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.
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.
Write an essay in which you explain how [the author] builds an argument to persuade [his/her] audience that [author’s claim]. In your essay, analyze how [the author] uses one or more of the features listed above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of [his/her] argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage. Your essay should not explain whether you agree with [the author’s] claims, but rather explain how the author builds an argument to persuade [his/her] audience.