will be using at your job, internship, or graduate program. Writing samples can come from your coursework and/or work experiences. Typical samples include:

  • Academic papers
  • Policy briefs or memos
  • News articles
  • Blog posts or web content
  • Press releases


The goal of a writing sample is to measure your ability to write professionally, clearly, and succinctly. The best way to demonstrate this ability is by discussing an issue area relevant to the position or program for which you're applying. If possible, your sample should use the organization's style and tone and should either demonstrate the organization's focus or address the topics that you will be working on.


Many employers will specify the desired length of your writing sample. If no desired length is given, choose a writing sample that is two to five pages long.

If you'd like to highlight a section of a longer paper, be sure to include your best two to five page selection. To provide context to the reader, you should start the sample with a brief paragraph about the topic of the paper and the course for which it was written.

Spelling and Grammar

There are no excuses for spelling or grammatical errors in a writing sample. Be sure to proofread the entire piece and have a trusted friend or colleague double check your work.

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