I would say that the applicant who wrote the “Imagine” essay didn’t get due to the essay’s flat prose, poor organization, and questionable grammar, not its subject matter. The song was not sung “by the show,” but by the characters on the show. The sentence “When I watched this episode while the deaf adolescents were singing it, and soon joined by another glee club, it surprisingly affected me…” is just an incredible mess. He didn’t watch “while” they were singing; it should be “were joined by;” and “surprisingly affected me” is a terribly clumsy construction. How about: “As I watched another glee club join the deaf adolescents in singing the song during this episode, I was surprised by how much it affected me.” Not all applicants will be strong writers, but all need to show at least a basic grasp of how to communicate a thought.
Three years ago I published my first fiction, The Silver Cord . I worked on it for 11 years! At 464 oversized pages, this huge book was fan-funded, the result of a successful Kickstarter-funded campaign. It is now available on Amazon . The Silver Cord contains two volumes of an epic story about angels and robots and a girl hero who must save the humans in between. The craftsmanship of the printing, including a 6-page fold out, is stunning. It has to be seen to be believed. If you like the graphic novel let me know, and we’ll do the next story.
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.