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Can I depart from a "favorite word" college essay prompt by choosing a phrase of two words, or is that too much?


Hello! Senior applying to UVA in the next few months, and one of their college-specific prompts is "What's your favorite word and why?" Now, I've had one or two favorite words in my life, but my all-time favorite isn't one word, it's two. The phrase "come away" is my favorite phrase/saying of all time. I have a lot of good essay material for that one, connecting it to my love of poetry and Romanticism, etc., but I won't use it if departing from the prompt will reflect poorly on me. Please give honest opinions! Would y'all use the phrase, or find a single word? Much thanks x


1 answer

answered on

Well I would first see what other people who have had success with getting into UVA have written for this prompt. If they have used a 2-word phrase and have gotten in, them by all means try it. However, personally I would stick to one word instead of a 2-word phrase just to stay safe. If they wanted a phrase, they would have asked for your favourite word or phrase. If you fail to answer the prompt it will reflect poorly on your application.

By the way I found that college vine has written their own article about answering this prompt and other UVA prompts. I'll link it here: